Feature Post: The Little Black Book #3

The latest instalment from our track-side pro punter…

Welcome to this new feature guest post – The Little Black Book (article #3) – courtesy of Adam Norman, who introduces himself below.

(if you missed article 1 or 2, just click the ‘free reports and systems’ tab link above..)

In what will be a fortnightly feature throughout the winter jumps season we have the chance to delve into the notebook mind of a professional punter, who’s main edge is being track-side on the northern circuit. 

This window into Adam’s racing adventures offers us a unique insight into his race reading and how he pinpoints horses of interest. There are some factors -especially fitness, conformation and physique – that you can only see track side. This is our window into his world and his extensive racing knowledge. 

Every two weeks Adam will aim to highlight 4-6 horses that caught his eye from his visits to the races.  They will be split into ‘short term’ ‘medium term’ and ‘long term’ horses of interest, to use and refer back to as you please. This format is exclusive to this blog, as are some of the horses noted, but builds on Adam’s own blog ‘Notes from the North’. This is often updated after each track visit and is worth a read. 

Adam’s an expert in our midst and i’m delighted to publish a free regular feature on these pages that will be informative, enlightening and with any luck profitable over time! 

All comments are welcome and encouraged, and if you don’t want to miss the next post, do join my free email list if you haven’t already done so, HERE>>>

So, get your little black books and trackers at the ready, and delve into Adam’s first article below… (details on where to find his blog and his twitter profile follow below) 

…over to Adam….


About me

I’ve been going racing since I was a boy and have built up an understanding of what to look for in a horse in more than three decades at the track. I have been betting for a living since 2014, and writing a regular blog about my days at the races. In this fortnightly diary I’ll be pinpointing the horses that caught my eye – from those that are ready to go in next time, to some winners that could be more than a year in the making. Here’s to a profitable winter!


Short Term

Mon Palois (Market Rasen, Nov 8)

It had been a while since I’d seen Kim Bailey’s six-year-old but once again I marked him down as a decent, athletic sort and he performed with credit behind two horses at the top of their game in Some Chaos and The Two Amigos.

Despite being beaten 10L and 9L he shaped much better than that on chase debut and was clearly the third best horse in the race, once again suggesting that the 3m+ trip stretched him a little.

His French breeders tried to inject some pace into the hurdle-winning dam by Cadoudal, and although Mon Palois picked up a Point win two years ago, he may prove better over intermediate trips.

Jockey David Bass also reported that the gelding hung left throughout, and a scan through the form suggests a return to going the other way round will be of great benefit.

While he won his Wetherby bumper in soft ground, he will be best kept away from the extremes this winter, but having been dropped another 1lb for this latest effort, he looks poised to strike for a fourth time under rules.


Treshnish (Carlisle Nov 12)

Sue Smith’s strapping five-year-old has now shown improved form in two starts over fences suggesting a return to the winners’ enclosure is imminent.

Bred for the Flat, he immediately proved himself in the National Hunt sphere with two triumphs over timber last winter, but he is a chaser on looks and didn’t put a foot wrong behind Highway One O One and Dolos at the Cumbrian track.

His future is, to some extent, in the hands of the assessor as he could be raised around 5lb for this latest effort – form that looks rock solid – but such an impost should not put us off backing him next time.

I’d expect him to excel away from the constant twists and turns of Carlisle, while soft ground and 2m would appear to be optimum conditions for the time being.


Medium Term

Highway Girl (Wetherby Nov 17)

A half-sister to the decent Nightline and Nightfly (both by Midnight Legend), this daughter of Kayf Tara arguably has more about her physically than that pair and looks a mare to follow.

The form of the Wetherby novice hurdle won by Captain Zebo may not amount to much in the scheme of things, but this good strong five-year-old got no sort of ride and was easily the second-best horse on the day.

Jumping and travelling well on her seasonal return, she was never asked to make ground when the raced unfolded, with the jockey seemingly losing a good position on the outside having not been aware that the second-last flight was being omitted.

All that is by-the-by now of course, but we shouldn’t let this seemingly modest effort go unconsidered; she is way better than this bare form and while probably a bit one-paced, granted a decent enough stamina test she’ll be winning sooner rather than later, and will jump a fence in time.


Knocknamona (Wetherby Nov 17)

Micky Hammond’s handicap chaser seems to have been around forever, however last season was his first over the larger obstacles and he looks set for another solid campaign.

Despite landing a gamble over hurdles he remained on a low mark prior to racking up a four-timer last winter, proving himself a very sound jumper and revelling in the mud.

The last of those wins came over 3m and he remains unexposed over the trip, while he ran off a mark just 3lb higher than that success on Saturday.

He looked as good as I’ve seen him prior to this never-nearer fifth behind Miles To Milan, and while that form is modest to say the least, I’d be surprised if this seven-year-old can’t pick up another Class 4 event before going up in grade.

Providing we ever get any rain, that is.



Cap St Vincent (NTO winner)

Immediately rewarded us with a fluent victory at Ludlow last week, surviving a scare three out to win cosily. He looks to have plenty in hand at present and can take the rise in weight in his stride.

Voila Eric

I’m surprised they ran him in another bumper on Saturday as he’s a big horse crying out for obstacles. The way he checked out suggests he might have bounced, and I’ll have no hesitation in considering a bet next time providing he’s given at least a month off and sent over hurdles.


Long Term

Pleney (Wetherby Nov 17)

This quite athletic, backward sort caught the eye in the paddock and on the track as one to put in a time capsule for the long term.

Having not gone without promise in a pair of bumpers, Tim Vaughan’s four-year-old was unconsidered for the novice hurdle mentioned earlier, won by Captain Zebo.

Unsurprisingly, he didn’t show an awful lot, looking green throughout and held together under a sympathetic ride.

By Martaline out of an Oscar mare that has produced three decent winners in Ireland, stamina will be this fellow’s forte but it’s unlikely to be put to the test as he works towards a handicap mark in the coming months.

Shrewd connections will know when the time to strike is upon them – make sure you’re on board.



Mr Whitaker

I hope you weren’t drawn into backing him in the big race on Saturday. I think he’s better than a handicapper and I’m surprised they didn’t stick to conditions races. He’s also best with time between his races, and hopefully he can get back on track over the festive period. The Ryanair Chase remains an obvious target come March.


Thanks for reading and see you all in a couple of weeks,

Adam’s blog: HERE>>

Adam on Twitter: HERE>>>

Racing to Profit free email list HERE>>> (i’ll be emailing out each article every Monday)



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2 Responses

  1. Another great read thanks adam and really appreciated .. all points noted 🙂 indeed enjoyed the cap st vincent win 🙂

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