Tag Archives: Chepstow

Champions Jockey Luke Morris?

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Another week older…. in fact another year older!!! It’s my birthday and I could do well with a birthday present. Why?

Because last week started so exceptionally well with three winners on the bounce but from from mid-week on turned into nothing but disappointment, agony and despair. A real nightmare, we can call it. And that’s only the horses. Let me not get started on the soccer….

I’ve really lost some money in those last four days or so. But always look on the bright side of life, eh? I try, I really try hard. But when you advance beyond a certain age, when you are very much entitled to attend the Over 30’s discos, when you…. ah let’s leave it there.

Thankfully there is enough racing to get stuck into and to forget about all the moaning and groaning. Age is just a number.

Jockeys  Championship

The British Flat Jockeys Championship has never really caught my imagination, I have to admit. Although I firmly believe it has its place in the racing season (there was an interesting discussion on its value on yesterdays ATR Sunday Forum – check it out). Whether the current format is the right one is a different matter.

Nonetheless I like the fact that it rewards the hard working jockey, the one who goes up and down the country, who’s sacrificing for a slim chance of a winner in the class 6 Handicap for three year old’s on a dreary Wednesday night at Wolverhampton.

Now, in recent weeks the Jockeys Championship moved a bit into focus because it developed into an intriguing head-to-head battle between defending champion Silvestre De Sousa and Jim Crowley, the latter one only recently emerging as a serious contender.

I ran the numbers and dug through the stats and come to the conclusion that Crowley does  have the edge – not only on the actual numbers of winners (he’s leading by 2) – but basically every other significant metric. So it’s no surprise to see him being installed as the odds-on favourite to wrestle the title off De Sousa.

As a betting man, though, I’m always on the hunt for value. And I just couldn’t get my head around when I saw last years All-Weather Champion Luke Morris readily available at a whopping 50/1! Are you serious?

Yes, Morris is 15 winners behind Crowley at the moment – but Crowley himself trailed De Sousa by a more or less similar margin not too long ago either. So it’s not impossible to make it up.

Now, it’s a long-shot, no doubt. Crowley gets great support, is going all out…. but you know what? So is Luke Morris! He’s proven it all the years that he’s a tremendously hard working jockey, usually right up there with the most number of rides of any jockey in the country. He also has a proven pedigree of being able to sustain the pressure in a title race, given he is the reigning All-Weather Champion jockey.

With the assistance of some good trainers, mainly Mark Prescott, I feel Luke Morris has enough ammunition to grind his way closer and closer into contention. There is still enough time on the clock.

Interestingly the difference between Morris and Crowley over the last 50 rides is a mere 4 winners – quite close, isn’t it? Well, yes and no. Crowley has a higher strike rate and is only really getting into full swing right now, so the gap might widen inevitably. But then, Morris has shown in the past that once he sets his signs on a jockeys title, he can really dig deep and get his hands on an awful lot of winning rides too.

It remains a long-shot, and let’s not rule out Silvestre De Sousa at all, nor James Doyle – though he said he’s not all in -, Adam Kirby or Oisin Murphy. But it’s the 50/1 price tag for Luke Morris that really looks tremendously over the top.

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Monday Selections:

2.35 Chepstow: Cocoa Beach @ 10/1 Ladbrokes
4.15 Chepstow: Work @ 12/1 Williahm Hill

Betting: Sunday Selections

Ivawood

3.05 Goodwood: Class 4 Nursery, 7f

Lightly raced Alabaaly only makes his second start in this company after showing some decent promise in three maiden races. First time blinkers lid him up the last time and he tired badly towards the end, yet finished 3rd nonetheless. Headgear has been dropped, he’s 3lb down in the mark and has been gelded in the meantime – a promising combination which should see him in much better light today.

Alabaaly @ 10/1 Betfred – 5pts Win

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4.30 Chepstow PERSIAN WAR NOVICES´ HURDLE (Grade 2)

Emerging Talent sets a fine standard but can be opposed at a skinny price, given he has to prove that he can find something off the bridle – although the step up in trip should suit.

Against him Definite Outcome looks a reasonable danger. He is a former Irish point winner, who got easily off the mark in a NHF back in March when he looks still raw and green. He’s probably a nice chaser in the making but should take well to hurdling as well, for the moment. The trip must not be an issue and with the yard going well, he’s an interesting runner.

Definite Outcome @ 4/1 VC – 5pts Win

Saturday Betting: Chepstow

Becher's Brook

3.55 Chepstow: Hamilton Hurdle (Handicap, Class 2), 2m

I really like Stars Over The Sea to do well here. He seems on a fair weight given his excellent performances last season, where he finished 4th in two big Grade 1’s at Aintree and Punchestown. Chepstow has the best possible jumping ground today which will suit this him allot and given that he had done extremely well as a fresh horse in the ears before, I would expect him to be a big runner today.

Stars Over The Sea @ 10/1 Coral -5pts Win

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4.30 Chepstow: Silver Trophy Handicap Hurdle (Group 3), 2m 3f 100y

Plenty to like about progressive Our Kaempfer. Trainer Charlie Longsdon has his string in excellent order at this time of the year, so Our Kaempfer should be primed for a big run. A first handicap start for this six year old who really excelled last season over hurdles, winning twice and rounding it up with a big effort in the Grade 1 Sefton at Aintree.

Good ground and the trip should suit perfectly today and with only five starts over timber under his belt there is every reason to believe Our Kaempfer can improve again this year. He’s a tasty price against the overbet first two in the market.

Our Kaempfer @ 10/1 Bet365 – 5pts Win