Feature Post: The Little Black Book#7

notebooks at the ready…

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….


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

Flowery (Catterick Jan 10)

This seven-year-old has hit a rich vein of form since joining Iain Jardine in November, notching a couple of wins in modest Northern handicaps.

What makes this horse so interesting is that both victories came against all odds, and that there is every reason to believe there is much more to come from him.

At Sedgefield on Boxing he pulled hard throughout the 2m4f contest yet still had enough in reserve to win despite hanging left after the last, but that was nothing compared to last week’s victory at Catterick.

Sensibly returned to the minimum trip, he started to hang turning for home and was almost unrideable in the straight, jockey Conor O’Farrell working wonders to keep him in the race.

Once clearing the last and having a rail to run against, he fairly flew home to catch an admittedly recalcitrant Baratineur close home.

Clearly wayward from an early age (he ran out in his first PTP and again on his final start in Ireland) Jardine seems to have found the key although clearly much work remains to be done.

But while in this frame of mind he should be backed until defeated providing he runs at a left-handed track where there is an inside rail all the way round, notably Haydock, Bangor or Fakenham.


Medium Term

Western Aussie (Wetherby Jan 4)

Another son of Westerner, this big, strong chaser-in-the-making revealed plenty of ability in a decent race for the track and is one to keep onside for now.

The six-year-old is unlikely to bump into anything with the ability of impressive winner Clarendon Street in run-of-the-mill northern novices and looks sure to pay his way for Martin Todhunter.

Not given a hard time by Danny Cook, he stayed on pleasingly after finding himself outpaced and he should thrive on much softer ground as he displayed a particularly round action.

Having previously shown up well in a couple of soft ground Points, it looks like stamina will be his forte and he should be worth a second look if he gets the chance to support that theory in the coming months.

However, it is over fences that he is expected to really come into his own and whatever he achieves this season will be a bonus.

The Big Galloper (Wetherby Jan 12)

A beautifully made son of Mahler out of a Beneficial mare, this strong five-year-old looks sure to reward connections in the coming weeks and months when faced with more of a stamina test.

Dropped in trip and racing on quicker ground, neither of which was likely to suit, the Irish-based youngster wasn’t given a hard time in what looked a decent enough novice hurdle at the Yorkshire track.

Aptly named, he has a lovely way of going and is sure to relish softer conditions, and while not short of speed clearly has plenty of stamina being related to the decent David Pipe stayer What A Moment.

Weak in the betting on both starts on these shores, it almost goes without saying that the market needs to be closely monitored whenever he runs, although it’s safe to say he is unlikely to be fancied if running over the minimum trip again.


Poperinghe Ginger (article #6)

Backed from 6/1 into 9/4 at Huntingdon she was unfortunate to bump into one a little wiser on the day, going down by a fast-diminishing half length at the line. She’ll continue to improve with experience, and looks one to bear in mind for the Listed mares handicap at Newbury in the Spring.


Long Term

Rare Clouds (Wetherby Jan 4)

A bit of a no-brainer, but Sue Smith’s five-year-old will be one to follow in the coming years being a full brother to decent staying handicapper Vintage Clouds.

Making his debut in what could be a very warm bumper for the track, Rare Clouds showed more than enough to suggest he will be winning races, and even normal improvement from this pleasing debut could see him pick up a run-of-the-mill bumper.

Clearly he will be expected to develop into a useful chaser in time, and initial paddock observation confirmed there is no reason to think otherwise at this stage.

Point Break (Newcastle Jan 5)

For a horse that hadn’t shown a great deal on the track, a price tag of £21,000 looked plenty high enough for this five-year-old embryo chaser.

However, Ian Hamilton isn’t known for buying many duds and the odds are the money will turn out well spent on the son of Westerner, the moral winner of a novice hurdle at Gosforth Park.

A strong pulling horse in Irish bumpers, new connections opted for a change of tactics and were nearly rewarded as he ran his rivals ragged for much of the 2m contest.

Despite signs of distress approaching the last he would still have won but for a jolting, momentum stopping error, and he shouldn’t be judged too harshly on the bare form.

Point Break is expected to thrive in capable hands and should be up to landing a small race before the season is out, although ultimately his future will lie over fences.


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)



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6 Responses

  1. I’ve been following you for some time now Adam, you provide fantastic insights and opinions to your races and just watched Wig Wam wiggle his way home as I write. Keep up the great work, many thanks for providing your expertise on here for Josh and co.

  2. I’ve been following you for some time now Adam, you provide fantastic insights and opinions to your races and just watched Wig Wam wiggle his way home as I write. Keep up the great work, many thanks for providing your expertise on here for Josh and co.

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