Free Daily Post: 07/04/17 (complete)

1.40 Aintree… + 4.05


A fun start to the Aintree meeting for me, Flying Angel 7/1 and Dineur 25/1 the highlights for my ‘at the races’ 5s/10s, as mentioned in the notes on Day 1. Doitforthevillage – frustrating, i think that was ‘the’ bet in the race based on morning odds given how it turned out. He was punted into 12s and was tanking, creeping into it down the side, before seemingly clipping heels after landing. It was a long way from home but given how he was going and how the race finished (all rather in a heap) I suspect he may have been thereabouts. But we will never know. Rock On Rocky just wasn’t good enough to lay up/jump at that pace. 


Aintree Day 2 


Rather Be – 1.5 point win – 12/1 (BV/PP/BetfS)

Sky Khan- 1 point win – 14/1 (general)

Crystal Lad – 1 point win – 25/1 (Bet365/Sporiting Bet/SJ) 20/1 (general)


Looking at my stats, those of interest:Had run over 2m3f+  (0/60,12p had not in 20 years) and won over 2m3f+ (10 years.. 1/107,17p had not,216 total runners-may have crossed off winner) did not run 46-121 days ago (0/28,3p), and ran in a race with 9+ runners LTO (0/43,4p 8<) I think that would leave a shortlist of: A Hare Breath, Rather Be, Allee Bleue, Sky Khan, Crystal Lad.

If something else wins, which is more than likely, then I wasn’t destined to find them. I am not trawling through 22 runners with my ‘form/profile’ eyes on in a handicap hurdle like this, with many lightly raced types vs hardy battlers. This approach will work fine over time, as it has done this season, maybe again today… (although you will find stronger stats hurdles than this..)

A Hare Breath ran over fences LTO which is a negative, as is not running over 2m4f-2m6f LTO. The rest look solid. On ‘form/horse’ analysis I can’t be having Allee Bleue – out of form and wants it deeper I think. Happy to leave I think.

The other three look very interesting to my eyes.

Rather Be- I am rather pleased he is on this shortlist, as I was wading into him whatever having tipped him up LTO at the Festival. In the end his unseat/BD didn’t matter (we found the 25/1 winner :)) . I think it was a BD as he couldn’t get out of the way of a fallen horse. One of those things and I believe connections fancied him to run a big race that day. He travels well, jumps well, and is still open to masses of improvement in handicaps. He stays well enough and seems to handle any ground. I don’t think there is anything in the jockey bookings for Hendo’s in this- each one has ridden their respective horse before, and have never been on the other one- it could be as simple as that. Henderson has won the race before. He ticks plenty of boxes for me. 6 year olds have the best record in this also. And qualifies on some other micro angles of mine for this meeting as well.

Sky Khan – well he was an 11 length fourth in this last year, off a 10lb higher mark, on ground that may have been softer than ideal. It looks like he had a good prep LTO and horses that ran at Uttoxeter LTO are 2/7,4p in this race in the last decade, +78. Interesting. Random. Who knows. He ran in big field handicaps at Chletenham, Aintree and Punchestown last year, and ran crackers in each. Given his mark, and that hardy form, he looks of real interest here. Russell is in some decent enough form also.

Crystal Lad – at 25s I can’t resist on him either. He ran a fine race LTO from the front before fading late on- he may appreciate this flatter finish. I also think he may be able to get an easy enough lead on the front here. There doesn’t appear to be masses of pace based on recent runs, although in this type of race it is rarely a slow pace. But, if they all run as they have been, he could be up there without too much around him. He is thoroughly unexposed in handicaps and given he fits my interpretation of the stats, and his ability to lead, he looks fascinating at 25s.



Henryville – 1.5 points win – 12/1 (general)

Katachenko – 1 point win – 33/1,28/1 (general)

Bright New Dawn – 1/2 point win – (BFSP maybe… 40/1 in places)


The Stats: Well I looked at 11-8 or less / 4+ runs this season / Had run G3+ in career / Did Not Run 31-75 days ago or 91+ / Had won C2 or above / 1+ handicap wins. A win in the last three is a slight negative also (1/115- not enough in hand maybe)

I think that left: Third Intention / Quite By Chance / Bright New Dawn / BallyKan / HenryVille / Ultra Gold / Katachenko / Portrait King

Hopefully I haven’t left the winner on there, if indeed they are even on that list. You know what I am like with my shortlists! I am not overly keen on the Tizzard horses, although Third Intention has form over these fences and is 7lb below his mark when 3rd in this last year. But, he comes here in awful form and has had a busy season, like a lot in the yard. This could be one race too many, we shall see. On jockey bookings he looks the most fancied one. Ballykan- is interesting but ran a shocker in this race last year, but comes here in better form. NTD has won the race before but with chase wins at Southwell and Perth, and a suspicion he might want 24f, I left him. Portrait King – this may be the first time I haven’t backed him over these fences for some time! He is old now, in poor form, and will surely find a few too good in here. This trip will be on the short side for him although were he to grab 5th or 6th I wouldn’t be totally shocked.

Henryville- Everything looks right here. I know. Too good to be true. But at 12s I will have a stab. I don’t know why Fehily isn’t on either of Fry’s in here, I have no idea. Maybe I missed something. But, Aspell may have been booked in any case given we know he rides these fences so well. So, that is a positive. As is the fact he ran well in the Sefton here before Christmas and this just looks like a right old plan. He had a short break before returning at Cheltenham where nothing went right, he was far too keen, and was held up right out the back. He did travel into it well up to a point. It looks like that was a run to get him spot on for this I suspect. The hood returns, which is a big positive and another sign I think. Harry Fry is in great form also. I hope they race him prominently enough, I hate proper hold up types around here, although there is some pace on. But, rarely is there a pace collapse. He just ticks plenty of boxes, well, all the boxes. He is also lightly raced enough over fences. He looks solid. He can hit the odd fence but hopefully he runs as he did in the Sefton and goes two better.

Onto the pokes..

Katachenko- well I have had an eye on him all season, mainly as I tipped him for the Red Rum last year at 16s on these pages and thought he may go on from that. He didn’t really. I just wonder whether this has been a plan. It’s McCain. It’s the GN fences. It’s Hemmings. His mark has come down a tad. It has either been a plan, or he has just regressed. We will find out today. My head says the latter, my gut the former. I find it interesting that they remove the hood this time having been on for an age. ‘Doing something different’ at least and maybe that will spark him up. The trip is an unknown but he ran well two starts ago at Carlisle over further to make me think this may be ideal now. And, if this was a plan, you can ignore that last run to a point. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t horrendous. He usually races prominently as well which is a positive. So, he ticked my stats approach for this, and you can create a ‘story’ around his chance I think. Worth a stab at those odds. He may tail off. Only one way to find out.

Bright New Dawn- a proper poke but Venetia knows how to train a winner over these fences and Treadwell is another who rides them well. At 40s, or name your price BFSP maybe, I thought why not. He is ‘unexposed’ at this distance and I have doubted whether a Venetia horse will stay before, only to be left with egg on my face. She can train stamina into them and it looks like he probably wants a trip like this, finding 16f a bit sharp these days. Hopefully they race him prominently also and that he takes to these fences. I could think of some negatives for the others I left on the shortlist, but I couldn’t really for him. While there may not appear to be many positives either, that was enough at the prices to have a dart.

Of the rest.. well the winner probably hasn’t been mentioned. It looks very open, and good luck with wherever your pins land!


Other Races/Thoughts

I doubt I can add much to any of the other races but…

2.20 – better judges than I in races like this seem to be keen on Mount Mews and we know connections are in form. He is top rated on Geegeez Speed also, with River Wylde not far behind. Maybe they will dominate the finish, one winning, the other coming second. A muggy ‘track side’ reverse forecast maybe!

2.50 – I will probably have £5/£10 on Whisper as I am there, on the off chance Might Bite has an ‘episode’ again. It is probably wise to back him for the King George right this minute, (if that is your thing) as if he doesn’t ‘have a moment’ you can see him dotting up in an impressive fashion. If he falters, Whisper won’t be far away.

3.25 – Sub Lieutenant? – Bromhead doesn’t bring many to this meeting but they usually run ok, and this one again is top rated Geegeez Speed. It looks to be between him and Gods Own, but I have spent about 2 minutes having a glance! Gigginstown horses that are fancied tend to do well at the meeting.

4.40 – The World’s End? Well I backed him the last day and he needs to tidy up his jumping. He is 5/2 which may be sharp enough but it would be good to see him bolt up. Debece- interesting they pitch him in here. Vaughan really really likes this horse and they clearly want to see just how good he is. He looks very interesting EW and is certainly one to keep an eye on moving forwards, esp when tackling a fence. He may not be good enough, but an interesting runner.

5.15 – no idea. I will end up doing what I did yesterday and hunting out Paul Ferguson of ‘Jumpers to Follow’ – he knows his young/unexposed horses and told me to back the winner, which at 16s was a nice bonus to end the day. He tipped it up on Monday I think at 66/1!! A nice pay day for him, sadly I missed that price.




Normal content…


Trainer/Jockey combo – Live Test

3.50 Sedge- Jockers And Rogues



That’s the lot today. Good luck with any bets.


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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

33 Responses

  1. Early thoughts on Friday.

    Potential world beaters – 2.20 Mount Mews and 5.15 Black Op?

    Another run for Might Bite, always entertaining.

    Gods Own loves Aintree?

    In the 4.05 I like As De Mee and Henryville, both of which may have been laid out for this race?

    Beyond Conceit may be value each way in the 4.40 for Henderson?

  2. Three for me tomorrow. In the 13:40 at Aintree Geordie des Champs is just about the only one that fits the trends with only the days since his last run being a negative from a trends point of view. Last seen struggling in soft ground at Warwick in a race won by the Neptune winner. He was sent off favourite for that race and is clearly highly thought of. He has won in a big field before as well as at the track and should improve for the good ground. The break isn’t a concern for him since he has won with a longer one before. In the Topham there are two I want to go with. Firstly Third Intention looks to have been campaigned for this and is 7lbs lower than his 3rd here last year and he won the Old Roan off his current mark in October bringing his course record to 4231 all in graded races. The good ground should also help. The other one I want in the race is Clarcam who again seems to always do well at this meeting (2nd in a grade 1 as a Juvenile in 2014, 1st in the Manifesto in 2015 and 3rd in the Melling in 2016 after a longer than ideal for him break). His ideal conditions are good ground around 2m4f which he finally gets today after being run at the wrong trip. If you look at his runs between 17.5f to 20.5f away from Heavy ground you get a record of 6/14, 11p. At the start of the season Elliott said the plan for him this year was big field handicaps over 2m4f and he thought he would be competitive in them. Both the picks looked over priced to me.

    1. Yes i also see Clarcam and Mr Diablo heis fresh won his last grade B after 5 month break
      I will have fun e/w on Top Gamble i simply like him and Crievehill at opener

  3. In complete contrast to Aintree, here are my thoughts on the 5f 2yo Novice at Leicester at 2pm. Looks competitive by my scores and the market seems to have it the same way. Not a race I would have a bet in without seeing them. I shall be taking pictures and hopefully posting them up on here courtesy of Josh over the weekend.

    Title: 7th April Leicester 5f Novice
    3.5 Shovel It On
    3.25 Airshow, Kick On Kick On, Manco Inca, Straight Ash, Zain Flash
    3 Bunch Of Thyme
    2.75 Poignant, Jedi Master
    2 Rockesbury
    Preview – A race which can vary greatly in quality from year to year, but has mainly been contested by small ones the trainers are trying to get an early win out of before any bigger ones come along. The relatively low algo scores tend to back this up, in fact the only two that could be easily ruled out are Rockesbury and Poignant both drawn out wide from trainers who are unknown quantities with 2yos. I might add Manco Inca to these two as he is also out wide, he cost only 6k but both Tuite and Oisin Murphy are capable of getting at least a competent run out of a 2yo.
    Others score low due to sires of unknown calibre as yet, such as Red Jazz (Jedi Master) but unless he knocks the eyes out I will find it hard to invest there although drawn ok. Bunch Of Thyme is on the rail and Bill Turner does get his to jump well, Bunch Of Thyme cost £20k (a lot for this stable) and even with 9 better jockeys in the race could well be hard to beat from that position.
    This leaves Shovel It On with top score, well drawn but Evans seldom gets his jockey bookings the wrong way around and Brock was 1/59 on 2yos last year, I have to think that Egan (Zain Flash) is the stable no 1 here, also he cost 32k to Shovel’s 5.5k. Zain Flash is drawn 7 so high enough.
    Airshow is drawn in the middle with another pilot who does not seem to have mastered the 2yo game yet. Trainer Millman is very hard to predict, however he does get early season debut winners and Master Carpenter won this race for him in 2013, ridden by Andrea Atzeni which may tell a story.
    This leaves two Hannon’s Straight Ash (36k drawn 6) and Cox’s Kick On Kick On (52k drawn 4). Both trainers who do not necessarily target fto wins but can be expected to have their horses well drilled and ready to compete for the win. Presumably Move To The Front who ran for Cox in the Brocklesby D2 is a nutcase as even Kirby could not steer him. This seemed atypical.
    All this seems to narrow it down as far as Straight Ash, Zain Flash and Kick On Kick On in the first rank and Airshow, Jedi Master and Bunch Of Thyme not being unimagineable winners. Not feasible to make a confident selection without seeing them as any of them could be the ‘better’ physical type. At present the value appears to lie with David Evans Zain Flash 8.8 on Bf. The market would seem to be perhaps giving too much emphasis to the Fahey/Hanagan angle as Jedi Master is currently shortest.

    1. sorry to bother you Hugh but it’s my birthday in a couple of weeks and because i have been a good boy the missus has offered to buy me a racehorse share (or 2) and i was looking at this 2YO Autumn Belle trained by Ollie Pears as his yard is just down the road from me, do you know anything about her? i would value your opinion if you can find the time. all the best….Martin

        1. Hi Martin, suddenly I feel a burden of responsibility. Unfortunately neither the pictures or the video allow one a particularly good view.

          Breeding looks ok and Ollie Pears is capable enough albeit at a low level, but then again this is a fairly economical way in.

          My concern is in her confirmation, She is quite deep at the chest but appears very short backed. Also she is quite straight in the shoulder ie if you draw a line down from the centre of the withers to where the shoulder and neck meet on her chest it should be 45 degrees. Any steeper than this and they can hit the ground quite hard increasing the chance of injury and possibly not stretching out or not liking it too firm.

          In still picture 1, which I presume is from before she entered training she looks a bit under muscled in the gaskin and forearm (equating to front and back thighs).

          The picture on Ollie Pears website does go a little way to alleviating these fears but also makes her look weak behind.

          Taking all this together, whether she will be able to move at pace is open to question. I can’t say she won’t make an ok 2yo at a modest level but she does have some negative points. If there are some more recent photos of her now she is in work it might help to illustrate how she is developing it might help to be more positive.


          1. thanks Hugh i might pop down to the yard and take a look myself and some photo’s, i did have a chat with Ollie and she’s going to be run locally so for the amount you pay it’s probably worth it just for the fun of watching your “own horse”. thanks again for taking the time to look.

          2. Yes, its always fun. I am in Geegeez Dragoon Guard syndicate and we haven’t managed a win yet but had some great days out.

  4. 3 for tomorrow all at Aintree – 1450 Marinero, 1525 Top Gamble, 1605 Katachenko.
    Good luck with your selections.

  5. I’ve backed these as singles and an ew treble at Aintree:-
    140 Zubayr – step up in trip
    405 Henryville – headgear and jockey
    440 Beyond Conceit – step up in trip
    The place part of the treble would pay 100/1+, so I had to give it a go.

  6. Morning all, I know it’s only a whisper and rumour (so maybe take with a pinch of salt and all that). But I work in an office in Liverpool with an Irish cousin of Aspell. She’s told us in the office yesterday that Fry has told Aspell that he and connections wanted him on the horse due to his experience and know how of the fences at Aintree (National and all that). It was a late switch apparently and Noel was non too plused to say the least. According to Aspell they are going to try and push nearer the front earlier and try and ride him different to how they did in the Plate. This was target race. Anyway, please make of that what you will. Thought it was worth sharing in any case. Thanks Chris

    1. Thanks Chris.. never be put off from sharing such info due to my more ‘it’s all mainly bollocks’ mindset!! Information like this is very useful, and all makes plenty of sense- that is more than ‘stable jockey/contact X’ really fancies this one today, it’s been burning up the gallops!’. top stuff. It did look like Aspell was deliberate and am pleased to say he will be ridden more prominently if they can. He just ticks so many boxes, if he doesn’t make an error he will be bang there. Cheers.

      1. Thanks Josh. Great shout on Rather Be – thanks for that. Let’s just say there were a fair few happy punters in the Sunloch lounge! Regards Henryville. I’ll be having words with Aisling in the office on Monday – ha ha! Penny for Noel’s thoughts and all that. Ended up having a sing song with Tizzard and Joe to New York, New York in the Red Rum bar afterwards! Fair to say he’d had a few! Chris

        1. That sounds like a superb day all round! Tricky with Henryville- the hood back on was meant to calm him down but he looked worked up/very very steady to the start. I can see in that context why Aspell took the ‘i best hold him up and settle him’ approach- he took a while to get going, and after 2f it was game over, coming from right out the back over those fences. He ran well in the end given where he came from. Clearly plenty of ability and if/when he can ever switch off etc will be some machine in handicap chases. That’s how it goes. The fences are no problem and maybe they will try the sefton again. Can’t blame the Tizzards’s for having a good old party, superb day. Pleased with Rather Be, prob my most confident/biggest bet of the week I think, which is mad in a race like that, but there we go! Enjoy today.

      1. have spotted something here which has made my ears prick and it is a decision which would only be made if the horse is ready to win and you want to give it the best possible chance.

        The horse in question is HENRYVILLE. The normal rider of HENRYVILLE is Noel Fehily, yet he does not have a ride in the race. Fehily has rode the horse 16 times so the only reason I can think of is owners and trainer wanted the best jockey over the National fences on board and that is Leighton Aspell.

        Aspell won the 2014 Grand National on Pineau De Re and also 2015 National winner on Many Clouds. He is simply electric over the fences and knows the best position to have your horse. For me this alone is a massive clue because who takes Noel Fehily off a horse unless you mean business?

        HENRYVILLE is also very well handicapped and is now rated 140 by the handicapper. Only this time last year he was rated 148 and was finishing just behind the likes of Zabana, Outlander and Sub Lieutenant at Punchestown over 3m 1f. Leighton Aspell will carry a weight of 10st 9lb which is a lovely weight. We also know he will stay a bit further than todays trip which will again play to his strengths and he loves the fences after finishing 3rd in Grand Sefton back in December. A very solid bet for me. E/W.

  7. Bright New Dawn: Venetia & Treadwell have not had an Aintree Festival Handicap winner for more than six years so I have put in Third Intention to cover any chance of a slip-up but both these Handicaps are difficult Trend races to assess, especially the 1.40 race

    The last 2 winners did not fit the trends and out of the last 10 runnings of this race the winners have been difficult to find…I like Rather Be and I have also backed Allee Bleue @ 50/1 (Johnson/Hobbs) from Josh’s list but it’s hope rather than confidence

    1. Good luck Norman, yep agree with general point – these races are not as good on a stats/trends point of view than the Festival. Rather Be has a few other micros in his favour at least. Very open. I hope I haven’t left a 33/1+ unbacked again on a shortlist!! Gulp.

  8. 4.05 Aintree, I like Bouvreuil. Significant STD is on and not As de Mee, plus 5yo/6yo FR breds have good record in this race, won 3 from last 10 years. 3rd in the plate at chelt lto is a perfect prep for this as Nicholls previous winner of this was 2nd in that race at chelt before winning this. GL

    1. Good luck. 0-3 runs this season, 0/65,5p last 10 years- that is why my pin wasn’t near him, but that may not stop him!!

      1. Ah, that’s why it’s in my tracker as a Lay, never did though because the odds were too high, could lay the place.

        1. You probably layed Double W’s yesterday as those that finished outside top6 lto were 0/45 !!! haha

          1. Nah, but backed near enough everything else 🙁
            Did get a bit of place money.
            But yeah, Bovril is rubbish 😛

  9. Just a couple of Stats to consider when I had a closer look at Noel Fehily’s AINTREE FESTIVAL record

    since 2003 he has had 8/92 wins at the GN Meeting ….they are then divided into :-

    2/14 Handicap Hurdles
    2/25 NON Hcap Hurdles
    3/15 NON Hcap Chases
    0/26 Handicap Chases

    He rides BLAKLION in the National tomorrow and is currently 0 wins in Handicap Chases….nice race to break the sequence, or will he ???

  10. Well done again Josh. I’ll take the place at 14s. Its interesting how we both used your stats but picked out different parts as the key ones. Top 3 all 6 year olds there miles clear. Dream Berry the only one who hadn’t won over 2m3f.

  11. Ha. Bugger. Only the 50/1 winner and 100/1 3rd on the ‘shortlist’ of 8. I don’t want to look at BFSP. Ive done it again.

    1. Unlucky mate. He was one of the last two I dismissed so was on a shortlist of four although £3.5ew at 80/1 and £1 ew at 66/1 softened the blow (that’s all the generous people at BFSB and PP let me have)

  12. Josh…commiserations..I always back your short-list but I left out Bright New Dawn for the reason given earlier….I had a good win on Rather Be and only a small stake on Ultragold 66/1…

    your write-up on the 1.40 race regarding filters and those about distance 2m 3+….would you check and clarify what you have written…I am not following your line of reasoning…all helps in the learning process, thanks yet again for your analysis

    so we dismiss Blaklion tomorrow, now we only have 38/39 horses to check before value goes downhill in the National

  13. Not long home from Aintree….had a good few….Best day ever…
    I had 29/1….4/1 and a 50/1. Yesterday I broke even or a bit ahead.
    I hope tomorrow goes as good.

    BOL to all. Tony Mc.

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