Hasta la vista, dear reader, for today I've got the Betting Terminator review! And I'll also be previewing the Triumph Hurdle...
First up is a review of the much-hyped Betting Terminator betting system. It's a simple system for backing horses, both flat and jumps, both here and in Ireland. Costing Â£57, there are just three rules housed in a whopping 115 page manual(!)
To be fair, after the usual bluster about how to understand odds, etc., the system is presented on pages 18 and 19; the staking plan (such as it is - common sense really) is on page 20; and the remainder is given over to the results since 2003.
Again, in the name of fairness, the results I checked were accurate, and do seem to be quite consistent at around 20% a year, and an average of 80-100 points a season at SP.
But... but... BUT...!
I've just sat through the longest eighteen minutes of my life! You see, the normal sales page that was there when I bought this earlier has been replaced by... a video... with no 'fast forward' control (in fact, no controls at all!)
Personally, I think that 'experiment' - if that's what it is - is tantamount to commercial suicide, but it might work very well for them. Probably not, but it might.
But that's not all. There also appear to be a series of inaccuracies in what is - without question - the most nauseating, over-hyped, bullsh*t sales video I've ever had the misfortune to sit through.
If you manage to get through the full eighteen minutes, they should give you the bloody system for free!
All that said, the rules are straightforward, and the system might just continue to perform. I'm tracking it for a month over at horse-racing.ie to see how it goes. Click here to track its progress: Betting Terminator review. My advice is DO NOT buy this before you've seen the trial over the next three or four weeks. It won't sell out (that's just more flannel), so wait a while before taking the plunge.
If you feel the urge to flex your plastic today, have a think about my Horse Racing Experts package. It's ten quid cheaper than the Terminator, and about a hundred times better value (although there are less Uzi's!). If it's not sold out again, you'll find it here...
Now then, back to what I'd previously planned for today. A preview of the Triumph Hurdle, the big 4yo novice race at the Festival. The trends are no better than reasonable, but I still think I've found a live one... (don't I always?!)
First up, seven of the last nine (remember that in 2001 there was no Festival, due to mad sheep disease) Triumph winners won last time out, and the other two were second. Of course, a fair few of the key protagonists will run again between now and the Festival so this is a precarious stat to employ, to say the least.
More robust is that eight out of the nine had won before the end of January, and - notably - only Katchit had won above Class 3 company prior to end January. Put another way, it's normally a horse with scope for improvement, rather than a ready-proven beast that, erm, triumphs in the Triumph.
The last five winners of the race were 9/1 or shorter, and all nine were 20/1 or shorter, so don't be looking for a huge shock.
All nine had between two and six runs and, again quite interesting, is the fact that five of the last six winners had just two or three runs prior to March.
Finally, the last SEVEN winners were trained in the UK. Given the annual proximity of a number of Irish horses to the top of the market, this might be a great eliminator stat. (As usual, I'm not saying an Irish horse can't win. Rather, I'm highlighting that usually they're a little behind the best of the Brits - or they tend to run their best as 5yo's in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle).
So what does this mean in the context of the ante-post market? Let's take a look:
|Odds||Horse||Best to End Jan||OR||Trained?|
|7.5||Mille Chief||1st Cl3 Nov H, Kem||-||UK|
|10||Pistolet Noir||1st G2 Nov H, CD||-||UK|
|12||Secant Star||1st 4yo Mdn Hdl, Gowr.||-||Ire|
|14||Alaivan||2nd G2, Leopardstown||-||Ire|
|14||Carlito Brigante||1st G2, Leopardstown||-||Ire|
|16||Royal Mix||1st Cl3 Nov H, Newb||-||UK|
|16||According||Not raced over hurdles||-||UK|
|20||Westlin Winds||1st Cl3 Nov H, Hereford||136||UK|
|25||Advisor||1st, Cl3 Nov H, Ascot||-||UK|
|25||Pittoni||1st G3 H, Punchestown||-||Ire|
|25||Notus De La Tour||1st 3yo H, Auteuil||122||UK|
|33||Cross Appeal||1st, G3 H, Fairyhouse||-||Ire|
|33||Barwell Bridge||1st, Cl4 Nov H, Ffos Las||-||UK|
|33||Sunwise||Not raced over hurdles||-||Ire?|
|33||Olofi||1st, Cl2 Nov H, CD||133||UK|
|7.5||Mille Chief||3||1st||Due to run in Adonis, making four seasonal runs|
|10||Pistolet Noir||2||1st||Changed stables to P Nicholls, due to run tomorrow at Cheltenham|
|12||Secant Star||2||1st||Considered to be a chaser in the making - hurdling a bonus|
|14||Alaivan||2||2nd||Jockey felt they went too fast lto - what about Triumph?!|
|14||Carlito Brigante||3||1st||Wants better ground, which he'll get at Chelt'|
|16||According||0||-||Unraced, bought from France (stayer on flat)|
|20||Westlin Winds||3||2nd||Entered tomorrow at Chelt, which would be 4th run|
|25||Advisor||2||1st||Goes straight to Triumph now, big chance (Zaynar won Ascot race last year, Binocular in 2008)|
|25||Pittoni||2||1st||Entered next weekend at Leopardstown|
|25||Notus De La Tour||5||1st||Not top class in France, looks limited|
|33||Cross Appeal||3||4th||Entered next weekend at Leopardstown|
|33||Barwell Bridge||2||2nd||Behind Advisor at Ascot, runs at Donc today|
|33||Sunwise||0||-||Bought 135,000 Guineas from John Oxx for Highclere, trained by P Nicholls|
|33||Olofi||4||1st||Improving sort (never ran flat), could run well at big price|
As you might be able to see from the above, Mille Chief must be on the shortlist. Sure, he's not got amazing form in the book so far, but he ticks all the boxes, and will have his chance to prove his class at Kempton in the Adonis Hurdle in a few weeks time.
Further down the lists, and the one I'm really sweet on, is Paul Nicholls' Advisor. He's two from two, and will now head direct to the Triumph. The form of his win at Ascot last time may be as good as anything in this sphere. As Nicholls himself said after the race last weekend, "There have been no stars so far and I have one of the favourites in Pistolet Noir. Advisor has pleased me so much and he will not run again before Cheltenham.
Zaynar won this race which is a good pointer. I really like him. He jumps, he travels and a better quality race will suit him better."
Indeed, not only did Zaynar win it last year, but Binocular won it the year before. And the fact that Advisor won at Newbury previously adds further lustre to his chance, in my opinion.
At around 16/1, he's a cracking each way bet for the stable that won this two years ago with Celestial Halo.
As a more speculative poke, one could do worse than have a tickle on Tom George's Olofi. He's had four runs already, but when you factor in the fact that he never raced on the flat, he might be the most inexperienced horse in the race. He's definitely still improving. Whether he's enough scope in the tank is a moot point, but there are certainly many worse 33/1 shots and he ought not to be too far away at the business end of the race.
So there you have it. It's a little tricky to project how this might go, with a number of these scheduled to have their most telling examinations between now and mid-March. One who is done with his prep and will be focused on the big day henceforth is Advisor, and he's my top Triumph tip.
Selection: Advisor (16/1, general)
Alternative: Mille Chief (15/2, sportingbet.com)
Speculative each way: Olofi (33/1, general)
Have a great weekend!
p.s. Did I mention that my Horse Racing Experts package might still be available?! 😉