Free Daily Post: 04/11/17 (complete)

ALL TIPS, others to come, + micros…


(2017: 140 bets / 15 wins / +99 points)


3.15 Wetherby – Charlie Hall Chase

Bristol De Mai – 1 point win – 10/1 (PP) 8/1 (gen)

Blacklion – 1 point win – 10/1 (PP) 9/1 (gen)


3.35 Ascot 

Fourth Act  – 1 point EW – 12/1 (gen, get 1/4 4 places) UP

Ultragold – 1 point win – 25/1 (gen) UP

Ballycross – 1 point win – 20/1, 18/1 (gen) UP


*Hmm.. well on what turned out decent enough ground, Fourth Act and Ballycross were completely taken off their feet there. Ultra ran well enough to a point but not good enough on the day. Nothing to cheer late on into that. I left the winner thinking that if proper soft, he had stamina to prove/as well as ground in handicaps (in context of single figure odds this morning)… in any case he as won that in a way that suggests I have just got him wrong. Clearly an improved horse from last year, he has demolished them there. Racing on the front end, that looked ominous a long way out. Still, +3 on the day. Onwards. 



Write ups…

3.15 – well, let’s be clear- I would like nothing more than Gold Cup her Coneygree to demolish this lot from the front- which he may do. He has a special place in the heart, as does any GC winner you back I suppose. You can’t fail to like this horse. And then there is Cue Card – no words. He is a legend, a horse racing great. Either of those can win and I will be cheering, all misty eyed. Do not bet in this race, or bet an amount, where you wouldn’t be able to enjoy seeing either of those two warriors win. But, betting wise, they are short. They both may need the run and will certainly come on for it – they may have future targets in mind. And of course they are not getting any younger and Coneygree has had his problems. Leaving them as a betting proposition was an easy enough decision for me. I just can’t back them at their odds, but I can cheer them home nonetheless.

So, it’s then a question of what to back… I suppose I have kept it simple… the two tips and the two old boys are the only Grade 1 winners in the line up and I have gone with class. Twister also has a very good record in this race, is in form, and must surely have aimed both of these at this. He will know this is a decent opportunity to win a decent pot with these two. Fitness won’t be a problem if he wants them fit, both handle a variety of ground, and both stay well enough. All the others seem to have recent form, fitness and class questions – most are mainly handicappers and have yet to prove they could have a race like this in their locker. I was struggling to make a case for much else, but maybe this race will be a timely reminder for why I tend to stick to handicaps!

of some note… only 4 horses consistently appear in the top 3 ratings for HRB, Geegeez Speed, and Inform Speed… the two tips, plus Cue Card and Coneygree. On all known evidence of what all these have done on paper to date, these are the best four horses in the race.

PACE.. well Coneygree will attempt to make all and nothing in here will live with him for a time..and nothing will live with him if he keeps galloping. Cue Card won’t be too far away and neither will Bristol De Mai. The harder they go the better for Blacklion- the little terrier should just keep galloping.

Of the rest… well I suppose of the bigger prices Vieux Lion Rouge may be of some interest given his record fresh. I think he needs all four above to under-perform and you never know what the pipes are planning…they may well be working back from the Grand National. Maybe he will grab a place.


3.35 – Ascot

I am working on the assumption that the ground will be soft at best come race time. There is plenty of heavy rain forecast between 9am and race time. (albeit as I watch the Opening Show as of 10am it doesn’t appear to be raining!!)  If it is genuinely good ground that changes the complexion completely, and increases the chances of many others in this.

Fourth Act – I suspect this has been the plan as he ran well in this race on his return last year and has consistently shaped like a stayer. The key is the ground.. his best chase form is in soft/heavy and yet he has never raced over this trip or further in that going. I am hoping the combination does the trick. He stayed on well last year suggesting he was fit enough and this could be the time of year to catch him. He has 9lb less on his back this year and a top jockey has been booked – I can’t think there are many in his class that can do this low weight. He is best going RH over fences and I expect a massive run. Baring taking a fence with him I would be disappointed if he didn’t place at worse,and pay for all bets in the race. I do want to see some rain for him but based on the run in this last year he would have a chance. Hopefully Bowen doesn’t have him too far back.

Ultragold – I couldn’t resist a go at 25/1 given he comes here having had a run and is unexposed over this trip. He has generally campaigned over shorter but in his younger days shaped like a stayer, including staying on well over 3m at Exeter in a C3 handicap chase. The way he won at Aintree suggests 3m shouldn’t be a problem- it is an unknown given he has only raced beyond 2m5f twice in his life. Soft ground hasn’t been a problem in the past but I wouldn’t want this turning into a slog for him. This is a massive pot and Tizzard is now a target trainer I think – there is every chance this has been an early season plan. He may be handicapped up to his best but it is all about the distance unlocking more. He may not stay, but I can’t say that for sure. Hence why i want a big price. I can roll the dice at 25s. He usually races prominently and his pace for shorter should see him in the right place. 

Ballycross – Well I tipped/backed this one last time out and he failed to deliver. I mused after whether or not he wants softer… and, there is a chance he gets soft+ here… if no rain then he won’t be winning this as I suspect he may get taken out of his comfort zone. He needs soft to slow down the rest and allow him to keep galloping. I would be gutted if he won this at this price, in the context of my history with him, without carrying any of my money. And I need a new Twister handicap chaser to replace Cogry!! 🙂 He is unexposed enough while now reaching the stage where he needs to win a chase. But he was highly tried at times last year and this ‘could’ be his season/the year he develops fully. He did plenty on the front end the last day, getting into a duel a long way from home. I think that, combined with his lack of gears in that ground, is what cost him. But he still ran ok. He can race prominently enough and I want to see him over 3m in soft. If indeed it is soft. He could be taken off his feet early, clout a couple, and never travel. That could happen. But, again, any such considerations are always in the context of price. You can be wrong a hell of a lot at this end of the market and do just fine over time.


PACE… there is enough on paper in here. Ultragold and Ballycross should be up there/front third…no excuse. Fourth Act may be a bit further back and need some luck but hopefully he has a trouble free round.

Of the rest… well.. if this is good ground then Antony will go close… and if it was good this morning with no rain, then I would have tipped him at 10s. He has every chance of winning this again but IF it is soft, I have a real stamina question about him. I suppose it is an unknown but if this is soft I don’t think he will get home – there will be stronger stayers than him in this. That is my reading of his form to date anyway. He looks best on decent ground and I would want to see big field form on soft, over 3m+, to confirm he gets it. Were he 16s+, maybe I would have been more tortured and taken a punt. He should go well, this has clearly been the plan. If good I may take some covering fire.

IF soft… I have stamina concerns over Go Conquer and Braqueur D’Or (they are unknowns, but at single figure odds I will leave). Emerging Force would have to prove his liking for soft also, in a race like this, over 3m. I was struggling to make a case for any of the others and if they win then I wasn’t close to finding them.

GL with whatever you fancy.




V Williams (16/1 or shorter)

2.25 Ascot – Calipto

K Lee Chasers (12/1 or shorter)

12.20 Weth – Krackatoa King

Saturday Trainer/Jockey Combo (14/1 or shorter)

3.15 Weth – Village Vic

G McPherson (any odds)

2.10 Ayr – Skipthecuddles



Back at some point, likely Sat morning.



Route 66: The Road To Cheltenham

This post is worth some of your time if you are a Festival Fanatic… read/watch HERE>>>




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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. In the Sodexo what is not to like about last years winner Antony? Stable in form, had a prep run, not much more weight than last year, 10/1 available.

    1. Yep tend to agree…he is high up on my shortlist and won’t mind if its soft. Looks like this has been a plan and he does look solid. Pondering.

    2. I agree that was the one that stood out when I had a quick glance at it an Neil Channing has tipped him up in his free post. Does seem better on decent ground though so waiting to see what the ground is like tomorrow.

      1. On further reflection going by breeding (his sire’s progeny are 4/9,6p on heavy and 30%+ on soft) not to mention he ran on it OK on heavy as a 4 year old I have less ground reservations particularly as his low weight will come into it.

  2. Titian Boy looks like a bet on heavy over a trip that will suit Ayr 1.0 and if it stays no worse than g/s I expect Braqueur D’or to run a massive race. At 4/1 and 8/1 1pt win each and a 1pt e/w double hopefully!! gl all

  3. just been chatting to one of the owners of Highway Storm w12-20, says ideally they would have liked another week and a bit more cut in the ground but still quite bullish .

  4. We’ve had a lot of heavy rain overnight in the Ascot area and set to continue until around 11:00am.

    Chris R.

  5. Heard similar Broadsword from someone I spoke to at 7am who lives in Maidenhead. I am anticipating soft to heavy by start time, especially as they watered earlier in the week (no complaints about that as would have been looking at Good to Firm and firming had this rain arrived just 12 hours later).

    So I’m now hoping for a bit of a mud bath to be honest based on selections – one of those days that drive you nuts in terms of Going and then possible glut of non runners; so best to just “stake down” and watch and enjoy rather than serious punts imho.

    Good Luck all!

    1. Think we need to be careful….

      They still have it as Good, good to firm in places.. only 4mm over night.. and their pics on their twitter feed from 7am suggest it wasn’t raining at the time..

      the unknown is how much falls, if any, between now and the racing- some showers etc due- very tricky!

      If it turns soft then plenty of those have questions- if it stays as it, GS at worst, then it is anyones races- going wise. No real excuse.

      1. ah Josh but it is a “Mr Stickels” he and his wife are legends when it comes to Going cock up’s; possibly only superseded by Fiona “boiling water” Needham! (she who poured boiling water to de-frost landing area of fences at Warwick on one occasion and then saw it turn to sheet ice 15mins later) LOL!

    1. Had a brief chat with him and Willy at Fakenham, think i was a bit high on bubbles by then mind but had brief chat about their Cheltenham success etc. They seemed in good form.

  6. I am out and about this morning so no time for write ups (might find 15 mins on the train possible in case I will update) but this is what I am on:

    Song Light Ascot 15:00 1pt e/w
    Zeroeshadesofgrey Wetherby 15:45 1pt e/w
    Antony Ascot 15:35 1pt e/w

  7. Angus Milan 3.40 Down Royal…..currently 16s…from a longshot system. 7 winners from 43 runners..but a good profit over time…..

    Bol all…

    Tony Mc.

  8. There was 4mm of rain overnight and a bit more coming – I don’t see it riding soft or heavy. Ascot drains well particularly the home straight so I suspect it will be beautiful jumping ground.

    Saying that reminds me of one horse that is a beautiful jumper of a fence and that is Junction Fourteen running in the 3.35 Sodexo Chase. He is a fluent fencer despite only having run 10 times over fences.

    He was second in this race last year as a 7 year old running off 147, giving 19lb to Antony. This year he is off 141 and only gives 9lb to Antony. I would be amazed if Antony could confirm the form on 10lb worse terms.

    Emma ran him at Chepstow last year as a prep run, over 2 mile 3 furlongs and sent him back there this year too for his prep run (over 3 miles). I like the fact they employed the first time headgear last time then sent him to the front and made him run hard. He ran off 143 there and kindly the handicapper dropped him 2lbs.

    That run was RPR 145 which was some 12lb higher than his prep in 2016, yet he runs off 6lb lower at Ascot. Clearly he has been prepared for this race, is on a decent mark, arrives in good form, has good form over the C&D, is a good jumper of fences (unlike several of his rivals today), is lightly raced and still open to improvement.

    16/1 with 5 places available with certain firms is an each way gift. I have had my max and am extremely confident of a return

  9. Going at Ascot be interesting I’ve 2 friends who live about 10 miles north and east of track respectively, one says poured for 4 hours the other one says rained hard for about an hour!; both had heavy rain in the night though.

    I will be cautious there; but have a small e/w double on Outlander 2.30 and Balko Des Flos 3.05 in the heavy going at Down Royal.


    1. Walked across the hurdle course on entering and that area didn’t feel heavy or even particularly soft and there is no rain here currently, it’s actually quite lovely.

      1. Ah damn! Well that makes this race even more open then! Ballycross may struggle, i’d have still gone with the other two at the prices… will help UltraGold if it isn’t overly testing.
        But suddenly, the likes of Antony, Go Conquer, JunctionF, Braqueur Dor don’t really have an excuse.

        1. If Going is “Good” my expletive might be a bit worse than “Ah Damn” but we will wait and see. Stickels had his hose out earlier in the week so you never know!

        2. The race is not that open if you handicap them well , plenty going to struggle from their marks

          I can see why the market like Emerging Force off a mark of 139, he looks like a high 140s horse and could be chucked in if putting it all together

          Anyway, can’t have Antony finishing in front of J14 today, Fourth Act well weighted but makes too many jumping errors for me

          Dark Flame is dangerously well weighted if he jumps and stays

          Emerging force
          Fourth Act
          Dark Flame

          One of those wins, J14 is a near knocking place bet for me

          1. All a game of opinions Rick, you make a very good case for J14 -i’m still to be convinced he fully sees this trip out in a race this competitive- but if he could dictate from the front that would help -i’d like to think there may be stronger stayers in this but I could have him wrong. And the ground does look decent enough.
            There could arguable be more to come from Antony this year, yard is in cracking form etc- I won’t be surprised if he finished infront of J14 again.
            But then, i am not a ‘handicapper’ and have never approached game in that way, so we will often have different opinions, esp on these 3m+ handicap chases.

    1. Cheers, that wasn’t too fun to watch given what happened to the old boys, albeit knowing they were both ok helped! Yep, never in doubt for a long long way, those two tanked through that.
      I’d retire those two heroes, before something awful happens. Time has caught up with them.
      On to the 3.35 – Day is made, profit wise, we shall see how they all go on good!!

  10. Well done Josh.. wished I had been brave enough to do the forecast .. hey ho lovely to have them jumping the last together .. keep it up

    1. Cheers..don’t we all!! Still annoyed at the 3.35 haha. Shouldn’t complain too much,just got that very wrong. Hate 8/1 shots winning those races like 1/2! Albeit even if I’d anticipated good I may still not have gone with him…which means work to do. Underestimated fact open to improvement and somewhat ignored fact he would be up there. Didn’t realise how good a jumper he was. Onwards.

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