Free Daily Post: 21/03/18 (complete)

A 6/1 + 8/1 poke / write up / micros


4.20 Haydock

Solid Strike – 1.5 pt win – 6/1 UP

Katenko – 1/2 point win – 8/1 (gen) PU

Well, the PU for Katenko no surprise and sad to see him do that again. Surely he has well and truly gone at the game now. Solid Strike..well the hope was that his less exposed profile, up against a load that may not run their race/get competitive, would be enough. Alas, I don’t think he was good enough, no excuses. He was struggling to lay up as they turned for home. May be a C5 animal under rules, we shall see. The win for Shocking Times as no shock, he looked interesting as per notes below and never a problem when one of danger horses wins, shame he wasn’t 7s this morning, as I may have had more of a headache. On we go. 


This looks an interesting race to liven up the afternoon. I do like a Veteran’s Chase and i’m sticking with my ‘Festival eyes’ – looking at the more unexposed end (well,ignoring my pokes in the Ultima! and two in the Pertemps!…let’s move on..) / ‘what has an interesting profile’ – without doubt Solid Strike is the most fascinating horse in this race by quite some way. He is making his handicap chase debut under rules, having been a prolific Point to Point winner (4/13) and having run well on the Hunter Chase card at Cheltenham back in April 2016. He just has a touch of the ‘could be anythings’ about him under rules, and he comes here in decent form. He ran well enough in a C4 novice chase the last day over an inadequate trip at an even speedier chase track than Haydock. Stepped up 4f or so that should make the world of difference. He did split two horses rated 137 and 139 the last day, beat 4l by one rated 122. He was staying on again at the line and you have to admire how he jumped under Ross Chapman – and he jumped well at speed up the straight, when under the pump. I have no idea if he is ‘well handicapped’ but I am not a traditional punter in that sense- i’m not sure I really considered handicap marks in much depth at all at the Festival, a few factors that influence me far more than then odd pound or two- namely ‘profile’ of horse, and whether in today’s conditions there ‘could’ be more to come- and do I like the price. Given his unexposed profile, certainly against this bunch, I thought he could easily be put in at a shorter price here, 9/2, 4/1. So, i’ll have a nibble. Hopefully Ross can track any pace and he can pop away, pulling away from the last. It may transpire he is a few pounds too high, but i’m guessing at best and i’ll wait for the rules evidence. The trainer is 5/13,8p with his chasers under rules- all thanks to Dica. He clearly knows when to bring one from the Pointing/Hunter field and maybe this one can replicate his stablemate’s rules record.

Katenko – i’d be a tad annoyed if this one hacks up (not impossible) at 8/1 against this lot, with no money on, so best take some covering fire. Clearly with his profile you cannot be too confident but back in the day he was very very smart. He has clearly had problems. His mark is plummeting and IF Venetia could ever find the key again, he is more than capable of winning a race like this. Given his profile I would be shocked if he wasn’t a1 here, as fit as they can get him. The booking of Aidan Coleman would suggest as much. His old partner. I do keep wondering why oh why they still persevere with him and don’t retire him. He must still show something at home, and he has only had 12 runs under rules. Venetia is also in the best form she has been in for a while and hopefully that rubs off on him. In any case, I was happy to throw 1/2 a point at him to find out. It would warm the heart if he could win. More likely to be a PU though!

Of the rest…

Well I was more than comfortable taking on the rest here and this is 2 points I can live with loaning back if I have read this wrong. Shocking Times deserves to take his place at the head of the market, ignoring  that UR before the race developed, he arrives here in form and is well handicapped on old form! (handicapping does play some role with older/exposed horses clearly- it’s just my eyes are often drawn to unexposed ‘could be anything’ types and until I see evidence, I don’t like to cast too many aspersions as to their rating etc) His price felt about right, not over generous. I may have that wrong, we shall see. He is 11 also, and if possible I do like trying to find a 10 year old to side with in these sorts of races.

Until Winning is in some sort of form at least, but there is a stamina question at this trip/in this ground- although only slight, he did win over 2m6f at Market R, and wasn’t exactly stopping- it could be this is what he wants as he gets older. Still, not one who I thought was a bigger price than they should be – as always, value is in the eye of the beholder and I get it wrong often enough!

I was more than content to leave the others for one reason or another. Whiskey Chaser needs the headgear change to work, which it might, but he seems to have gone off the boil a bit and his price didn’t seem overly generous. On recent efforts he should be a bigger price than the two just mentioned. If Spookydooky returned to any sort of form he would take this also – he arrives a bit out of sorts and given how he ran in that Exeter race in 2017, that was a poor effort when last seen. I don’t really like backing Jonjo horses at single figure odds if I can help it!

So, i suppose I have it between those 4, and surprise surprise I have gone for the two at biggest odds, and one of whom is very unexposed under rules, and just looks fascinating in this line up.



(jumps angles to be reviewed at end of main season)

Trainer/jockey combo – Live Test

3.15 Hayd – Just Georgie (12/1<)

4.20 Hayd – Swing Hard (12/1<)




Post Comments

Do join in the conversation below, we're a friendly bunch.. all questions welcome, and do share your selections or thoughts

33 responses

  1. Cheltenham could have a brutal effect on horses who were right up in the firing line
    and I would be very wary of horses who finished in the first three if they run in the
    any of the Aintree or Punchestown races

    Footpad won easily but had to chase a very fast pace and who know what that would
    do to him.
    If he turns up again for either big festival he will be a short price but could be vulnerable.

    fast run races on bottenless ground is potential banana skin for any race run at Cheltenham
    no matter how well it won or how easy it looked any runner at Cheltenham who race close
    in a fast run race has the potential to bomb next time

    As Baldrick would say I have a cunning plan lay any horse in the place market
    when they are 6/4 or less in the win market at Punchestown or AIntree
    1 They ran in the first 4 at Cheltenham.
    2 on review of the Chelenham video they were being whipped all the way up the Cheltenham hill.
    3 when you look at their History you see either long gaps between races or a high number of pulled ups
    which indicate the horse may be fragile
    4 in its history it has previously ran a stinker after winning

    1. hmm,
      I think most of that is nonsense in my view, but that’s the great game we are in! A game of opinions.

      -there is a general point about how Festival form this year will work out, simply because it is rarely run on such ground, it did impact on results and more importantly impacted on how jockeys rode/the pace of races. Horses will bounce back from nowhere just because they get to run on decent spring ground for the first time in an age, provided that is the ground they get. What the handicapper does to those who won handicaps/placed may be of more significance, as well as the complication that there will have been a handful whose eyes may have been on Aintree/Punchy anyway, esp when the ground went, but prob needed to get a run into them.

      -bar a fall, Footpad wins wherever he turns up, probably eased down 🙂

      -there are 4 weeks between Chelt and Aintree this year, more than enough time for horses to recover and plenty will have been looked after up the straight once their chance gone/if hadn’t handled the ground early on.

      -i’d have to see how many races were run at a fast pace, but most were not, visually – especially in the handicap chases- horses who raced prominently/dictated, generally stayed there- and even those who led, who you think may have gone too fast (a Gino Trail say) still ran with credit in the places. Not many of those horses who races on the front end had hard races necessarily, and they have plenty of time to recover. No harder races than they had been running in all season in the mud anyway.

      There are much more enjoyable/profitable ways to approach those festivals than going around in circles on who has had a hard race/a generic approach to laying etc

      many horse who ran well at Chelt may run poorly NTO, not because they had a hard race, but because they benefited from a slower pace and either handled the ground best, or relished it. IF Aintree/Punchy have ‘good’ in their descriptions, then it will be a very different set of circumstances.

      To a point the ground may be irrelevant, having said that – in the sense that most winners at Festival, whatever the ground, may have had hard enough races. Their form can drop off for many reasons, not least if that was their main target.

      But class, esp in the G1s etc, usually holds and wins out. I’d just be careful about taking a generic approach, especially without doing any stats research on historical trends with post Cheltenham runners, esp in graded races- as while ground different, could still be useful.

      But your approach to horse racing has always befuddled me and it clearly works for you.

      1. I am surprised Josh my theory has been dismissed as rubbish before
        it has been tested.
        ok if it is proved that what I suggest is totally wrong so be it
        I will agree it is no good but I have a problem with stats as stats are only
        of any use if the goal posts are not moved

        for instance BILLERICY TOWN have been bought by a rich guy so all the stats
        that were relevant because of a change of circumstance are now useless

        all the stats on MAN CITY before the arabs bought then are now useless.
        eg if for twenty years you had been trying to do a bike race under two hours
        the stats would say that you have never done it and your best is 2hors 10 minutes

        so at 20 years older you would have no chance of achieving it
        but what if for those 20 years you were using a mountain bike and doing zero traning and then at 45
        you bought a new racing bike and trained 20 hours a week the stats would be useless.

        Stats are useful but a change of dynamics can make then useless
        the point I am making is the Festival hasn’t been run in a total bog
        for year so previous stats could be redundant.

        To be frank I am a little hurt you have rubbished by idea without
        looking at the result at Aintree or Punchestown.

        I have off the map ideas and I would fully admit that a few are total in error
        but I only admit they are rubbish when it is proven they are
        I am not suggesting that anyone should take my idea on board
        and lay the horses for thousand
        The point is I am highlighting a possibility
        look at the suggestion and see the results
        if half a dozen odds on shots are unplaced my theory may have some merit
        if they all win pulling double then the theory doesn’t seem to hold water

        But to say it is rubbish before they have even run in in my opinion a bit unfair

        1. Data is tricky in that the hard part is not getting it but getting the right data and then making some sense of it. Everyone is entitled to an opinion and it can be tested and does need to be evidence based as much as it can. It will be interesting to see how your theory goes this year at Aintree and Punchestown. I always give such things such thought but only until those events happen will we know.
          Historical data is tricky and things do move on as you were alluding to in your examples. Look at the range of weights in handicaps now in that they tend to eb much tighter than they used to be.
          I dont think the guys are rubbishing what you say but arguing against it with their thoughts and some evidence of past events, which is fair enough as long as it is done constructively.

    2. I am slightly bemused by the theory. What stats do you have backing this up since looking on HRB both for the win and place over the last six years both are pretty much break even (slightly profitable even) for horses finishing in the top 4 at Cheltenham and than running at Aintree or Punchestown so looks like you would be doing a lot of effort for zero gain. Surely there must be easier ways to win at this game.

      1. I think that the main factor is that the races are run on different type courses with different ground conditions normally. Plus some horses that did not have the clearest run at Cheltenham may then get a clear run at Aintree. On day one Western Ryder springs to mind. I do not think that it is much more complicated than that? Maybe if the sun comes out some horses may thrive better than others as well?

  2. Martin,
    Do you think crowd size or crowd intensity has an influence on home performance.

    I have noticed is Scotlands lower division when they are playing in front a 300 people the away
    teams win more than in the Premier league when 50000 plus are baying on the home team

    Spurs and West Ham have big crowds but the fans are a long way from the pitch and the
    intimidating feeling is diluted

    I have noticed Turkish teams at home is the Champions league and Europa league
    out perform their ability when away teams are confronted by thousands of baying fans
    close to the pitch.

    Besiktas lost at home to Bayern Munich but that was after the Germans had won 5-0
    at home so when they went to Turkey all the passion had gone out of the tie
    and the Germans won that one easily as well

    I just have a feeling if the first leg was in turkey that the turks would have been much more competitive
    than they were in their home game

    1. I think crowd negativity affects home performance. I think positivity helps a team. I do not have any stats to back this up but would guess over a season it would equate to a third of a goal per match, so 15 goals in The Championship if it happened all the time. Look at Sunderland as an example, what a disaster. I have not been to a match in Turkey but have been in several European leagues. If a team was 5-0 up in a first leg then the game is in effect dead and so if you have to bet then lay the favourite for value, ala Liverpool and Man City lately. In Italy the atmosphere quickly goes negative if the home team is not going well whereas in Spain they stick with the home team much longer except in Malaga where the ex pats are in the majority (worth a visit for a match and a beer or two). In England it is more like Italy. I only go to Millwall matches now and we get behind the team but become negative if we are losing to someone the crowd think we should be beating.
      I guess in South America it gets a bit lively crowd wise?

      1. Yes Martin
        that’s why I like South American football the crowds can be very volatile
        refs have been shot dead at matches
        games have been abandoned because of mass brawl
        players kidknapp
        One player was shot dead by a drug baron because he score an own goal in a world cup match

        Pablo Escobar the drugs baron also liked a bet and he would
        threaten to murder the ref and all his family if the result didn’t go his way
        and the ref gave one team 4 penalties in the last twenty minutes
        2 missed so Pablo got the right result

        jimmy johnstone of Celtic was hacked down 10 times in ten minutes by kamikaze
        South American player in a world club championship final when it was played over two legs the south American finished with 8 men but still won the tie on aggregate
        why do you think they don’t have the two legs ties now

        anything can happen in South America it is wild
        great stuff.

        I am not a Millwall supporter but used to live in Eltham and went with a mate a few times
        these were the days of Harry Crips and I remember what an intimidating place it was to visit
        now with all seater stadiums the intensity isn’t quite so much

        7 of the 10 most violent cities in the world are in south America
        with 6 of those being in Venezula.

        So if you go to down town Caracas to watch your team beware as since the
        dictatorship has been overthrown
        The drug barons and various criminal groups have taken over
        the police and public officals are in there pocket and it makes the wild west look like a tea party

        Dozens of tourist have been kidnapped and anyone thinking of going there the best advice is don’t
        make cold blow lane look like a holiday camp.

        South American soccer is Soccer at its rawest and I love it

        1. Yes, I was there when Harry Cripps graced the shins of forwards with his studs. If Millwall do win the Champions League I hope we play the World Club Championship on a nice neutral venue. You cannot blame the Ref in the Escobar example you raise.

          1. The world club championship is now played with 4 teams
            the only two who can possible win it are the Europeans and South Americans
            They are kept apart in the semis
            IN 2017 Real Madrid beat the Copa Libertadores winners Gremino 1-0
            Ronaldo who else got the goal.
            The tournament is played in December 2017 in the UAE.

            I think the chances of Milwall West Ham or Charlton ever winning the Champion league
            are remote but as I say stats can be rendered useless by changing circumstance

            who know a oil rich arab might take a fancy to New Cross and by Millwall
            sign Messi Ronaldo and Iniesta and away you go

            I must be the only man who looks out for all three teams result as when
            I lived in Plumstead as a kid I used to go to Charlton And West ham home games
            and for a couple of years because a mate supported Millwall
            used to go to any midweek games there.
            I love matches played under light because it gives a special feel

            Charlton was great when I was about 12 it was a massive ground
            with 3 opened terraces and I knew a place where you could climb over the wall in get in for nothing
            got caught by the stewards a few times but they just threw you out and 10 minutes later when the coast was clear would bunk in again

            The visit of Millwall was always fun because of the open terracing crowd segregation was
            very poor I remember Charlton fans at one end and The Millwall lads at the other
            and if something annoyed either set of fans
            one group would make a beline for the other and mayhem would break out
            I being a coward would place myself right at the of the massive side terrace
            and watch the mayhem from above
            fond memories

            West ham was great because if was half price for under 14
            but I was 17 when the bobbies pulled me out of the que and told me I must be having a laugh
            admittedly I was 5ft 11 by then and pushing my luck

  3. AW BETS
    2.00 Katie’s Gale
    3.05 Classic Pursuit
    3.40 Holiday Magic
    4.10 Line House
    4.45 Samovar
    7.45 Spare Parts
    8.15 Bernie’s Boy
    8.45 New Rich
    8.45 Burauq

    1. Given I set a limit on BFSP at 4 at a minimum so missed the shorty loser but that’s 3/5 today so cracking day today so far!

  4. Peter….

    Well i do think most of it is nonsense in my view and I tried to explain why. I can pander to the ideas or you can get my honest take on the matter, and i’ll always venture to the latter. Your theory may well transpire to be correct, I was musing as to why it *might* not. It is only my opinion, which you are entitled to think is rubbish. I won’t take offence at such views.

    That was said in the context of your cunning plan… which you said in a tone and manner which suggested that is what you were going to do… so you were jumping to a conclusion, and a way to attack such runners, without having any evidence to support it or stats to back it up.

    So, we can both go on the naughty step there – i’m rubbishing an idea without the stats/facts to back it up, and you are supporting an idea (with giving indication that you are going to dive straight in and lay away) without any stats/facts to back it up.

    The general exasperation is that with such an idea – until you see the results in action, you couldn’t back with confidence?? Until you see the theory bare out or not.
    And because a soft ground Festival is such a rare event, it could be a long time between drinks when you get to try it out again.

    Maybe it’s because I’m not pro laying and I read through many of your racing ideas and think they reduce racing down to just numbers, without any fun or entertainment at all. And it is mainly with ‘shorties’, right at the top of the market, which is is very hard to make any money from long term – and again, it’s a personal thing, but a focus on the top of the market just doesn’t tick my boxes.

    For me you always just over-complicate the game. I say that in the context of not knowing where you get your racing enjoyment from or what gives you a kick – in terms of analysis/backing/laying/race-by race analysis etc.

    You come up with many off the map ideas, across multiple sports – and I enjoy reading through the odd one-

    Maybe I for one would be more interested in your thoughts on actual horses / race analysis – as how you think about racing on that front, which clearly has legs… ie…

    brilliant AP tip on Penhill, as per the AP post, you should have given yourself a public slap on the back for that – I wouldn’t mind seeing more of a shorter / sharper focus every now on then on an actual horse.

    But that is just a personal thing maybe. But when you can pick out horses like that, and the odd other one from time to time, i rather enjoy those snippets.

    You yourself have admitted in the odd post that you haven’t been that profitable in recent years? Or is that a mis-representation? You clearly have a thinking brain and I can’t work out for the life of me why you haven’t homed in on a successful approach from all of your many ideas, whether that be football, racing or whatever else. I think you lack focus, and are trying to spin too many plates? Or is that an unfair critique. For what purpose do you come up with all these theories?

    I’m not sure, but everything above I have thought at one stage or another and I apologise in advance if you find that hurtful but it is all meant with the best intentions. I want to be flicking through your comments, seeing a horse like Penhill at 16s+, and knowing that because of how it’s been arrived at i’m going to have a nibble, confident that Peter can’t half pick them. (which clearly you can)


  5. .
    Fair enough Josh.
    I like your reply very much of course it ok to say my theory is nonsense.
    Anyone can have ideas if I stated that England were going to win the world cup
    I think 99% would say it was nonsense even if I listed 20 points why they would.

    but I love ideas no matter how silly they turn out to be
    I like out of the box ideas that look to defy the stats.

    Stats,form,trends etc are what bookies and the majority of punters
    look at If I can find an idea that defies that logic then in Theory(as I am not rich driving a porche)
    it hasn’t completely worked but as Edison said when he had a 1000 unsuccessful attempts
    of making a light bulb I haven’t failed a 1000 times I have found a 1000 ways that don’t work
    and the next one could

    Obviously if you read my ideas you would be crazy to follow then blindly
    because you are right a high proportion of then will be garbage but
    they are ideas that no one else think of so if the logic is correct
    then it will be an area that the bookies haven’t got covered.

    The cunning plan Baldrick Was a blackadder joke
    Baldrick was always coming up with cunning plans to Blackadder
    and they were all total garbage which gave a hint that my idea was just that and could be total dosh.

    But like everyone I like to be right
    so rather than just put up a theory with no evidence to back it up
    I will follow the parameters I put up and come up with a few short price horses at Aintree
    and Punchestown who I think should be taken on and see how they run

    1. Nope don’t think so. No email here and I don’t think anything in paddock from what I gather! am sure others may correct us if not.

    2. No. They sent a tweet yesterday saying there would be no tips until Thursday. Personally I’d far rather have had an email. I don’t check twitter as a matter of course and just happened to spot this yesterday.

      1. yep i think a rare occasion as Ian was travelling or something this morning, in any case laid out plans in yesterday’s email- I assume a message was on website also – and the SP2A twitter feed does come through on Website homepage I think, so you can scroll through that without needing twitter.

      2. I did I thought make clear in Tuesday’s e-mail, that it was possible there would be no tips on Wednesday, and indicated it would be updated on the Twitter feed and on the Home Page of the SP2A website.

        You do not need to have twitter access to see the twitter feed on the home page of the website and the News page is under “News”.

        There will be tips as usual from tomorrow.

        I will probably stop doing anything but tips as clearly no body reads the emails.

        1. I did read the email Ian and did not expect any tips today. Do I get a star for that?

          I think that we can expect not to receive an email every day of the week and the days we do not we can always check the website to be doubly sure. We all want quality tips and it is best that there is no tips on a day when nothing is sufficiently fancied. Long term profit and all that.

        2. Hi Ian,

          I also read the email about likely no tips so hopefully I get a gold medal too mate. Keep up the good work.

          1. I shall go to the Gold Star Shop on the way home.

            I apologise if that message came over as a bit “arsey” but when you pull in for a prostrate relief moment and your tablet lights up with 30 x “where’s my tips” having I thought made the process quite clear, it does get a tad frustrating.

            Once home and rested I will clearly have to think of a better system.

            No offence meant to anyone but please like Nick and Martin try to read the daily e-mail to the bottom as you never know what you might miss, and as i am sure Josh will concur, writing a few thousand words every day in one shape of another can be more taxing than actually picking the geegees in the fist place.

            I did sit and work out a few months ago that over the past 7 years, if I’d written as many words in novels as I have about tips and building website content; I have written more books in the same period as John Grisham and James Patterson – for about 1 zillionth of what they earn LOL…

            Hopefully some winners tomorrow to compensate for no tips today.

            Now, I must crack on home as I have an actual tea time appointment with the lovely Beccy Wood of BBC Midlands Today, on a canal Towpath near Tamworth….I’ll tell you more tomorrow…and yes, I will be taking Mrs SP2A! along too…

  6. Star lizard and Australian syndicates have made millions using Stats and Algorithms
    but they have massive resources to analyse of data
    and they are only working at 2-3% RTO
    because they bet billions they make Millions.
    for the not so rich I think these stats are a great tool
    and should be incorporated but these syndicates place thousand of bets on a single race or match
    and the ordinary individual just can’t do that.

    I have always done it by eye and was pretty good but I find by eye
    you have to spend like Martin 7 hours a day on it
    that for most isn’t possible

    a stats approach can be equally taxing so I am coming round to thinking that a cross approach
    might be the answer.

    1 Analyse the stats as a first step.
    Josh is by far the best stats man I come across
    2. a man like Martin obviously has the eye and studies the form intensely.
    3 Ian is a wiz at finding value
    4 I look to see if changing circumstances could make the stats worthless.

    all different approaches and all have there merit
    and I came to thinking that if you come up with a 10 runner race
    we could get 4 different selections
    but surely if using 4 different methods you came up with a shortlist of a couple
    and they were both value prices the your edge would be significant

    For instance at Aintree if Josh stated the favourite was a fair bet to lose because of the stats
    Martin after studying the form and the replays didn’t fancy it.
    Ian stated it wasn’t value and
    I thought it had a mega hard race at Cheltenham and may not run to form that would be a good reason to take it on

    1. I enquired about joining Star Lizard once and went for an initial interview. I had to put up money up front and guarantee volume over a period of time. Too much to make it viable for me and so I did not progress to the next level of entry.
      I tend to study form on Football and Golf more than Horse Racing and NFL. In the latter sports I look for patterns and micros and listen to others who know more than me. That still takes a lot of time each day.

      1. NFL isn’t an area I have considered but I have often considered
        any event that only has two possible outcomes means if one
        can be eliminated for what ever reason
        Then the other will win in racing you can get the favourite beaten but still
        not go close.

        Golf is the opposite because you have massive fields the prices are big
        if you are clued in and your knowledge is good then you can back some big priced winners

        I like the big tennis tournaments when the men play 5 sets
        and the tournament is hit by rain.

        If there is a big backlog of matches then guys who play on the outside courts may be asked to play again next day after a 5 set marathon.
        The sort of game I am looking at is something like the world number 64 taking on the world number
        92 the 64ranked player is 4/5 and the guy ranked 92 is 5/4
        but number 92 won his last round in 4 sets two days ago and because of rain the number 64
        played yesterday and took 4 hours plus to win a 5 set marathon.

        This is one of my more inspired ideas and have made a few quid

  7. China v Wales Tomorrow 11.35am
    semi of the China cup in Nanning China

    Wales are 8/11 and I think the price is wrong and they should be evens at worse
    6000 flight to nanning

  8. Footpad could well bounce after his latest effort. The sadly missed Nick Mordin often wrote about 2 milers being ok for 1st 2 runs of the season them needing 6 or 7 weeks break, can’t remember exactly the number of days, to recover from a hard race. Takes that long for muscles to replenish the lactate or something, I’m not a vet! So Peter’s theory certainly plausible. Saint Calvados run would have been after fast time before. Although how he raced with PM we didn’t really find out for sure.


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