Tag Archives: Flat Racing

Saturday Selections: The Flat is Back!

Newmarket Rowley Mile tight finish

Ended Cheltenham week last week with a bang: Emigrated ran out a readily winner at 16/1 at Wolverhampton! That was on the All-Weather, the surface so familiar to readers of this blog…. BUT I have to tell you: the flat is back! Well and truly – the holy turf, the smell of flush green grass in the air – it’s Lincoln Day!

Let’s not get carried away, though. It’s an incredibly difficult day betting wise at Doncaster. Huge- and ultra-competitive fields, soft ground and often little recent form in the book of those fancied in the market.

It also will take still some time until the flat moves into full swing. Hence the brown colour of Fibresand, Tapeta and Poly will continue to dominate for another while…. at least this blog. For a change, not today, though.

…….

2.25 Doncaster: Class 2 Handicap, 1 mile

Those at the head of the market should dominate naturally… yet in a big field that isn’t always the case eventually. However, the Spring Mile this year seems to have a bias toward favouring the high drawn numbers, as this is where most of the pace lies.

That means, bar the jolly Taqdeer, the likes of What’s The Story, Original Choice and Kynren should be thereabouts. However, I quite fancy a little flutter on long-shot Apex King.

There is little in his form to suggest that he will go close. His comeback at Chelmsford was dire. He’re hoping he simply needed that run. Last season was a massive disappointment, on the other hand. Apex King looked so promising during his juvenile campaign.

Nonetheless, he remains lightly raced. Only eight starts to date, he ran only three times last year, and he was a late April foal, so maybe he simply outran expectations as a two year old and needed last season to catch-up.

Another holiday under his belt, now fitted with blinkers for the first time – something that can have a significantly positive impact on sons of Kodiac – he remains of interest. Particularly on ground that can suit. He won on good to soft already, and his full-sister Miss Ellany managed the same.

Likely to be race fit, trip and ground potentially a good combination, with the potential improvement for blinkers fitted and a near perfect draw, gives Apex King at least a real chance to outrun his massive price tag.

Selection:
10pts win – Apex King @ 33/1 VC

……..

3.35 Doncaster: Class 2 Lincoln Handicap, 1 mile

The race that gives the traditional start of the flat season its name – as ever an incredibly tricky puzzle to solve. I don’t dare to say I have the answer to it. However, I dare to say to have a value bet. Rather unoriginal, yet with proven track record: Gabrial.

The now nine-year old won this very race in 2015 and twelve months ago was only one lengths beaten in fourth off 4lb higher than today. His only other start at Doncaster, also over a mile, was a Listed success over a mile. Fair to say Gabrial loves it to thunder down the Doncaster straight.

He tried his luck on the All-Weather over the winter. He ran well enough in a couple of races, though his form tailed off a little bit when last seen. I wouldn’t worry too much – he proved to be nearly as good as ever when placed twice behind Arcanada at Lingfield.

Two win off 104 as a nine-year old, despite his proven record and potentially fair mark, judged on last year’s run, is still a big ask. Nonetheless, with conditions sure to suit, as soft ground does not hold any fears for Gabrial, he should run his race. Whether that is enough to win remains to be seen. At the given price he’s certainly one I’m rather siding with than not.

Selection:
10pts win: Gabrial @ 31/1 Matchbook

Betting Review 2017

608.70 points profit. 31.62% ROI. 2017.

It’s been some betting year. A year of hard work. A year of change. Change and work that paid off. A handsome reward, for hours and hours put in day and night.

It was needed. A disastrous end to 2015, and the worst betting year in long memory that was 2016, left me without a choice but to change  my approach to the game. Change it radically, if I wanted to continue to be part of it.

To make this game pay can sometimes feel easy. A big winner in the feature on Saturday. Happy days! Oh so easy. Not.

The difficulty is felt only if you keep track of what you’re doing over a long enough period of time. When you see the numbers turning either green or red. Profitable betting long term isn’t easy. It’s bloody difficult.

That’s why it’s key question to answer for every punter with the aim of extracting tangible gains from betting: how can I find a scalable model that can be trusted on a day to day basis that helps me to stay focused, selective and takes emotions out of the equation?

2017 was the year of change for me personally on that front. What worked in the past, didn’t work any longer. The game changes. And if you don’t change with the game you lose.

The Numbers Game – 2017 in Detail:

•  Bets: 211
•  Winners: 37
•  Profit/Loss: +608.70pts
•  Strike Rate: 17.54%
•  ROI: 31.62%

No surprise, the majority of my bets came on the flat. 168 bets, for 32 winners. The average odds was in and around 10/1; the winning odds on average roughly 7/1. Only 36 of all bets came on the British All-Weather, resulting in 8 winners and a very healthy ROI.

The jumps game isn’t mine on a day to day basis. 43 bets, mostly at the Cheltenham Festival, produced a small profit from five winners, thanks to some big price winners.

My selections tend to do poorly in graded and better races in general. On the other hand, selections in the lower end of the handicap spectrum have been hugely successful. In fact 17 winning selections in class 4 or lower class handicaps amounting for nearly half of all winning bets in 2017, however for only a bit more than a third of all selections.

Highlights were quite clearly Tiger Roll’s Cheltenham succes in the National Hunt Cup – a 20/1 winner, the biggest of the year.

Even more so celebrated however, was Rekindling’s Melbourne Cup triumph. Because I shouted it from the roof the night before. I rarely do that, but was sure this lad would go well.

Also because the Melbourne Cup is my favourite race of the racing calendar. I didn’t find the winner in it ever before. It was a great betting- and personally emotional win.


Focus for 2018:

It’s easy. More All-Weather. It’s my strong point. Quite clearly.

More selectiveness if it comes to the better racing. Yes, it would be nice to have a bet in the big Group 1 at Ascot… but not for the sake of “just having one”.

Less jump racing. I am not too good at it. So let’s keep it to minimum and watch out for real quality selections.

Reduce number of “shorties”. Selections <=2/1 are simply not as profitable and I made some pretty bad selections in 2017.

Target unexposed three year old’s versus exposed older horses in Spring.

Monday Selections – 16th October 2017

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2.40 Yarmouth: Class 5 Nursery, 7f

Owen Burrows’ Mutafarrid appears to be potentially well handicap on his nursery debut. The Dark Angel colt ran well in his last two races in maiden company – in his second career start he used allot of energy from a wide draw to be up with the pace, yet he finished a good fourth in a hot race that worked out well.

Last time at Wolverhampton he missed the break, got bumped into right after and never settled over too sharp 6f. Still he finished with credit in fifth and this athletic type should enjoy the simpler experience that is 7f at Yarmouth.

Judged on collateral form the opening mark of 69 is more than fair and he should be a bit better than that, I reckon.

Selection:
10pts win – Mutafarrid @ 5/1 Bet365

……

2.50 Musselburgh: Class 2 Handicap, 7f

Big Tour is a progressive three year old colt with few miles on the clock. He won the last two in good fashion, though looked really home over 7f with a good pace on softish ground at Yarmouth last month.

He appears to be progressive and can easily have more to offer. A 6lb hike is reasonable but may not be enough to stop him.

The slight concern is the wide draw for a horse that likes to be close to the speed at a course where your chances rise and fall with track position. At the price I’m siding with him, nonetheless.

Selection:
10pts win – Big Tour @ 7/2 Skybet

……..

4.10 Yarmouth: Class 6 Handicap, 10f

Very weak contest and that opens the door for a surprise package. That could be handicap debutante My Name Is Jeff. He didn’t show an awful lot in three maiden starts, as you would expect. However he bumped into some decent horses along the way too.

This is way easier and ground and trip could suit perfectly. The dam was a sprinter but there is a bit stamina down the lines plus sire Mount Nelson has a fine track record over this trip with his offspring.

A lowly opening mark gives My Name Is Jeff a fair chance to improve dramatically from anything he has shown to date.

Selection: 
10pts win – My Name Is Jeff @ 12/1 Bet365

Sunday Preview: Naas

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La Coronel did the job in the QE II – wire to wire as they say over there. 6/1 – finally a winner again!

…….

On the menu today, Naas! For the first time since moving to the county Kildare town I have the chance to go racing as a local! Really looking forward to it. Always enjoyed coming here in the past, but of course it’s even sweeter if you just have to walk to this beautiful track, instead of slogging through Dublin’s traffic.

Selections for Naas, 15th October 2017:

1.20: Lost Treasure @ 9/2 Bet365

Superbly bred as expected bred from this yard and might have advantage over most here as an early January foal.

1.50: Cheering @ 9/1 Ladbrokes

From family of derby winner Pour Moi, so trip is short enough. However could easily be good enough on debut in an open field.

2.25: Zeb City @ 12/1 Bet365

Bottom weight who looked progressive in maidens. Now handicapping off fair mark with top jockey in the saddle could see him go close.

3.00: Cocohulababy @ 14/1 Bet365

Excellent run on second start in hot Leopardstown maiden when turning widest but finishing well. Put experience to good use at Dundalk last time and won well. More to come.

3.35: Pocketfullofdreams @ 16/1 Ladbrokes

Well exposed and does not strike as a likely winner. However if the better fancied horses fail to strike, he could be there to pick up the pieces given ground and trip should be fine and he has some fine form in the book from earlier the season, which gives him a chance.

4.10: Remembered Joy @ 22/1 Skybet

Still a maiden after five career starts, however goes handicapping for the first time now and that might make a difference. A lowly opening mark gives her a chance over trip and ground possibly to suit. It is a poor race that does not take allot to win.

4.45: Giorni Felice @ 13/2 Bet365

Nicely off the mark at Roscommon, overcoming all sorts of trouble. He may have looked impressive because he beat poor opposition and therefore an opening mark off 80 is stiff. However there is not allot in the race to fear here and conditions should suit.

5.20: Jet Streaming @ 8/1 Bet365

Superb win at Galway when overcoming near impossible circumstances. Cried out for a trip and not disgraced when five lengths beaten in a big Curragh Handicap subsequently and when fifth in a Group 3 at Newmarket when last seen. This is easier – she remains with potential.

Saturday Selections – 7th October 2017

Wet Dundalk Polytrack

8.15 Wolverhampton: Class 5 Handicap, 1m 4f

Shocking race, despite the large field. Screams for an upset. Innish Man can be the one who causes it. An upset on last seasons form it wouldn’t be that much, however he’s been off for a long time and got merely a pipe opener under the belt a fortnight ago.

We don’t know whether he has regained full fitness and some of his old “class”, that says he was a progressive performer in low grade All-Weather handicaps in 15/16.

Now 3lb below his last winning mark and a full 6lb below his career highest mark, of which he finished a fair runner-up in a race that worked out well back in January 2016 – anything close to that will see him have a big say off a good draw today.

Selection:
10pts win – Innish Man @ 16/1 Bet365

…….

9.15 Wolverhampton: Class 6 Handicap, 9.5f

I do fancy Bebette quite a bit on her debut for a new yard plus first time over this trip and on the All-Weather. The switch to Tapeta over 9.5f should suit her much better than she shorter distances the encountered in her four starts to date.

She remains lightly raced, we may not need to read too much into her four disappointing career outings to date, three came in maiden company and one in a 16-runner Handicap at Yarmouth.

A fair 5lb on board is an added bonus I suspect, with a potentially lowly mark of 53 Babette could easily run a big race.

Selection:
10pts win – Babette 6/1 Ladbrokes

Friday Selections: 8th September 2017

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5.00 Ascot: Class 2 Handicap, 1 mile

I was keen on Big Baz when he ran a blinder in the big Logistics Handicap at York a fortnight ago. He finished an excellent sixth that day in a hot contest suggesting he’s back to somewhere near his best.

The handicapper dropped him 2lb subsequently which should give him a massive chance to outrun his price tag today given conditions will surely suit well with cut in the ground over his preferred trip.

Selction: 
10pts win – Big Baz @ 10/1 Bet365

…..

5.30 Ascot: Class 4 Handicap, 7f

The lightly raced favourite African Friend looks sure to go well, though I prefer the experience of Duke Cosimo who drops to a dangerous mark here.

He hasn’t won for a long time, however showed some spark at Redcar when last seen in a hot race that already works out quite well. Softish ground is no issue for him and a 3lb claimer on board should help too.

Selection: 
10pts win – Duke Cosimo @ 14/1 PP

 

 

Thursday Selections – 17th August 2017

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Wolfcatcherjack was an impressive winner today, though it could have been a super day if Kryptos wouldn’t have been beaten by a head in a tight finish. Scoones and Regal Mirage were not quite good enough, though.

…….

4.50 Salisbury: Class 5 Handicap, 6f

Ryan Moore on board for the sole runner of father Gary at Salisbury – interesting. Grand Myla is also interesting because she made an okay seasonal reappearance at Bath last month and drops now to a career lowest- and more realistic mark.

Conditions should suit and she has a good draw. Stripping fitter for the latest run and potentially with a bit of improvement left given she was a late foal, I feel she is overpriced here.

Selection:
10pts win – Grand Myla @ 8/1 William Hill

……

6.30 Yarmouth: Class 5 Handicap, 7f

Call Me Grumpy deserves another chance after he was disappointingly turned over odds-on the last two times, though the Carlisle effort was most disappointing. However he seemed not to enjoy that experience that day, and a simpler test at straight Yarmouth may suit better.

He drops in class but remains largely up against older horses with not too much to worry from the two other 3yo’s in the field. De Sousa gets the leg up which is a boost given his record for the stable and at this track plus he rode Call Me Grumpy to victory at Sandown on handicap debut.

Selection:
10pts win – Call Me Grumpy @ 4/1 Bet365