A Jockey Writes… Plus Conspiracy Updates

Another short Friday post, dear reader, to bring you the latest installment in young Ross Birkett's guest writing slot; plus I've got the cumulative results to date of the controversial Betfair Conspiracy system; and a couple of horses I'm looking forward to this weekend...

First up, let's get back to the Betfair Conspiracy system. Never in my three years blogging on systems have I encountered such a divisive mailbag on a subject, and - to be frank - I was a little surprised. Readers who have been bouncing their pupils from left to right and back again across Geegeez pages since its outset, wrote to me expressing dismay that I would favourably comment on what must be a scam system.

What I always try to do is see past the preposterous marketing, and take a view on a system itself. Note the word 'view', which means it's my opinion. Now I've been looking at systems critically for ten years, and as a paid affiliate for three, and I've seen literally well over a hundred. As such, I consider myself reasonably qualified to comment on the subject.

Again, that last statement doesn't make me infallible. Far from it. But I hope that it gives me some latitude to make what might appear to be the occasional controversial observation, especially when it is subsequently substantiated with data. Anyway, I'm wearing my soapbox out this week, so I'll retire it, at least until after the weekend, and get on with the show!

Yesterday's results are included in the below breakdown, which comes in two parts. As I mentioned in previous posts, I wouldn't be playing the very short priced selections, and I've made my cut-off point at 1.25. However, this is not a system rule, so I've included two sets of results: one with all selections; and one with just the horses at 1.25 or more. (5% commission has been deducted on all winning bets.)

1.25 or More:

Date Time Cse Selection Bet Pos BSP P/L Cum Total
23-Feb 15:30 Sou Banjaxed Girl £50.00 P 0.43 £20.43 £1,020.43
23-Feb 16:50 Tau Whizaar £51.02 P 0.94 £45.56 £1,065.99
24-Feb 14:45 Lin Fong's Alibi £53.30 P 0.41 £20.76 £1,086.75
24-Feb 18:00 Kem Brave Talk £54.34 U 0.28 -£54.34 £1,032.41
25-Feb 19:40 Kem Little Pete £51.62 P 0.64 £31.39 £1,063.79


Runs 5
Placed 4
Unplaced 1
Win % 80.00%
2nd % 20.00%
Av SP 0.54
Av win SP 0.605

All prices:

Date Time Cse Selection Bet Pos BSP P/L Cum Total
23-Feb 15:30 Sou Banjaxed Girl € 50.00 P 0.43 €20.43 €1,020.43
23-Feb 16:50 Tau Whizaar € 51.02 P 0.94 €45.56 €1,065.99
24-Feb 13:50 Lud Great Reason € 53.30 P 0.12 €6.08 €1,072.06
24-Feb 14:45 Lin Fong's Alibi € 53.60 P 0.41 €20.88 €1,092.94
24-Feb 15:55 Lin Handsome Cross € 54.65 P 0.1 €5.19 €1,098.13
24-Feb 18:00 Kem Brave Talk € 54.91 U 0.28 -€54.91 €1,043.23
25-Feb 14:00 Hun Chilli Rose € 52.16 U 0.24 -€52.16 €991.07
25-Feb 19:40 Kem Little Pete € 49.55 P 0.64 €30.13 €1,021.19


Runs 8
Placed 6
Unplaced 2
Placed % 75.00%
Unpla % 25.00%
Av SP 0.395
Av win SP 0.44


Obviously, it's still early days yet, and today I'm looking at the following races:

Warwick 2.40, 3.15, 5.25. A couple of these might end up being too short to play - according to my rule above - but we'll see on that. They will all be reported on the 'all in' sheet.

For those who have the system, I omitted the following for these reasons:

3.05 SOu Jockey
4.15 Sou Trip
2.10 War Jockey / Trainer
3.15 War YES
3.50 War No form
6.40 Wol NR
8.40 Wol Form

You can still get Betfair Conspiracy here.


Your first 30 days for just £1

Now it's Ross' turn to scribble, and as the hullabaloo dies down, before inevitably rising again, around AP McCoy's Denman tumble, our man has a somewhat controversial spin on things. (What?! More controversy? This site will be X-rated soon!)

Eyes down, look in, for another Birkett full house:

The saying goes that horseracing is 95% about the horse and 5% the jockey. This maybe true about your average one mile handicap stakes at Folkestone - all the little man on top has got to do is point his mount towards the winning post, whether the beast wants to be the first to get there is entirely up to them.

But what about over the sticks? There’s so much more to riding under National Hunt rules than on the flat - pace, jumping and reserving stamina to name just a few of the dilemmas that spin in a jump jockey’s mind during a race.

We all have our views on who is the best jockey around, Tony McCoy and Ruby Walsh would feature in quite a few of your lists, but do they contribute the same 5% as, say, a 7lb claimer having their first ride?

Indeed, the way Walsh gets some of his mounts to creep through races, stalking the pace and then pouncing at the death can get even the most shy racegoer singing ‘Ruby, Ruby, Ruby!’ from the stands.

Or is their contribution at times less than 5%? Do some jockeys just not suit some horses? Jamie Spencer on a front-runner springs to mind. What I’m getting at here is: is McCoy the man for Denman in the Gold Cup?

Anyone who saw the Irishman’s relentless, never-say-die performance on Wichita Lineman at last year’s festival will be in no doubt that he can give a horse a ride but not every animal needs the ears scrubbing off it for a circuit.

Lazy he may be but Harry Findlay’s gelding is a gentle giant - crack the whip and you’ll break his heart. Whether the stick is the best way to encourage him is debateable, the carrot may be a wiser incentive.

As we saw, the relationship didn’t get off to the best start in the Aon Chase at Newbury earlier in the month - after some atrocious mistakes the partnership was disjoined when Denman fell two out. To my eye, he was beaten already though.

I don’t think it’s a case of ‘The Tank’ not being the force of old - his Hennessy win this season was probably the finest our generation has ever seen in a handicap.
Why connections ever thought of taking Sam Thomas off the 2008 Gold Cup winner beats me. Was it spite? Just because Thomas left Paul Nicholls’ yard to work for Tom George, did they feel betrayed and got their own back by taking his best ride away from him?

Whatever the reason, it has cost them - Denman goes into the world’s toughest steeplechase with a question mark hanging over him. There will be no prisoners come Gold Cup day.

‘Can he beat Kauto Star?’ is what the Racing Post keep asking us.

On recent evidence, we need an answer to the more pointed question, ‘Can Denman even get round?’


Yikes! Contentious stuff indeed!

Lastly today, there's a couple of horses I'm looking forward to watching especially this weekend.

Firstly, in the Racing Post Chase, I'll be backing Nacarat to double up his victory last year by again seeing off his oppo. He's got 11-08 in a race that has favoured heavyweights in recent seasons, loves the track, and will love the ground. Not the biggest price, but he'll give us a run for the Saturday fish money.

And secondly, I'm taking a fancy to Ballyfoy at Newcastle in the Eider. He's a nine year old, on a hat-trick, loves soggy turf, stays all day, and has eleven stone.

Given that the last seven winners were eight to ten years old, carried eleven stone or more, and had winning form over three miles plus, he should run very well.

Good luck with your weekend wagers!


Date Time Bet Pos BSP P/L Cum Total
23-Feb € 50.00 P 0.43 €20.43 €1,020.43
23-Feb € 51.02 P 0.94 €45.56 €1,065.99
24-Feb € 53.30 P 0.12 €6.08 €1,072.06
24-Feb € 53.60 P 0.41 €20.88 €1,092.94
24-Feb € 54.65 P 0.1 €5.19 €1,098.13
24-Feb € 54.91 U 0.28 -€54.91 €1,043.23
25-Feb € 52.16 U 0.24 -€52.16 €991.07
25-Feb € 49.55 P 0.64 €30.13 €1,021.19
Your first 30 days for just £1
15 replies
  1. Peter says:

    AP is not presenting his horses at the fences as well as he used to and this further handicaps Denman. AP is still the best around for 90% of horses but Denman may just be in the other 10%.
    Don’t forget Sam went through a period of falling off around the time of moving stables, but looks the better option currently in my eyes.

  2. Gary Camplin says:

    I’ve always been in the Denman camp but my money wont be on this year with McCoy on board . Never rated him as a chase jockey even though I backed him on Witchita at Cheltenham last year , brilliant hurdle jockey .

  3. richard dymond says:

    I listened to Ruby walsh on the morning line the other week and I can’t help remembering what he said when asked if he had picked the right horse to ride in the Gold Cup.
    He stated” There was only a good jump between the two of them”,he also seemed pretty miffed that he wasn’t riding Denman in the Aon that day.
    If those words are true and the positive news coming out of the Nicolls yard is to be believed then Denman is way over priced at 7/2 and I have duly obliged, but then looking to lay it at a shorter price when the Denman and Kauto band wagon gets going in earnest.
    I would prefer Sam Thomas to ride but you can’t have everything.
    I agree with Nacarat and I have backed him EW earlier in the week,but don’t rule out Madison Du Berlais his last ride can be discounted as he doesn’t run his best at Cheltenham.

  4. IAN JOSEPHS says:

    Imagine you are the owner of a horse with a good chance in a competitive handicap.If you had the choice of booking for the ride either a promising 7lb apprentice or A P McCoy who would you choose?
    Does this question even need an answer?

  5. Brian says:

    I know this has been a website for pedants of late so in response to Gary’s comment. I’d just like to point out that McCoy’s strike rate over hurdles is 26.2% and in chases 26.11%. Not bad for an unrated chase jockey!

  6. Dave Nightingale says:

    I thought after the race that McCoy’s style didn’t suit this horse and put his failure down to the jockey. It’s now very interesting to see if this great jockey agrees that he needs to ride him differently in the Gold Cup. The price now is so good that I’ve backed him for a place but I worry about McCoy. Fingers crossed!

    • Matt Bisogno says:

      Excellent comments as ever, guys.

      Ian, your question of course does not need an answer. However, a question that might require response is, “If you had the choice of booking a jockey who has already won a Gold Cup on the same horse (Sam Thomas) or AP McCoy, who would you choose?”

      Brian, thanks for retaining the keen eye for the numbers! However, I feel dutibound to point out that 26.11% is still a lower strike rate than 26.2%! 😉


  7. William says:

    Well well well Ross, almost the same as i said, long before the race(ask your boss) McCoy is not the jockey for Denman and the connections will rue their mis-judgement on the matter come the Gold Cup day, he only looked beat at Newbury, because the jockey took fright when he saw how close a far inferior opponent was too him, but as someone else mentioned earlier, this horse doesn’t need his ears scrubbed off to pick up immediately, but lets see if they tell us how often the ”champ” goes down to school him, i’ll be surprised if it reaches double figures.

  8. colin says:

    Horses for courses, jockeys for horses.

    Mr Mccoys interview after the race was that when he saw the horse behind Denman was only 3 lengths behind he thought he had to do something.

    His “turning it on” actually turned it off.

    Denman clearly didnt feel it was necessary to do anything more – whether extra was needed or not I do not know, but if you want your horse treated well – dont use that jockey, if it is win at all costs and sod the poor horse, then you do.

    I am on Denmans side. I am good at what I do, as is Denman. Perhaps Denman is like me, upset the way I do things and I WILL NOT cooperate. Perhaps Denman is the same.

    And please dont write back that I am overstating the brain of a horse or whether we should care about its feelings.

    While MrM is champion jockey and has won 26% he has also lost 74%. I have not looked at his group win % . It would make interesting reading. In cricket, they talk of flat track bullies…….

  9. ron.goodall says:

    to matt
    ap McCoy isn’t champion jockey for nothing i know when he used to
    ride for martin pipe his way of riding upset the pc brigade but when
    my hard earned money is down on a horse ap will aways do for me
    regarding deman he was coming to the end of his tether in that race
    horses do have their of days they are not machines he could still win
    the gold cup with ap or another top jockey but i am a kauto star fan
    regards ron goodall

  10. john cutler says:

    Just a few words on the subject of jockeyship I do enjoy & rides horse,s but surely the ride he gave Menorah was out of the bottom drawer level which way the horse go forward one second the reigned back must have been thinking goning left/right next my opinon very very poor ride.
    Anyone got any thoughts on this?

  11. roddo says:

    Must be some top jockeys on this site.A.P.IS THE GREATEST JUMPS JOCKEY EVER and Denman can only benefit from him being on board.Would i sooner have Sam Thomas on board? your having a laugh.Denman will struggle to win the gold cup but the reason for his failure will have nothing to do with the jockey.
    Cheers Roddo

  12. colin says:

    Roddo – interesting comment.

    What is it that makes him the best ever?
    Number of wins
    Number of wins as %
    Prize money won?
    Or something else

    I would be interested in learning your criteria

    Yours in the interest of being educated


  13. Nick says:

    Despite A.P’s vast experience and success, I sensed that he felt immense pressure and expectation on the day. He was on a lose-lose situation.

    A win, “my gran could of sat on that”

    A loss, “bring back Sam”

    There does seem to be a way to ride Denman compared to Kauto Star, and if A.P rides him all the time, no doubt he’ll get to the bottom of him.

  14. millzee says:

    By taking sam thomas off denman they shot themselfs in the foot,i always say dont try to mend something that isent broken.I would never take a jockey off a horse he has the gold cup on.The best jump jockey i have ever seen is John Francome,pure class.

Comments are closed.