A review of the weekend
What follows are various musings on the jumping action in recent days. There’s some reflection, praise, horses to follow and some jockey based stats of interest….
It’s fair to say my staying chase eyes are still a bit rusty which is the polite way of saying they’ve been out of form for an age. My winning SR means there will always be fallow periods but i’d like to be doing a fair bit better than I am. I did tip Quarenta to win on Friday at 13/2 in the members’ post, but such winners have been a rarity. The free post tips are now 1/17,4p, -8 for the year to date.
But, I’ll try and focus on the positives and as always there’s plenty to learn and apply moving forwards.
The Eider Handicap
Kilkishen… he ran well enough in 4th, running out of puff, or maybe class, over the final couple of fences. He also jumped out to his right at times. It was a decent run and given his profile I’d like to think he will have another handicap chase in him back on home soil. They may stick to going right-handed but I’d be surprised if he doesn’t make-all again over shorter/a lower level, before the season is out. His win three starts ago was impressive, from two subsequent winners.
Kimberlite Candy… he travelled very well through this albeit his jumping was scruffy at times. He went very well until 3 out and ran as if his stamina just gave way. Maybe he also wants it a bit softer also. I’d like to think he has a decent staying pot in him, up to 26/27f. He hasn’t finished winning yet.
Crosspark … a big win for connections and a horse I got wrong when it came to his stamina, which in the cold light of day was just silly. This horse has improved this year because he’s finally learnt to settle and see out his races. I knew that before the race and said as much in the preview.
I wrongly concluded he had a stamina niggle but while I went for two more seemingly unexposed ones, they had more of a stamina question! Here we had a horse that arguably had the best piece of recent staying form on offer… he’d run a credible 3rd in The Classic Chase at Warwick, which was a deeper Grade 3 handicap, and one of the best staying chases run all season. I thought he was outstayed in that and may struggle here, but that was incorrect, and I didn’t read his profile that well. He was dropping in class here, arrived in form, and clearly had staying form over a marathon trip. He’s appreciated this distance and seen it out very well, able to lob along at his pace for much longer than he’d have done at Warwick, and against inferior opposition.
As always I like to look at those horses who may improve for the step up in distance but I also need to focus more on those that have actually run well over 3m4f+ already, especially when at a higher grade. These races are an extreme test and not your normal 24-26f handicap chase. That sounds obvious I suppose but it’s good to be reminded. He is also a solid jumper which is always a big plus in any chase!
Dawson City… I overlooked him at Exeter in the members’ post and didn’t learn my lesson there. He’d won the race the year before, was therefore proven over the trip, and all his staying chase runs, 3m4f+, had been decent enough. His last run was credible in the Welsh National, a much stronger race than the Devon National and it was obviously the plan. He has demolished them.
Some words of praise for Tommy Bellamy who’s turning into a fine rider, especially over fences. He’s always had ability but this ride, and that on Go Conquer at Doncaster, showcased his talent. He rarely has these horses in the wrong place, is a good judge of pace, and is aggressive enough if he can be. Being near the front end/front quarter of a race is often the best place to be in a handicap chase and he knows it.
Proven staying form, and a decent run at a higher grade are the two lessons to take away there. I need to stop pinning all my hopes on 24-26f horses who ‘could’ improve for 28-30f+, but have yet to prove they can even place at such an extreme test.
And both Crosspark and Dawson City were battle hardened over fences, but at the same time it was clear there could be more to come over these extreme distances.
Blink and you’ll miss it…
A quick work on the use of blinkers… in the last week or so two older horses have been revived with this headgear… the first was Le Reve at Lingfield… his ageing legs seemingly enjoyed the drop in class, the longer trip and the softer ground. He received a brilliant ride there and not for the first time the use of blinkers coincided with connections being far more aggressive on a horse – this time he made all in quite gutsy fashion.
Mysteree was another one to benefit from 1st time blinkers, and a drop in class. The yard were also going much better and he was never too far off the pace either, with stamina assured. They revived him there. Whether they work again time will tell.
I need to get into the habit of taking the time to look at those horses wearing 1st time headgear, and whether it may do the trick/their price allows the risk.
Some micro angles…
He was the winning rider on Crosspark and I’ve had a look at some of his stats, which are worth noting…
Jamie Moore / Chases / Handicaps / Class 1-3 / 12/1 or shorter SP / 2016-
139 bets / 32 wins / 23% win SR/ 57 places / 41% place SR / +58 SP / +77 BFSP
Within these top level stats…
- 15-5- 17f: 15/38, 20p, +31 BFSP
- 27f+ : 5/12,6p, +49 BFSP
- 6 or fewer runners: 15/41, 18p, +18 BFSP
- Horse had 0-3 chase wins (so unexposed): 28/104, 46p, 27% sr, +81 BFSP
- Horse had 0-2 handicap chase wins: 25/94, 41p, 27% sr / +70 BFSP
- His rides on SATURDAYS: 16/54, 27p, 30% sr, +64 BFSP
Those sent off bigger than 12/1 SP are 0/39, 3p since the start of 2016.
Obviously he mainly rides for his Dad and Kerry Lee (who’s just starting to fire after a quiet spell) but as with Crosspark (who he’d ridden before) when booked on others in those conditions above, his mount is worth serious attention.
I’d best add that angle into my members’ ‘test zone’ section I think, as they are very useful starting points, especially given the races I like to target.
While on the theme of staying chases I have just looked at all those handicap chases / class 1-3 / 3m4f+ / 2015-
There are not too many generalised stats to take away, but the following may be of some interest…
- Horse down 3f or more from last run: 0/67, 13p
- Horses UP 9.5f or more (1m, 1.5f+) since last run: 2/164, 20p, -125 (one of those was in THE Grand National)
- For those that may use HorseRacebase, their total ratings are always a great guide for handicap chases. Indeed Crosspark was top-rated and Dawson City was in the top 3 total ratings. It could be argued that focusing on the Top in any chase is a good starting point…
- Within those starter rules above…. 9 or fewer runners… Top rated runners win 26% of the time. The Top 4 win at a 75% SR.
- 10+ runners.. The top 6 rated runners collectively win 50% of the time. Those in the Top 2 on their last start win at a 23% SR
The best community of racing fans IN THE WORLD!
I’ve clearly adopted my inner Jeremy Clarkson with that statement but it’s true, to these biased eyes anyway…
Sadly I wasn’t anywhere near this winner which was annoying given I made the right judgement on the top of the market, but went with Modus, (you did what??! : ) ) who’d got wound up before the race and was never going to get home given the energy used. I do think he wants much further than 16f now and I’m sure he has another decent pot in him. The jury is still out as to whether he stays 3m, but I think he may get it at some point. 2m4-5f around Cheltenham may be ideal.
Thankfully one of my members found Walt and said member Stewart is having a fine season. He just focuses on the better class of jumps handicaps and was rewarded again. His stats for this jumps season are impressive…
152 bets / 26 wins / 28p (inc wins) / +101.5 points profit to advised prices
I’m lucky to have an active, engaged and knowledgeable gang in the members’ club. I’m not sure there’s a finer collection of tipsters around. I’m always thankful to them and they deserve praise.
My new tipping competition is also unearthing a few gems as well, and with £50 to the winner each month, that’s driving plenty of engagement as hoped.
Back to Walt… could his win kick start Neil Mulholland’s season? Like Kerry Lee, he’s been quiet for a while now but maybe he’s about to spark into life. That may be a yard worth watching as he clearly knows how to target a race, especially a handicap chase.
I quick word on Sam, who since going freelance has had a decent time of it. When he’s booked on a horse, especially when riding for ‘outside yards’ (ie not his Dad or Dr Richard Newland), his mounts are worth a second glance.
So far in 2019, in handicaps… 11/55, 21p, +18 BFSP
- Within those stats… 0-1 win in national hunt handicap type (unexposed): 10/36, 15p, 28% sr , +33 BFSP
- Horse had WON at least one of last three runs: 6/19, 8p, +27
To finish… a horse to note…
Not That Fuisse
This handicap hurdler for team Skelton caught my eye on Saturday, and no doubt plenty of others. He surely has a decent handicap hurdle in him at some point, especially from this mark?
He runs/travels very strongly and like a horse that will relish a much stronger pace and an even bigger field. He jumped very well here and cruised into the race as if it was his for the taking. I do think he over-raced a bit (hence why a stronger pace may suit) and that may have cost him, or he just didn’t fully see out this 2m5f trip.
He is worth keeping an eye on, especially if able to sneak into any handicap at the Spring festivals. He could be one for a handicap at Aintree or Ayr and I think he’s in the Martin Pipe handicap also, if he gets in.
Anyway, he clearly has more wins in him and is one to watch in big field handicaps.
That’s all for this extended post. With any luck there’s something above that you can use/apply to your own battles against the bookies!
All the best