To the ‘Little Black Book’, another superb read….
Welcome to this feature guest post – The Little Black Book – courtesy of Adam Norman, who introduces himself below.
(if you missed previous articles 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….
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!
Toi Storey (Hexham Dec 20)
What this horse lacks in size he more than makes up for in ability and after three sound efforts in novice hurdles he looks one to follow.
Not placed to challenge at big odds on all three starts, the son of Winged Love took a big step forward behind a couple of very nice northern prospects in Highland Hunter and Stoney Rover at the Northumberland track.
He is not in the same league as them physically, and yet was less than seven lengths behind the useful winner at the line.
An opening mark of 112 could be on the lenient side and trainer Rebecca Menzies, whose horses are running well this winter, has the option of looking for a weak novice or going down the handicap route.
Silva Eclipse (Haydock Dec 22)
Sue Smith has had a fairly quiet time of it but there have been signs of an uptick in form in the past couple of weeks and this grey gelding looks set to win again soon.
The six-year-old ran up a hat-trick for Jedd O’Keeffe in the summer of 2016 (latterly over 2m off 77) and a year later made a successful debut over timber for the yard before being transferred to Smith.
He has done little wrong for his new handler without winning, sidelined for much of last year after flopping when favourite at Catterick in January, a race that probably came too soon anyway.
Not without quirks, he really looked to have grown physically on this third outing of the season and proved stamina was his forte as he chased home a well handicapped sort in The Hollow Ginge (highlighted in this column).
He is going to look well in from a mark of 122 next time he runs and this future chaser shouldn’t be missed.
Regarding Ruth (#1)
Fakenham over 2m was always going to be on the tight side for the daughter of Flemensfirth, especially on good ground, but she showed more than enough in third to suggest her turn is very close.
Wig Wam Wiggle (#5)
Well backed at big odds at Wetherby but jumping fell apart from halfway and he needs to sharpen up on that if he’s to get back on the up. He is another that may need bog-like conditions (down 3lb to 88).
Won nicely at Newcastle before Christmas but was turned out again a week later and the run clearly came too soon, while a return to a much softer surface will also suit and he remains one to keep onside.
Poperinghe Ginger (Haydock Dec 22)
A strong, enthusiastic mare, this six-year-old is building a solid portfolio and looks well capable of picking up a race or two this winter.
Outpaced, but not disgraced, in decent bumpers, the daughter of Beneficial made her introduction to hurdles in a Listed race and once again showed promise behind some very decent sorts.
A mistake mid-race and some other novicey leaps undermined her effort but she came home well and she has plenty of scope for improvement in that department.
Having started at big prices on all four runs to date, and having finished a distant sixth of seven here, she is likely to go under the radar in the coming weeks, but she looks poised to take a big step forward at some point.
Saint Leo (Wetherby Dec 27)
Already a five-time winner in his native France, this well-related six-year-old is reportedly highly regarded by new handler Sandy Thomson and looks sure to win races.
Much like ill-fated sibling Mon Successeur he’s a keen going sort that should be suited by the minimum trip for now, and he stepped up on his opening effort when finishing fourth in the Castleford Chase back over 2m.
Jumping very soundly, he couldn’t quite reach the front rank having been held up on ground that was probably lively enough.
Having been dropped another 2lb for this effort, he should be found a decent opportunity in the coming months, especially if/when the mud starts to fly.
Frankly Speaking (#5)
In at the deep end in the Mandarin Chase and dropped another 2lb for his pains. We haven’t really had bottomless ground yet this winter but he should thrive if and when it arrives.
Elixir Du Gouet (Haydock Dec 22)
This fine looking specimen really caught the eye on his debut for Venetia Williams and it’s likely that his appearance in the paddock resulted in him being forced into favouritism for a competitive handicap.
A mid-race blunder effectively ended his chance and he wasn’t given a hard time thereafter, although connections will be disappointed that his mark remains on 134, which is likely to be too high at this early stage of his career.
Having won a three-runner chase in his native France, he is still able to run in novice races this season, and with his size and scope I’d expect him to remain in this sphere rather than return to hurdles.
Purchased for 75k euros at Arqana in November, this very nice youngster is likely to need time to acclimatise in the UK but is one to remember next winter.
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 Mon-Wed when posted)