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Thoughts and selections

10th May

3:50 Ffos Las - Win bet on Twojayslad @ 8/1

It’s a risky one because of the age as my selection is 12yo. Despite the age, he has not had a lot of racing as he missed out whole of 2019 and most of last year. Since his return he has picked up two wins this season, first of those in a veterans chase at Doncaster then at Ludlow in January.

Last two races have been a bit disappointing and have seen him beaten 25+ lengths in both of them, but there are possible excuses. Distance was probably on short side for first of those, his record over less than 3 miles is 1 win and 0 places from 10 starts. Other 3 wins (from 8 runs) have all come over today’s trip of 3 miles, and he has placed over further. Last run was in class 2 (even if it was a veterans race) where he went off at 25/1 so nothing was expected.

His career strike rate is quite good for this level, with 4 wins from 22 races. Trainer doesn’t send many horses to Ffos Las but has a good record from limited number of runners here, 4 from 22 (+4.88 LSP) over NH course. Charlie Todd is good value for his 3 lbs claim, and he has been on board for horse’s last two wins, so his return looks a positive.

Age is the main problem, and I spent a lot of time thinking about this as not many of them win at this age. But there are no 5 and 6 yo’s in this race, and I wanted to see how old horses have done in this situation, and results are surprisingly good for 12yo’s in class 5 races that contained only horses aged between 7 & 12 (veterans races not included) as shown below. A word of warning about this stat though, sample size is quite small and most of the wins came before 2014, for whatever reason it hasn’t done so well since 2014.


There are plenty of dangers, Hang Tough is still unexposed but price looks quite short for him. Robin Of Sherwood has a good record here and is turned out quickly after pulling up last week, and perhaps most interesting is Kapsize, although still a maiden, he wears cheekpieces for first time on only 2nd start since joining Peter Bowen and seems to have attracted a bit of support.
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Cheers lads for selections I normally take my foot off the pedal between seasons......There is one i quite like today STORM DANCER 6.50 Weth -Alston acquired from Judmounte in October had shaped reasonably well for Ralph Becket...Very well bred good draw...Thought last run at track was alot better then his placing...........Still open to improvement I always throw an eye on Alstons runners hes been nibbled at in market but still plenty of 14s......Think in this 0-65 think hes a little better then his mark and think will run well.
Last selection Twojayslad was unplaced.

13th May

2:55 Salisbury - win bet on Amy Beach @ 5/1

4 of these ran in the two divisions of Newbury maiden last month. Amy Beach (5th), Reina Del Mar (6th) & Dolphin (9th) ran in the first division that was run in a much faster time than the 2nd division in which Betty Crean L A finished a close 4th. Amy Beach’s time was 2.22 secs faster than BCLA’s.

Selection improved on next run when finishing 2nd at Chepstow, although she was no match for the impressive well backed winner Talbeyah, she was ahead of a horse that was rated 80 at the time (now revised to 78). There is always a danger in these races that there could be something above average in there, but most times a performance close to 80 will be enough to win one of these, so she doesn’t need to improve much from her last run.

And there is possibility of improvement with today’s soft going, her dam Isabella Bird won a maiden on heavy (on 5th start) for Channon.

One negative for me is the jockey form, Charles Bishop has just 1 winner from 23 rides in last fortnight.

Betty Crean L A is likely to improve too and is a danger. A couple of others I will be watching for future, Reina Del Mar will get a handicap mark after this and she will be interesting in handicaps later in season, possibly back on the all weather. And it may be too soon to write off Haizoom given her connections even though she has been well beaten both starts, she could also do well in handicaps.
Pleased to end the losing run with Amy Beach winning, there was 50p Rule 4 deduction on early prices, which was a shame as the two withdrawn horses were not even on my shortlist, but thanks to BOG I got 7/2 SP which works out better.

I think the horse to take out of race is the 2nd Reina Del Mar, I will stick with my earlier view that I think she will win in handicap company, and if her and the winner were to meet again it wouldn’t surprise me if there is a different result.



The obvious port of call here is BLUE CUP had a terrible run last time but at prices think its worth taking on. Was very taken with Makrams win last season at Ascot with Oisin winning without getting serious. He looked like a horse that would be suited by going up in distance.
7s on betfair seems OK has been backed gets 8LB from fav at prices happy to play.
Thanks N Nijinsky , P PHS

Good luck with Makram today, Nijinsky.

14th May

Braveheart Handicap (7:15 Hamilton) - Win bet on First Impression @ 2/1

Price is a bit short (has gone 2/1 from 5/2), for that reason it was a 50/50 decision, but I have gone ahead with the bet, hopefully won’t regret it.

Reasoning to follow...

Main reason for liking First Impression is that he is one horse that still looks open to further improvement, whereas most others already seem to have reached their peak. FI has just 9 runs on the flat (4 over hurdles), winning 3 of them and placing another couple of times.

He won well in the Kilkerran Cup Handicap at Ayr last season (class 2, 10f), and is only 4 lbs higher than that win so doesn’t need to improve a lot on that. He has since had a spell over hurdles and returned to flat at Chester (10 1/2f) last week with a good 3rd of 14. He is yet to run over this far, but as he has won over hurdles and looked like he will stay, I don’t think that is really a problem.

The Trader, who won over a furlong further here last week looks the main danger under a penalty. That penalty puts him on a career-high mark of 98. Mark Johnston’s other runner Notation also looks a bit high on mark of 92 considering all 3 of her wins have come on fibresand at Southwell. Johnston does have a good record in this race though having won it in 2008, ‘12 & ‘18, and I see his two runners as the biggest dangers, but I feel that First Impression could have his best days still ahead of him.

Edit - meant to add that the formline through Al Madhar (even though it’s over shorter distance) also gives selection an edge over The Trader.
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First Impression could only finish 2nd yesterday.

15th May

Listed Yeats Stakes (4:15 Navan) - no bet

I can’t see past Wordsworth in this, but as I am not backing any odds on shot this year, I have left it but putting it in a multiple bet.

Only 4 previous runnings of this race but it has acted as an early trial for St Leger. Last year’s (race was run much later in season) winner Galileo Chrome went on to win the Classic, and the winner 3 years ago Southern France finished 3rd (20/1) in the big race. Aidan O’Brien has won two of the four runnings, and if Wordsworth wins he is likely to take the same Queen’s Vase - St Leger route.

Form of Wordsworth’s maiden win at the Curragh looks much stronger than his main rival Party House’s win at Naas, and as he is likely to come on for that run, I think he will be tough to beat. He was 2 lengths clear of the runner up (won next time), who in turn was 2 1/2 lengths clear of the 3rd, so form looks pretty solid.

I think it’s also interesting that he was sent off favourite on debut ahead of High Definition, though he did get beaten by his stablemate. HD went on to win the Beresford Stakes (Group 2) and the 3rd horse has also won a Group 3.

There are no certainties, of course, so I have left it.

I did think about place betting on one of the bigger priced ones, Anner Castle and Brunello finished 4th and 6th respectively on debut at Tipperary, form of that race is not working out badly and with likely improvement it’s possible they could outrun their odds. This is a completely different level though, so I wouldn’t expect them to win but it’s possible one of them could finish in first 3 (prices to finish in first 3 are 2/1 & 7/2), but as I couldn’t choose between them and it’s not worth backing both, I decided to leave it.
The multiple bet I have done today is a shown below. Despite all of them being short prices, it is only a fun bet for a bit of interest. Whenever I do multiple bets, I don’t expect to get anything back so it’s only small stakes.

1:15 Newbury - The Gatekeeper (7/4)
2:05 Newmarket - Fancy Man (7/4)
2:25 Newbury - Al Aasy (1/1)
4:00 Bangor - Chives (13/8)
4:15 Navan - Wordsworth (4/6)

Win trebles (10) & e/w accumulator


F Frontrunner one of the aspects i find interesting about your MO is the wide variety of race type you work, and you have overtly explained your thinking behind this. I think i recall you saying your a long term record keeper of you past bets and just wondered if you have ever conducted an audit of profitability via race type and or any other occurrence...............my question was in part triggered by your above comment that this year you are swerving any odds on selections.