Free Daily Post: 18/10/17 (complete)

Micros + Members’ Notes

TIPS – none.



K Lee Chasers (12/1<)

3.45 With – Definite Future

Trainer/Jockey Combo – Live Test

3.45 With – Definite Future (12/1<)


Below you can find my Members’ ‘Notes’ for today. This is where I take a subjective look through the stats qualifiers to see what looks most interesting to my eyes at the odds etc. They have been going ok in recent weeks…

‘NOTES’  (01/09/17-) (20/98, +82)


Satisfy – (4.05 Notts) the 4.05 started to give me a headache but I do want to have a go at this one for a couple of reasons… she has only had 6 runs in her life, comes here in form having run ok the last day, and ‘does something different’, namely stepping up in trip. She does go up in class and may not be good enough, hard to say, but does at least have a G3. The factor was the form of her trainer. Burke is 8/35,11p in the last 14 days. Given her price I was happy to have a dart. I don’t like multiple qualifiers in races as there is every chance I have highlighted the wrong one! But, this one, to my subjective eyes, looked most interesting.

Jabbarockie – (5.15 Notts) I think he was backed LTO in the notes and a couple of us had a chat about the draw etc- that day at Redcar there appeared to be a low draw bias on the straight track, as is the way there quite often I believe. Looking back, he did best of those drawn 11+, possibly running on a slow part of the track. In any case, he is only 0/2 in handicaps so we have that ‘hope’ element, that one day he will show more in this sphere. What is he doing different? Well he drops from C5 to C6, that caught the eye. And it would appear high draws have struggled at Notts recently so no concerns on that front. He should blast out and be prominent, in the right place. He has been nibbled at as I was pondering so we shall see. I would like to think he will run his race and 8/1-10/1 looked fair enough, given his profile.

Top Ville Ben – (5.25 With) no doubt the market may guide,(albeit from memory with a few of his here last season it/connections didn’t have a clue!) and it would be easy to be scared off by the three at the top of the market. But, you can make some sort of case, he is a decent price, and it’s that simple. No need to over-think things too much. He is having his second run for the trainer and second run after a break. He ran very well on the flat LTO and he could come on for that. The trainer books STD for the first time since 2015 as well. Not sure if that is a positive sign/intent, whether Dowson had the pick, etc. But, I don’t think it is a negative. The horse makes handicap hurdle debut also. Kirby is 2/8 with those types at Wetherby. Again he has some supporting ‘ratings pointer’ evidence, to suggest what he has done is ok against ‘the figures’. He looked the most interesting of the three to me and we know what happens now!


That’s the lot for today,

GL 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

36 Responses

  1. Having commented on my preference for Point 2 Point experience over Bumper experience on the thread for the 17th, I now find myself looking at a 3 year old Hurdle at Wetherby tomorrow.

    Maybe not unique; and really a bit of a calendar anomaly; as on 1 January; it would be a standard 4 year old Hurdle race. Can’t recall many same age 3 year old novice hurdles before though this early in NH season.

    Can any of the very knowledgeable Members with far more NH experience than me comment as to whether this is a new trend ; a one off; or part of a new BHA initiative?

    1. Thanks for your views Ian.
      Take on board what you say about p2p horses.

      Do you think the going has a big impact on Nh races?

      I have a feeling that over 2 miles on faster ground
      that flat types as long as the can jump reasonably well
      have to much speed for the p2p horses.

      As the distance of the races lengthens and the ground gets softer
      that speed is negated by extra stamina.

      if you watch the race won by El Presente yesterday despite being niggled
      over the far side
      in the final furlong he was still running pretty fast
      compare that with some races run in heavy ground when they are nearly walking
      up the home straight.

      most of the best nh horses are bred out of flat classic horses
      who showed plenty of stamina.

      Milan Yeats Kings Theatre presenting etc

      1. Example of Breeding in nh racing
        Plato’s Kode has done well so far in his career
        but he is by flat sprinter Kodiac.

        There is some stamina on the dam side but it strongly hints to me that
        this horse will flounder in a really strongly run race or when the ground gets softer
        having the sprinting speed in slowly run races has been a big asset so far
        but when his stamina is tested its likely he will be beaten out of sight.

        When I look at nh breeding most of the sires give the required stamina
        so a good look at the dams side of the pedigree is worth while

        take Thistlecrack for example
        The dam is Ardstown who is a daughter or the very strong stamina influence Ardross
        Suggesting that he should stay the gold cup trip no problem

        When he got beat at Cheltenham it looked as if he was outstayed
        but I don’t think so if he gets to Cheltenham
        I would favour him over might bite who really looks a 2m6f horse
        again ground is vital because if it comes up heavy class can go out the window and an old plodder can win

        1. Hi Peter, just because Thistlecrack was beaten at Cheltenham over an extended 3-mile trip by a Grand National winner in Many Clouds doesn’t mean he was outstayed – he just met a better horse on the day. What I drew from that race is that Thistlecrack would have gone very close in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, but you can (or could last March) throw a hat over the top-6 staying chasers of 2016-17: Sizing John, Thistlecrack, Many Clouds, Cue Card, Minella Rocco, and Native River – and you can probably add Coneygree and (on a going day) Djakadam to that bunch.

      2. absolutely agree about the “Going” point Peter, indeed, I will revisit comments I made about Ayr a few weeks back when they raced Flat races on NH tracks.

        The Going in winter is invariably softer, so not going to suit many Flat bred types and an old sage once told me too – “look at the feet” – the more NH bred have bigger feet and more capable of getting through mud, a bit like I suppose a cycle with a bigger knobbly tyre like a mountain bike than a racing bike that is very narrow.

        My Ayr point too was that due to “jumping” and safety, grass on any NH track is longer than on an average Flat track, easily to see when you walk tracks with both side to side. Some years ago I was walking around Nottingham and came across the much missed Tom O’Ryan, he chatted to me and pointed it out (Nott’m then had NH too) and as he explained due to lack of grass growth in winter and horses needs of safer take off/landing, the grass is totally different. A bit like moderate rough and deep rough on a Golf Course and something I’ve never forgotten and often use when analysis ex Flat v P2P horses in Going that is worse than Good to Soft.

        I remember a spell in the 70’s/80’s when though not as involved in Horse Racing due to work (proper job LOL) the likes of John Edwards; Tim Forster and Jenny Pitman, purchased a lot of real NH horses, bred in New Zealand, then along came Nicholls and Pipes and focus more on French breds and now we are (as you say) seeing the likes of Yeates producing some good quality NH types, times change I guess and now you rarely see any NZ breds at all and the view of many French breds is that they peak at 7-8 years of age…

        All very interesting stuff and the kind of thing I think too easy to overlook in the search for winners.

        Best Wishes…

    2. Hi Ian,
      I’ve been following racing on and off for many years and as far as I know there’s always been 3yo only hurdles from August to December.
      I seem to recall before all weather racing there were so many runners in them that more often than not they were split into 2 or more divisions.

    3. Ian

      Not sure if someone else has answered this already but the 2.10 Wetherby is just a standard Juvenile hurdle (restricted to 3yo). There are many of them about annually, at Market Rasen on 30th September for example, and are part of the standard programme.

    4. Hi Ian

      I can remember there being 3yo Novice Hurdles going back many years….when I did research them, and it is 30 years ago, I did look for Flat 1st or 2nds having run well over 1 mile 2 furs or further….Beverley was one course that springs to mind and so, maybe, Flat courses that can be considered undulating, severe or strenuous to gain these placings…..would be those to “tracker” for the next couple of months

  2. Big fan of Sue Smith and doubly so when the excellent Danny Cook rides, she and he have 5 entries at Wetherby tomorrow, and she has a few more in too, might be worth an inventive accumulator to cover them. Yard usually get going a bit later than this but seem to be a week or two ahead this time round and always worth closest scrutiny at Wetherby.

    1. Morning Ian… they are generally hard to land on at Wetherby, Smith’s ‘success’ there long spotted and there generally isn’t much value.
      Some stats…
      -the last year all runners… 5/36,14, -14 SP
      -5 years all runners… 34/225, -74 SP

      In handicaps… 27/156,60 p… a solid 17% win or so, but -28 SP, so again, they have enough winners- just about being shrewd/lucky enough to land on the right ones haha.

      Her and Danny Cook are a solid 25% in handicaps, but +1.25 SP.. so again, about picking them. And actually finding those where he is likely to get an easy lead may be no bad approach- a Sue Smith front runner around here, esp over fences, is usually hard to peg back and having just had a flick through, most of the winners make all/are trying to make all, from the off.

      Finally, and relevant to this time of year in particular… at Wetherby with those returning after 60 days or more… 5/57 last 5 years, 4/36 in handicaps… so again, a case of caution and picking them-

      Having looked at her closely here for my trainer track profiles report, bar one very micro ‘days since run angle’ , there is no real ‘systematic’ way in that is profitable to SP/BFSP, with many of theirs being over-bet.

      She does better at a few other tracks these days, and goes ‘under the radar’ a bit more.


      1. Brilliant stuff Josh – when I was a lad my dad bought me Encyclopedia Britannica, nowadays in terms of horse racing stats and trends, no need, just ask Josh!

        1. Hills at NH courses interest me
          Plato’s Kodes hurdle runs have been at Worcester, Market Rasen and Huntingdon
          all flat tracks and runs again on another flattish track at Wetheby today.

          Two of his rivals today were very close at Hexham which is a totally different track
          with a stiff up hill finish.
          regardless what happens today you would be very wary of backing Platos Kode
          if he goes to a stiff track with hills( Towcester, Carlisle,Leicester,Hexham,Cheltenham, Kelso,Sandown,Plumpton(tight oval but up hill finish)
          Big wide open galloping tracks with long home straights like Newbury, Doncaster flos lass chestow
          also require a lot of stamina as
          there are no tight bends to slow them down and they become a real test on soft ground
          and non stayers get mugged in the long home straights.

          with novices look to where the trainers send them if they go to Towcester,Carlisle and Leicester
          and then suddenly turn up at Fakenham be very wary of the form.

          The fences are also very different a horse may be able to hurdle
          round the easy fences at Towcester but come a cropper at Sandown.
          the grade 1 tracks usually have stiffer fences so to me chase form on a grade 1 track is superior
          to form at a lower level.
          Size for chasers is also relevant look at the size of a Towcester winning chaser
          if it looks on the small size then it could be in big trouble when jumping bigger fences

          in general the fences in Ireland are on average stiffer than in England
          The Fences in England Scotland and Wales have been dumbed down a bit over the last 30 years
          and this allows the speedier horses who are not nh breds to win steeple chases
          on decent ground.
          Watch a few novice chases and you can often see horses hurdling the obstacles
          note them as soon as they face stiffer fences they are in trouble

          When the ground is soft/Heavy the horse can no longer hurdle it has to jump out of the

          if you see a horse who has fantastic form on good ground switch to softer conditions
          don’t write it off straight away just review its previous races
          if the horse has a real spring at its fences then it may make the adjustment
          if it jumps low spreading the birch often on fast ground be very wary when it goes
          to softer conditions

          1. There is one fundamental thing that is far more relevant in NH than Flat imho

            That is right handed v left handed – why?…

            Try running up and hurdling or long jumping off your wrong foot?

            Try riding a speedway bike clockwise?

            Totally different dynamic and some horses can go both ways and jump off either leg but the majority, if you study the form will show marked preference for one or the other!

  3. Penalties.
    Josh Ian Martin
    What is your opinion on the penalties dished out in novice races.
    I have read from trainers of bumper horses that it is difficult to
    win again with a penalty.
    often see novice hurlers carrying double penalties
    from what I see if the horse is kept to a similar grade it has a chance
    if taking on better unraced horses from the bigger yards
    it ends up giving a stone to a better horse and has no chance.

    I personally like novice races with two previous winners
    who are both carrying penalties and a load of no hopers
    when on review of the horse breeding jumping settling etc you can pick one over the other

    1. Hi Peter,
      I don’t bet in novice/maiden races as a general rule, I am a handicap only punter- with the odd Graded all age chase the exception.
      I will watch them for interest etc but as a betting medium races packed with unexposed horses/where market is a guide/where I perceive a lack of value, is of no interest to me – and hence also why I don’t know a lot about them. In general it is just too much guessing for me, and I think my brain only has so much capacity- but that is probably just me!
      Clearly those with penalties are proven winners and can generally jump- but because of that often their prices will be short enough.
      So, in short, not much I can add!

      1. I think that the issue you mention re penalties in such races is that the system in place is not that sophisticated and needs to be revisited. Perhaps that will come when Phil Smith retires? Although I fear he may hover over his successors when he has gone. Dont get me wrong, I have met Phil Smith at London Racing Club previews and he is always up for a chat about an issue. He is opinionated though and hard to shift from his way of doing things. I understand that there is a fear that if Novices are not penalised they will sweep all before them for a period of time, which limits fields and competition. This may be true? Perhaps give them 30 days grace or reduce the penalty? Perhaps have novice races where no penalty can be given?

      2. I like novice races because I think the betting is often linked to the trainer
        and it is a discipline where observation rather than pure form study can come into play.

        I am looking for a few things when I look at novice races.
        1 How easy are they to get round the bends how do they approach the hurdles/fences
        2 head position is the head down in a balanced position
        3 stuttering approaching the H/F
        4 Whip usage does the jock have to pick up the whip and if so how does the horse respond
        5 bumping and gaps how does the horse react after being bumped and will it go through
        gaps between other horses.
        6 head to head over last 4 furlongs if the horse is in a long extended duel up the home straight
        it shows gameness but it may also knacker the horse for it next run
        if a horse is involved in a 4 furlong head to head and the race has been run in a fast time
        then it may bounce if not given a decent rest
        7 speed away from fences if you see a horse consistently being out jumped
        at a smaller track be very aware that it could struggle next time
        8 4th run I was told that a hurdler really needs 3 runs to get used to the job
        so on a horses 4th outing it can show much improved form
        obviously a generalisation but percentage call
        9 hard pulling front runners who constantly get beaten into places
        often written off as dodge pots
        they are often not. just expending to much energy early on
        ideal for in running betting because if you see one of this type settling well
        early in the race you have a fair idea that it will go better.
        10 size and agility.
        Big horses have an advantage over fences. if they are agile as well then the advantage is much bigger
        if you see a horse neatly sidestep a fallen horse
        or recover quickly from a blunder take note
        11 Breeding is there the required stamina on the Dam side of the Pedigree.
        12.class is a Leiceter,Carlisle Towcester winner heading of to Sandown?
        13.Jockey has a top pro been booked after a few runs with a lesser jock on board
        gambling stables often wont risk their cash until a decent pilot is booked
        AKA Jim Best would book McCoy when they were going for it.
        14. Unraced odds on chances. always take them on e/w if an horse that has raced has shown reasonable form(yesterday Alan King had an unraced 1/2 chance beaten by the only horse with any form.

        big stables will have loads of these and FTO they are sometimes not fully wound up
        and an inferior horse can beat them

    2. I think that there can be an over-reaction to some Novices based on which Trainer they are with and certainly some yards seem to get unfairly walloped. If I was a multi millionaire setting up a stable I would actually try to “frig the system” and have my Novice Hurdlers (and indeed Chasers) in a satellite yard / yards where they would be more under the radar.

      I also think there is a major problem with handicapping Irish horses who run in UK; where the big rollers there (Owners) basically try to bully the handicapper and the system, but that is another issue.

      From a tipping/punting perspective I always see any horse with a penalty as an “opportunity” as it is either ahead of or behind the 8 ball in terms of the ability v opportunity curve and actually far easier to quantify than say a solid consistent horse who can get “becalmed” on a mark and too honest for its own good. I mentioned a horse I had a small share in 2 days ago (Sexy Secret) as honest a horse as you will see 100% trier, woefully one paced though who by being honest and consistent is juts becalmed on a mark it cant win off if there is anything remotely progressive or unexposed in the race.

      The biggest dilemma a trainer has is how long to stick in novice company / how much to “pull the horse” or run over illogical trip, in order to get a handicap mark after 3 runs. So; effectively IMHO unless you have something above average going to Group Class, you simply use Novice races as “public schooling” frig the system and wait for a handicap mark you can exploit, that makes finding handicap winners on the Flat once 3 year old allowance and glut of 3 year olds with handicap marks arriving ; practically impossible.

      May be they need something revolutionary like more Novice races based on more runs to qualify for a mark (lets say 6) and then when you qualify for a mark more all aged (3 year old) handicaps on Flat and less allowance for a 3 year old running in all aged races. I don’t perceive such an issue in NH but may be similar would work.

      1. Thanks Ian really like your feedback
        lh/rh is a very valid point
        can you tell from watching a race if a horse prefers either
        because I find once things are common knowledge it
        isn’t as valuable.
        if you see in the post that a horses record is 6 from 13 on soft ground and
        0-20 on good then it isn’t going to give you an edge
        if from observing a race you concluded the horse wont handle soft
        then you have the edge.

        if you see two horses battle head to head in a long drawn out finish
        then the form book may show one won by 5 lengths after the other one cracks close home
        but the horse may have had a very hard race

        1. Peter I think with lh/rh you only really know until a fair amount of form has built up.

          I think most trainers have ability to school off either foot and going both ways and whilst I do associate some trainers as being more likely to have winners right handed ; that is best explained by their geography and where they send most runners. Kempton/Sandown and Chepstow/Cheltenham as an example.

          I always always look for Course and Distance form in any race in any code as it is the purest indication of a horses likes and dislikes.

          1. c/d form is something I am really interested in
            with handicaps a horse may have several c/d wins and you know
            that they are suited to the track

            but sometimes if you watch a novice nh race
            A winner may have all sorts of problems handling the track but still win
            because it is better class. as c/d winners from the big yards are often over bet.

            if you spot a winner totally unsuited by a track then you can either find another horse
            who is more suited
            or wait till the horse go elsewhere
            greenness can also be an issue a horse may be all over the place
            and look like it is struggling on the course but isn’t

          2. two 3 year old races to start the cards at Wetherby and Punchestown

            and both interesting in their own way

            The Wetherby race Showed the limitations of Plato’s Kode
            held up at the back made several mistake but still had the speed to range up at the last
            but couldn’t go past.
            Durack obviously knows the horse is an iffy stayer and drops him right out to get the trip
            with his double penalty you either use a 7lbs claimer or have to give
            away a stone.

            Where do you go from her if the ground gets a even slightly slower
            with the double penalty he struggles

            If he goes to a big venue without the penalties he gets outclassed
            if they go the handicap route then the faster pace will see his stamina
            really tested and he could be thrashed
            could be a horse to lay in the place market in future races

            The winner was also held up but his sire master craftsman has a much stronger
            stamina index and the stamina told in the end.

            in Ireland the 2nd horse did everything right travelled, jumped and stayed
            and run a great race but the winner without doing everything right
            breezed past him on the run in
            just shows class will over come honest horses
            how good the winner is we will have to wait and see when he runs in a decent race
            but much to good for what was on offer today

  4. Wednesday Football- If you can get 3/1 I like Basel away. They knocked in 5 in their last game and their opponents are not up to much. Man U can win away at Benfica, as Portuguese football is in the doldrums. Get even money though or no bet. Roma are going OK this season and 5/1+ away to Chelsea may be value against a Chelsea side not firing at present.

    Good luck.

  5. wow writing on this site has made me see something so blindingly obvious
    that I have been daft not to know.

    I am an observational punter first and a form studier second
    I have gone from arrogance(because I used to win regularly)
    to pretty fed up because I am not winning anymore
    but I just didn’t watch the races enough recently
    and I started betting on the flat which is crazy for me as so much less happens
    in a flat race and because it all happens so quickly you miss a lot

    jump racing so much more happens and because the fields
    are usually smaller then you can see clearly
    I am equally useless in big field handicap hurdles
    and I can’t see enough.
    I will be watch the opening race at Wetherby and report if I spot anything I think relevant.

    if any one else has a chance to watch it please let me know
    what you saw and if you think it is relevant for the future
    and why.

  6. Well, I didn’t back the winner of the 3yo race 2.10 American Craftsman, never bet in the race….but I certainly highlighted the sort of form needed to win these type of races……it was a past flat winner at Beverley over 1 mile 4 furlongs but this hint has got lost in all these contributors making essays of their opinions….instead of a Twitter type restriction of 140 words, letters

    Right, come at me Josh and anyone else who thinks things could be said a bit shorter, succinct I think is the word

  7. Peter….thank you

    just a gentle hint….at my age of 70 years and I am sure there are older on here, but my concentration and willingness to reach a recent additional comment made on the blog….it can take some time to reach the bottom of the page

    1. Fair enough Norman.
      My wife tells me I can make good morning into a short story.

      Get a bit over enthusiastic sharing ideas on this site
      hate betfair forum as it is guys just slagging each others ideas off.

      This is great for ideas re read my input and must admit a bit self indulgent

  8. Earnest Hemmingway was a great writer and he was challenged to write a 6 word story
    that had tremendous

    “FOR SALE BABIES SHOES NEVER WORN” is his famous work.

    I am no Hemmingway but

    “backed duff horse can’t pay mortgage”
    I think would appeal to him.

  9. Horse I gave a little mention to earlier today that is in my tracker First To Boogie, was 50/1 on exchanges and around 33/1 bookies 20 mins before off (4.45 punch) backed right in to 12/1; so clearly impressed some shrewd money, I did think it would need this run, but ran very well before “blowing up” about 2 furlongs out, might be best at 20-22 furlongs but jumped well and economically and definitely enhanced my view a nice prospect. Best right handed, ideally back at Punchestown.

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