Tag Archives: Luke Morris

Thursday Selections: 1st December 2022

Here we are, December. How time is flying. The last month in 2022. It’s been a wild year on the betting front. Significant ups and downs, variance tested my mental fortitude.

It’s gonna be a profitable year, after all, though. Most likely at least, baring a total disaster in December – usually a rather quiet month for me.

I wasn’t too confident whether a green 2022 is possible at various times this year. Least so after baking 31 consecutive losers between August and October.

After three brutal months, November – thankfully – was much kinder. Backing the Melbourne Cup winner at long odds helped, of course. 12 selections, 4 winners. The best November in ages, and one of the most profitable month in a long time in general.

I took a little deep dive into the data yesterday in this little thread on Twitter, talking short-term vs. long term view, variance and and the mental aspect of the game.

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7.30 Chelmsford: Class 4 Handicap, 5f

This doesn’t look like the most competitive race for this class and trip at this time of the year. Not too many make any real appeal.

La Roca Del Fuego is one I do quite like. He caught my eye recently and must rate a prime chance with a 7lb claimer on board, but I hope to catch him on another day.

The other one who is seriously interesting is Expert Opinion. IF he can find another pound or two for the application of blinkers he’s got a significant chance today.

He put up two big performances over course and distance the last two starts. Last time out represented a career best on speed ratings, in fact.

He’s clearly down to a highly competitive mark, having performed well off higher this year already. That says, Expert Opinion is a tricky sort. His poor strike record tells a tale.

However, over this CD he’s placed 5/7. That gives the fresh application of first-time blinkers a significance.

Luke Morris in these type of conditions on low weights has a quite a nice record too. I hope he can get the gelding sharply out of the excellent #2 gate. He should be able to track the pace closely from there and get the perfect run through.

10pts win – Expert Opinion @ 5/1

Monday Selections: 24th October 2022

Thank The Lord: on Saturday the wait was finally over – after 30 consecutive losers, it was the appropriately named Thank The Lord who gave me the first winner in ages. The 3-year-old gelding won the 5 furlong handicap quite handsomely under the Chelmsford floodlights.

Even better, the 13/2 from the morning looked really big in the evening, given the fact he went off 3/1 fav in the end. I needed that. Badly.

Until this incredibly rotten spell – where it felt like I would even struggle to pick my nose if I’d ever tried (I didn’t; too afraid) – the flat season went quite well, actually. No more. I burned through all the profit. That hurts.

This was the worst losing run I have ever experienced; certainly since betting with some seriousness. The thing is, if I look back at it: the majority of selections I’d do again. Whether that’s a good or a bad thing? The future will tell.

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4.10 Newcastle: Class 6 Handicap, 1m 2f

Oscar Doodle looks ready to romp home here off bottom weight after a surprisingly lenient treatment by the handicapper after his recent course and distance win.

He looked to get home a shade cozily, I felt, after always travelling well while tracking the pace. He was entitled to win off a basement mark of 45 after showing clear signs of improvement for a change to the 10 furlong trip with cheekpieces applied.

He was unlucky the first three attempts over 1o furlongs. The saddle slipped on his first attempt over this CD and blunted a better finish. But from there on he ran three huge races in a row: first at Beverley, and then even more so when desperately unlucky back at Newcastle.

No hard lucky story when last seen, and I reckon he’s got more left in the locker. He can pull hard, as shown in the past, and still was able to finish well. He seemed to settle much better last time out, though – has the penny dropped?

The pace looks solid enough here, he won’t have a problem to find a good posi from #8 draw either.

I am normally not a huge fan of Luke Morris in the saddle, but him taking the ride is a major advantage, especially as he goes down to 8st 5lb to take the ride. His record when doing these low weights on fancied horses is excellent, and he hasn’t ridden so low for weeks.

This is a solid race, not uncompetitive, but Oscar Doodle could still be quite well handicapped and should be able to follow up on his recent maiden victory off this weight.

10pts win – Oscar Doodle @ 9/2

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4.50 Redcar: Class 6 Handicap, 6f

This looks a competitive Apprentice handicap for this class. Half the field is in with a shot. That says Stallone appears to be a silly price, even more so if the ground doesn’t dry out too much until late afternoon.

Over the 6 furlong trip he needs give in the ground to be seen to best affect. Currently it’s still proper soft ground and I hope it doesn’t get much quicker.

Even though Stallone’s very best form comes over 7 furlongs, he is also a winner over the shorter 6 furlongs. He’ s also highly consistent, especially if the word “soft” appears in the going description (9 of those 13 races on proper soft he finished in the money).

He also acts on a faster surface, though, as seen when finishing a strong third place at Pontefract two races back in June this year.

That piece of form worked out incredibly well, and Stallone ran a huge race, confirmed by a 62 speed rating matching his handicap mark on the day. He ran to 56 and 57 speed ratings this season as well, proving consistency.

He couldn’t follow up from Pontefract when finishing eight of ten nine days later at Hamilton. Most like the race came too soon after that big Ponti run. He’s been off since then.

That specific form on fast ground gives me plenty of hope that even if it dries out to good to soft, he can be a seriously competitive runner in this field. Down to a mark off 61 he’s certainly handicapped to go close, having run six times to speed rating of 61+.

Also: Stallone never had the opportunity to race off such low mark on softish ground over 6 furlongs. So, while his win record looks poor over the trip, seen in the context of this, I’ll give him a better chance than the market does.

The elephant in the room is the jockey booking, though. This is an apprentice race and Paige Hopper is the least experienced rider in the field. From I have seen she looks solid enough in the saddle, and her 7lb claim can prove really valuable.

I might be completely wrong, of course, but I feel Stallone could be quite well handicapped, that with the additional weight allowance could mean Paige Hopper just has to make sure to stay in the saddle and not fall off.

That is if he’s fit. Not see since June is a question mark. But the yard is in good form, outperforming expectations. And this will likely be his final race this year. There is no need to hold back or run for a better handicap mark Therefore I am hopeful Stallone is allowed to run on merit.

10ps win – Stalone @ 14/1

Wednesday Selections: August, 22nd 2018

Newmarket Rowley Mile Winning post

2.50 Brighton: Class 6 Handicap, 6f

Impart has slipped dramatically in the weights having one last year of an 18lb higher mark. He has ran well a handful of times, though. Most notably in June over course and distance off 5lb higher than his now career lowest rating.

That form looks rock solid and a similar showing today would see Impart go really close. His latest run is concerning, though. Twelve days ago he was here at Brighton a long way beaten over 5.5f – his worst performance in his last six outings.

This is not a particularly strong contest today, on the other hand. Returning to 6f should help while the going isn’t an issue.

Selection:
10pts win – Impart @ 7/2 MB

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5.10 Brighton: Class 6 Handicap, 7f

Despite being on a losing streak of 13 consecutive runs, judged by two of his three runs this year Red Gunner is on a winnable mark right now. He was unlucky not to get closer than third last time at Lingfield and the handicapper has given him a big chance leaving the mark untouched.

He was slowly into stride that day, then travelled powerfully, but ultimately didn’t get the breaks when needed and got going on the outside to late. Once steered into the clear, Red Gunner thundered home from the back of the field.

This, as well as his less than two lengths beaten 5th at Kempton on his seasonal reappearance as well as debut for the Loughnane yard appears to be competitive form that is strong enough to see him as a major runner here today.

Selection:
10pts win – Red Gunner @ 7/2 PP

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8.45 Kempton: Class 5 Handicap, 7f

Treacherous has been twice a CD winner this summer already. He’s been slightly regressive in his next three starts. However, he travelled supremely well last time out at Sandown despite pulling hard through the first half of the race, looking the likely winner, just to tire in inside the final furlong.

I still rate it a big performance and a return to Kempton should see him in better light. He achieved a TS of 71 when winning here in June, so only 2lb higher, there is still a possibility, particularly in this grade, that he can find a bit more as it also is still only his eight career start on the All-Weather, of which he won three and placed in another one.

It’s noteworthy that jockey Pat Cosgrave makes the journey to Kempton for this single ride. He’s also steered Treacherous already to success in the past.

Selection:
10pts win – Treacherous @ 6/1 Sky

Champions Jockey Luke Morris?

DSC_1100

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

Stat of the Day – Thursday 25th August 2016

Wet Dundalk Polytrack

33.33 – the percentage of winners trainer James Tate had in lower grade handicaps at Wolverhampton this year!

In fact more than one half of all his starters have been placed in 2016; with the addition of Luke Morris in the saddle the success rate increases even more.

This is not a new trend, given that Tate has always been smart in identifying the right type of horse to exploit those uncompetitive races on the All-Weather during the summer months when there is so much racing going on elsewhere.

He’s doing this mainly with three year old’s in races against older horses where during the summer months the weight for age allowance provides its most substantial advantage for the younger horse against older, often exposed individuals.

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Thursday Selections:

Three days into the week and three winners richer! It’s been quite a week so far, so long may it last. Three selections today; most interesting James Tate’s runner in the penultimate race at Wolverhampton.

2.30 Musselburgh: Lil’s Affair @ 9/1 Bet365
6.45 Wolverhampton: Control Centre @ 16/1 Coral
8.45 Wolverhampton: Rocket Power @ 4/1 Bet365