(Free tips 2016: +75 points ; 2017 18/185, +79.5; 2018, 9/116,33p, +40)
2.00 Warwick – Merry Milan – 1 point win – 12/1 (betfS/PP) 11/1 (general) (as of 19.06) UP 5/1… odd run, not much to say about that – Venetia’s unexposed one demolished them. He did have some French form over fences which I didn’t fully appreciate – doesn’t show up in HRB/Geegeez- it does in Racing Post so lesson to learn there, with those from France. Damn. Plenty of educated guesswork needed with him but maybe 8s last night allowed the play. Big step up in trip, better ground (French win on good) ‘could be anything’, first run fences UK, Venetia in superb form. Not sure what was up with mine – not sure he could go with them early and game over around there from that far back, you’re asking for trouble. Maybe i’ll wait for MG or Dicky to get on.
The final bet on the free posts of 2018 and in truth it’s been a poor few months on this page. The ROI has been decent but there have been a few too many dodgy calls recently and far too many unconsidered big priced winners. Still, it’s been another profitable year and my tipping profit has always come in spikes, and the number of placed runners has been encouraging enough. When you’re in a rut the easiest thing to do is to avoid tipping/betting and on Sunday I was guilty of losing my bottle with Sam England’s chase winner up at Haydock. He was 11s in the morning and was ‘the’ bet in the race at those odds. I knew it at the time but bailed. He’d got into a pace battle on his run before at Carlisle which eventually took it’s toll, as well as also being outpaced. He lugged 11-8 around that day and had 10-4 at Haydock, which over 3m3f+ in soft/heavy is no bad thing around there. His most emphatic performance for his previous connections was in heavy and he appeared to relish it here. It was also his 3rd run of the season and could have been coming into peak fitness. Anyway, no point dwelling for too long on that one but there’s always something to learn/improve on. Having looked at this Warwick race, this one jumped out at the odds…
Merry Milan shouldn’t be 11s generally in this line up. The market will guide to a point I suspect and i’d be surprised if he isn’t backed. This point winner made an encouraging start under rules, winning a maiden hurdle through guts/stamina and then finishing 10L behind a certain ‘Champ’ NTO. He was outpaced/outclassed that day, but that form has been franked somewhat in recent weeks! The rest were well stuffed. He returned over fences at Ascot and was in the process of running a decent race that day before he took a tumble- he appeared to land too steeply/failed to get the landing gear down. I’ve no doubt he’d have been at least 3rd there and would have been in and around 125-130 animals. With the 7lb claim he runs off 115 here and i’ve no doubt he will show himself to be well handicapped at some point, hopefully today. Chasing looks to be his game. I think he got bogged in the heavy at Chepstow but ran well. He almost jumped into second at one point down the back and made a brief effort turning for home. In the end he got very tired but completed, and in general he jumped better there than at Ascot. I find it interesting that they return to a track where he ran well in a Novice hurdle, and he also drops in class here. He should appreciate this return to better ground and IF here to run his race, I think he will go very well. I hope young Connor Brace, who’s decent enough for his claim, doesn’t have him too far back. He should find this class/pace more to his liking and the race isn’t packed with habitual front runners, but he will be riding to instructions – these connections usually like their horses up there, pushing the pace, and I hope that’s the case again here- especially as he gets more chase experience.
I was happy to take on the rest at the prices. A few look as though they could need the run. Venetia’s is unexposed but has never raced over fences under rules (incorrect, he had in France, poor) so I can leave him at 8s, but a big run wouldn’t be a shock. I doubt he’ll lack for fitness. (WON damn…missed his French chase win… which may have made some difference in my head)
Hopefully I’ve landed on the right one here and can have a good end to the free tipping year. Whatever he does today he’s one to keep an eye on as it won’t be long before he wins over fences I doubt as he clearly has some ability.
Best of luck,