These are just my views, and no offence is intended…
The Racing Post and Racing For Change announced their 5 contenders for Jumps Horse of the Year yesterday. All 5 ARE worthy contenders, but they are all obvious choices. Big Bucks 17 straight wins is a huge feat, but he receives enough recognition for his achievements. Out of the 5 listed I would rather Synchronised win it, due to his Gold Cup win, and the fact he’s no longer with us.
I went into detail last night on Twitter why I feel Hunt Ball should have been included, so I won’t go over all that again, but today Racing For Change (via Love The Races) released a statement stating why ‘the most improved horse in training’ was omitted from the list of nominees.
If you read between the lines (as I always do as I’m cynical at times) and this is just my view, not saying I am right, their reason comes across as because he’s not with either Paul Nicholls or Nicky Henderson, which was obvious any way. The way they worded it was: horses proven at the top level in Grade 1′s. Who dominates these races every year? Mr Henderson and Mr Nicholls.
It was with great joy today that the Press Association shared the news we all were hoping for and were unsure as to whether it would ever happen… The Mighty Frankel, the world’s best horse, will continue racing after his injury scare was just that – a scare.
I really hope this is genuinely the case and he truly is injury free. We don’t want another Kauto Star case where a horse at the top of his code gets injured away from the racecourse and then goes racing when supposedly 100% ready, only to pull up a half a circuit in to his next race (at Cheltenham) and then have doubts hanging over him, whether they will be retired.
Frankel is in with a chance of running in the Lockinge at Newbury, which last week was out of the question. I feel this race should be bypassed, and not rush him, so they know for sure he really is unscathed. He can then make his racecourse reappearance, at the age of 4, at Royal Ascot a month later. Let’s not forget he has a 100% win rate, winning all 9 of his races. Is it worth risking this impeccable record, aswell as his stud value and of course the horses well-being, just for the sake of one race?
A 33/1 winner for me today, or SP of 28/1 in the days big race, the Nell Gwyn at Newmarket. This horse should never have been this price for this race in my opinion. I’m not going to get in to specifics, but there were a lot of reasons, most form based, why I went with Esentepe today. One stat I will share is that she’s now won 2 races, the jockey on both occasions: Pat Dobbs.
I chose two in this race, both each way, and both were Middleham Park Racing’s runners. Due to their prices and not the ‘hype horses’ in the race I didn’t expect too many to take much notice, but I did share them on Twitter, stating they were my only two bets today. Lily’s Angel came 3rd, 9/1.
This is the second 33/1 winner I’ve put up in the past month, having had Countrywide Flame at that price at the Cheltenham Festival in March.
This is something I very rarely do. I did have a go last week at Southwell, and got 4 out of 6. Yesterday I went through the cards at Southwell and Kempton, not intentionally trying for the Placepot, but after the last race at both meetings, the thought came across that had I done the Southwell one, I would have got it up, (paying £29 to £1) and then was only 1 away from getting the Kempton one up (£50+ to £1).
Today the Beverley and Newmarket Placepots paid over £5500 (to a £1). To me that’s incredible. The equivalent of a 5499/1 winner, without necessarily having any winners.
For those unaware what the Placepot is, it’s the first 6 races at a meeting. You pick 1 horse per race and simply have to get it to place, ie: mainly finish in the top 3, or 7 or less runners the first 2. You could I suppose relate it to the lottery in a way, 6 horses, or 6 numbers. The only downside as such, is you never know until the last race what you are likely to win, due to it being a pool. So say every favourite wins at said meeting, the payout will be a lot less than say big price winners. Due to the fact it would have been easier to predict and more people will have got all 6 of their horses placed.
Thanks for taking time to read my Blog today.
My only bet so far today is Final Drive (3.30pm Wolv.), which is 25/1
His recent form of 34789 won’t inspire much confidence, but my case for Final Drive (each way) if you go in-depth is:
- He has won 2 of his three Class 2 Races (today is William Hill Lincoln Trial Handicap (CLASS 2) (4yo+ 0-105) Winner £18,675), which is more successful in this Class than the other runners in today’s race. Although Mia’s Boy has won once at Class 1.
- He has a 60% win and place rate at Wolverhampton, from 5 races. The highest Wolverhampton win rate of all the other runners.
- He has been placed 8 times from 13 at a mile, and won 3 from 5 at an extended mile.
- 13 runners in today’s race… His record in 13 runner races is: won 2, and 3rd once.
- Ran in 29 handicap races, record: 33% win rate, 54% place.
- Is 3lb lower than his highest win.
- All weather record: 8 wins from 24 races, 33%.
- He has not been seen on a race course since this race last year (finished 9th) and is with a new trainer for today’s race. The trainer John Butler had a winner last night at Wolverhampton…
Obviously it’s a tough race, but based on the above that I’ve researched this morning, 25/1 seems big, and worth an each way chance.
Other than Final Drive, I’d like to see Loyalty win for Derek Shaw Racing.
This is only my take on the race, I could be totally wrong. So if you take any notice of the above, please don’t bet big, and remember that gambling is much more in the favour of the bookmakers…
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Also in the William Hill Lincoln Trial at Wolverhampton, bottom weight Kingscroft, has only ever had 2 races in March…. Won Both! One at Wolverhampton. Is also 2 wins from 4 races here.
Loyalty‘s form at Wolverhampton: 41223112 (38% win, 88% place)
A brief round up of the weekend’s highlights…
Saturday Horse Racing:
The weekend’s big race, the Racing Plus Chase at Kempton, was won by popular 11-year-old grey Nacarat at 9/2. His impressive 11 lengths win was his second success of this race after winning it in 2009.
Grumeti won again, taking his hurdling record to 3 from 4, and is 5/1 joint fav for the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham with Tom George’s Baby Mix.
Sunday Football & Racing:
Arsenal come from 2 goals down, to beat Tottenham 5-2 in the North London derby. Spurs were reduced to 10 men towards the end with Scott Parker sent off after a 2nd yellow card. Arsenal score 5, but Robin Van Persie only gets 1!
In the Sheffield derby at Hillsborough the Owls gain bragging rights in a 1-0 win, halting their 3 successive defeats and United’s 3 successive wins, in what sounded a very uneventful game.
Liverpool won the Carling Cup, their first trophy for 6 years. After normal time plus extra time the teams were still level, at 2-2. So it went to penalties. And what shockers most of them were, the one finishing nearest to Wembley Tube station being Charlie Adam’s wild effort. Stevie G’s cousin missed Cardiff’s final penalty and The Reds celebrated a 3-2 win.
Ryan Giggs scored in injury time to earn Manchester United a 2-1 away win at Norwich on his 900th appearance, after the home side thought they had gained a draw when Grant Holt scored 7 minutes from time.
Seabass, ridden by Ruby Walsh and trained by his father Ted, won again, to make it 7 on the bounce, and slashing his Grand National odds from 33/1 to 16/1. Whether he gets the 4 and a 1/2 miles is to be questioned.
John Ferguson’s Asaid returned to winning ways as expected at Towcester, after his impressive 4th last time out in a Grade 1 at Leopardstown.
Here are a few photos I took today at Blankey Hunt Point to Point at (North Carlton) Lincoln.
Race 1: Byways Boy
Race 2: Alflora Dora
Race 3: Rocklandslad
Race 4: Shouldhavenownbettr
Race 5: Owenacurra
Race 6: Music of the Morn
Race 7: Hansom Prophet
Not advising you take any notice, but it’s the only horse racing today, so thought I’d see if I could do any good.
1.50pm – Simenon 11/4 (2nd) and Joxer 7/2 (4th)
2.20pm – Turner Brown 14/1 each way (unplaced) and Our Monty 5/1 (fell)
2.55pm – Big Zeb 4/5 (2nd)
3.25pm – Inoma James 16/1 each way (unplaced)
3.55pm – Garde Champetre 11/4 (2nd)
Here are my photos from today’s (Thursday) horse racing at Southwell.
In Racecard order: (Click photo’s to see full size)
Here are my photos from Southwell on Sunday 8th January 2012. (In race card order)
Click Photos for full size image.
Here are a few other photos from our previous visit to Southwell on New Year’s Day:
Here’s a few pics from Southwell races today. A very good day, and surprisingly mild weather.
The highlights for me were Wreningham winning after drifting in the betting, and also Leonna Mayor leading all the way to win on Community.
Thanks for looking.
.(Click pics for full size image)
(Click pics for full size image)
Two-year-old filly, Classy Lass had her third race yesterday at Wolverhampton, in a 7f Maiden.
We were expecting her to build on her two previous visits to the track and show her true ability. All was going well, and she was just off the pack, until the final bend where she hung right and seemed to lose her action.
As a precaution jockey Mark Coumbe eased up on her just before the final furlong marker, incase something really was a miss. As you could see on the AtTheRaces pictures he was concerned and continually looking down towards her near fore leg.
After the race she seemed distressed and wasn’t walking her usual smooth self. Hopefully she is fine, as the vet checked her out on course and Derek Shaw said he would see how she was over the weekend.
Next time out will be in handicap company, and she should be awarded her mark on Tuesday. If she gets the all clear from Friday’s race, she could be back out before New Year.
I really like going to Wolverhampton Racecourse, it’s a shame they never get a crowd they deserve, and the weather has always been about -5 (slight exaggeration) the times we’ve been, which won’t help their cause to get numbers through the door.
As for the on course bookmakers last night, of which there were only 8 of them… For the first race, where the favourite (Baccarat) was 1/3, only four were offering each way betting (one even at a 1/6th of the odds!). All were poor prices compared to the industry SP’s. Yet the ones who were only offering win only, were doubling and trebling the SP, but what was the point, when the chances of anything other than the odds-on fav winning were very slim.
To me they didn’t want to take bets on that race?
On another note related to betting prices, the best option has to be online as you get Best Price Guarantee. One horse last night drifted to three times the price it opened, yet if you had bet in your high street betting shop you wouldn’t have got that increase, just the same as you wouldn’t had you bet on course.
But then on the other hand I’m continually reading on Twitter where online bookies are limiting people to no more than £25 per bet, yet on course I’ve seen people bet over £200. Even at a Point to Point meeting earlier this year they were taking £100 bets!
Surely something needs to be done about this. Racing can’t live without betting/bookies, and bookies can’t live without customers, yet it’s the customers who fund both the bookmakers and courses, and they are getting a poor deal.
I can’t see anything changing though.
(Click Photo’s to see them full size)
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A very impressive performance by the 4-year-old today, under a superbly timed ride from Joe Fanning.
Both he and trainer Mr Shaw both only went to Lingfield for the one race, and it paid off as Loyalty came from last position at the start of the home straight, to carve his way through the 9 other runners to win by a neck.
It was a thrilling finish the way he showed an amazing turn of foot to fly past everything in front of him.
Making that 4 wins from his last 7 races, and only out of the top 3 once.
A quality horse, well done to all associated with him.
For probably the first time ever, a blog update on a Wednesday.
Hoping for a much better day than Saturday.
Time For Rupert is out again, and hopefully with a change of jockey, and a poor race he can finally get back to winning ways. If not I will finally give up on him. He’s cost me a fortune, and at odds of 8/13 I’ll never get it all back.
Magnifique Etoile was very impressive last time out winning by 13 lengths at Stratford at the end of October. Which was the day I picked 4 out of the 7 winners on that card. Odds against today, and I’m hoping for back to back wins. Kielan Woods takes off 5lb.
I’m going to oppose Montbazon who didn’t impress at Cheltenham, and is another that lost me money. Today I’m siding with Erict for Henderson/Geraghty, who is a course winner (in a bumper).
1.25 Newbury – Ericht 6/5 (3rd)
2.35 Newbury – Time For Rupert 8/13 (Won)
1.45 Bangor – Magnifique Etoile 5/4 (Won)
Thanks for looking.
Prices: Paddy Power this morning.