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Thoughts and selections


F Frontrunner nothing useful i can add to your above but i thought the RI Lto comment might please................" down in distance returning to the AW, looks one to put in the Tracker for when he is moved into handicaps, as he's shown more than enough now to be of interest in that company".


The 3.06 at Windsor is rather a strange looking race!
Three of the six strong field have been massive improvers, (Uzincso, Fantasy Believer and Mistral). However, two of the three, (Uzincso and Fantasy Believer), saw improvement arrive on the AW, (specifically at Kempton), whilst Mistral improved mainly over further at 1m2f.. They have the three lowest adjusted RPRs in the race. River Dawn also looks to be a Kempton specialist

The other two may be the two to concentrate on, even though they both make their seasonal debut. King Carney was a good third on seasonal return last year ina higher class 2 handicap at Newbury, and Jame Doyle has been booked. Magnetised is extremely lightly raced, having finished midfield in a class 2 handicap at York's Ebor meeting when last seen. He is by Princess Nada, (a Listed winner), who is half sister to Dubawi and has foaled an Australian Group 3 2inner, (Qewy), and a Listed winner, (Jordan Princess). David Simcock may have picked up an interesting horse for £16k from the Roger Varian yard, and booking of Tom Marquand suggests he will be straight enough today.
Good luck M mattyboy

Big Boy Bobby was well beaten 5th in the end yesterday after making the running and trading as short as 2.10 in running, possibly needed the run.

3rd May

Group 2 Mooresbridge Stakes (2:35 Curragh) - no bet

Not having a bet, but as I have spent time looking at the race, I might as well post my thoughts on it.

It looks a tricky race despite the small field and a hot favourite at top of market. Broome is 2/5 to win, he was a similarly short price in the Alleged Stakes (Group 3) over same CD, he was well on top at the finish but made very hard work of getting to the front. As this is technically a step up in class, I wanted to take him on but I am struggling to see who is going to beat him.

Melbourne Cup (2 miles) winner Twilight Payment has the class but this 10 furlongs trip looks too short for him, only time he has run over as short as this was in a maiden 5 years ago. Others have to step up markedly on what they have done so far to win in this class, although Helvic Dream did win a Group 3 by 7 lengths (soft going) over this CD last season and 4yo’s have such a good record in this having won 21 of the last 24 runnings of this (from 64% of the runners). But although the travelled well last time, he wasn’t able to keep up with Broome.

My possible bet in the race was Saltonstall, not to win but to finish in first 3 (15/8), but I am not confident about even that so decided to leave it. He is 7 years old but did have his best season last year, and he probably needed the run first time and ran better to finish 2nd in Heritage Stakes (Listed) last time. He is better known as a miler but did finish 3rd in Northfields Handicap over CD in 2019. But as I say I am not very confident and at the price it’s not worth it.

I think the pace could be important in this race and also if there is rain as forecast. Ancient Spirit is likely to lead, he mostly runs over a mile but it’s interesting to note that on only previous occasion he ran over this trip (in a Listed race) he was allowed to go clear and nearly stole the race from front. If something similar happens today and he is allowed to go clear then I can see the possibility of an upset, otherwise Broome looks the most likely winner. It’s a race I am happy to watch without betting though.
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Kevin Foy has shown in his short career that he has no problem getting one ready after an absence. He doesn't mention today's runner Sky Lake (20:30 Wol) in this weeks Weekender stable tour but I won't read too much into that as he didn't even mention that Pholas was running yesterday and she duly won at 25/1 despite looking out of her depth on ratings alone.

SL did very well to follow Catch My Breath home last time from a wide draw considering that horse was in a rich vein of form and duly won again next time. Backed 0.5pt at 15/2.
Try this again.

17:30 Wol - Sky Lake 5/1 BOG 1/2pt
Up another 2lb doesn't help and this is a very competitive Cl6 race for only £2k, but I'm hoping a much better draw in stall 5 will see her in a mid-div position instead of at the rear; I think she would have won last time if she'd been closer turning in. Price is nothing special and probably wouldn't have bothered without BOG. Collateral form through Pope Gregory suggests Carey Street holds her.
Good luck with Sky Lake, P PHS

Broome won well yesterday, so I made the right decision not to bet against him.

4th May

2:35 Gowran Park - no bet

I liked Holly Golightly (16/1), as she has a really nice pedigree, by Gleneagles out of Cassandra Go, and half-sister to multiple Group 1 winner Halfway To Heaven and a couple of other stakes winners.

She made her debut at Dundalk in November, finishing 5th of 13, 2 lengths behind her stablemate Split Passion (4th) who had benefit of experience and re-opposes today. HG returned to action at the same track a month ago with 3rd of 12 (7 lengths behind the 87-rated winner). I would rate her performance in that race as about 72, so she does need to improve as one of the favourites here is rated 81. I think the switch to turf can bring about some improvement as Gleneagles progeny does better on turf than all weather, but I am not sure if it will be enough.

Other things that put me off a bit are, one that Colin Keane is on stable’s other runner Split Passion (OR 78), and although Ger Lyons’ 2nd strings do win sometimes, more often the market is right about his runners. Having said that Gary Carroll did very well at the Curragh yesterday with his 4 rides finishing 1412.

Other thing is the draw, neither of Ger Lyons’ runners appear to be drawn well. Lyons does have a very good record here though, backing his runners at Gowran to level stakes has returned a 16% ROI, and that is from over 350 runners.

So there are positives and negatives, and the price is tempting, but it is a competitive race with others also open to improvement, so I have decided to leave it. I didn’t think of backing each way as I find that in big field maidens that is rarely a good idea.

Other one in this race that I looked at was the newcomer Final Payments, she is 66/1 currently, but pedigree doesn’t look bad, dam is a half-sister to Paco Boy and she has produced 4 maiden winners so far. I know very little about the trainer, but maybe worth keeping an eye on betting.
Thanks mick mick, yes you are of course right, but my swerves have won a bit too often in last 2-3 months.

I can see where I am going wrong with my swerves, even if it’s after the race. I am finding that whenever I am missing winners, it is because of overthinking. In today’s example, the first two factors I had considered was the jockey form and trainer’s record at the course, I should have stopped there and kept it simple. But I went looking at things like draw etc almost as if I was looking for negatives. In the end, draw probably didn’t play a big part with the smaller field due to a number of non runners, and jockey also made sure that he got her to front early and got across from the wide draw.


Tbh F Frontrunner while i accept its none of my business i think your being to hard on yourself. For every time the KISS principles work there will be plenty of other occasions when a deeper look would have enabled swerving a loser. I know a sensible balance needs to be obtained or we would end up backing nothing but personally i am generally suspicious of any easy finds or quick conclusions.

Re your todays situation given simular circumstances sometimes i will set a minimum bet price which even allowing for the negatives involved is higher than i realistically anticipate being offered. If it is then i let the price force the bet and being a meticulous and long term record keeper i know that following this MO has proved worthwhile on balance.
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Agreed mick mick, it's a case of you're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't sometimes.
My own way of working means that I back every single selection thrown up by my (very simple) systems. I am quite sure that with a bit of a more in depth look at each one I could maybe improve my performance and pass on some losing bets, but for better or worse I have decided that I am satisfied with the profit that I make, and have a bank set up to cope with the losing runs.
I guess in the end you just have to find something that works for you.
I do like your minimum price idea - sounds interesting.
Hi mick mick, I probably used the wrong phrase when I said I should have kept it simple. I might have mentioned this before, the way I work on a race is by choosing 3 factors (these vary from race to race btw) that I consider important for a particular race and applying them to every runner in the race. This is the stage where the hard work is done, as it is used to eliminate most of the field and leave me with a shortlist. Then I look at only the shortlisted horses in a bit more detail. Today’s selection was a positive on two of the initial factors and neutral on 3rd which was to do with age, so I think I should have been confident enough on it without looking at too many other things.

I completely agree with your 2nd paragraph, and I think this is something I need to work on as sometimes I am backing horses that are too short in price and letting the bigger priced ones go.


I guess in the end you just have to find something that works for you.
I do like your minimum price idea - sounds interesting.
I will try and explain Dave as its not something i implement all of the time. When i find one i am keen on backing i always set a minimum price and will only bet if this is available. On other occasions there are to many grey areas and i conclude that while i can make a case for my possible i am still not going to bet regardless of price. It is those who fall in between these two areas which i was referring to.

Faced with this situation i will price the horse as per norm but then add additional pts to the ask. As an example if i think 12/1 is decent value i will set at 16/1 and from this stage onwards the final call is out of my hands because the market dictates and makes the decision for me. This could be viewed as contrarian thinking and would not suit most backers who are seeking the opposite market tells to support there findings but as mentioned long term its proved a profitable ploy for myself. As part of my record keeping i abbreviate this type via SBP : Seduced By the Price.

Another version i occasionally use is EG : Extra Gains. This will be when one i have already backed starts drifting and i decide to top up at the bigger prices. A dangerous game to play and plenty of additional thought is used before implementing but again these bets have proved profitable on balance. For myself the bottom line in this game being its all about the price and the three versions i have mentioned of using same fit my thinking so good enough.

Of course the counter argument is what does it matter when the horse concerned loses and this i accept but would add that over a period of bets which will include some winners then it matters plenty.
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5th May

2:45 Chester - Win bet on Harmony Lil @ 11/2

I have taken a chance on this today despite the big drift. Main reason for backing is the run in her last race at Ripon, where she finished 2nd/13 on her first run of season. It was only a class 5, but that race usually produces a few winners. In 8 previous runnings of that race, of the horses that finished 2nd, 2 won on their next start and 2 finished 2nd. Form of this year’s race is also working out well with 2 winners (including a 20/1) and 2 places from the 7 that have run so far.

Harmony Lil is 2 from 2 here at Chester, both those wins were over 6 furlongs, in a novice and in class 2 nursery (from 5 lbs lower than today). Drop to 5f for first time is a possible negative, but there are only 3 distance winners in the race, which is quite unusual for a class 2 5f handicap to have so few distance winners in it. And also the likelihood of strong pace means ability to stay 6 furlongs may not be a negative.

Dascombe, who trains locally, has a good record at this meeting, and has won this race twice before (in 2015 & 16) from 13 runners. He runs two in this today, Kingscote is not on either of them but that will be because he can’t do the weight. Jane Elliott rode two winners (prices 12/1 & 5/2) from 7 rides for Dascombe at this meeting in 2019.
Harmony Lil was only 4th

6th May

7:30 Tipperary - Each way bet on Focus Point @ 25/1 (BetfairSB/Paddy offering 4 places)

Reasoning to follow...

Focus Point was only 4th of 14 (Beaten 30+ lengths) on his debut here 6 weeks ago, but he was very weak in betting that day drifting from 7/2 to 8/1. And although this looks a good race, I think he can improve on that with good ground likely to suit better. His sire Robin Des Champs has a better strike rate on good than soft, and both the dam sire Hurricane Run’s own progeny and that through his mares show a preference for good going.

FP is from a really nice family, with plenty of top class winners, his dam is a half sister to Champion hurdler Binocular.

Breeder and trainer Tim Hyde has a really good record, with 20% strike rate in bumpers (17 from 85, +26 LSP), and can get winners at big prices.

As I say it is a good race, but I think with pedigree and connections, and this better ground likely to suit, I think he has a chance especially if there is support in market (only a small move so far from 40/1 to 25/1)
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