National Hunt

Welsh National : Chepstow 3:20.

05 Jan
January 5, 2013

Horseracing Markets

Back Monbeg Dude (EW) @11-1

Chepstow’s showpiece race is going to be a dire slog in the conditions and there is likely to be only around a handful of finishers. Teaforthree has long been favourite and around Cheltenham on decent ground the others would be hard pressed to beat him. The underfoot conditions add an unknown variable and 3-1 isn’t a big enough price to compensate for the uncertainty. Monbeg Dude showed progressive form at Cheltenham’s November meeting in landing the long distance handicap ‘chase on an afternoon where the finishers were well spread out up the run in. At 11-1 there’s a margin for error built in for whether he’ll truly handle the ground but it is significant that Paul Carberry has been booked for the mount. If the ability to pace one’s horse around the course this afternoon is going to count for anything, Carberry’s experience will be invaluable.

December 26th betting : Sports multiple

24 Dec
December 24, 2012

Back Blood Cotil 1:20 Leopardstown @6-4, Arvika Ligeonniere 2:55 Leopardstown @5-6, Barcelona Champions’ League Outright @9-4 in 3 doubles and a treble.

The above proposed multiple will provide a very decent chance of holding a useful ante post voucher heading into the Champions’ League knock out stages early next year.

Leopardstown hosts top class racing on December 26th and it will probably pay to concentrate on the graded contests. Blood Cotil is the selection in the 1:20 following an impressive debut at Fairyhouse last month. On paper this isn’t a particularly strong contest and he receives weight from his main market rival. The same owner, trainer and jockey combination will look to double up in the 2:55 with Arvika Ligeonniere. His average winning distance from his last 3 runs stands at around 10 lengths. It is arguable that he was the best horse in the grade 1 Drinmore irrespective of the fact that he stole a march on his rivals at the start. He kept galloping all the same and similar tactics are likely to be employed here. Arvika Ligeonniere’s connections put Oscars Well’s jumping to the test at Punchestown by sending Twinlight to the lead and the result was that today’s second favourite fell at the second fence.

Barcelona have enjoyed a record breaking start to the campaign and for a team of their calibre this season’s renewal of the Champions’ League must be one of the easiest to win for a while. Real Madrid remain as second favourites but surely only by default. It could be said that this competition is their main focus but it is hard to leave behind the poor habits that blights their La Liga bid and play like a different team in midweek. Barcelona addressed some of their attacking shortcomings during close season by acquiring a genuine attacking left full back in Jordi Alba. Pedro has also rediscovered some of his decent form of two seasons ago. All in all Barcelona represent a more formidable force than they did a season ago.

The prices may be short for each leg of the proposed multiple bet but this blog has produced a strike rate of around 50 % thus far. Therefore for three typical selections we are a 5-1 shot to deliver a winning treble. A winning trixie in this case pays at overall odds of better than 7-1 and thus is a viable proposition.

Aintree Grand National : April 14th.

14 Apr
April 14, 2012

Grand National Chase

As ever this is a tightly knit handicap race to be run over a course of four and a half miles featuring the toughest fences in the country. There are runners that have experience over the unique fences but they are amongst the more exposed competitors and as a result are largely weighted to their best. Hidden potential is likely to be the preserve of only a handful of runners. Amongst those who could possibly return to this race carrying more weight in a future edition of the race is ON HIS OWN. This young ‘chaser was an impressive winner of the Thyestes ‘Chase at Gowran earlier in the year. He is a strong galloping type who will be ideally suited to Aintree’s expanses. Experience may be the only issue that tempers enthusiasm towards his chance seeing as he is only recently out of the novice ranks but at some stage this was always going to be the race that he belonged in. Any easing of the ground will not inconvenience him greatly seeing as he coped admirably with a far worse surface at Gowran. He is around a 14-1 chance to prevail but it is probably worth taking 12-1 in the ‘Faller Insurance’ market. He could well contract in price to 12′s in the outright market nearer the off in any case.

Recommended bet : Back ON HIS OWN, Each way in the ‘Faller Insurance’ market.

Cheltenham Festival 2012 : Day 4

15 Mar
March 15, 2012

Cheltenham Day 4

Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle

All eyes will be on the clear favourite BOSTON BOB who bypassed the Neptune Investment Novices’ Hurdle to compete in this longer distance event. He is undefeated since joining Willie Mullins, including a victory over rival MOUNT BENBULBEN and by his trainer’s own admission is one of the best novices he has ever sent over for the festival. With the ground and distance not thought to pose a problem, this top class prospect will represent most people’s banker for the final day and a price of 6/4 will not be off-putting.

Recommended bet: Boston Bob to win at 6/4

The Cheltenham Gold Cup

The media focus of the feature race will surely be on the two market leaders – last year’s winner LONG RUN and crowd favourite KAUTO STAR. Despite two defeats to his rival earlier this season, the form of LONG RUN‘s latest victory over stablemate BURTON PORT at Newbury should not be dismissed. If unspectacular, he showed a gritty determination that day to beat a seven-time winner whilst conceding 10lb. This will surely prove be a key attribute in the final stages of this race. At 2/1 he remains a backable prospect against an older horse who’s less than ideal preparation for this race has been well publicised.

As mentioned last month on this site, the form of the Cheltenham RSA Novice ‘Chase 2010 has been phenomenal. As such, we recommended an ante-post bet on BURTON PORT at 33/1 prior to the Newbury encounter with LONG RUN. Given the lengthy layoff and his performance that day, we have little reason to change our minds and he remains a likely contender. Another each-way prospect is WEIRD AL. He pulled up last year due to a broken blood vessel but has won all of his previous starts at this course. Finishing just 2 lengths behind LONG RUN in November makes his 12/1 price of some appeal.

Cheltenham Festival 2012 : Day 3

14 Mar
March 14, 2012

Cheltenham Day 3

The Jewsons’ Novice ‘Chase

Arguably this race has more strength in depth than Tuesday’s Arkle ‘Chase. The re-routed PEDDLER’S CROSS has the grade one hurdle form in the book and clearly wasn’t himself when chasing home SPRINTER SACRE at Christmas. It is concerning for his backers that there are plenty of challengers queuing up to take him on. CRISTAL BONUS travelled with purpose and jumped well at Kempton. He appears to be better suited to left handed track so it is reasonable to expect a progressive run from him over today’s course. FOR NON STOP was all set to finish in the frame at last year’s meeting in the competitive Coral Cup but for falling at the last. He had jumped remarkably well up to that point and didn’t deserve to come down. It has been noticeable how well he has finished off his races this season and he is well suited to a sharp track. SIR DES CHAMPS is another re-routed to this contest. We are still in the dark as to how good this horse actually is. A competitive race upfront will suit him seeing as he habitually comes from off the pace. It did no harm to his profile that SON OF FLICKA came back to Cheltenham and won having finished runner-up behind SIR DES CHAMPS. His consistency is a great asset and makes him eminently backable.

Recommended bet: SIR DES CHAMPS, Each Way.

The World Hurdle

If you’ve been lucky enough to back BIG BUCKS at a reasonable price, the pre-race discussion ends at that point. He is truly an outstanding performer in this sphere and any ‘without the favourite’ bet should logically be accompanied by a saver on this great horse. OSCAR WHISKY is probably the best of those in opposition and his top class two mile hurdle form makes him the late race speed horse. I’d be quite confident that he’ll stay the trip in light of the fact that his last race was not an exercise planned to help him settle better knowing that he would be racing over the three miles at Cheltenham. There are few of the outsiders that have diminished claims to third place. Run the race again and there would be a significant chance that a different set of horses would make the frame.

The Ryanair ‘Chase

In contrast this race is exceptionally open with no small group of runners entitled to dominate the pre-race betting market. RIVERSIDE THEATRE is the class of the field having divided the Gold Cup favourites in a renewal of the King George. He still has a few questions to answer over his suitability to Cheltenham. With proven course form he would be trading at around 5-2 rather than 9-2. RUBI LIGHT and ALBERTA’S RUN were amongst the principles in last year’s renewal. The suggestion is that considering POQUELIN went of as the 9-4 favourite, is that this year’s edition is set to be a stronger affair than last year’s. ALBERTA’S RUN travels and jumps particularly well on good ground and a repeat win here clearly has been the target. RUBI LIGHT is to be respected but it feels as if he is something of a default favourite. For example, it is hard to believe that GREAT ENDEAVOUR will not be more at home in the conditions. RUBI LIGHT will however play the important role of being the pacemaker and his jumping is bound to stretch the field. One that will appreciate a searching pace is SOMERSBY. I don’t believe that the trip makes a great deal of difference to him but rather a situation where he is picking up tiring rivals in the latter stages. He doesn’t appear to possess the change of gear to enable him to quicken in a sprint to the line. The form of NOBLE PRINCE‘s Jewson victory last season has taken a few knocks and it is a little disconcerting that BIG ZEB was easily able to pick him up over two miles at Christmas.

Kim Muir Challenge Handicap ‘Chase

UP THE BEAT catches the eye in this contest due to the fact that his staying ‘chase form has been well franked by PORTRAIT GALLERY who went across to Newcastle a few Saturdays ago to lift the Eider ‘Chase. He remains progressive and should go well here.

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