Betting Review 2022

376.30 points profit, 35 winners and 19% ROI. It was an eventful year with plenty of lessons learned.

2022 was a challenge on many fronts, “on and off the pitch”, so to speak. On the pitch it clearly was an ever dramatic up and down. From the absolute highs of backing the longshot winner in the Melbourne Cup to the absolute lows of backing 31 consecutive losers.

At times I struggled, stumbled and lost confidence in the process that has been tried and trusted for nearly a decade now. Ultimately, though, 2022 proved to be another profitable year.

The process is alive and kicking, still working well enough to produce winners and a green P&L sheet – at the end of the day for a sixth consecutive profitable betting year.

Raw numbers

  • 376.30pts annual profit
  • 19.29% Return of Investment
  • 201 Selections
  • 35 winners
  • 17.41% Strike Rate
  • 8/1 average odds

Selections on turf produced the majority of the annual profit with 310pts; about 141pts from UK selections alone. Irish selections were also profitable this year with about 49pts profit.

The All-Weather shows a 59pts loss. I didn’t back a winner on the sand until late October, in fact. A clear upswing since then, with 156pts profit in the last two months of the year.

As always, outside of UKI things look positive: 13 international bets produced 160pts profit.

On the flat the majority of this years profit came in class 5 and class 6 Handicaps. All but two winners came in races below a mile. No surprise, as that is my main focus, both in terms of class and distances.

Selections in races over the 7 furlongs trip yielded the highest return: 285pts profit from 38 selections. Closely followed by the minimum trip that yielded 237pts profit for seven winners from 25 bets.

In contrast 6 furlongs produced a whopping 147pts loss from 36 selections. 37 selections over the mile trip resulted in 95pts loss. Middle to longer distances were a loss-making endeavour, too.

I’m not a jumps man betting wise: 11 selections, 95pts profit, largely due to a fine Cheltenham festival with 5/8 successful bets.

Ascot has been a kind track to me this year, both in terms of producing winners as well as eye catchers that went on to win subsequently.

Newcastle (0/10) and Doncaster (0/7) have been a disaster, on the other hand. Kempton (1/12) is a track I struggled, as well; I am not sure whether I ever backed a winner at Carlisle. Certainly not in 2022.

As for the selection process (flat only): eye catchers contributed 181 pts (222pts in Class 5/6, but minus 86pts all other Handicaps), traditional form analysis added 70pts to the annual profit, the rest made up by a bunch of system bets.

A complete overview of all selections and annual data going back to 2017 can be found here if anyone is keen to dig deeper.

Key Learnings

While 2022 was a solid year, it didn’t feel like a good year at all. It could have been – perhaps should have been – a much better year than it has been, for various reasons. There are 3 key learnings I hope to transfer into 2023.

Trust The Process

Be consistent and trust what’s working well – yes, reflect and don’t shy away from change if required, but the core of the process has remained the same for nearly decade and continues to work well.

Bet the process, not the outcome….

It’s the one thing you hear every profitable punter say. because it’s true. I need to remind myself of this mantra, once in a while, especially in times when variance shows its mean face.

My process works. It’s profitable. It takes a lot of effort. But it rewards the work and effort plenty fold. It does… if I do trust it, though; even during lean times. Be consistent about the approach to finding bets (i.e. the process) and good things will happen…. eventually.

Be Patient

An extension of consistency and trusting the process. It requires patience. There are no shortcuts.

Patience also means picking and choosing your fights. In the summer, when up to 20 eyecatchers could run in a single day, the fear of missing out can led to a rushed decision-making process. This will almost certainly lead to poor bets.

There’s simply too much racing, it can be overwhelming. Instead of attempting the impossible, be selective and focus on the races that play to the strengths of the process. Be patient, it’s the long term that matters. If “one gets away”, so be it. Tomorrow is another day.

Variance is your Friend

I endured some brutal losing runs this year: 31 consecutive losers- and only one winner of 48 bets between July and September. Only one short-priced winner of 27 bets between April and May.

Tough times. And inevitable. Especially given the average odds of my bets – around 8/1.

Sequences of losing bets are nothing out of ordinary; in fact they are to be expected and statistically inevitable. It’s variance. As simple and brutal as it is.

Knowing this doesn’t make it easier to endure. I was wondering during those times whether I “lost it”.

On the other hand, a simple look back to previous years would have shown that losing runs happened every year and the up- and downswings can be quite violent, as the 2017-2022 P&L graph presented earlier demonstrates pretty well.

Where things go down they have to go up again. What followed the most horrible months of my “betting career” was a November for the ages: the most profitable single month in over four years.

Remember, it’s a never ending ultra-marathon – as long as the P&L sheet is green in the long run it doesn’t matter what happens in the short-term, as long as value is still present in each and every price taken.

2022 Favourite Winners

I backed 35 winners in 2022. Every single one is important, no matter the class of the race. But some mean more than others, if only on an emotional level. Here’s my 3 favourite winners in 2022.

Gold Trip: Melbourne Cup

Backing the 21/1 winner in my favourite international race, is the standout moment in 2022.

Gold Trip’s victory came at the right time as he kicked off a golden November. Prior to this fateful first November day, I backed a meagerly two winners from the last 53 selections. All forgotten, when you land the big one.

State Of Rest: Prince of Wales’s Stakes

A gutsy, honest colt, trained by Joseph O’Brien, State Of Rest got a peach of a ride by Shane Crosse at Royal Ascot in the Prince of Wales’s, beating odds-on favourite Bay Bridge.

This win came at the right time, after backing only a single winner in the last 26 selections. I got 8.4 on the exchanges, which looks stellar value in hindsight.

Sammarco: German Derby

Far from the biggest winner of the year, but certainly one of my favourites. I was incredibly sweet on the son of Camelot, as he caught the eye in serious fashion on his previous two career starts and I felt he could even develop into an Arc contender.

While his season ended somewhat in an anti-climax, his German Derby triumph was as dramatic as brilliant, given the way the race developed. This winner was one of 9 in a glorious July.

………..

Finally, thank you to all readers, be it here or on Twitter, and especially those that have engaged so eagerly. 

It makes it twice as enjoyable if you can share the passion for the sport with other people, and even more so if others can derive value from this site as well. 

On to a wonderful and hopefully profitable 2023.

Saturday Selections: 1st April 2023

After a small break on a sunny island in the Atlantic Ocean I’m (nearly) back for the start of the flat season!

March was finally a green month again, having produced a 110pts profit; 4 winners and seven placed selections…. something positive at the end of a tough winter on the sand.

Thankfully, the grind of the All-Weather is over (well, probably not really, for another couple of weeks) and the grind of the flat beings here once again.

………

3.00 Doncaster: Listed Cammidge Trophy Stakes, 6f

Intriguing contest. A handful could have a proper go in this listed contest, but the ground should be key to narrow down the real contenders.

Current favourite Asjad definitely stays the trip and beyond in deep ground as shown in his last three fine runs in autumn 2022, including over this course and distance. He goes well fresh, but has failed to convince on speed ratings in 12 career runs so far.

El Caballo remains a sprinter with plenty of upside. If he’s ready from a long lay-off he should be the one to beat. A Grade 2 winner last May at Haydock, he wasn’t seen since Royal Ascot.

That’s a question mark, as well as the unknown whether he can show the same level of ability to show on deep ground.

Fast Response should enjoy the soft ground as he proved winning a Listed contest over this course and distance when last seen in November. Again he’s one who looks up against it on speed ratings – if the main principles fire.

Commanche Falls is pretty ground independent. He’s got a fine record fresh, and looks a key player if in the same form as last season; however, he’s yet to win outside Handicap company and his very best came on no less than good to soft.

Ehraz remains progressive and has been gelded during is off-season. He’d be seriously interesting on better ground. In soft conditions he may struggle, though, today.

Having said that, King’s Lynn is the one I’m siding with at given prices. He looks clearly overpriced, if fit on his seasonal reappearance.

The fact he ran quite well coming off a break in the past is promising. He’s the finished article by now, so if he can run to last seasons form, he should have a major say in the outcome of this race.

This is easier than his final assignment in 2022, when well beaten in the Champions Sprint. He competed predominantly in hot water last year, but was highly competitive in lesser grades, including when winning the Grade 2 Temple Stakes.

He runs consistently to a good level on speed ratings; his career-best effort over this Doncaster course and distance that came in the Listed Wentworth Stakes in November 2021 makes him a prime contender today, in theory.

Possibly the minimum trip is his optimum, but he obviously stays 6 furlongs, no bother, and loves soft ground. With that in mind he seems seriously overpriced at current exchange prices (8s readily available) although the scenario of a weak pace would count against him, truth told.

10pts win – King’s Lynn @ 8/1

Friday Selections: 17th March 2023

Two winners from three selections on Thursday – and the third beaten by a head! It could have been the sweetest of hat-tricks.

No complaints. Saisons D’Or went off a lot shorter than the price I got…. the money was on and he clearly is in peak form the way he fought back for a seriously game victory at Southwell.

Get Stuck In got the pretty easy run from the front, as hoped, and had too much in hand. It’s also fair to say Leabaland had a few pounds in hand but Seamie Heffernan went pretty hard early on, and that perhaps was the reason getting beaten in the dying strides.

Who am I to complain, though? Am not. Any day with two winners is a brilliant day in my book. It gets March firmly back into the green, as it has been 5 winners to date for the month, and we’re only halfway through it.

By my own calculation, one more solid priced winner will solidify a healthy profit. I wouldn’t mind it this one comes today, in the big race…

………

3.30 Cheltenham: Grade 1 Gold Cup, 3m2½f

The blue ribband of jump racing has been kind to me, betting wise. This year, though, shapes like a hot, and tricky edition.

It stems from the fact that half the field appear on more or less the same good level of form. While a few select have clear standout form, but serious questions to answer.

The one on many lips, is Galopin Des Champs. The favourite, and a short price for a horse with stamina to prove.

No doubt, an incredibly talented individual; unbeaten in seven of his last eight starts; and that one blip, was desperately unlucky in the Turners when he seemed to have the race won, if not for falling at the last.

This season he’s a much better settled horse, jumps really well and won the John Durkan as well as the Irish Gold Cup by a combined 21 lengths!

But at the current price I have to take him. There are valid concerns over his stamina, especially on deep ground. The Irish Gold Cup proved little. He sprinted away from Stattler in a test of speed more than anything. He has won on proper soft ground but is it his preferred going? I doubt it.

Stable mate Stattler is an intriguing contender. Available at 20/1+ on the exchanges; he’s a serious contender to run late into the placings, I believe. He’s not shown quite enough on ratings, to suggest he’s truly a Gold Cup winner. But the deep ground will help to make it stamina test, which could suit.

Minella Indo ran a huge race in second place last year. He hit the front too soon, and had nothing more to give once A Plus Tard sprinted past him. But it was a strong performance, good enough in other years to win a Gold Cup, I believe.

He looked good on his return at Tramore in early January. We haven’t seen him since, though. The vibes from the yard are bullish, but I see it as a negative that he didn’t go Leopardstown as he did the last two years when he won- and finished runner-up in the Gold Cup.

Grand National hero Noble Yeats is rightly in the mix. The emphasis on stamina will be to his advantage. I’m not sure whether he’s truly good enough to win a Gold Cup, though.

Protektorat and Royal Pagaille have shouts to run into the placings on their best form. Ahoy Senor with a clear round of jumping could be dangerous. But there is no question the gap to the the top three in the betting market is real.

I mentioned Galopin Des Champs before and the fact I’m happy to take him on. I’d be certain he wouldn’t be A Plus Tard, if the impressive 2022 Gold Cup winner would return to the same level as twelve month ago.

Clearly his prospects have improved since DeBromehead yard looks in good health this week. You would hope whatever problems materialised at Haydock about half a year ago now, and the issues at Leopardstown, are well and truly fixed.

It’s shame we haven’t seen him since. No matter what, this can’t have been an ideal preparation for the biggest race of the year. He’s a year older, too; having been at the Festival numerous times before, how much more is left in the tank?

I can take the leap of faith required to back A Plus Tard; even though I do so last year and those memories are still vivid.

But there is no question in mind the only horse I can back at this stage is Bravemansgame. If I would have come to this conclusion earlier than this week I could have gotten bigger prices. But I still think he’s overpriced.

Ever since that impressive King George victory was I contemplating for and against Bravemansgame’s prospects to stay up the Hill to win a Gold Cup.

The positives outweigh the negatives ultimately, though.

Bravemansgame won that day at Kempton in the most impressive style. He powered home, staying on strongly, found more and more for pressure, when everyone else fell away.

He gave ground away all the time – perhaps by design. Jumped fluently, travelled powerfully for a long time, and was brave and gutsy; a bit flat footed around the final bend, he kept going, came back on the bridle and outbattled his rivals.

Yes, perhaps, one could argue, the winning margin was flattered by L’Homme Presse who unseated his rider at the last. But he had the race won by then, I firmly believe, in any case.

That performance is by far the strongest this season, on all sorts of ratings. Whether Bravemansgame can run to the same level of form over this extreme test of stamina on deep ground is the key question.

His best form comes on flatter, galloping tracks. His sole visit to Cheltenham ended in heavy defeat. Paul Nicholls is adamant that Bravemansgame is a different, stronger, more mature horse these days, though.

Therefore, he deserves his chance to go for a Gold Cup. He seems to posesses the right tools to cope with the demands of the race. But there is only one way to find out whether he truly has got it to win the Gold Cup. At given prices my money is riding on him.

10pts win – Bravemansgame @ 13/2

All-Weather Thursday Selections: 16th March 2023

6.10 Southwell: Class 6 Handicap, 7f

I loved the return off 139 days from Saisons D’Or at Newcastle two weeks ago. He travelled well for a long time and seemed the one going best with less than 1.5 furlongs to go, ready to win the race. He fell away in the final furlong, though.

He ran to a good 59 speed rating, not too far off his current handicap mark. There is every reason to believe he can improve for the run. His spring form is usually really strong, he tends to run really well in the first two-three runs after a winter break.

Now an eight-year-old he isn’t getting any younger, but he’s fallen to a really good mark as he also has dropped into class 6.

This doesn’t look a strong race, hence I think the #7 draw may not be too much an issue to overcome. The yard tends to avoid this track with fancied runners at all, though. That’s a concern.

10pts win – Saisons D’Or @ 11.5/1

…….

8.00 Chelmsford: Class 4 Handicap, 1m

Plenty of unknowns here but one wo is most likely to improve significantly from his three starts as a juvenile is Get Stuck In.

He caught my eye in his final two runs last year; at Kempton and then Newmarket, he ran with tons of credit in pretty hot contests. What I loved most was the attitude he showed on those occasions.

Not only did he look straightforward enough, but also went forward, and tried really hard when challenged heavily in the closing stages.

Going up in trip to a mile can only be a positive, given his pedigree. He’s been gelded, which in itself may bring out additional improvement.

What gives me plenty of hope that this lad is ready to roll is the fact Mark/Charlie Johnston’s 4-year-olds have an excellent record on their reappearance off a break on the All-Weather.

Further to this, the pace in this race could be a muddy. But he likes to go forward, most likely, and could enjoy an uncontested lead. He may be hard to peg back.

10pts win – Get Stuck In @ 7/2

…….

8.20 Dundalk: 47-70 Handicap, 1m

Leabaland must be one of the unluckiest horses on Dundalk circuit given this winter. He’s often ran a lot better than bare form would read; one who definitely seems to find the trouble more often than not, has also been unfortunate with wide draws.

Each of his last five runs since he entered my radar in mid-October produced their own drama, and it wasn’t different when last seen in February over this course and distance as he just couldn’t get that the clear run, from entering the home straight until it was game over.

He looks clearly capable of his slightly revised mark of 60. Especially this time he enjoys a low draw, which will be a huge advantage. He’s a solid starter, and can just move forward, see how things fall, but in any case should be in a position to get a clear run this time.

There shouldn’t be any excuses this time. If he’s good enough this time is the day…. I think he’s good enough; added bonus having Seamie Heffernan in the saddle, who rode Leabaland to his last victory, ten month ago.

Hence I think these current prices are total bonkers. Of course, if things look too good to be true, often they aren’t true. We’ll find out tomorrow night.

10pts win – Leabaland @ 17/2

All-Weather Tuesday Selections: 14th March 2023

Candy Warhol was seriously well backed on Monday, sadly she refused to settle and was keen for the majority of the race. It wasn’t a surprise to see her fade away.

Perhaps she needs some headgear. I wouldn’t lose hope quite yet and may be prepared to give her another chance next time.

All eyes will be on Cheltenham on Tuesday. I’ll settle in front of the TV with a good coffee and enjoy the races. But won’t be getting involved from a betting perspective.

Yes, I have a few fancies. But ultimately nothing strong enough to suggest it would be a good bet. My monetary interest will be riding on the Southwell Tapeta, instead.

…….

5.20 Southwell: Class 6 Handicap, 1m

With a top amateur in the saddle Biplane looks ominous off a 62 mark. Judged on his very best effort over this C/D last summer he’s theoretically the one to beat. But he’s only ever ran once in 24 career runs to that level of form.

He will have to be a that level here, though, because I reckon the lightly raced Streetscape could have a few pounds in hand after a highly promising comeback- and first Handicap run last time out at Newcastle.

He moved forward to track the early pace until he started to challenge the leaders from over 2 furlongs out. He was gutsy right to the line but beaten by winner and second from the rear of the field in the end.

I thought he showed great attitude there, as he settled well early on and looked like trying seriously hard in the closing stages to keep the challengers at bay.

The race finished in a sprint, which can’t have been to his advantage, I believe, as he should stay a bit further on pedigree.

For now a mile should be fine. This is only going to be his 5th career-run and from his low draw I expect him to be a bit more aggressive this time to ensure it’s a solid gallop that will suit him.

The 3lb claim of Alice Keighley should be solid value. She usually sits on good chances, and posts a seriously strong record especially for this yard.

With that in mind, this lad should have a cracking chance and too much to offer of his rivals in this race.

10pts win – Streetscape @ 5/2

……

8.30 Southwell: Class 6 Handicap, 6f

Hot race. Autumn Angel has probably been leniently treated by the handicapper for her latest course and distance success. The issue I see: she will need a bit of luck and a clear run to catch those who inevitably will be any number of lengths in front as they turn for home.

Papa Cocktail is obviously of huge interest to me. A horse I am tracking since summer last year; he caught the eye once again in dramatic fashion last time; he’s almost certainly seriously well-handicapped. But I want him over 7 furlongs. He’s not one to trust and this shorter trip isn’t his best.

Putting any faith into a 15-race maiden may not be the wisest move. But Whiteandblue was a huge eyecatcher last time out as well, and I couldn’t be happier seeing her over 6 furlongs round a bend.

Last time at Newcastle she moved quickly forward and set a red hot pace – they went faster over the first half than the class 4 Handicap over 5 furlongs on the same card. She continued to lead until deep inside the final furlong but eventually was overwhelmed.

A huge run. And a career best speed rating – she had enough time to recover from the effort, and has been left untouched by the handicapper. The winner of that race went on to give the form a strong look having won subsequently again.

Since having changed yards her form has gradually improved and it looks like the penny may have dropped.

From the #6 draw she won’t have much trouble getting to the lead, or at least following it closely. Ireland’s Eye will move forward as well, most likely. I think this can only hep her to settle, having a bit of company early on.

Of course there is a chance that they go too hard once again. But I hope the turn will slow them down that little bit more than it was possibly at the straight Newcastle last time.

10pts win – Whiteandblue @ 6/1

All-Weather Monday Selections: 13th March 2023

8.00 Wolverhampton: Class 5 Handicap, 7f

The race evolves around Letmelivemylife, who won at Chelmsford in a photo eleven days ago. He’s only 2lb higher and has a solid chance to add to his 100% course and distance record. He’s quite a short price, though. Too short? Probably fairly priced, more so.

In truth, there isn’t much to take him on with, in this field. But the one who does stand out is lightly raced Candy Warhol. He caught the eye at Southwell on his Handicap debut a fortnight ago.

Restrained from the widest draw, he travelled in rear. Unusual tactics, given he was up with the pace in most of his four career runs before. He made some good progress from over 3f out as the pace increased in a slowly run contest. But as he was kept in a pocket with little room to manoeuvre, no matter which way he turned; until it was too late, he never got a real chance.

It fair to assume that with a clear run he probably goes much closer in tat class 4 Handicap, to finish in an amongst to some higher rated rivals.

He ran noteworthy a number of times before as well. On his comeback run after 230 days off the track, he travelled strongly – too strongly early on – here at Wolverhampton. He was able to kick on from 3 furlongs out, but eventually faded. Perhaps he needed the run, but here is also the possibility that he doesn’t stay 9.5f.

He can be a bit keen early on and showed solid early speed over 7 furlongs prior, in 2022; especially his Chester run looks strong.

Therefore I feel the drop to 7 furlongs can suit. He has shown to have early pace and also cruising speed over that sort of trip. Especially as there is solid pace expected here, which he should be able to track, following the leader(s) closely, could be in his favour, as he may not want this to turn into a sprint.

He also drops into an easier race here – against this opposition his 74 handicap mark gives him a great opportunity, Any natural improvement will see him go close. With the race possibly set up to suit he looks certainly overpriced.

10pts win – Candy Warhol @ 11/2

………

I can’t ignore the elephant in the room: Cheltenham looms large. Tuesday we’re off to the week that defines each jumps racing season. Obviously I am more a flat man. Nonetheless, I still do enjoy the top class Championship races immensely. I am a racing fan, first and foremost.

Betting wise the festival has been largely kind to me over the last number of years. Although, I have greatly reduced my involvement. That resulted in a tremendous 5 winners from only 9 selections last year…. it’s probably unfair to expect the same this time. I’ll keep the purse largely closed this week….

Nonetheless, one bet that stands out to me, that I want to get off the chest right now, before the price invariably collapses on the day:

Galvin in the Cross-Country Chase on Wednesday!

This race has been a lucky one for me over the years. I firmly hope to pick the winner once again.

2/1 is easily obtainable right now. Which strikes me as overly generous. Gordon Elliot has hardly made a secret of how highly he rates Galvin’s chances here. He schooled him extensively over the Cross-Country fences.

And form wise – although it doesn’t always count for much in this division – Galvin is obviously the class act in this field. Last years Gold Cup 4th, would not look out of place in the “big one” on Friday, once again.

I backed Delta Work last year, and surely he’s going to be the main danger. Obviously, any rain will be to his advantage. But he’s probably not quite as classy – not these days – as stable mate Galvin.

The betting has it in the wrong order in my view. It’s not often that I do get involved in these short prices. It’s the absolute pain threshold for me. I simply think 2/1 is such tremendous value; no doubt, come Wednesday, he’ll be 6/4 and lower, possibly go off the favourite.

All-Weather Saturday Selections: 11th March 2023

12.55 Wolverhampton: Class 6 Handicap, 5f

Lady Nagin drops down to class 6 again after a seriously impressive effort at Southwell over 6 furlongs three weeks ago. She also tries the minimum trip for only the second time in her career on what will be her 2cond handicap run also.

When last seen she pulled her way to the front right before entering the bend and as a consequence wasted a lot of energy, as she never really settled properly, too.

Yet she showed a really impressive attitude in the home straight when heavily challenged as she only went down fighting late in the final furlong.

It’s hard to know where her ceiling is. She won two back a maiden over 6 furlongs at Southwell in really nice style from the front. Having showed plenty of early speed in her races, I doubt the minimum trip will pose any real issue.

from a low draw she should be able to move forward and track the likely front-runners closely in third or fourth place. They should go a good clip which may help her to settle better, and if they go too hard, she clearly has the stamina for further as well.

10pts win – Lady Nagin @ 7/1

……….

8.00 Chelmsford: Class 6 Handicap, 5f

Sir Rodneyredblood is a course and distance specialist with a 7-3-2 record who caught the eye last time out on his first run after a small break.

He showed excellent early speed, even though was also helped by a low draw, led the field for home by setting a strong pace in the 6 furlongs contest. He tried hard but eventually faded from 1f out.

Five or six furlongs doesn’t make too much of a difference to him, but the minimum trip at this track is clearly his preferred course and distance.

He drops ever so slightly in grade as he does in trip, and this will be easier. He has to overcome the #6 draw, though should be able to do so given the pace map for the race.

With that in mind, he could potentially dominate this contest from the front, which will be an advantage over this C & D. I have no doubt he will come on for the lto run and can bring his form back to the level shown in autumn.

The level of form he ran to then is at a different level to the majority of rivals in this field. He ran to solid speed ratings then, and was only a neck beaten off a 65 mark in a better race.

He obviously had a lot of racing under his belt but still shows enough enthusiasm and early speed to think off 62 against 0-60 opposition over his preferred course and distance he must be a huge runner.

Obviously, Proclivity and Mustaffiz have been eyecatchers in the past, too. There are both with a chance here, though, I have come to the conclusion that their limitations have been exposed off their current ratings.

10pts win – Sir Rodneyredblood @ 11/2

Friday Selections: 10th March 2023

1.40 Wolverhampton: Class 6 Handicap, 5f

A really poor 0-52 Handicap of the lowest grade. This could be an excellent opportunity for veteran Dapper Man to enjoy a perfect race from the #1 draw.

He seemed to hit some good form lately, especially when last seen over the straight five at Southwell.

There he tracked the pace and the eventual winner early on, got outpaced halfway through, before he had to switch due to traffic problems. He got going again and ran on really well against the unfavourable stands’ side rail.

In my view he was far from disgraced in his last four runs since return to the All-Weather. That is backed up by speed ratings as he ran to 50 last time out and 52 four runs back, suggesting he is at a level that should give him a good chance in this field.

I feel he may enjoy the return to race around a bend over the minimum trip, especially this course and distance where has a 2-1-1 record.

From the #1 draw he should get to the lead without an issue, and has then the option to either go for it or taking the lead of the potential pace pressure that will have to do a lot from outside draws to get there, though.

10pts win – Dapper Man @ 9/2

………

6.00 Kempton: Class 4 Handicap, 6f

It’s interesting that Gobi Sunset drops back in trip to 6 furlongs. Even though possibly more thought of as a 7 furlongs specialist, two of his three career wins came over this trip for a 7-2-2 record.

Gobi Sunset’s career-best speed rating also was achieved over 6 furlongs on the All-Weather. So the drop in trip is as intriguing as it makes sense.

He will find this class easier as well. There is a chance that 0-95 and 0-85 level is a little bit too hot form him. Nonetheless, he ran with a lot of credit in the three runs since returning from a 260 day break.

He only tired late after attempting to make all on his reappearance at Wolverhampton, and I was really impressed how easily he finished last time out, posting the fastest final furlong split.

The inexperienced 7lb claimer is a question mark. On the other hand, Archie Young looked pretty solid in the sole ride he had recently.

The low draw suits to move forward if reverted back to attacking tactics. He was perhaps a little slow away, but not helped by a rival either, and perhaps it was also somewhat by design, when restrained in rear last time out.

There is plenty of pace here. I feel this can suit. If this is a test of stamina his extra bit of 7 furlongs stamina will be an asset late in the race.

10pts win – Gobi Sunset @ 7/1

………

8.30 Kempton: Class 6 Handicap, 7f

I loved Eastern Star’s gutsy performance at this venue last week. The idiosyncrasies of the British handicapping system have her race off 2lb lower here over a better trip, despite finishing a fine runner-up.

Last week she grabbed the lead and set seriously hot pace early on. As a consequence she had the field on the stretch, still going well turning for home. From 2 furlongs out she came severely under pressure but it was impressive how she pulled out more and fought back gamely.

A mile clearly stretches her. She also hasn’t won on the All-Weather or 7 furlongs yet in her long career, but I think she stays 7 furlongs, and has two placed efforts from two tries over this course and distance, including her career-best speed rating of 56, which came exactly 12 days ago to this day in exactly the same type of race over this C&D.

Her most recent effort clearly shows she is in serious form as well. Having the opportunity to race off 46 this one time, 2lb lower than lto, and where her mark is going back to again after this, in a very winnable contest, she looks to have a prime chance for a first victory on the sand.

10pts win – Eastern Star @ 9/2

All-Weather Thursday Selections: 9th March 2023

1.15 Southwell: Class 5 Handicap, 6f

It was an odd race and even odder ride Primo’s Comet received at Newcastle last month when last seen. It also was quite impressive how the veteran gelding finished his race there.

He was restrained early on, seemingly impeded around 4f out as pace wasn’t rapid and it got tight amongst those held up. He switched eventually to get a run against the inside rail but didn’t find space until late, while the jockey in the saddle wasn’t all that bothered, it seemed.

In any case, the way the 8-year-old finished suggests he must be hitting some serious form. That comprises with his rapidly falling handicap mark.

Nonetheless, he still managed to run to 61 and 63 speed rating in October and November, therefore looks handicapped to go close on that evidence alone, now rated 63.

He’s got a favourable low draw here and should enjoy the chaotic and frantic pace to be expected in this race to be delivered in the closing stages for a turn of foot.

10pts win – Primo’s Comet @ 11/2

………

7.45 Newcastle: Class 6 Handicap, 7f

The wider than ideal #9 draw is a concern, but that aside there’s an awful lot to like about Fanzone here in a winnable contest.

This is going to be his second run after a break. That most recent comeback run nine days ago was seriously eye catching, suggesting the 6-year-old gelding is in fine form and very much ready to win.

Nine days ago he wasn’t quite the sharpest out of a wider than ideal draw and looked a bit keen, as he settled in midfield. He travelled really well for a long time but had to wait to be angled out to the stands’ side rail for a clear run.

Once in the clear he found plenty for pressure. In fact he finished fastest for the last two furlongs.

It was an excellent comeback run after 188 days off. He also caught the eye a number of times last year on the flat.

Yet, racing off a career lowest mark he makes a lot of appeal as he drops in grade as well, into 0-55 level, with in-form Oisin Murphy in the saddle.

10pts win – Fanzone @ 7/1

All-Weather Wednesday Selections: 8th March 2023

4.00 Lingfield: Class 6 Handicap, 1m 4f

Hill Station looks potentially quite well-handicapped back over 12 furlongs on the Lingfield polytrack. He’s the only one with any notable recent course & distance form in this field. Judged on his last All-Weather runs he may have found finally an ideal opportunity to get off the mark.

I willingly ignore the most recent outing over hurdles, even though he was fancied at this track four weeks ago. It was a strange race. He’s certainly better judged on the last sand performances, in my view.

With that in mind, when last seen here at Lingfield’s polytrack over 10 furlongs in early February he ran with plenty of credit as a 22/1 longshot. He tracked a solid pace a couple of lengths clear of the chasing pack, and made nice progress turning for home, before getting tired and fading back to 6th.

That run was in line with the promise he showed toward the end of 2022 at Chelmsford and over 12 furlongs at Lingfield, even more so, back in November.

At Chelmsford over 10 furlongs Hill Station got caught in the closing stages after running hard from the front. But especially the run prior over course and distance at Lingfield appeared to be a significant performance.

That day he was early up with the pace, however, got caught wide for the majority of the race. He still rallied strongly in the closing stages, to finish a brilliant 3rd and ran to a strong 63 speed rating.

That’s clearly the best more recent performance on offer in this poor field today. He’s been dropped another 2lb in the meantime, therefore and any repeat of that run will see him win this, most likely.

There won’t be too much pace pressure here. So he may enjoy it easy on the front as well and no danger of getting caught wise this time.

His sire has a poor record on the All-Weather, which is a concern. On the other hand, this is possibly a fact to negate, given Hill Station has proven he performs on the All-Weather.

10pts win – Hill Station @ 7/2

Tuesday Selections: 7th March 2023

Quite disappointing performances from both selections at Wolverhampton last night. Both relinquished rather willingly their low draw, and neither got properly involved in the finish of their respective races.

Surprised me. I must admit, because I was quietly keen on both horses being seriously overpriced; I wasn’t expecting but certainly hoping for huge runs. Shows even if you ‘feel’ you sit on really strong bets, it doesn’t mean anything in this game.

……..

8.00 Southwell: Class 5 Handicap, 1m

Second run after a break, Roman Dynasty looks seriously dangerous off a career-lowest handicap mark today over a course and distance that should suit, with Spencer on board.

He caught the eye twice in October at Chelmsford, especially that October 22nd run was noteworthy, because with some imagination one could see how he possibly goes seriously close with a clear run that day.

His comeback run a fortnight ago was clearly one of the rather eyecatching sort as well. He had a wide draw to overcome, travelled well off the pace, going well into the home straight, and made excellent progress under hands and heels to finish the fastest in the final furlong.

A better draw today, another two pounds off the mark that brings him down to 69, a career-lowest Official Rating – he should be ripe and ready to rock.

On past performances he appears to be pretty well handicapped: he ran to topspeed 72 on turf last summer and he looked more than capable to be better than his current 69 rating, judged on his All-Weather efforts.

The early money has dried up and he’s on the drift in the betting this morning, especially on the exchanges where it feels a bit suspect that I managed to get 15/2 and bits matched for my entire stake without too much hassle, given earlier industry prices showed around 9/2; something I don’t like to see when Spencer rides.

But I don’t see a reason why he shouldn’t run his race today, with wellbeing and form confirmed in no uncertain terms in a winnable contest.

10pts win – Roman Dynasty @ 15/2

Horse Racing Around The Globe

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