It's been almost a week since last I posted, dear reader, and there have been many horsey happenings in the interim. Today's post will bring you up to speed with that, as well as - for those who might be interested - my geographical whereabouts.
Firstly, cast your mind back to last Friday / Saturday and the heat and pomp of Santa Anita, where the Breeders Cup was once again demonstrating its prevalence as an end of season flat festival. It doesn't always attract the best animals from around the world, but there were many worthy champions over the two days, including Midday, Goldikova and Zenyatta.
Funnily enough, all three of those are fillies. The first named was a game winner for 'Sir' Henry Cecil; the second was a brilliant repeater for Freddie Head and Olivier Peslier; and the last named was an ultra-impressive winner of a sub-standard (in my opinion) Classic. But my, how she flew!
I learned a few things while I was there. Having had my worst betting day EVER on Saturday, these lessons are bought and paid for, and will not be forgotten in a hurry:
- Avoid A P O'Brien at the Breeders Cup. He doesn't use Lasix like pretty much every other trainer does (this drug seems to give horses a performance boost when used and, whatever your stance on the use of medication in racing, from a pure punting perspective, it's like conceding five lengths from the gate).
And he's had just four winners from over sixty runners in recents years, making him extremely expensive to follow.
Having not backed Man of Iron, but bet pretty much all the rest, I can tell you I'll be avoiding him next year.
- Avoid Johnny Murtagh. If you watch re-runs of the races, you'll see he tried to take every single horse up the inside rail. He always does. Watch the Yanks, and you'll see they win from all over the track. Murtagh is a top jock on British and Irish tracks, but he's totally one dimensional in the States, and they know it: they box him, worry his horses, and generally mess his chance up. He needs to help himself by watching a bit of American racing!
- Stick to these races if you want to back the Euros: Marathon (Yanks don't stay that far!); Turf, Mile, Filly and Mare Turf, Juvenile Turf, Juvenile Fillies Turf (we won't win all of these races, but the Euros are much better turf horses generally); Juvenile (despite being on the synthetic surface, our two year olds have more experience and stay better than the Yanks - this race also finds upset winners like Vale of York and Wilko in recent years).
Closer to home, and typical enough as I'm now out of the country, two of the Geegeez interest beasties ran this week.
Firstly, on Sunday at Market Rasen, Night Orbit was bidding to concede seven pounds in a novice hurdle, and beat off all bar 28/1 shot The Giant Bolster. That one had run two nice races prior to Sunday, and it wasn't the biggest surprise that he won. Disappointing though, and summed up my punting weekend.
Orbit will now be stepped up in trip again to somewhere between 2m6f and 3m, and we'll hope to outstay the rest (the Bolster had too much speed at the end of the race for our boy, who now has one win and FOUR runner up spots from his five hurdles runs).
The form looks solid enough though, meaning we have a nice hurdler to look forward to, I think.
Then last night, Geegeez Racing Club members watched our Baggsy run her second gallant race. Those of us who were at Newmarket a couple of weeks ago knew she was working well - she took Night Orbit and Obvious down (albeit at a favoured trip against Orbit and a significant fitness edge on Obvious) - and she continues to please in decent maidens at Kempton.
Baggsy now needs one more run to get handicapped, and that will hopefully come in the next couple of weeks. It will be most interesting to see what the handicapper makes of our young'un, as she's very well related to winning all weather horses.
There are still a couple of shares left but a number of them have been snapped up in the last few weeks (I haven't had a chance to update the Club page figure), so if you might be interested in following Baggsy's progress between now and next July as a part-owner and contributing to a charitable cause as well, check out the Club page.
Lastly on the geegees front, a quick update on the 'chase outsiders' system I gave away about three weeks back. As I had mentioned, the strike rate is low (around 10%), but as a fun system it's hard to crab.
After finding the big 33/1 winner at Ascot at the end of October, it has also picked out 16/1 Kelso winner Justwhateverulike (paid 23 for Betfair SP), and 6/1 Carlisle winner Treehouse (paid 8.83 Betfair SP). The system is good until the end of November, and definitely worth a check.
If you missed it before, you can download it from http://www.horseracingexperts.co.uk/downloads/system.pdf
(to save it locally, right click the link above and select 'Save as' or 'Save target as').
Now then, I've been drowning my punting sorrows in a bit of a travelfest Stateside. So far, I've had three internal domestic flights, and the last of them actually brought my bag along too! (Yes folks, I've already had two lost baggage claims...).
My trip to date saw me spend three days in San Diego, doing a reconnaisance as this is where I'll be based for five weeks from the end of November.
Then it was up to Pasadena for the Breeders Cup (three days there); then Venice Beach for three days; and now I'm in cool but sunny San Francisco until tomorrow.
Thereafter I'll be headed to Napa Valley for some wine-glugging with the missus; then Yosemite National Park; then we'll be road tripping down the Pacific Coast Highway, before arriving in San Diego on 25th November, just prior to Thanksgiving on 26th (a B-I-G deal over here!).
I've butchered a little map below to illustrate where I've been...
Finally, some Thursday fun. Seeing as I'm in US, how about that awesome car chase from The French Connection (even though that was based in New York, some 2,500 miles away, the cab drivers here drive like this!)?
Have a nice day!