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27th May 2024 3:34 am

“A difference of opinion is what makes horse racing and missionaries."

There are moments when tis wise to stay shtum

I don’t know about you gentle readers, but about every six weeks, the old fleas start to scratch and you know it’s time for the barber. In my case, the barber is a raven-haired and good-looking woman, who has an Arthurian name and she has cared for my hair, for at least the last five […]

Did Cheltenham week sound an alarm for you?

If I’m honest, the first couple of days of Cheltenham were spent in a state of bewilderment. Despite God and Government, we were alive although marooned, blamed, alone, vaccinated, yet still incapable of sharing a glass, and throughout it all, still watching some superb racing performances. Racing TV covered the races in a professional, engaging […]

Cheltenham Day 4

One of my readers, the one who doesn’t live in North Wales, sent a note to remind me that Beau Geste, who I mentioned yesterday, died at his post. He asked if I was, like Beau, considering doing the decent thing, should my Cheltenham failure continue. Trust me, Mr Scrote-Boggis of Pinworm Villas, everyone here […]

Cheltenham Day 3

With the sad inevitability of the unsinkable ship travelling at speed and an enormous stationary iceberg, I suspect my Cheltenham maybe gashed below the waterline. I tried to enthuse about Tiger Roll’s victory and Cheltenham five-timer, honestly. I was thrilled for Ms Blackmore, who isn’t a female but is a jockey. (Broadcaster please note). I […]

A weekend view of The Cheltenham Festival

The girl in the picture is Elvira, whom I have mentioned ante scriptor. She turned up rather suddenly, refused coffee, and then said nothing, but threw furious glances at my unlit fag. I tried to tell her that I thought her top, though lovely, was possibly too chilly for racing. She simply scowled. That is […]

At Last – Some Irish Craic

I am aware that many of the Trends in this section are negative, but I hope will allow the reader to avoid backing horses that probably won’t win unless The Baby Jesus gets involved. This stat however has a solid base and forms a good platform for further investigation. It has produced a profit on […]

Of Course you can – but not that Course and not here

This trend continues the theme of horses that are unlikely to win, based on their last race. In this case, they have had the misfortune of being unable or unwilling to have their final Cheltenham prep race other than at these tracks. Personally I think some of these tracks are delightful, but for whatever reason, […]

Stick to what you know.

As you might expect, when you’re digging in dark statistical corners, you occasionally unearth a shard of old pottery which makes you understand that the Trojans had possibly invented Toblerone. Thus it was that I uncovered this small gem, that suggests that Handicap Hurdlers do what they do best before the Festival, which is race […]

Something of the Arriviste about these

It’s happened to all of us at one time or another. You turn up somewhere you’ve been invited to and you’re wearing your best Waikiki Beach Surfing Shirt and a pair of shorts and flip-flops. You’ve bought a six-pack and a smile and the door opens on a scene of sophisticated elegance, as the besuited […]

You do actually get what the price suggests

Turning up at Cheltenham is no guarantee of success – and that even applies to the crowd, as I am reminded whenever I see the bookie’s children returning from another term at Harrow. I wondered about those horses who do turn up and more importantly where they came from. Supposing they weren’t fancied LTO, came […]

Don’t be handicapped by inexperience

Bizarrely you would think that taking 7lbs off a decent handicap hurdler, might give one a fighting chance with Honest Bob, bookie to the gentry. I hate to disillusion you, or indeed to remove the experiential crust from the plate of young Ignatius O’Hare, claiming jockey to Mr Jumps-Ditch. But here’s something to consider about […]

Give it a rest

As with so many of us, there are a finite number of miles on the clock and even the most elite of elite athletes will tell you, that they all have moments when a twinge or a creak tells them that moment has come. Is it the same with horses at the top end of […]

Show some form

FACT: Since 2003, there have been 92 Grade 1 Festival Races. 76 of those races were contested by horses that had completed their races but had NOT been first or second in BOTH their last two races. Recent horses that failed, included MIGHT BITE, PRESENTING PERCY, TORNADO FLYER, MENGLI KHAN, VOIX DU REVE and POLITOLOGUE […]

Older yes, Wiser perhaps, Winners hmmm

FACT: There have been 389 Class 1 races at the Festival, (Grade 1,2,3 and Listed) since 2003. 124 of those races have had 230 horses aged 11 and older compete in them and only 3 have won and 26 have been placed. The A/E is 0.29 and with a win percentage of only 1.3%, you’d […]

The best need a proper break

In many cases, there is nothing strange about many Festival statistics, but for some reason this made me double-check. With further thought, however, it makes perfect sense. FACT: Since 2003 there have been 219 G1 races at the Festival. 68 of those races, almost a third, have been contested by horses who have raced in […]

Flat Out – but not here

FACT: In 83 races since 2003, 103 horses have turned up, whose last prep race was on the Flat or All-weather. 7 of them were placed – but none of them won. Among those not understanding this absolute fact were WHISKEY SOUR the 2019 County Hurdle favourite at 5/1 and the 2018 favourite for the […]

Ignore Weak Ratings.

For the Lord sayeth that many are called, but few are chosen and at Cheltenham, the meek and those rated 112 or below will not inherit the earth. FACT: Since 2003, there have been a total of 438 races. In that time 59 races have had 139 runners in them, rated 112 or less. None […]

The Wellchild Cheltenham Gold Cup

22nd February 2021 Willie Mullins talking about AL BOUM PHOTO: I’ll give him a big bit of work this week. He’s in great shape. He worked well last week and he’s a big bit of work coming up this week. He’s uncomplicated, he’s very nice to train. I didn’t think when we were buying him […]

Daylesford Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle

18th Jan SKYACE (20/1) will head straight to the Festival. The ex-Mullins bumper cost just €600 at Tatts Ireland, having failed to win three bumpers for WM. She joined Shark Hanlon and has won four times including a G3 at Down Royal and a Listed race at Punchestown by 5l under a penalty.  The G3 […]

Marsh Novices’ Chase

28th Jan 2021 James Hill in Racing & Football Outlook has suggested an e/w punt on CHATHAM STREET LAD on the following interesting grounds. Compared to other Festival Hurdle winners transitioning to the Novice Chases,  ENVOI ALLEN’s collective races under rules winning margins are way lower than normal for a horse with his OR.  SHISKIN […]

Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle

15th Jan 2021 BARBADOS BUCK’S had a 10lb penalty for his two Southwell wins over brush hurdles and was rated 131, when arriving at the start of his Kempton 4l victory on 9th Jan. He beat a decent field by 4l earning a rise of 8lbs to 139. They’ll have to send him chasing soon […]

JCB Triumph Hurdle

27th Jan 2021 Fry is hoping he could provide the fourth successful female winner of the JCB Triumph Hurdle with FORTUNES MELODY. A Listed winner at Auteuil in September, she placed on her next three starts in Graded company for her former trainer David Cottin. She has yet to start for Fry. He said: “Fortunes […]

Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle

RACE TRENDS: The following profile would have found the last 10 winners and 14 of the possible 23 winners since 1998. Since that date, there have been 67 horses meeting the profile competing in 22 races and producing 14 winners and 17 places for a winning profit of £58.50 and e/w profit of £69.75. The […]

Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle

28th Jan 2021 Mouse Morris’ SAMS PROFILE won the G2 John Mulhern Galmoy Hurdle at Gowran Park, despite missing the whole of the last campaign through injury. Sent off at 8/1, jockey Philip Enright kept him held up at the back of the 10-runner field on his 3m debut and worked him gradually forward. When […]

Pertemps Network Final

11th February 2021 Hendo’s CHAMPAGNE PLATINUM may be aiming for this race, although at the time of writing he does need to qualify. Which was why I noticed he had a brace of hurdle entries that with his current mark of 138 would see him run here – possibly. His far-from fluent jumping at Newbury […]

Ballymore Hurdle

8th February 2021 GAILLARD DU MESNIL got things underway at Leopardstown’s Dublin Racing Festival,  with a brilliant performance in the opener. The five-year-old was cut into favourite with most bookmakers for the race. 8/1 before the race, he’s now a best price of 7/2 and 3/1 with a number of firms. Sent off 13/8 favourite […]

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