I cannot begin to tell you how quickly the last seven days has gone. I’ve not been quite 100% and have put that down to it simply being “that time of year”, and busy doesn’t begin to describe things at this end. For sure, I am looking forward to the Festive break, knowing that Boxing Day will be my busiest day of the year. We have no fewer than 10 meetings for me to work with and whilst you are all punting free for three days after Sunday, I will be here working on every single handicap being run on the 26th, hoping to get the layers to pay for your Christmas festivities. On Boxing Day itself I’ll be up at my usual time double checking everything, making sure all those horses holding double entries, have been assigned to their correct races and then sending out those bullets for you to fire.
We are now looking to get an entry in for Rosie’s Lady, the Post Racing Charity Horse, who may well be running at Doncaster on 29th December, if David can get her fit enough. They have been frozen in at Helmsley and only this week did they get a canter into her. I will be speaking to David over the next 24 hours to discuss our options but if she misses that one, it’ll be the second half of January before we will see another suitable race.
A heck of a lot has happened in the world of racing over the last seven days, that’s for sure. We saw the last ever meetings (probably), at both Hereford and Folkestone, we heard the news that both BIG BUCKS and AL FEROF suffered injury on the same day, that means they will both miss the rest of this season and, we also learned that DUBLIN FLYER has passed away. For those that never had the pleasure of watching the Tim Forster trained steeplechaser jump a fence, try to do so. He was a terrific jumper of a fence and anyone that saw Brendan Powell winning on him at Aintree (the old Topham trophy), under 12st, will never forget him.
I’m going to start my look back at the last week of racing by dismantling the form of the International Hurdle. For those even considering it will have a bearing on the Champion hurdle in March, I suggest you think again. Small field races run on ground barely raceable, mean absolutely nothing. Both myself and Sean Trivass both advised everyone reading that ZARKANDAR was the winner of that race and, in addition, my piece advised that the only danger was GRANDOUET (2nd) and that ROCK ON RUBY could not win (3rd). So, effectively the winner, exotics and a lay, in one race….if you read it the same way I had written it!
It will be 100% different in March. Off levels and with another run under his belt, I would expect the third placed horse to reverse that form with the winner. I don’t though, think we saw the winner of the Champion Hurdle in that race. I do though, think we may have seen it later in the afternoon. OSCAR WHISKY has the kind of profile I am looking for. A 20 furlong horse is my idea of the perfect Cheltenham two-miler. You need a combination of speed and stamina and this horse is blessed with it.
Last season I advised he had no chance of winning the stayers crown and not just because he was racing against the best staying hurdler I have ever seen but, that because he would obviously be ridden to win it, we could all safely play VOLER LA VEDETTE for the exotic. Job done that day and if they decide to go for the Champion Hurdle this time around, I’ll most certainly have him in my bets. He may again be directed to the Stayers (most likely), as BIG BUCKS is now sidelined, so any ante-post play will be put on ice until we know for sure, their plans.
Saturday had been a day when punting was very much on the back burner with regards Prestbury Park, due entirely to the state of the ground, described as “the worst they had ever encountered at Cheltenham”, by jockeys riding there on Friday. My own betting on that day centred around Doncaster and it was, therefore, a quiet one. However, Sunday saw all hell break loose and Post Racing members enjoyed a day of punting some, I know, will never forget. One in particular e-mailed me to say it was his best ever. This is what I posted on Facebook once racing had concluded:
“All I can do is say SAVE HEREFORD!….I have enjoyed an unbelievable day of punting…as has every single Post Racing member, one of whom has already thrown a £25 donation into the pot. This is how good things were today:
NO NO BINGO….+12 – WON 4/1
E STREET BOY….+8
ROUGE ET BLANC….-10
GO ON ARCH….-10
THREE TO DUTCH – DANEVA, NO NO BINGO, TROJAN SUN
20/80 – NO NO BINGO
EXOTICS – DANEVA. NO NO BINGO, TROJAN SUN
LAY – NONE
ADVICE – The last meeting to be run here, unless a benefactor pops his head above the parapets but it seems unlikely. Every race is well subscribed, I imagine a full house and a great day will be had by all. I hope us, too. NO NO BINGO is the highest rated horse having previously won on soft so let’s hope he gets us off to a flier.
QUEEN’S GROVE….+8 – WON 8/1 > 13/2
ONE MORE COOKIE….+8
LOVE OF TARA….-2
AM I BLUE….-12
MY VIKING BAY….-31
THREE TO DUTCH – EGRETTA ISLAND, QUEEN’S GROVE, LOVE OF TARA
20/80 – EGRETTA ISLAND
EXOTICS – EGRETTA ISLAND, QUEEN’S GROVE, LOVE OF TARA
LAY – NONE
ADVICE – The three chosen are three of only four in here with winning form on soft ground and, they sit in my top six rated. they’ll do for me. The other, in case you are wondering, is MY VIKING BAY.
UKRANIAN STAR….+14 – WON 13/2
DOUBLETOILNTROUBLE….+12 – 2ND 6/4
THREE TO DUTCH – UKRANIAN STAR, DOUBLETOILNTROUBLE, BACKFROMTHECONGO
20/80 – UKRANIAN STAR
EXOTICS – UKRANIAN STAR, DOUBLETOILNTROUBLE, BACKFROMCONGO
LAY – NONE
ADVICE – Putting faith in my figures totally here as my top four all have a tick in the going box.
SEYMOUR ERIC….+9 – WON 4/1
FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT….+6 – 2ND 5/2
HAZY DAWN….-5 – 4TH 6/1
JOKER OF THE PACK….-40
ADVICE – Not a single one of this lot has previously won on soft….only eight of the 15 runners has even tasted victory before. You either run up that October rules flag or, yo do as I do and just watch.
DUSKY BOB….+12 – WON 15/8
TWO TO DUTCH – DUSKY BOB, EVERAARD
20/80 – DUSKY BOB
EXOTICS – DUSKY BOB, EVERAARD
LAY – NONE
ADVICE – Simples…two have a + figure, let’s see if I’m right.
TIPSY DARA….-10 – WON 9/2
SHOAL BAY DREAMER….-19
MAN OF PRINCIPLES….-20
THREE TO DUTCH – SADDLE PACK, OIL BURNER, TIPSY DARA
20/80 – TIPSY DARA
EXOTICS – SADDLE PACK, OIL BURNER, TIPSY DARA
LAY – NONE
ADVICE – I’ll be staking low here all afternoon on account of the ground, which will be very testing, looking only for horses in my top six that have already produced a winning performance on heavy. Only TIPSY DARA of the entire field has that on it’s CV so gets that single play.
DO IT FOR DALKEY….-4
THREE TO DUTCH – REBEL SWING, ROYAL MACKINTOSH, OVERQUEST
20/80 – OVERQUEST
EXOTICS – REBEL SWING, ROYAL MACKINTOSH, OVERQUEST
LAY – NONE
ADVICE – My top rated needs to rediscover a bit of form, my second highest rated is a horse that is always best caught first time out and my third best has a going issue and my fourth best might well bounce. Has all the punting attraction of a Serie A football match. Low staking again, obviously.
GLEANN NA NDOCHAIS….-36
THREE TO DUTCH – KUSADASI, RUFF DIAMOND, NOWURHURLIN
20/80 – KUSADASI
EXOTICS – KUSADASI, RUFF DIAMOND, NOWURHURLIN
LAY – NONE
ADVICE – David Pipe has bunged a couple on a truck and sent them on a 650 mile round trip to run here on heavy. I would suggest POOLE MASTER is his most likely winner in the 3-00 but he must also have had a reason for sending my top rated here, too. I’ll play as described.
What a fantastic day of punting that was!!”
It was, too.
Monday was a day I personally swerved betting as the racing was dire but yesterday my advice to enjoy Catterick was heeded by many and again, we all banked some very decent profits.
The week ahead is very much in the lap of the Gods as the weather is going to be atrocious over the next two days. I believe I have the Ladbroke Hurdle winner sorted out in my head – BALDER SUCCES – but, what will my figures tell us on the day? That’s right up there with the $64k question at this point and everything will hinge on my having a guaranteed going description….not asking much then, am I!!
Four year olds have an awful record in the race – they have yet to win it – and if that trend is to continue then perhaps the horse we need to look very closely at is CASH AND GO. Currently trading 8/1 with many bookmakers he looks a banker to reverse form with OLOFI on 4lb better terms, a run behind him and a more suitable track to race on. The bookmakers have spotted this too though, hence the four point difference in the ante-post market. He looks a nailed on e.w. bet at that price to me, as soft/heavy ground wont bother him at all.
I’m going to finish this message by advising you put the name of a horse I’m expecting to win in January, in your notebooks.