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'The Holy One'

End Of Blog

02 Feb 14 22:20
well once again today has left me feeling angry and frustrated. as i mentioned at the beginning of this blog, my betting is heavily based on ground conditions. today was the final straw for me. the going at musselburgh today as described this morning by the clerk of the course was soft following overnight rain. after watching the first race i immediately had concerns about that description given the time it was run in. according to some of the jockeys who rode in the first, a number of them described it as no worse than good to soft and nearer good than soft. despite this, the clerk failed to act on this and the official going remained as soft. following the second race which was run in a new course record, i felt sure the clerk would then change the ground. but no. in fact it remained soft all day according to the officials. i made my mind up to trade out of my bets, but once again i was unable to access my blog through my mobile in order to update it.

so with great regret, i feel i have no choice but to bring this to an end as it would be unfair on anyone following this, and to be honest, a waste of my own time, when people who are paid to do a job fail so miserably. this is not the first time that i have thought ground conditions are being falsely reported. in fact in my opinion this seems to be happening fairly regularly and therefore i am finding it increasingly difficult to give an accurate analysis of any race.

to anyone who has been following, thanks for taking the time to read and i wish you all the best of luck with your betting.
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Maximum Lay

02 Feb 14 10:51
the 3.00 at musselburgh is a novice chase over 2m4f but im not sure if it will quite live up to its race name of scottish future champions, as looking at the seven runners lining up for this, i think they look a bit below champion standard. the nicky henderson trained ericht has been put in around 9/4 favourite for this and i will certainly be laying this one to my maximum.

for me he has been very disappointing overall. his best effort in my opinion came at last years cheltenham festival when finishing 5th to medinas in the coral cup but his three efforts since have been way below that performance. when seen last, he ran a shocker at kemptons boxing day fixture finishing tailed off in a novices handicap chase behind loose chips. his previous run when 2nd to funny star, who reopposes here, was better and he does meet that rival on much better terms here. but it is interesting that it came on good ground and with overnight rain turning the ground soft, i'm not sure this is going to suit. i also think that funny star has improved since that race. his performance last time out when beating cape dutch at taunton looked very progressive and was possibly a good 10lbs better. this is far from a two horse race though and in fact there are a couple that i prefer to the two market leaders.

nicky hendersons other runner top of the range has a much better profile in my opinion. i thought he made a very promising start to his chase career when beating titchwood by just over a length at ascot and looks the type to improve for that run.

witness in court pulled up on his chase debut, but left that form well behind next time when making all the running to beat jet master by 8 lengths over 2m at this venue. that was undoubtedly a career best by donald mccain's 7-year-old and certainly better than anything ericht has shown so far.


so for me it's a maximum lay of ericht and as for who will win, well i think it's a toss up between witness in court and top of the range.

best of luck to anyone having a bet
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okay another place lay here on buckhorn tom trading at around 7/4 in the place market. really, if kayf moss is in the same form as last time then that one really should follow up here. the danger could be radmores revenge if he can put a couple of poor recent efforts behind him.
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Maximum Lay

01 Feb 14 14:23
not a great start to the day for me but hoping it will improve with the 2.40 ffos las. here i am hoping to lay bob ford to my maximum in the place market where he currently around 5/2. too short of time for analysis but i did post on someone else's thread about the reasons why i would lay him. personally i think the two that catch my eye are mountainous and flying award though i would not be surprised if de la bech and ringa bay got involved if they were near their best.

best of luck to anyone playing this race
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Sweet On Toby Lerone

01 Feb 14 00:24
well i'm keeping my fingers well and truly crossed that tomorrows racing survives this current onslaught of bad weather and in particular i'm hoping sandowns chase card beats the elements. although there are some really interesting races throughout the day, the 1.15 at the esher track is my main focus of attention.

saroque appears to have been installed the favourite for this 2m4f nice handicap chase at around 3/1, at least that is what he currently is. trained by venetia williams, this 7-year-old made a bright start over fences when finishing second to cruising bye over 2m5f at ffos las. it was no real surprise to see him win next time out, when beating glen countess at newbury but i would have to say i didn't think he really improved much in winning that day. based on that performance, i actually layed saroque last time out when he could manage only 3rd at plumpton behind no butts. to me he actually folded quite quickly that day and overall, that performance was way below his two previous efforts. it may be that the handicapper has caught up with him for now, but whatever the reason, he has to step up markedly on that to win here.

two horses stand out to me in this race and the one who is carrying my money is toby lerone. trained by dan skelton, i did manage to get a little money on at 4/1 earlier in the evening and will go in again at the best possible odds at some point tomorrow. according to comments in the racing post, they seem to suggest that he under performed last time out when finishing fourth to king edmund at kempton. i dont think he ran badly at all, in fact having looked at some of sectional timings of the race i think that performance is better than anything saroque has achieved over fences. however, he has ran better than that, most notably when making all the running to beat howards legacy at lingfield. if he was to repeat that effort, then i think he wins this.

of course it is going to be very interesting tactically as both saroque and toby lerone like to make the running. so it does open up the possibility that they may cut each others throats so to speak. if that happens then one who could take advantage is the unexposed but frustrating pistol. philip hobbs must be left scratching his head a little with this one as he certainly has talent, as he showed when winning a couple of hurdle races at newbury and sandown. he has only had two runs over fences to date and in both, made bad mistakes at important times. if he can get his act together, then off a mark of 124, he could go well.

so for me it has to be a lay of saroque. i would have thought he would trade shorter in running if employing his front running tactics though i will be happy enough to lay at around 3/1.

as i mentioned i have backed toby lerone at 4/1 and will try to back again at the best possible odds.



best of luck to anyone having a bet
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Proud Times Ahead

31 Jan 14 13:36
bit of a weather watch today which is a real shame as there are a few races at catterick today that i was planning on getting involved in. at the moment the ground is soft but very heavy rain is forecast this afternoon, to such an extent that the ground could quickly become very heavy. but as the conditions are currently dry, then here are my thoughts.

the 2.10 is a novices handicap chase over 2m and with just 5 runners set to go to post, it's a pretty tight betting market at the moment. two horses really stand out to me here. firstly, fitandproperjob trained by anthony middleton comes here on the back of a easy 10 length win at leicester 10 days ago. that was a race where i layed the runner up who actually ran much better than i anticipated. by my calculations, that was probably a career best performance from the winner and even though the racing post comments say he has a 7lb penalty, i think they are wrong as the win came in a conditionals event and therefore races off the same mark. a similar performance here gives him every chance of following up. strangely enough, he has looked a little weak in the betting over the past hour or so as support has come in for hotgrove boy.

the other one i really like here and will be carrying some of my money is proud times. at around 6/1, he makes a return to the larger obstacles here, having been in pretty good form over hurdles. if he was to translate some of that form to chasing today, most notably when winning at plumpton back in november, then he would go very close to winning this.

as i have mentioned, there has been support this morning for hotgrove boy who is one i would neither back or lay. yes he was in the process of running a much better race last time when falling at the third last on his chase debut, but for me that always leaves a question mark over what effect that will have had mentally. i also get the feeling he would be better suited by genuinely good ground. that remark also applies to easydoesit who makes his chase debut here having won comfortably over hurdles at doncaster 7 days ago. he is certainly well treated on that form, as he too can race off the same mark as that win. but its worth noting that it came on gd/sft and looking at his other better performances, they also came on ground which is not as testing as todays.

one horse i cannot have at all is blackwater king and i was hoping to get stuck into laying this one. unfortunately i have only managed to lay a small amount at the moment between 7/2 and 4/1 and i am hoping that he may come in for some support as i would not lay at any higher than 4/1. although he has only had two runs over fences, he has not impressed me at all and last time out when 4th to suprise vendor at bangor, i think that really was a dismal effort and nowhere near good enough to win this.


best of luck to anyone having a bet
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Nothing Bute About Uhlan

30 Jan 14 14:01
not too much time to give analysis on this race, but the 2.10 at wincanton is one of the more interesting races today. im personally taking on uhlan bute in the place market at around 9/4-5/2. although venetia williams runner scored at plumpton last time out, i dont think that race took a great deal of winning and in my opinion was certainly below the level of form of his previous run at leicester when finishing second. i certainly cant see him winning and there are a few with better credentials to push him out of the frame.

shantou magic ran his best race last time out in finishing fourth to captain cutter. this race is much easier and if he turned in a similar performance he would be hard to beat. a value bet could be alder mairi who although out of form, has not had this ground since winning a novice hurdle at this track back in february.

add to those the totally unexposed ainsi fideles and bravo bravo who loves this ground and i think it makes taking on uhlan bute in the place market worthwhile.

best of luck to anyone having a bet.
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there are often occasions when i see horses that i would like to lay but are just too big in the win market. when this occurs, i have three options. leave the race alone, consider laying more than one runner to reduce my liability or to lay in the place market.

the main problem i find with laying in the place market is that often, liquidity is not that great, especially at small meetings in the early part of the week, but it can still be quite profitable.

the 3.50 at ayr today is a 2m4f handicap hurdle and knight valiant is currently around 10/1 in the win market. however if you look at the place market on here, you will find that barbera butterworth's 11-year-old is trading at around 2/1 for a place. at first glance he appears to be in reasonable form and is slowly coming down the handicap, having been dropped a further pound after finishing 4th to hit the top at catterick. in my opinion that run was actually around 7lb below his previous run when 5th to cumbrian farmer, which again came at catterick. the key here i think is the ground. throughout this one's career, he has always struck me as a much better performer on genuinely good ground and in order to win this race today, he is going to need quite a few of these to run below par.

on current form and under todays conditions, i can find five runners who should finish in front of knight valiant. there has been quite a move this morning for w six times and she would certainly make my shortlist of possible winners as last time out i dont think she was put into the race until it was pretty much all over. having been as big as 12/1 overnight, she is now down to as low as 6/4 and therefore any value in that one has well and truly gone.

i think the value now lies with amethyst rose who is currently as big as 11/1 in a place. having won a class 5 handicap hurdle at hexham back in november, i actually thought she ran better than that last time out, when 4th to mr utah at kelso.

others in with a chance include the unpredictable northern acres, see the legend and even to some extent, the complete outsider mrs grass.

so in laying knight valiant in the place market, i am quite happy to lay at around 2/1 and would be prepared to lay up to as high as 11/4.

best of luck to anyone having a bet.
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Maximum Day Awaits

25 Jan 14 00:00
well today was a bit of a let down with final delivery being pulled out, but hopefully a big day in store saturday with some terrific racing at cheltenham.

im keeping my fingers crossed that the expected overnight rain does not amount to a great deal, and conditions stay exactly as they are now, with the going forecast to be soft. the first race i am interested in is the 1.50 which is a grade 3 handicap chase over 2m5f. here i have absolutely no hesitation in taking on the favourite double ross, who has been installed generally around 3/1. personally i have already layed at around 7/2 and would be prepared to lay at up to 4/1 though i am hoping to get fully matched at under that price, and i am looking to win £1000 from the lay.

trained by nigel twiston-davies, he appears to be coming here at the top of his game having beaten cedre bleau by just over 4 lengths in a similar event over course and distance last time out. however according to my calculations, double ross ran almost a stone below his previous effort, where again over course and distance, he defeated cantlow by 2 lengths. the handicapper has now raised him a further 8 pounds and i get the distinct impression that he is best suited by genuinely good ground, therefore my first impression was that he would be one to take on. of course there needs to be something that i think can beat him under these conditions, and when taking a closer look at the opposition, it didnt take me long to come to the conclusion to lay double ross to my maximum amount.

to say i am keen on the chances of shangani would be an understatement. last time out at kempton, he showed real signs of a return to form when finishing 3rd to king edmund. ideally suited by soft ground, the handicapper has dropped him a further pound and he has run very well at cheltenham in the past, when finishing 4th to rajdhani express at last years festival. if he is in the same form then odds of 7/1 look very good value to me and that is where my money will be going.

at these weights, i think even at his best, double ross has to improve another 8 pounds to win but i will be extremely surprised if he can do that on soft ground. even if shangani disappoints, there are others who could easily be competitive against double ross in the forecast conditions. they include our mick who although was beaten some way behind unioniste at aintree last time, tends to run well here and looks fairly well handicapped on his run when second to golden chieftain at last years festival. wishful thinking, who finished in front of our mick at aintree, is the class horse of the race and did in fact win it back in 2011. i think his effort last time definitely showed signs of a return to form and despite top weight, it would be fooloish to rule him out.

i could actually go on and on as in finishing second to double ross last time out, cedre bleu did improve on his recent efforts, though i think it still fell way short of what he has been capable of in the past. Anyway i think i have said enough about the 1.50 and time to move on to another max bet race.

in the argento chase at 2.25, i am keen on taking on the likely second favourite houblon des obeaux. currently a best priced 7/2, i would be happy to lay at those odds given the opposition that waits. at first glance venetia williams 7-year-old would appear to be coming into this race in decent form having won a listed handicap chase at ascot just before christmas, beating cedre bleu by a neck. i would have to question the value of that form though as watching the final part of that race again, the paul nicholls runner looked much more likely to win going to the last, but looked as though he didn't put it all in and was eventually out-battled. In fact again looking at the form in general, i think it was way below what he achieved in some of his novice chases. If you take the form of the hennessey literally, then houblon des obeaux, who finished 6th, has a massive task against the runner up that day, rocky creek, as he is only 2 pounds better off for a distance of over 15 lengths. in laying houblon des obeaux, i will be looking to win £450 and as i mentioned earlier, i am quite happy to lay at 7/2 and if he drifts again i would lay to a max price of 9/2.

Apart from having to overturn a huge deficit with rocky creek, i think there could be a real value bet here too. although thrashed by captain chris when runner-up at kempton last time out, i was not particularly disappointed by the run of champion court, reason being i think he hates that track. cheltenham on the other hand is much more to his liking, having won 3 times here including his last win where he beat menorah by 3 parts of a length. if he was to repeat that kind of performance here then he would be very hard to beat.

so just to add that the above analysis is based on the going being soft. if the ground should turn heavy then i will be trading out of my bets.

best of luck to anyone having a bet
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'Tilt'

24 Jan 14 00:48
there are not many worse things when it comes to betting than watching a horse you had backed heading towards the line in front, only to be collared in the shadow of the post, or laying a horse that for most of the race looked held, only for it to stay on gamely and snatch victory on the line. one thing that is worse is when both things happen in the same race. for many people it can prove too much and i have seen many cases where punters lose their composure and, as in poker, go on tilt. it's easily done, i should know as i have been there myself in my early days of betting. i found that the best thing to do when a result goes against you is to just turn everything off, go and get some fresh air and have a coffee or something. take the dog for a walk maybe.

watching the replay of todays race was just as agonising as first time around. several times during the race i thought time to think was beaten and having backed have you seen me at 9/2, i thought a decent payday looked assured. yesterday i thought given a few more strides that smokethatthunders would have won to land a 10/1 bet and today the line just couldn't come soon enough. but thats the way things go sometimes and for anyone involved in betting, you have to learn to take the rough with the smooth. in my early days of laying, i would probably have smashed into the next few races in order to chase my losses and it took me a short while to realise that i didn't have to do that. as long as you use good bankroll management and have a decent strike rate, losses are not too difficult to overcome.

for tomorrow i fully expect to recoup some of those losses in the first at wolverhampton. final delivery, trained by jim boyle has been put in around 3/1-7/2 favourite for this handicap over 9 furlongs. i simply cannot have this one at all and i have started laying early here at around that price. i would be prepared to go as high as 9/2 but hopefully i will get fully matched at lower odds than that. for this race i will be looking to win around £600 for the lay.

why do i think he will lose? well first the positives. he has run pretty well at this track in he past, winning 3 low grade races. he would appear to be fairly handicapped, running off a mark 4 pounds lower than his last win. i notice the racing post and others suggest he ran a much better race last time out when 4th to whitby jet at lingfield. that is where i have to disagree. apart from looking reluctant to put it all in, my sectional timings of that race compared to when he finished 8th to lady lunchalot 3 starts back are very similar and if anything, i would say he has run a couple of pounds below it. comparing the form to his best efforts at wolverhampton, i would say his last run could be as much as 12 pounds below that form.

unless he steps up dramatically here, i really am struggling to see him winning. there are a whole host of runners here who could finish in front of him if anywhere near their best.

a couple worth mentioning are general tufto who at around 12/1 is more than capable at this level whilst at 20/1 the bay tigress has run better than her finishing positions may suggest and is still lightly raced and is also interesting in a first time hood.

so best of luck to anyone having a bet
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