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Contrarian Handicapping
good evening.
Not a great day here at York today so hoping for a better showing at Newmarket !
The second pick goes to Phoenix Flight who has close ties to Ermine Lodge having finished just behind him at Ascot. Another to come off a
two month break and having run just behind Ernine Lodge again on his last run. Despite his perceived bad draw his running style will help
give him time to hopefully work into a good position.A nod from Timeform also raises a few hopes.

PHOENIX FLIGHT 1 POINT E/W AT 80/1 (FIRST 4) (probably finsh 5th now :)
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Good afternoon.

I'm pretty sure I'll be adding another pick or two tomorrow but my first one at 16/1 the first 5 is the gutsy battler Ermyn Lodge who looks sure to give a good account of himself.
He fits plenty of stats and trends of previous winners and is really game at the finish and rarely goes down without a fight which is a good thing to have on your side in such a race.
His form figures more or less speak for themselves but of more interest
is that aside from his first ever run his form off a break of 60 days or more reads 1112 and tomorrow will be his first run for 63 days.
Ian Mongan, steps back aboard tomorrow and he clearly gets on very well with the horse. From stall 2 he could well get the run of the race and although not a trader myself he looks just the right type if thats your thing.With plenty of positives 16/1 looks a decent e/w price and the only negative is that I have picked him given recent efforts.

ERMYN LODGE 1 POINT E/W AT 16/1 (BOG THE FIRST FIVE) 
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York 3.05 three picks

07 Oct 11 12:41
Good afternoon.

Three picks for the one race today.

Riggins gets another chance to atone after a run down the field in the Cambridgeshire.

It's that time of year when you can get some funny results and Dubai Hills could be one of them after a recent run off a lengthy lay off.
his 3rd in the Lincoln off 95 reads pretty well and he arrives here fresher than most.

Harrison George runs off his last winning rating in a handicap over 8f and likes it here in general.

RIGGINS 1 POINT E/W AT 10/1

DUBAI HILLS 1 POINT E/W AT 50/1 

HARRISON GEORGE 1 POINT E/W AT 14/1

ALL BOG/ TOTAL STAKES 6 POINTS
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Good evening.

One from the notebook for Saturday and no rambling on about the selection ! A quiet Saturday here, off to enjoy the weather :)

Ascot 3.50 AL KHALEEJ 1 POINT E/W AT 20/1 (BOG)

TOTAL STAKES 2 POINTS.
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Good morning.

Just to show how old I am I can remember backing and watching Dallas win the Cambridgeshire back in 1986 for Luca Cumani !  I've managed to find the winner a few times since then so am hoping for some good runs this year.
There's a Cumani connection for two of the three picks as they are both trained by Ed Walker former assistant to Luca Cumani who is doing very well with his older horses this year.
Step forward Riggins and Red Gulch.

Ed Walkers website is very informative as to how all his runners are doing and he obviously speaks highly of both selections.

Riggins is probably one of the best handicapped runners in the field and the ground is very much in his favour as I feel is the course and distance. Nothing has really gone to plan for him this year and he has raced on ground that hasn't really suited but has still done resonably well. Everything looks more in his favour now although stall 22 is a ? but he is drawn close to a number of prominent racers which will help. You dont have to go back far to see he has a good chance. A 3rd on his first start last year over the C/D to Tartan Gigha the Cambridgeshire 2nd in 2009 reads really well as does his 2nd to Invisible Man in the Hunt Cup where he was unlucky not to have gone very close off 100.
Those two straight track big field handicap results are always a good thing to have in the book and on those he would have every chance.
Riggins then went on to give Ed Walker his first winner from his first start when dead heating with Fanunalter off a mark of 108 at Kempton which shows just how good he is. Off 98 tomorrow he looks to have a great e/w chance. Some will say that 7yr olds cant win this race but Riggins has ran just 15 times in total due to how fragile he is.
I feel he has a great chance and so does his trainer !

Red Gulch is improving rapidly since being stepped up to 8f and his ability to quicken off a strong pace is a major positive in this race. He carry's a 4lb penalty for winning the London Mile but he looks like he could be even better than his 100 mark as his turn of foot is quite something.This will be the first time at 9f but it looks like it wont be a problem as long as his jockey can keep hold of him as he travels very strongly in his races. There's quite a bit of pace around where he is drawn which I feel will help him settle into a good position.
If he gets the trip he looks a strong contender as well.

The stables older runners have done really well this year with 8 wins from 40 runs, six 2nd places and one 3rd along with four 4th's and show a +£51.67 profit to stake. Hopefully the Cambridgeshire will improve that even more !

Finally, one at 50/1 to make up a three pronged approach.
Nice Style looks a mighty big price to me as he has some very good pieces of form and somehow he has dropped to a mark of just 88 despite not running to badly on turf this year. Raul da Silva is booked taking off a handy 7lb which is a bonus. He had some good form in Ireland and is actually 2/2 at the distance.
He returned back off a lengthy break in 2010 with Jeremy Gask and put up some good performances on the A/W before running down the field in the Winer Derby.He's had just a handful of races on turf running ok and feel this trip in a big field could well suit him. He's not run for 56 days but that could well be in his favour as he runs very well off a break. At 50/1 I fel he's worth a go.

RIGGINS 1 POINT E/W AT 33/1 (BOG THE FIRST FIVE) (40/1 FIRST 4)

RED GULCH 1 POINT E/W AT 16/1 (BOG THE FIRST FIVE)

NICE STYLE 1 POINT E/W AT 50/1 (BOG THE FIRST FIVE)

TOTAL STAKES 6 POINTS and hoping it has been worth the long write up.
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Good morning.
Just an update on latest results/returns etc.

Citrus Star didn't run to badly back on the 9th at Doncaster where he finished 5th despite going to the left but Kuanyao ran poorly.
The Portland and Saturday were not great due to connection problems and seeing Man Of Action winning well without being able to post here was a bit annoying having selected him twice here and highlighting him as one to look out for :( The joys of the internet !

Saturdays selections for the Silver & Gold Cups at least produced a return with a running on 5th from Mass Rally at 33/1 to salvage the day.
Brave Prospector ran no race but High Standing did ok in 10th but not ok enough for a return.
Gallagher ran down the field but feel he is worth a second look next time.

TOTAL STAKES 14 POINTS

TOTAL RETURNS 8.83 POINTS MASS RALLY AT 33/1 (R4)

TOTAL LOSS -5.67 POINTS

OVERALL STAKES 319 POINTS

OVERALL RETURNS 289.53 POINTS

OVERALL LOSS -29.47 POINTS

2/3 SELECTIONS +27.03 POINTS

Mass Rally took races with 2 or 3 selections to +27.03 points
and returns there have now been made in 25 races from 49 races which is a decent return rate. There is still the small matter of getting the whole blog back into some profit though !
I soldier on.
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Good afternoon.

I'm sticking with two previously selected runners in Mass Rally and Gallagher.
Mass Rally is 33/1 and Fastha is 10/1 yet Mass Rally finished just behind Fastha in 6th at York on his first ever run at 6f which promised a lot as he's totally unexposed at the trip. The ground and more galloping course should be in his favour as well I feel and he looks well worth a go at 33/1. He looks to be an autumnal horse and seems to be improving at just the right time.He had some good bits of form last year notably a good 2nd to Excellent Guest the Bunbury Cup runner up. I feel 6f could well be his trip in a big field with a strong pace and with just a handful of runs this year comes here fresher than some and with room for improvement at the trip.

Gallagher has been out of sorts for ages and shown nothing for David Nicholls this year although he should now be fit enough after three runs. He's gone to Ruth Carr who does very well with this type of runner and although this is a very recent change of stable I'm going to take the risk at 40/1. Ground should be to his liking and the handicap mark has dropped to a very winnable one if there is still ability there.

MASS RALLY 1 POINT E/W AT 33/1 BOG THE FIRST FIVE

GALLAGHER 1 POINT E/W AT 40/1 BOG THE FIRST FIVE
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Good morning.

A great race to look forward to and the one to me who looks to have an outstanding chance at 33/1 the first 5 is High Standing or 40/1 the first 4.
Either I'm missing something or the odds compilers have got this one very wrong. His 6f form overall reads 111111340232010 (7/15).
Looking at his form OVER 5-6.5F on g/s or worse depending on whose going reports you follow it roughly reads 131(5F)2320 with wins at Group 3 level and placed at Group 1 level and arguably slightly unlucky not to have done even better. That 0 was of course in this years Wokingham off 109 carrying 9.10 but tommorow he will arrive running off 100 and carrying just 9.01.
He showed his wellbeing with a good 3rd over 7f at Goodwood at Group 3 level on his latest start in first time cheekpieces travelling really well and looking to be quite tight for room in the closing stages.
Perhaps it was a blessing he didn't win that race !
7f form has nearly always been important in this race with five of the last ten winners having won at that distance and three placing.
Obviously this big field will hold no problems being a former Wokingham winner and with Group form to go with it I feel he's been really overlooked at the prices. He fits plenty of trends/stats of recent winners and the stable are in incredible form of late.
There's not much not to like.

More of a speculative one is Brave Prospector at 40/1 the first 5 or 50/1 the first 4.
He is now with Richard Fahey and ran with promise for new connections at Hamilton keeping on well to Quest For Success and Colonel Mak.
He never got going in the Stewards Cup on quick ground but didn't do to badly over 7f at Goodwood last time. Sometimes you have to forgive a few runs leading up to this race and Brave Prospector is well enough handicapped to run a decent race and feel he could outrun his odds.

HIGH STANDING 1 POINT E/W AT 33/1 BOG THE FIRST 5

BRAVE PROSPECTOR 1 POINT E/W AT 40/1 BOG THE FIRST 5
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Good evening.

First selection here for Saturday but Lui Rei at 40/1 caught my eye as he has ran some very good races here since coming over off some high marks.
Tomorrow he's off 95 with a 3lb claim and with a very strong pace looking assured the race will be run to suit him.
Recently his form has tailed off a little after running some very good races and he has been given a break which may be the key.
His lifetime form over 5 to 8f from first time out to running off a break of 30 days + reads 12131010202243. Not bad.
Over 5 & 6f it reads 12132224(of 16)3
On good or a/w it reads 112243.
He's also won on g/f and feel he has an outstanding e/w chance tomorrow at 40/1 the first 5, in places. Off his lowest rating in this country and with the race looking likely to suit and his style of racing. The Portland seems to favour those coming from off the pace, feel he is well worth a  try at a huge price with good RPR's and Speed figures.

LUI REI 1 POINT E/W AT 40/1 (FIRST 5)   
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Doncaster 4.10 selections

09 Sep 11 11:58
Good morning.

The ground looks to be coming into favour for both selections.

Kuanyao was a selection at Ffos Las when well supported only to be pulled out late in the day due to the rain.
He showed he was on the way back on just his 3rd run of the year when a good 5th over 7f at Newbury and feel he could go well today. Apart from Below Zero there doesn't seem to be that much pace in the race and feel Kuanyao could get a nice lead from him in the next stall and hopefully be in the perfect position to strike. He's won over 6 & 7 so this inbetween distance should hold no problems at all.
He's running off 91 but his win at Newmarket last year reads very well with Swiss Cross and Excellent Guest behind him in 2nd and 4th.

Citrus Star is another who will welcome the quicker ground and he was a decent 6th in this race last year off a mark of 102. He's dropped down to 94 after a recent poor run at Goodwood. That day he tried to get the lead from the widest draw on g/s ground but was a spent force 2f out. On much more suitable ground today and probably a more patient ride he looks to have a much better chance.The stable are in very good form now after a very quiet year and feel he could well outrun his odds today.

KUANYAO 1 POINT E/W AT 14/1 (BOG)

CITRUS STAR 1 POINT E/W AT 22/1 (BOG)
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