David Bowie has been the chameleon rock star of the past 40 years, dear reader, reinventing himself with regular aplomb, and moving fast with the times ("Time may change me, but I can't trace time", Bowie mused).
And so it is that I give you a little forewarning that, over the next few weeks and months, there are changes afoot at geegeez. You see, I'm not currently happy with the quality of the posts that I'm presenting here, and I'm confident that there are other, better voices in our collective midst than mine.
I can't say too much more at this point, as I haven't worked out all the details. But what I can tell you is that:
a) racing system trials will continue (though not necessarily on this page)
b) I will likely post less often on the flotsam and jetsam of everyday racing, largely because I want to write more meaningful / considered offerings
c) I will still share my thoughts on big races, for those that are interested
Enough of that for now... more in due course.
You may have heard me mention earlier in the week that something very cool was happening next Monday. Well, it is! I'm still not allowed to share with you the details, but the Sherlocks / Maigrets / Columbos / Poirots amongst you should be able to do the maths from the web address...
It's at http://www.horseracing-giveaway.com/ ;o)
I received an email from Julia Feilden, my trainer, earlier in the week to tell me that she's relaunched her own website this week.
Julia is a very hard-working trainer who has a small and well-run yard at Exning, next to Newmarket. She keeps in regular contact with her owners - always lets me know directly when the horse is running, etc., even though I only have a twelfth of the beast!
And she's done brilliantly since taking out her license in 2000. She's had horses like Love's Design (my first interest), who won SEVEN races for us; Najaaba, who also won seven, including six in a season (and was nominated for All Weather horse of the year); Rapid City, who won three for us last season; Sand Repeal, another six time winner for Julia; King Flyer, who won four times in her stewardship (stewardessship?!); Pop Music, another four time winner; and Bushy Dell, who ran 2nd at 16/1 yesterday (and has been 2nd at 25/1), as well as winning three times, from just ten all weather starts.
With pretty limited means, Julia has made a name for herself, and often pops up with big priced winners. (In fact, her State General was 2nd at 66/1 on Wednesday; Night Orbit was also 2nd at 50/1 two weeks ago).
She has some shares in a couple of horses, including a share in Night Orbit, the same horse in which I own a slice.
If you'd like to get involved, or just want to have a poke around the site, you can find more information at www.juliafeildenracing.com
Tomorrow's racing includes an excellent card at Wetherby, where the jumping action is ratcheted up a notch. There are two Grade 2 races, including the Charlie Hall Chase.
First, let's take a look at the John Smith's West Yorkshire Hurdle, a race won last year by Black Jack Ketchum.
There are a couple of strong pointers for the race, as follows:
- 10/10 were aged 6-11 years (8/10 were between 6 and 9)
- 10/10 were 12/1 or shorter (8/10 6/1 or shorter)
- 9/10 were making their seasonal debuts
This narrows the field slightly to a quintet of horses: Lough Derg, Pettifour, Faasel, Hue and No Refuge.
Of these, Faasel finds it hard to win and was stuffed on debut last season; Pettifour is improving and won a Grade 1 last time out last season, but may just struggle in this more experienced company; No Refuge won a soft chase on his first run last season, but was well beaten in this race the year before; and, Lough Derg finished 3rd in this race last season on debut.
This leaves Hue, who ran an excellent 8th of 32 in the Cesarewitch at Newmarket, and won at this track last season on his first jumps run (again, fit from the flat).
I'm not sure what price he is, but he looks the interesting contender in the field, and might be good enough.
In the Charlie Hall, it may not be quite so easy to find a winner (assuming it was easy in the John Smith's!).
8/10 were aged 8-10
8/10 were 6/1 or shorter (the other two were 14/1 and 40/1)
Twiston-Davies, Howard Johnson and Paul Nicholls have all won this twice in the last ten years.
Having put a line through Turko and Monkerhostin (too young and too old respectively), this leaves five.
Love That Benny isn't good enough, and the obvious one from the remaining quartet is two time winner, Ollie Magern. He's 4 from 8 on the going and 5 from 12 at the distance. Tellingly, he's also 3 from 3 over course and distance.
Ollie then is the most likely winner for me. However, I think a horse definitely worth a second glance is binary runner, Hard Act To Follow.
I say binary, because of his eight starts, he's amassed four 1's and four P's in his form figures. His last three P's have come directly after horrendous howlers at fences. Obviously, if he does that tomorrow, he's likely to secure a fifth P.
However, Howard Johnson was responsible for the 40/1 winner Ballybough Rasher and, despite clear jumping doubts, this horse has the touch of class required in a race like this. At decent odds (assuming he is decent odds), he might be worth a small win bet. Note, do not bet him each way, as he is as likely to win as not to finish based on form figures.
Finally, don't forget the Fancy Fillies system trial is now over. I posted the review yesterday, which you can see directly below this post. To summarise, I've really enjoyed the system, and have added it to my personal betting portfolio.
If you'd like to know more, click here to go to the Fancy Fillies page.
Right, I'm off to Weymouth for a stag do now. We're all grown men so it should be a civilised affair... ahem!
Back Monday. In the meantime, wishing you a great weekend packed full of winners (or losers, if you're a layer!)