Reflecting On My Recent Tipping Form: Learning Lessons
In the following video I look back over five recent ‘big’ races that I’ve tipped in, either on the free posts or in members’ posts… sadly they all have a few things in common – I didn’t land on any of the decent priced winners, most of my tips could still be running and too often I was drawn in by those near the top of the market- my long term success in these races has been built on opposing such types. The ‘big race’ mind needs a re-set.
When you’re having a bad a bad run, as I have been for a little while with ‘big race tips’ I like to reflect on my performance. In particular I like to focus on those horses that won and to see what I can learn from their profiles moving forwards- what sort of questions I should be posing and what I should be looking for in the future – before the race!- to ensure I land on some more winners.
The overall picture is looking ok … such tips are +189 points in 2018…but efforts over recent months in these races haven’t been good enough.
In this video I take a closer look at Sizing Tennessee, Walk In The Mill, Harry The Viking, Cogry and Frodon. (with a few others mentioned along the way, including the odd notebook horse)
For those who cannot be bothered to watch, there are some notes below! 🙂 I always think there’s something to learn from every race I tip in… so, let’s get cracking…
To the missed winners/notes/learning points…
Mistakes: a bias against age, and lack of appreciation that he was in fact a second season chaser / a bias against a LTO win at Fontwel – a general assumption that there would be better recent chase form on offer / being too bullish about a ‘shorty’ ! (Elegant Escape) / being too positive about a horse I knew would be held up and could hit a fence (Beware The Bear)
Positive profile pointers: lightly raced / second season chaser/ decent runs to name inc in a G2 where he split low 150s animals, suggesting could also be room in this mark – and in context that we hadn’t yet seen the best of him in handicaps/ good runs in decent chases, esp at Chelt/Festival / WON LTO / 57 day break suggesting had been targeted / prominent racer / solid jumper / yard in form/ a chance Tom Scu had made a difference / 18/1 + !!
Walk In The Mill
Mistakes: made an assumption on going, assuming it would be more testing than I think was the case / read too much into his Haydock PU, using just that one run to assume testing ground was a problem. Error.
Positive profile pointers: fit – and a decent return to action, a ‘staying on 3rd at Cheltenham on seasonal reappearance / yard in form/ horse is consistent over fences, and a chance there could have been more to come this year being only 8 / clear that stamina would be fine- just a question about his stamina in soft+, but it was an unknown. 20f form on soft suggested ground no problem – in that scenario you’re building the risk into his price- he was 18s+ in the morning / a decent level of form – specifically the Ascot handicap run where he chased home Gold Present + Frodon (151 at the time) last season – that indicated a mark around 137 was very workable. A solid jumper / he just had a different profile to most, and I’d concluded I was happy to take on all those with existing form over the National fences / in hindsight, his existing handicap chase form was far better than one of my selections and he had more chase experience, which is no bad thing over these fences, even in their modified form.
Harry The Viking
Mistakes: a bias against his age, which was ok given he was 13 – but not to the extent of not properly analysing his chance / a lack of appreciation that this was his seasonal target – his gold cup, and taking an overly negative view to his last run/ not framing the race properly in sense of ‘what if’ x,y,z don’t stay’ etc/ not fully appreciating his superb jumping and that he’d be front rank, and would keep going / that continual battle between win only (which is my usual way) and each way – certainly using an ‘each way mindset’ to analysing that race, as a chance I may have been closer to him / and I went for a horse I knew would be held up out the back and who would have to close- as she did, as well as taking most fences with her when doing so / it’s always best to be on a chaser who races prominently against a hold up horse- always!! I’ll get that into my head one day.
Positive profile pointers: yard red hot / horse had won same race previously – this was the plan / superb jumper / assured stamina / races prominently/ handicap mark ok / guts / a trier/ all race conditions fine.
Mistakes: underestimating how it was likely he would get an easier lead this time- he had to sit behind Conegree on his run before / I missed the return of the CP – which could have given him more focus on front end / again being lured in with a ‘shorty’ – Rock The Kasbah – blinkered and failed to ask the question – what if he runs a shocker?! Who was likely to be in there pitching at the end? I was happy to take on the fav on stamina grounds, as I was Singlefarmpayment due to his questionable battling qualities / IF Rock ran a shocker, that left a very open race / Also didn’t pay much attention to Rolling Dylan – another second season chaser, who out-ran his odds.
Positive profile pointers: his racing style- make all, jump well (when ridden by STD) and put them under the pump / return of CP / questions about many others / his course form / one of weaker G3s he’d run in / proven guts and stamina.
Mistakes: well… I was blinkered by Baron Alco really – another ‘shortie’ in the context of a race like this / didn’t appreciate the silly price disparity – he was 13/2, whereas Frodon who was only 2L behind him LTO was 11s – that was just wrong / 2L in a jumps race is one jumping error – assuming that BA would get an easy lead- not appreciating that he’d now had two very hard runs since returning from 500+ days off, and that he ‘could’ now bounce /be running on empty – or indeed that he could get taken out of his rhythm. I didn’t pay enough attention to my race trends shortlist of four which Frodon was on, nor Paul Nicholls’ record in the race! (4/19,7p before this race) – that should have been enough for action at double figures – poor.
Positive profile pointers: well if I liked Baron Alco at 13/2, I had to like Frodon at 11s , for 2L – worth repeating! / a superb jumper / still young / a classy horse who’d won the race before and looked sure to run his race/ another where maybe an EW mindset to analysis (if not in staking) may have helped / always ask ‘could the top weight outclass them?’ class class class / prominent racer / can lead / ask whether jockey may be more aggressive (this was only apparent post-race this time, but on reflection it seems BF clearly wanted to try and get BA out of his comfort zone, not giving him an easy time, and play to the strengths of her horse, having learnt from the race before / I thought BA may improve on his last run over this trip/the New Course – but that was equally applicable to Frodon, if not more so.
So, there’s plenty for me to take away from the above.
- I need to get back in the habit of focussing on those 10/1+ in these big field C2/G3 chases. In part I think my new test in the members’ club may have influenced me here and I need to separate the two in my head. That test focusses on ‘the best of’ my stats quals, and has been going well… 27/103,50p, +37.9 , all 1 point win … however they are generally in the 3/1-8/1 range, and maybe that’s impacted my big race head- where i’d normally try and make cases for those at much bigger prices, i’ve been lazily homing in on those near the top of the market.
- Never forget the power of a chaser who jumps well and will race prominently – often (always?!) preferred to a hold up horse, especially over fences.
- Recent trainer form (sounds obvious I know, but maybe it’s more important in these races of fine margins where the horse needs to be at their best) and horse form. (including ‘hot form’ and ‘class’)
- Always see if a case can be made for more unexposed chasers – albeit depending on the race part of the puzzle is always that balance between unexposed vs ‘been there and done it’. I’ve got that wrong many times before, and will so again, that’s just the game! But cutting out silly errors would be a good start.
I hope you’ve found that mildly interesting!
As always any comments or your own tips for when in a bit of a rut, are welcome.