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Scottish Grand National 2010 Preview

The Scottish National is the last of National roadshow, dear reader, and with winners at 33/1 and 66/1 in the last four years, it's proven a thorny challenge for punters. Or has it?

As with many of the extreme distance races, there are some key trends to support our search for the winner in Saturday's big race.

First of all, scratch any horse running here having taken in last weekend’s Aintree Grand National. Even if you’re on a horse that fell early on at Liverpool, history says that expecting a bolder show at Ayr is unwise.

Ignore any Irish-trained runners, as they have an atrocious record in the race.

From an age perspective, Willsford was the only twelve year old-plus winner since the race has been run at Ayr from 1966, and Earth Summit was the only six year old winner back in 1994. Eight to ten year olds have the best record in recent seasons, with eleven of the last thirteen winners being from that age group.

A recent good run is material here, as seven of the last ten winners had finished in the first three last time out (including 66/1 chance, Iris De Balme), and all ten completed last time and finished in the first six.

It’s best, as always, to focus on well-handicapped horses, and here that typically means those rated between 125 and 145, a band which incorporated eight of the last ten winners.

And, again in common with other ‘National’ races, jumping ability is a prerequisite. Only one of the last ten winners of this race had parted company with its jockey more than once previously (either fell or unseated rider), so we must side with proven fencers.

It ought also to go without saying that we are looking for a horse with demonstrable stamina for a race that covers fully four miles. Nine of the last ten winners had won over at least three miles, and the exception – Joes Edge – had finished second over 3m1f. Discount doubtful stayers.

That leaves a shortlist of just three, who are last year’s fast-finishing runner up, Gone To Lunch; Auroras Encore; and, Merigo.

Gone To Lunch (12/1 general) obviously proved he has all the components required to win this race, when just failing to collar Hello Bud in a pulsating finish last year.

Auroras Encore (33/1 general) also showed a liking for the track and ground, when winning at the meeting over 3m1f last year, and is clearly a Spring horse.

Merigo (25/1 general) has stamina in abundance and, strangely enough, also won at the meeting in 2008.

That has to be more than merely coincidence, and I’m siding confidently with this trio against the field.

********

On a completely separate note, I've had quite a few people asking me whether Bet Catalyst's excellent 27.77777777777% discount offer is actually for a year's subscription as I stated.

Now I know it's commonplace in this world we live in for skulduggery to be afoot, but of course I wouldn't pull such a fast one! And nor would Richard, who runs the Bet Catalyst service.

So yes, the PayPal button says to end 2010, and yes that is an error. I can categorically assure you that the deal is for a year's subscription, i.e. up to mid-April 2011.

If you were unsure about that, sorry for the confusion (my fault, actually).

The link to grab this offer is here:

http://www.geegeez.co.uk/go/betcatalyst.html

Your first 30 days for just £1

********

The flat season starts in earnest today, with the Craven meeting from Newmarket. There's also an intriguing card from Cheltenham and I'll be keeping an eye on draw biases at Beverley this afternoon.

John Gosden and David Elsworth are always trainers to note at HQ, and I'll be keeping on the right side of their runners today.

Fair Trade in the opener should go very close if fit first time up (a comment that is universally applicable at this time of year!); and High Twelve looks good in the valuable Timeform race (though don't discount stablemate Kona Coast, who can be forgiven two duck eggs on the sand which he palpably hated).

And one of my jockeys to look out for in 2010 could start with a winner today. Ahmed Ajtebi, the former camel rider, is a very good judge of pace, and looks primed to win some decent pots this year. He's riding for - I think - Godolphin's second trainer, Mahmood Al Zarooni, this afternoon, and both of those will be names to look out for as the season progresses.

If the rumours from last year (that Michael Dickinson had been called in to train Saeed bin Suroor's Godolphin runners) are true, then Al Zarooni could be getting some decent ammo to fire this summer.

You heard it here first!

Over at Cheltenham, it might be a day for old favourites and old monkeys. Boychuk loves it there, and could roll back the years in the 2.45, though he's far from an 'all in' proposition...

And later on, in the 3.55, Voy Por Ustedes takes a marked drop in class. Whether he still retains the spirit for a scrap remains to be seen, but he's a better class than most of his fellow combatants in this affair, and is another who could revert to former glories at a track he loves.

Beverley used to be a place of rich sprint pickings, but last year was a dog's breakfast for the previously so reliable high draw bias. So it's a watching brief for now, though Master Macho has both a potentially good draw and the benefit of experience (so important in early season 2yo races) in the 2.35.

If high do appear favoured in the early races, then Fol Hollow (3.10) might reward each way support.

But pennies in pocket is really the sensible play at Bev today.

********

And finally, as Trevor McDoughnut used to say, that Cheltenham Bumper banged in another winner yesterday, as Dunraven Storm (14th in the big race) landed the odds (of evens, perversely) without too much of a 'to do'.

Keep looking out for those Cheltenham Bumper runners, as they keep on obliging!

Matt

But, as with many of the extreme distance races, there are some key trends to support our search for the winner.

First of all, scratch any horse running here having taken in last weekend’s Aintree Grand National. Even if you’re on a horse that fell early on in Liverpool, history says that expecting a bolder show at Ayr is unwise.

Ignore any Irish-trained runners, as they have an atrocious record in the race.

From an age perspective, Willsford was the only twelve year old-plus winner since the race has been run at Ayr from 1966, and Earth Summit was the only six year old winner back in 1994. Eight to ten year olds have the best record in recent seasons, with eleven of the last thirteen winners being from that age group.

A recent good run is material here, as seven of the last ten winners had finished in the first three last time out (including 66/1 chance, Iris De Balme), and all ten completed last time and finished in the first six.

It’s best, as always, to focus on well-handicapped horses, and here that typically means those rated between 125 and 145, a band which incorporated eight of the last ten winners.

And, again in common with other ‘National’ races, jumping ability is a pre-requisite. Only one of the last ten winners of this race had parted company with its jockey more than once previously (either fell or unseated rider), so we must side with proven fencers.

It ought also to go without saying that we are looking for a horse with demonstrable stamina for a race that covers fully four miles. Nine of the last ten winners had won over at least three miles, and the exception – Joes Edge – had finished second over 3m1f. Discount doubtful stayers.

That leaves a shortlist of just three, who are last year’s fast-finishing runner up, Gone To Lunch; Auroras Encore; and, Merigo.

Gone To Lunch obviously proved he has all the components required to win this race, when just failing to collar Hello Bud in a pulsating finish last year.

Auroras Encore also showed a liking for the track and ground, when winning at the meeting over 3m1f last year, and is clearly a Spring horse.

Merigo has stamina in abundance and, strangely enough, also won at the meeting in 2008.

That has to be more than merely coincidence, and I’m siding confidently with this trio against the field.

Bet Catalyst – Final Review

Overview

Bet Catalyst is a team of three people who advise bets on a number of sports, however their main focus is horse racing and that was our only focus during the period of the review. The cost of the annual Service is normally £180 per year but there is currently a special offer for Geegeez readers of £130 per year (click on the link if you have not already availed of this offer). Other subscription types are also available e.g. monthly.

As a paid up member of Bet Catalyst you will receive both their Racing Service (Premium bets, Ante-post advices & various publications) and Sports Service (covers a wide range of sports). All bets are sent by daily email by no later than 11.30am.

Service Claims

The service has been in operation since September 2009.  At the time we commenced our review (5th March 2010) the Service was showing a profit of  £4291.19 (to recommended stakes and prices).

Review Results

Single Selections Advised = 29

Winning Single Selections = 1 (16/1 at SP but advised at 40/1).

Placed (for specified E/W bets) = 3

Your first 30 days for just £1

Losing Single Selections = 25

Doubles & Trebles = 10

Strike Rate = 3.45% (Single bets only)

Total Staked = £2,250.00

Return = £1,962.75 (to SP and not the advised prices).

Overall Profit/Loss = - £287.25 (to SP and not the advised prices).

Summary

Whilst the Service, during the period of the review, did not have a high strike rate I personally don't believe that this is a relevant basis for judging this particular Service. Unlike other Services I have experienced you are not bombarded with a succession of low priced horses with no explanation. However, what you do receive are good priced selections with a detailed explanation of why that particular selection has been recommended. The Service is now showing a profit of £5,718.69 (to recommended stakes and prices) which is an increase of £1,400+ profit during the period of our review.

All results are publicly available for review on the Bet Catalyst website and you do not need to be a paying member to see them. The service has clearly experienced a lot more losing days than winning days but when the selections do win and/or place then the returns are quite handsome. During the review the lowest priced selection was 6/1 at SP whilst the highest priced was 100/1 at SP.

Personally this is a Service I would happily recommend and use.

Happy punting

John

Bet Catalyst Day 36 Update (Final day)

Day 36 Results – 9th April 2010

The following selections were advised today:

Aintree 15.45 - Unplaced - £30 E/w

Aintree 15.45 - Unplaced - £20 E/w

Loss on the day =  £100.00

Accumulated (Loss) = £287.25

Our review of Bet Catalyst has now ended and my review update will appear shortly.

Get Bet Catalyst here

Happy punting

John

Bet Catalyst Day 35 Update

Day 35 Results – 8th April 2010

The following selections were advised today:

Aintree 16.20 - Unplaced - £40 E/w

Aintree 17.30 - Unplaced - £30 E/w

Aintree 16.20 + Aintree 17.30 - £20 E/w double

Loss on the day =  £180.00

Accumulated (Loss) = £187.25

Get Bet Catalyst here

Happy punting

John

Bet Catalyst Day 34 Update

Apologies readers but as a consequence of a computer crash I have been off-line for a few days. The final day of the current Bet Catalyst review will be on Friday 9th April.

Day 34 Results – 7th April 2010

There were no selections advised today.

Accumulated (Loss) = £7.25

Get Bet Catalyst here

Happy punting

John

Bet Catalyst Day 33 Update

Day 33 Results – 6th April 2010

The following selection was advised today:

Fairyhouse 15.35 - Unplaced - £20 E/w

Loss on the day =  £40.00

Accumulated (Loss) = £7.25

Get Bet Catalyst here

Happy punting

John

Bet Catalyst Day 32 Update

Day 32 Results – 5th April 2010

The following selection was advised today:

Fairyhouse 16.05 - Placed - £30 E/w

Profit on the day =  £90.00

Accumulated (Profit) = £32.75

Note: the placed selection was 16/1 SP (advised at 22/1).

Get Bet Catalyst here

Happy punting

John

Bet Catalyst Day 31 Update

Day 31 Results – 4th April 2010

There were no selections advised today.

Accumulated (Loss) = £57.25

Get Bet Catalyst here

Happy punting

John

Bet Catalyst Day 30 Update

Day 30 Results – 3rd April 2010

The following selections were advised today:

Carlisle 14.50 - Unplaced - £40 E/w

Kempton 15.50 - Placed - £30 E/w

Carlisle 14:50 and Kempton 15.50 - £20 E/w double

Loss on the day =  £107.25

Accumulated (Loss) = £57.25

Note: the placed selection was 6/1 SP (advised at 9/1) and there was a Rule 4 5p deduction on all bets.

Get Bet Catalyst here

Happy punting

John

Bet Catalyst Day 29 Update

Day 29 Results – 2nd April 2010

As it was Good Friday with no UK racing, there were no selections advised today.

Accumulated (Profit) = £50.00

Get Bet Catalyst here

Happy punting

John


Bet Catalyst Day 28 Update

Day 28 Results – 1st April 2010

There were no selections advised today.

Accumulated (Profit) = £50.00

Get Bet Catalyst here

Happy punting

John


Bet Catalyst Day 27 Update

Day 27 Results – 31st March 2010

One selection advised today.

Hexham 15.10 - Unplaced - £30 E/w

Loss on the day =  £60.00

Accumulated (Profit) = £50.00

Note: the Bet Catalyst Service is currently showing a profit of £6,000+ to recommended stakes and prices since September 2009.

Get Bet Catalyst here

Happy punting

John


Bet Catalyst Day 26 Update

Day 26 Results – 30th March 2010

There were no selections advised today.

Accumulated (Profit) = £110.00

Get Bet Catalyst here

Happy punting

John


Bet Catalyst Day 25 Update

Day 25 Results – 29th March 2010

There were no selections advised today.

Accumulated (Profit) = £110.00

Get Bet Catalyst here

Happy punting

John


Bet Catalyst Day 24 Update

Day 24 Results – 28th March 2010

There were no selections advised today.

Accumulated (Profit) = £110.00

Get Bet Catalyst here

Happy punting

John