Wednesday's Result :

6.45 Chelmsford : Shaan @ 3/1 BOG 2nd at 7/4 (Tracked leader, ridden to lead entering final 2f, headed inside final furlong, kept on one pace).

Thursday's pick goes in the...

4.20 Chester

Before I post the daily selection, just a quick reminder of how I operate the service. Generally, I'll identify and share the selection in the evening before the following day's race and I then add a detailed write-up later on that night/next morning.

Those happy to take the early price on trust can do so, whilst some might prefer to wait for my reasoning. As I fit the early service in around my family life, I can't give an exact timing on the posts, so I suggest you follow us on Twitter and/or Facebook for instant notifications of a published pick.


Full Intention at 9/2 BOG.


This 2 yr old colt was unlucky to be caught on the line on debut at Kempton 24 days ago, but he's sure to come on for having had that run and the only negative I see about him is that he'll have to overcome a poor draw. That said, there's lots of inexperience inside him and he could well pounce early.

He's by Showcasing, whose progeny have done well for this relatively new "father" and to date, his offspring are 111/790 (14.1% SR) for 144.2pts (+18.3% ROI) in the 25 months since his first runner. With reference to this contest, those 790 runners are...

  • 73/443 (16.5% SR) for 163.3pts (+36.9% ROI) as 2 yr olds
  • 62/428 (14.5% SR) for 117.7pts (+27.5% ROI) as males
  • non-handicappers are 64/412 (15.5% SR) for 130.7pts (+31.7% ROI)
  • those priced at 8/1 and shorter are 96/400 (24% SR) for 67.7pts (+16.9% ROI)
  • in maidens : 45/296 (15.2% SR) for 103.9pts (+35.1% ROI)
  • in races shorter than 6f : 43/237 (18.1% SR) for 43.7pts (+18.5% ROI)
  • on good to soft ground : 17/95 (17.9% SR) for 20.5pts (+21.6% ROI)

In addition to the suitability of his bloodline for this race, he has the added benefit of the Richard Kingscote/Tom Dascombe combo and when Richard has ridden here at Chester for Tom over the last five seasons, they have combined for 20 winners from 129 (15.5% SR) for level stakes profits of 22.5pts at an ROI of 17.4% from blind backing and those numbers can be further refined in the context of this race, as follows...

  • male runners are 15/95 (15.8% SR) for 17.8pts (+18.7% ROI)
  • those sent off no bigger than 12/1 are 20/91 (22% SR) for 60.5pts (+66.5% ROI)
  • in non-hcps : 13/55 (23.6% SR) for 57.5pts (+104.5% ROI)
  • those returning from a break of just 11 to 25 days are 11/45 (24.4% SR) for 44.6pts (+99.1% ROI)
  • 2yr olds are 11/43 (25.6% SR) for 26.8pts (+62.4% ROI)
  • those racing over this 5f trip are 9/32 (28.1% SR) for 39.9pts (124.7% ROI)

I won't pretend I'm not a little concerned about the wide draw, but I do think we've been well compensated by the odds on offer, making this a risk worth taking in my book.

So the call is...a 1pt win bet on Full Intention at 9/2 BOG with either Hills or BetVictor, who had the standout prices at 6.25pm! To see what your bookie is offering, simply... here for the betting on the 4.20 Chester

Don't forget, we offer a full interactive racecard service every day!


Here is today's racecard...

Double Dutch

Double Dutch

Double Dutch, 26th September 2015

Friday started really well, as Gracious John led Point of Woods home by three lengths at Haydock to secure a 1-2 finish for Double Dutch followers. This gave us a 5/2 winner to take to race 2 and also rewarded those doing the exotics with an exacta that paid out at 11.4/1.

It was at precisely that point that things stopped going well for us, though.

Race 2 was a washout for us, I'm afraid and the best we could muster was a 7 lengths defeat back in fourth place for Evacusafe Lady. The market didn't like my other pick, Clara Schumann and she drifted out from my advised 5/1 to an SP of 11/1 and she justified the layers' confidence by trooping home 9th of 13, almost 13 lengths adrift.

Friday's results were as follows:

Gracious John : WON at 9/4 (adv 5/2)
Point of Woods : 2nd at 7/2 (adv 6/1)
The exacta paid £12.40 here.
Evacusafe Lady : 4th at 10/3 (adv 2/1)
Clara Schumann : 9th at 11/1 (adv 5/1)

Results to date:
683 winning selections from 2436 = 28.04%
217 winning bets in 632 days = 34.34%

Stakes: 1263.00pts
Returns: 1379.15pts
P/L : +116.15pts (+9.20% ROI)

Your first 30 days for just £1


We round the week off as follows...

3.05 Chester :

Good Contact ran consistently well in all four starts (2122) as a 2 yr old with his worst result being a defeat by a length and a quarter, but was disappointing in two runs earlier this season. A decision was then made to have him gelded and on his return from the operation he was a two lengths winner over today's course and distance a fortnight ago.

With just the three runs under his belt this year, he should be fresher than his rivals and should have plenty left in the tank. The good to soft ground didn't bother him a bit and the way he quickened late on was very impressive and I'm not convinced a 7lb rise in weights will be enough to stop him today. Former C&D winners fare well returning to Chester and at 5/2 BOG, Good Contact would have to be on the shortlist.

Hakka is another promising, consistent sort who commands respect here. He didn't race as a two year old, but has been in the first three home in each of his five starts (21312) and would probably have won last time out, but for being hampered. He's by Dansili out of a Group 1 winner, so his pedigree is impeccable and he has the benefit of being trained by Sir Michael Stoute...

...who has proven to be one of the more successful trainers at this quirky border venue. Not all horses are suited by the constant turning nature of this track, but some trainers are clearly set up better than others to deal with it and Sir Michael is 15/78 (19.2% SR) here since 2008 and 12/56 (21.4% SR) at 1m2f and beyond, suggesting a decent run from Hakka at around the 3/1 BOG mark.


6.45 Chelmsford :

Providing a 115 day lay off hasn't dulled Dynamo Walt's competitive edge, I'd expect another strong run from this 4yr old gelding today. Last seen winning back to back races over this course and distance in late May/early June, he now comes here seeking a C&D hat-trick to add to his increasingly impressive stats acquired to date.

He clearly prefers the A/W (6/25) to the turf (0/5) and he has won 6 of 22 A/W handicaps to date, of which he's 6/19 at this 5f trip, 5/17 on Polytrack, 5/11 when priced at 11/2 or shorter and 3 from 7 over course and distance.

Yes, he could have had a kinder draw and he could possibly have done without a 3lb weight rise, but the 2nd, 4th and 5th placed horses from his last run have all since won whilst he has been resting and if the form holds out, the currently available 6/1 BOG about Dynamo Walt could prove very generous indeed.

There is, of course, the possibility he'll be rusty and might fall victim to a strong pace, which would suit Doctor Sardonicus to the ground, as he loves to get on with things early doors. His trainer David Simcock is 7/25 in the last fortnight and 6/30 here at this track this year, whilst jockey Jamie Spencer has ridden 15 winners from 77 in the last month and has a 19.8% strike rate (58/293) on the Simcock horses since 2010.

Doctor Sardonicus has finished 133 this season, all over 6f on A/W (1st & 3rd here at Chelmsford) and having been caught late on in each of his last two runs, a drop back to 5f should be helpful in a bid to hold on today. It's possible he'll have needed a run last time out after a 12-week break and with a tendency to front run allied to his proven stamina, a bet at 7/2 BOG looks good.

For the benefit of brevity, I've purposefully not expanded on the stats I've based the selections upon, but I'm always happy to deal with queries via the comments box below.

4 x 0.5pt BOG doubles as follows:

Good Contact / Doctor Sardonicus @ 14.75/1 (5/2 & 7/2 : generally)
Good Contact / Dynamo Walt @ 23.5/1 (5/2 & 6/1 : Coral & Hills)
Hakka / Doctor Sardonicus @ 18.50/1 (10/3 & 7/2 : Bet365, Ladbrokes & Totesport)
Hakka / Dynamo Walt @ 29.33/1 (10/3 & 6/1 : Ladbrokes)

Double Dutch

Double Dutch

Double Dutch, 12th September 2015

Friday was a good day for us as we landed a third double in five days with two winners prevailing by a head apiece.

Gutaifan kicked things off but taking control with a furlong to run at Doncaster and was pretty comfortable, despite the margins looking tight and then 45 minutes later at Chester, Powderhorn got out quickly as I'd predicted and made all to win gamely.

Both winners attracted market support to the extent that our 12.5/1 BOG double only paid 9.31/1 at SP, giving us a reminder of the importance of taking the early BOG offerings. We got 34% above SP and that's money we don't want to leave on the table.

Friday's results were as follows:

Gutaifan : WON at 7/4 (adv 2/1)
Bear Cheek : 4th at 11/4 (adv 7/2)
Powderhorn : WON at 11/4 (adv 7/2)
Valko : 8th at 9/2 (adv 9/2)

Results to date:
669 winning selections from 2393 = 27.96%
212 winning bets in 620 days = 34.19%

Your first 30 days for just £1

Stakes: 1239.50pts
Returns: 1342.69pts
P/L : +103.19pts (+8.33% ROI)


Saturday is our last play of the week and I'll bow out with these...

3.25 Chester :

This Is For You makes his handicap debut here on a fairly lenient looking mark of 75 after a comfortable two length victory at Chepstow just over three weeks ago. He had to work to get a lead with a furlong to go, but once he hit the front, he found more and stayed on well, suggesting another 100 yards or so today won't be the reason for any possible defeat.

Since 2010, Andrew Balding's 2 to 5 yr old handicappers here at Chester are 23/79 (29.1% SR) for 55.8pts (70.6% ROI) with David Probert riding 10 winners from 35 (28.6% SR) of them, generating profits of 14.6pts (+41.8% ROI). This Is For You is currently priced at 5/2 BOG and of those 35 rides for David Probert, he's 8/14 (57.1% SR) for 16.7pts (+119.4% ROI) on horses priced at 4/1 and shorter.

I can only assume that Ejaazah is as long as 5/1 BOG, because she's conceding a whole stone to the favourite, but she has won on her only visit to this track when she stayed on well to land a 5f sprint by a couple of lengths, beating a couple of subsequent winners in the process. Her two runs since then have both been in Listed company where she has finished a respectable 2nd and 5th with this representing a major drop in class.

Richard Hannon's flat handicap debutants priced at 11/1 or shorter are 24/119 (20.2% SR) for 40.1pts (+33.7% ROI) and whilst I'm not a big fan of alleged draw bias, the shorter trips here at Chester do tend to favour those drawn low and since 2009 in 2yo handicap contests over 5 to 7 furlongs, stall 1 has won 13 of 33 races (39.4% SR) for profits of 54.5pts (+165.2% ROI) and is profitable irrespective of the number of runners.


6.25 Musselburgh :

Adele was a winner at Hamilton last time out 11 days ago after knocking on the door for a while in previous outings. She was doing all her best work in the closing stages, only hitting the front late on to win by half a length. Dhular Dhar was almost 7 lengths behind her that day, but that 13 yr old (yes, 13!) then stepped up in trip to today's course and distance to win here last Friday.

Joe Fanning has ridden 46 winners from 178 (25.8% SR) rides in handicaps for Mark Johnston here at Musselburgh over the last eight seasons, producing 71.8pts profit (+40.4% ROI) and having ridden Adele to victory last time out, has chosen her of the three Johnston runners in this race today. If the form from Hamilton works out and Joe has chosen correctly, then we're looking at a winner at 5/2 BOG.

I'd expect the biggest threat to come from Maxwell, who currently trades at around the 7/2 BOG mark and he comes here in good nick having won three of his five starts this year, only being beaten in a higher grade than today. He's 2 from 3 this year on good to firm ground, 2 from 3 going right handed and has won all three of races of 10 runners or less.

He has won his only effort at this Class 3 level and is Ralph Beckett's only runner at this track today. Regular readers of my "work" (how pretentious does that sound?) will know that I'm a Ralph Beckett fan (mainly because I can make money from him) and his runners throw up plenty of workable microsystems, but one of the simplest is to back horses that are his only runner at a track. Since the start of 2008, this angle has 249 winners from 1384 (18% SR) and 346.1pts profit at a very healthy ROI of 25%

For the benefit of brevity, I've purposefully not expanded on the stats I've based the selections upon, but I'm always happy to deal with queries via the comments box below.

4 x 0.5pt BOG doubles as follows:

This Is For You / Adele @ 11.25/1 (5/2 & 5/2 : BetVictor)
This Is For You / Maxwell @ 14.17/1 (5/2 & 10/3 : Bet365, Betfred, BetVictor & Totesport)
Ejaazah / Adele @ 18.25/1 (9/2 & 5/2 : Betfair Sports & Coral)
Ejaazah / Maxwell @ 23.75/1 (9/2 & 7/2 : Hills & Coral)

Double Dutch

Double Dutch

Double Dutch, 11th September 2015

For the fourth year in a row, USA acquitted himself well on the Laytown and had he not blown the start, he may well have won as opposed to the half length defeat he suffered.

He was making ground on the leader with every stride, but the line came too quickly and that run was as good as it got for us all day. Our other runner on the sand was a further 6.5 lengths further back, beating only one rival home, but all of this was immaterial anyway, because...

...I'd already bombed out at Epsom earlier, where all I could manage was 5th and 8th of 10 runners, beaten by 9L & 13L respectively on another of those days to forget.

Thursday's results were as follows:

Serenity Now : 5th at 9/2 (adv 5/1)
Royal History : 8th at 9/4 (adv 3/1)
USA : 2nd at 15/8 (adv 2/1)
Talented Kid : 5th at 9/4 (adv 2/1)

Results to date:
667 winning selections from 2389 = 27.92%
211 winning bets in 619 days = 34.09%

Your first 30 days for just £1

Stakes: 1237.50pts
Returns: 1335.94pts
P/L : +98.44pts (+7.95% ROI)


This is how I'm playing it on Friday....

1.55 Doncaster :

Where it's hard to see much further than the 2/1 BOG favourite Gutaifan who clearly sets the standard on form with a win in the Gr2 Prix Robert Papin and a runner-up finish over 6f in the Gr 1 Prix Morny, where he led until the final furlong and wasn't disgraced in losing to Shalaa. Favourite have a very good record (5 of the last 9 renewals) in this race and he looks to fit the profile of a winner here today.

In fact, according to Nick Hardman of the BIC, the winner of this race tends to have a profile of... a rating of 103+, running after a 16-30 day break, a winner at 5f, has run at 6f or further, has run 3 to 6 times this season and is trained by either Richard Hannon or Kevin Ryan. Gutaifan ticks all those boxes here.

The danger could well come from Bear Cheek, a 2yr old filly who is 2 from 2 so far, with both wins coming over this 5f trip, the latest being a comfortable victory in the Gr3 Curragh Stakes three weeks ago. The ground shouldn't be an issue and her 3lb allowance could play a big role here.

She's trained by Ger Lyons and is his only runner at the track today and with sole track entries, Ger is 24/100 for 61.9pts in the last three seasons and those runners, like Bear Cheek, who are his only runners anywhere on the day, are 23/88 (26.1% SR) for 71.1pts (+80.9% ROI) with this horse standing more than a fighting chance of extending that record by winning at 7/2 BOG (Coral).


2.40 Chester :

Powderhorn likes to get out quickly and will therefore be suited by being drawn in stall 2 today. He won well over this trip at Lingfield a month ago and was possibly unlucky to bump into a promising juvenile on his handicap debut last time out, when second to Hawkbill who was completing the middle leg of a hat trick of wins over 7f.

Franny Norton rides Powderhorn for Mark Johnston today and the pair are 24/107 (22.4% SR) for 97.7pts (+91.33% ROI) together here on the Roodee and their record with 2yr olds here at the sharper end of the market (9/2 and shorter) reads 9/21 (42.9% SR) for 7.6pts (+36.1% ROI), suggesting at least a run for our money at 7/2 BOG.

The challenge will hope fully come from Charlie Appleby's Valko, the yard is in good form (6/21 in the last week) and the horse was a winner last time out, when scoring over 6f at Kempton, but looking like today's longer trip would suit him better. He came from very wide and was staying on strongly at the end, suggesting plenty more to come.

Handicap/nursery debut for this one today and Charlie Appleby's handicap debutants priced at 8/1 or shorter have won 40 of their 136 (29.4% SR) races for 39.1pts with today's jockey Adam Kirby riding 5 winners from 13 (38.5% SR) for 8pts (+61.7% ROI) profit, making Valko of serious interest here at 9/2 BOG.

For the benefit of brevity, I've purposefully not expanded on the stats I've based the selections upon, but I'm always happy to deal with queries via the comments box below.

4 x 0.5pt BOG doubles as follows:

Gutaifan / Powderhorn @ 12.50/1 (2/1 & 7/2 : Betfair Sportsbook)
Gutaifan / Valko @ 14.13/1 (7/4 & 9/2 : Betway)
Bear Cheek / Powderhorn @ 19.25/1 (7/2 & 7/2 : BetVictor & Coral)
Bear Cheek / Valko @ 21.50/1 (7/2 & 4/1 : BetVictor & Coral)

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 11th July 2015

Shane Gray got Cyril out sharply (as you need to!) at Chester on Friday and hit the front well before the first bend and never saw another rival until after they completed a four length victory at an SP of 4/1, just slightly shorter than our advised 9/2.

The horse kept on giving every time he was asked for more and there's probably a better race in him yet.

Buoyed by Friday's success on the Roodee, we're staying put for Saturday's...

4.10 Chester :

A Class 4, 1m 6.5f handicap for 3 yr olds, where Mark Johnston's Chadic is priced at 9/4 BOG in his bid to land back to back wins.

Mark's record here at Chester since 2010 is decent enough with 45 winners from 284 (15.9% SR) producing 104.1pts (+36.7% ROI) of level stakes profits, with his longer distance runners making even more money.

Those running at trips beyond 1m2f are 23/149 (15.4% SR) for 109.3pts (+73.4% ROI), of which Joe Fanning has ridden 10 winners from 48 (20.8% SR) for 37pts profit at an ROI of 77%.

Chadic now steps up in trip after a facile win at Newcastle last time out, when he made all and stayed on well to win by 3.5 lengths with seemingly plenty in hand.

In support of his selection today, Mark Johnston's 3 yr old handicappers with less than 5 handicap runs to date stepped up in trip by 0.5f to 4f to run at trips of 1m1f and beyond are 68/280 (24.3% SR) for 55.8pts profit at an ROI of 20% since the start of the 2011 campaign, with a 4/19 (21% SR) for 4.6pts (+24.2% ROI) record here at Chester.

Mark's runners are flying a the moment and I'd not be too surprised if Chadic wasn't his (and ours!) latest winner at 9/4 BOG. I've got on with Bet365, but the same price is on offer with Betfred / Totesport, and you can see what everyone is giving by...

...clicking here for the betting on the 4.10 Chester

Don't forget, we offer a full interactive racecard service every day,

just click here for more details.


Here is today's racecard.

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 10th July 2015

I think I touched a raw nerve with some of you not quite used to my style of writing yesterday, when I suggested that you needed to be ready to sustain some losses.

Whilst myself and Matt are (quite rightly!) fiercely proud of our 28 to 29% strike rate ( ie 2-in-7), I was merely trying to manage your expectations, because to be quite frank (and I've said little/nothing about this until now), I was quite disappointed with some of the comments left / emails sent, just because we backed a couple of losers.

The recent purple patch of winners cannot and will not be sustained, it stands to reason that we're going to have losing runs, the most recent of which ended yesterday with a fine win for Jan Van Hoof in a tight finish. Delivered by David Nolan, he hit the front at just the right time in a race where the first four home were only separated by a neck or so.

The only negative was the 20p Rule 4 deduction we incurred, but even after that, our 2.66/1 returns were still almost 20% higher than taking the 9/4 SP. We now roll on to Friday and a trip to the Roodee for the...

9.15 Chester :

A Class 4, 1m 2.5f handicap for 3 yr olds, where I'm siding with Kevin Ryan's gelding Cyril, who can be backed at 9/2 BOG.

Since the start of the 2010 season, Kevin's record here on the Roodee is reasonable if not spectacular with 16 winners from 106 (15.1% SR) runners and 10.6pts (+10% ROI) of level stakes profits. And although we like a bit more meat on the bones than 10%, it's a good starting point and I've got seven (yes, 7!) different ways that you could back the Ryan runners and increase the ROI.

So, in decreasing sample size we have...

  1. Handicappers : 12/81 (14.8% SR) for 10.2pts (+12.6% ROI)
  2. Aged 2 to 4 : 14/75 (18.7% SR) for 26.8pts (+35.7% ROI)
  3. 6f to 11f : 12/67 (17.9% SR) for 14pts (+20.9% ROI)
  4. Classes 3 & 4 : 11/60 (18.3% SR) for 28.8pts (+48% ROI)
  5. July to September : 13/58 (22.4% SR) for 39pts (+67.3% ROI)
  6. Carrying 9-0 to 9-7 : 13/55 (23.6% SR) for 32.4pts (+58.8% ROI)
  7. 3/1 to 9/1 : 13/52 (25% SR) for 40.1pts (+77.1% ROI)

All of which are viable angles to aim at. Obviously you could make combinations of them in a host of ways, but with a slight relaxation of some of the categories' parameters, you could end up with the following set of criteria...

Kevin Ryan's Chester Class 3 & 4 handicappers aged 2 to 5 carrying 8-11 to 9-7 in the months of July to September over trips of 6f to 11f are 6/13 (46.2% SR) for 42.5pts (+326.9% ROI) profit, with those priced at 8/1 or shorter winning 5 of 7 (71.4$ SR) for 28.5pts (+406.8% ROI).

Kevin has five runners out on Friday, but with four of them going to York, this leaves Cyril as the sole representative on this track today, but Mr Ryan seems to do well with those solo travellers and since 2010 at tracks where he's had just one runner, he has managed to clock up 190 winners from 1101 (17.3% SR) runners, generating 735.6pts (+66.8% ROI) profit in the process.

On the Flat, those figures are 97/641 (15.1% SR) for 5832pts (+90.8% ROI), of which 2 to 4 yr olds are 87/545 (16% SR) for 605.9pts (+111.2% ROI). These younger horses are 85/528 (16.1% SR) for 612.3pts (+116% ROI).

Of those 528 runners, there's a 13/61 (21.3% SR) for 153.8pts (+252.2% ROI) record here in God's Own Country aka the North-West of England with Chester supplying 4 winners form 15 (26.7% SR) runners for profits of 20.1pts (+134.2% ROI).

Cyril was a winner last time out, scoring by a length and a quarter at Pontefract three weeks ago, doing all his work in the closing stages and staying on as though he had more to give and also wanted further. He gets a tougher challenge here and an extra half furlong, which should suit him, making him a serious contender at 9/2 BOG with both Boylesports & Seanie Mac, whilst everyone else seems to be offering 4/1 BOG (which is still worth having), as you'll see by...

...clicking here for the betting on the 9.15 Chester

Don't forget, we offer a full interactive racecard service every day,

just click here for more details.


Here is today's racecard.

Double Dutch

Double Dutch

Double Dutch, 27th June 2015

Newton's Law was fairly comfortable in landing the finale at Newmarket by a length and a half going away last night and at 2/1 was a good half of a double that would have paid 11/1, had Sirens Cove not gone down by a head in the last on Wolverhampton's card.

She was in with every chance of winning but her jockey dropped his whip inside the final furlong and that quite possibly cost him the race and us the double.

Whatever the reason, the race was lost, and as such...

Friday's results were as follows:

Sirens Cove : 2nd at 3/1 (adv 11/4)
Sweet Dancer : 6th at 11/4 (adv 11/4)
Newtons Law : WON at 2/1 (adv 2/1)
Fairway to Heaven : 8th at 11/4 (adv 3/1)

Results to date:
609 winning selections from 2143 = 28.42%
192 winning bets in 554 days = 34.66%

Your first 30 days for just £1

Stakes: 1109.50pts
Returns: 1226.14pts

P/L : +116.64pts (+10.51% ROI)


Last picks of the week are as follows...

4.15 Chester:

English Summer won this race last year, drops in class and has been eased down to his last winning mark. He comes here off the back of a good run at Haydock, where beaten by just 2.75 lengths into third place in a tougher contest than this. He's a 3-time winner here on the Roodee and is 2/5 over course and distance.

Overall, he's 7/25 at 12 to 12.5 furlongs, 2 from 5 in this grade and is 6 from 15 in races of 7 or fewer runners. He has also won six and finished a runner-up twice in the last 8 races where he has been sent off at 5/2 or shorter and with the money already coming today, English Summer would be my 2/1 BOG preference here.

Rowlestone Lass is another former course and distance winner, but her win was only two weeks ago and with just a 3lb rise to contend with, looks set for another bold bid here this afternoon. She stayed on well from the rear that day to pick her rivals off over the closing stages and with a couple of prominent runners in today's field, she might well get the pace needed for her to pounce late on again.

Stamina is no issue here, as her three career wins have been over this trip, 1m 6f and 2m 0.5f, all 3 wins have come after 9 to 15 days since a previous run, all have been on left handed tracks and she's 2 from 3 (121) at Class 4. She has the ideal profile for this contest and but for English Summer being in the line-up, Rowlestone Lass would be far shorter than the currently available 11/4 BOG.


4.55 Newcastle:

Woofie is the form horse here, having finished 2131 in his four starts this year and improving with every run. He took the step back to truf in his stride easily last time out, when winning at Hamilton over a half furlong further than today. Despite having had 17 weeks off the track, he travelled well thorughout the race and gave the impression of just doing enough with plenty in reserve.

As a still-improving 3yr old, he's expected/entitled to come on for having had that run and despite a 5lb rise for that win (the assessor clearly also thought he had more to give!), I'd want Woofie as my first pick here at 11/4 BOG.

Lopes Island looks interesting on handicap debut for Alan Swinbank, who has won this race three times in the last 10 yrs, but I have a marginal preference for Gerry The Glover, who represents the very much in-form Brian Ellison, whose horses just seem to love it here at Newcastle and the booking of Silvestre de Sousa is an added bonus in my eyes.

Gerry The Glover was a winner two starts ago by a length and a quarter over this trip at Haydock in a Class 3 contest, before being beaten into sixth place over the same track and trip five weeks ago. In fairness, he only went down by less than 5 lengths having stepped up another grade and now that he drops down from Class 2 to Class 4, should be far too good for most of his rivals here at 7/2 BOG.

4 x 0.5pt BOG doubles as follows:

English Summer / Woofie @ 10.25/1 (2/1 & 11/4 : Hills & BetVictor)
English Summer / Gerry The Glover @ 12/1 (2/1 & 10/3 : generally)
Rowlestone Lass / Woofie @ 14.17/1 (10/3 & 5/2 : Paddy Power)
Rowlestone Lass / Gerry The Glover @ 17.78/1 (10/3 & 10/3 : Betfair SB)

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 13th June 2015

Friday was possibly one race too far for Brody Bleu as he chased a 5-timer, but the worsening weather/ground conditions won't have helped his cause.

He'd travelled well enough near the head of affairs well into the second half of the race, but a mistake at one of the fences seemed to just drain him and he was struggling from a long way out. He didn't respond to the jockey's coaxing and just completed the race at his own pace.

Fair play for toughing it out and getting round, but he was the last of four finishers, a good way off the pace. At least by finishing, he picked up a little prize money which would hopefully cover the cost of his day out!

Last shot at glory this week comes via the...

4.50 Chester:

A Class 4, 8-runner handicap for fillies over 1m 4.5f on good ground where I've just taken 100/30 BOG about Poetic Verse, who is...

...trained by John (JJ) Quinn, who has a career strike rate of 15.7% (16/102) here at Chester and more relevantly/recently, he's 9/39 (23.1% SR) for 10.25pts (+26.3% ROI) profit here since the start of the 2011 campaign.

And in Chester handicaps at odds of 9/4 to 15/2, his runners are 6/15 (40% SR) for 24.2pts at an ROI of 161.5%.

Joe Doyle is in the saddle today boasting a 10/63 (15.9% SR) record on John Quinn's horses that has produced profits of 65.7pts (+104.3% ROI) to date and he'll be looking to put his 3lb claim to good use, especially considering that...

...John Quinn has a good record with 3lb claimers.

Since the start of the 2010 season, jockeys claiming 3lbs on board John's horses are 20/129 (15.5% SR) for 61.3pts (+47.6% ROI) profit with those in that 9/4 to 15/2 price range as before, winning 15 of 56 (26.8% SR) for 35.7pts (+63.7% ROI).

Poetic Verse was kept fit over the summer with some creditable runs over hurdles and has been in good progressive form since getting back on the level. She's 432 in three starts since the spell over timber, improving with each run, culminating in a good second place in a decent handicap at Pontefract three weeks ago.

She gets to run off the same mark here and now that she's only racing against her own sex, she has to be a major player here.

One last thing is the addition of first-time cheekpieces today that could/should just get a bit more from her and it's worth pointing out that since the beginning of 2012, John Quinn's horses priced at 4/1 or shorter in first-time cheekpieces are 4/8 (50% SR) for 9.3pts (+116.25% ROI) profit.

I think this race is ideal for Poetic Verse to add to her tally of 4 wins from 11 at the trip and the 100/30 BOG on offer from Paddy Power is currently the best in town, but there's plenty of 3/1 BOG around too, as can be seen by...

...clicking here for the betting on the 4.50 Chester

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Here is today's racecard.

Double Dutch

Double Dutch

Double Dutch, 8th May 2015

Our mini-revival continued on Thursday with another profitable afternoon, thanks to a 1-2 finish at Chester and a comfortable 10 lengths winner at Newton Abbot.

As expected, Collaboration was too good for his rivals, with last year's winner (and our second pick) Tres Coronas his nearest pursuer. This gave us a 9/4 winner going onto race 2 and the bonus of an £11.40 exacta to boot.

Then, after a 2 hour wait, Billy My Boy fully justified the money that had sent him off at Evens, as he fairly cruised to a 10 length victory to finally get hinself off the mark. All of which meant a useful, if not massive 7.53/1 double to top the coffers up a little more and take the ROI back above 10% again.

Thursday's results were as follows:

Collaboration : WON at 9/4 (adv 9/4)
Tres Coronas : 2nd at 4/1 (adv 11/2)
A £1 exacta paid £11.40 here.
Billy My Boy : WON at Evens (adv 13/8)
Kahdian : 4th at 5/2 (adv 15/8)

Your first 30 days for just £1

Results to date:
569 winning selections from 1982 = 28.71%
179 winning bets in 514 days = 34.82%

Stakes: 1027.50pts
Returns: 1132.16pts

P/L : +104.66pts (+10.19% ROI)


I'll be hoping to keep the run going here...

3.45 Chester:

The Dascombe / Kingscote partnership has been a formidable one in the sprints here at Chester over the past few seasons and in the 9/4 BOG Snap Shots, they look to have every chance of continuing their success. The horse is 1/1 on soft ground and has won two of six over today's trip, whilst having been considered good enough to run at both Listed and Group 2 level, beaten by just four lengths on both occasions. Drawn in stall 4 is no disaster and I expect him to go well here, as should...

...Wanting from stall 2. She's been very popular in the past, sent off as favourite in all four starts to date, all over 6 furlongs and finishing 1124. In fairness, she has struggled to see out the full six, despite the results looking impressive and for a horse with clear early speed, a drop back to five furlongs could very well suit her on a tright track like this. Chalrie Appleby's runners are still in good nick and this could well be his latest winner at 5/2 BOG.


4.00 Market Rasen:

Since the start of 2014, Yes Daddy has three wins and a runner-up finish from just seven starts, so whilst he's in decent enough form, he hasn't been overworked. Two wins over hurdles at 2 miles on good ground suggest he'll enjoy the conditions here today, whilst a win over 1m4f and a runner-up finish over 2m 0.5f both on the All-Weather earlier this year say he'll not lack for speed between the obstacles either. Yes Daddy also won a bumper over today's trip here at Market rasen and looks the one to beat at 7/2 BOG.

My other selection is going to be Regulation, also at 7/2 BOG, who looks quite leniently treated off a mark of 107 as a bit of an unknown quatity over hurdles. The assessor probably isn't sure what to make of him after just three efforts over timber in the winter, but if his Flat results are considered, then he should be much better than a mark of 107. He was very useful on the Flat at around the mile mark and although he hasn't set the world on fire just yet over hurdles, his jumping has been sound and today could well be his day.

4 x 0.5pt BOG doubles as follows:

Snap Shots / Yes Daddy @ 13.63/1 (9/4 & 7/2 : Bet365)
Snap Shots/ Regulation @ 13.63/1 (9/4 & 7/2 : Bet365 & Stan James)
Wanting / Yes Daddy @ 14.75/1 (5/2 & 7/2 : Coral, Hills & Betfair Sports)
Wanting / Regulation @ 14.75/1 (5/2 & 7/2 : Hills & Betfair Sports)

Double Dutch

Double Dutch

Double Dutch, 7th May 2015

Brighton was abandoned on Wednesday afternoon after the second race on the card, meaning that our 4 x 0.5pt doubles were settled as 2 x 1pt singles on a pairt of 11/4 BOG runners at Chester.

Fortunately we had the first two home, as Rah Rah rallied to get up to beat Silver Wings, with their nearest challenger a good five lengths adrift.

It meant a modest 1.75pts profit on the day, but profit nonthe less and those playing the exotics picked yet another forecast/exacta to boot.

Wednesday's results were as follows:

Rah Rah : WON at 2/1 (adv 11/4)
Silver Wings : 2nd at 9/4 (adv 11/4)
A £1 exacta paid £8.60 here.
Whitecrest : ABD at 6/4 (adv 9/4)
Perfect Pastime : ABD at 6/4 (adv 7/2)

Results to date:
567 winning selections from 1978 = 28.67%
178 winning bets in 513 days = 34.70%

Your first 30 days for just £1

Stakes: 1025.50pts
Returns: 1127.89pts

P/L : +102.39pts (+9.98% ROI)


I'll be hoping to keep the run going here...

2.10 Chester:

Collaboration comes here in impressive form and surely has to be the one to beat despite going up another 10lbs for his latest win, when finishing 4.5 lengths clear of the pack in a decent standard of race at Epsom a fortnight ago. This will obviously be tougher with the extra weight, but I'm not convinced he's finished improving and with with trainer Andrew Balding having a good record here at Chester, I'd take Collaboration to win this at 9/4 BOG, ahead of...

...Tres Coronas, a five times winner at 10/10.5 furlongs and who really gets the often difficult to handle Chester course. He's 211 in threee runs at this May meeting, all over today's trip, including this very race last year. The recent rain will have worked in his favour as he's 3/8 on good to soft and has also won three times on soft ground. At 9/2 BOG, he's excellently priced as a backup.


4.10 Newton Abbot:

A bit like today's election, this looks like a dour contest between four poor opponents and none have any real discernible winning form (1 win from 32 between them!), but two look more likely than the other two and that's all we need here.

Billy My Boy had shown very little in his first year of racing with average runs in 2 bumpers and four hurdles contests from April 2013 to March 2014. He then took a year off the track and in three races since his return this spring, he has finished 223 and looks a different animal.

The two runner-up finishes were sold efforts over 16.5 / 17 furlongs, but he did struggle to see 2m3f out last time and it's expected the drop back in trip would be enough for him to get off the mark at 13/8 BOG with similar performance levels, based on the lack of quality in oppostion here.

Next best / least worst should be Kahdian who has run creditably in a couple of big field handicaps of late since coming over from Ireland, but has also been unable to see out the 2m3f trip. He drops back in trip here today and also drops down in class, both of which could be key factors in his bid for a debut win at 15/8 BOG.  It's hardly inspiring stuff, but if we get through the Chester leg, we should get home here!

4 x 0.5pt BOG doubles as follows:

Collaboration / Billy My Boy @ 7.53/1 (9/4 & 13/8 : SkyBet)
Collaboration / Kahdian @ 9.06/1 (5/2 & 15/8 : Hills)
Tres Coronas / Billy My Boy @ 14.44/1 (11/2 & 11/8 : Hills)
Tres Coronas / Kahdian @ 17.69/1 (11/2 & 15/8 : Hills)

Double Dutch

Double Dutch

Double Dutch, 6th May 2015

Tuesday was almost perfection as far as a Double Dutch day goes. Both of the longer-priced selections were winners, after one had drifted significantly to boost our returns, we had one runner-up providing a nice forecast and our fourth runner finished a well-beaten third to deny us a full house.

We opened with a 1-2 finish at Fakenham, where Alright Benny drifted out from 100/30 to 5/1 before beating the 5/4 (in from 6/4) favourite Waddington Hero by all of 11 lengths to not only give us a good stake for race 2, but also landed a 10.54/1 forecast for those doing them.

Race 2 was at Sedgefield where the Jefferson/Hughes combo prevailed over Team Skelton as Our Boy Ben got home by a neck with Shady Lane a good 24 lengths adrift back in third place. There was, unfortunately a 20p Rule 4 deduction here, after a non-runner, but the drift in race 1 more than compensated for that, leaving us with a double at 18.20/1 on a much happier day for us all!

Tuesday's results were as follows:

Alright Benny : WON at 5/1 (adv 100/30)
Waddington Hero: 2nd at 5/4 (adv 6/4)
A £1 forecast paid £11.54 here.
Our Boy Ben : WON at 6/4 (adv 11/5 after 20p R4)
Shady Lane : 3rd at 6/4 (adv 6/4 after 20p R4)

Results to date:
566 winning selections from 1976 = 28.64%
177 winning bets in 512 days = 34.57%

Your first 30 days for just £1

Stakes: 1023.50pts
Returns: 1124.14pts

P/L : +100.64pts (+9.83% ROI)


I'm looking for a double double now with the following...

2.10 Chester:

What I see as the best two horses in the race have been drawn in the plum stalls 1 & 2 and therefore I'd expect Silver Wings and Rah Rah to fill the first two places here.

If pushed to pick a winner, I'd probably go with Silver Wings at 11/4 BOG after he way he got out sharply and made all to win at Windsor by more than two lengths nine days ago. The way he burst out from the stalls allied to getting box number 1 here suugests he'll be out sharply again and we all know how tough it is to rein the low draw runners in at Chester over these shorter trips.

Rah Rah will be "next door" in number 2 representing last year's winning trainer Mark Johnston and she too, was an impressive winner on debut, scoring by almost 4 lengths at Kempton almost six weeks ago. The form of that race hasn't quite worked out yet, but she could only beat what was in front of her on the day which she did with ease. She receives weight from the other major players here and is ure to be in the shake-up at 11/4 BOG.


5.15 Brighton:

Whitecrest has a reasonable record here over course and distance with one win and six placed finishes from 11 attmepts and comes here looking like she's on the way back to some form, as her handicap mark drops. She was a good third here over track and trip and beaten by less than a length 8 days ago and running off the same mark today, has to be considered at 9/4 BOG.

She's effectively 3lbs lighter than last week with her jockey's claim taken into consideration and 12lbs lower than when winning here in the past. She was staying on well here last week, despite it being her first run for six months and if she comes on for that run, Whitecrest will be the one to beat.

Her main rival here is expected to be Perfect Pastime at 7/2 BOG. He goes well here at Brighton, having won over both 6f and 7f and if the forecasted rains arrive, he'll not be too inconvenienced by some cut in the ground, as he has already won on soft (and worse!) ground and was a close second (beaten by a neck) here over course and distance on heavy gorund last winter.

4 x 0.5pt BOG doubles as follows:

Silver Wings / Whitecrest @ 11.19/1 (11/4 & 9/4 : Bet365)
Silver Wings / Perfect Pastime @ 14.75/1 (5/2 & 7/2 : Betfair SB & Paddy)
Rah Rah / Whitecrest @ 11.19/1 (11/4 & 9/4 : Bet365)
Rah Rah / Perfect Pastime @ 15.88/1 (11/4 & 7/2 : Betfair SB & Paddy)

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 27th September 2014

No SotD 4-timer yesterday, but not a bad effort at all from La Cuesta, as she finished in third place, a couple of lengths shy of the winner.

She found herself sandwiched/hampered a furlong from home and lost some (but crucially not all) impetus and whether this cost her the race or not is open to debate.

She did rally and go again and finished strongly, but she couldn't catch the two ahead of her, meaning our run of wins came to an end, but we got one to possibly stick in our notebook and we got 4/1 BOG about a 3/1 runner.

We're not moving far from Haydock for Saturday's pick who goes in the...

4.15 Chester:

Where jockey David Probert will look to extend his good record aboard Andrew Balding's horses on the Roodee, as he aims to steer the 11/4 BOG Kinematic to victory on her fourth start and handicap debut.

David's record is good here, but he owes it to the trainer...

Since the start of the 2011 season, David has a 10/63 (15.9% SR) record here at Chester, but all ten winners have come from the 41 rides on the Balding runners with the 24.4% strike rate generating 12.9pts profit at an ROI of 31.5%.

A similar pattern emerges in handicap contests, as David's 7/41 (17.1% SR) record is improved to 7/26 (26.9% SR) for 13.3pts (+51.1% ROI) on board Andrew's runners, with the best results coming from those runners priced  between 2/1 and 8/1.

At those odds, David is 6/22 (27.3% SR) for 14.3pts (+65.2% RO) here at Chester and 6/18 (33.3% SR) for 18.3pts (+101.9% ROI) when riding for Andrew Balding.

That's probably because Andrew's horses run well here...

In the last five seasons 25 of his 109 runners (22.9% SR) at this venue have been successful, generating level stakes profits of 63pts at an ROI of 57.8%. In 2014, those figures improve to 9/26 (34.6% SR) for 26.4pts (+101.6% ROI).

In handicap races, Andrew has saddled up 18 winners from 69 (26.1% SR) for 46.9pts (+68% ROI) profit. This year, that rises to 6/17 (35.3% SR) for 14.5pts (+85.3% ROI).

Those sent off at odds of 2/1 to 14/1, there has been 24 winners from 94 runners (25.5% SR) for 75.7pts (+80.5% ROI). For the current season, it's 6/12 (50% SR) for 19.5pts (+162.6% ROI) when priced between 2/1 & 6/1.

And combining the two above ie handicaps and odds filters, we can see that the optimum strategy for backing Andrew's runners here at Chester is to follow him in handicaps with runners priced between 2/1 and 8/1, where he has a 17/51 (33.33% SR) record in the last five years which has produced some 51.6pts profit to date at an ROI of 101.2%. In 2014, those stats stand at 6/13 (46.2% SR) for 18.5pts (+142.4% ROI) profit.

Kinematic makes her handicap bow today...

Since the start of the 2009 campaign, Andrew Balding has given 193 horses thier handicap debut on the Flat and whilst 26 winners only produces a modest 13.5% strike rate, that's still enough to produce 67.8pts profit at an ROI of 35.2%.

Generally, decent profits from a fairly low strike rate suggests that a couple of big-priced winners are skewing the figures and whilst it is true that there are a couple of big winners, there also plenty of big losers and if ignore the bigger priced runners, we can actually improve the strike rate and the ROI at the same time.

With a simple odds parameter setting of 2/1 to 12/1, we lose 61 of the runners, but only 5 of the winners, leaving us with a record of 21 winners from 132 at a strike rate of 15.9% with the 47.6pts level stakes profits slightly raising the ROI to a more than satisfactory 36%.

The above suggests that Kinematic will have been well prepared for this step into handicap company and she comes here in good nick, having finished 232 in her last three outings. She was beaten by two lengths at Lingfield last time out, as she came off the back of a 12-week break to chase a 4/11 favourite home. Her victor that day reappeared at Leicester on Monday and won again stepping up in class (in fact it was a Double Dutch selection!). If that form holds out and she takes advantage of a very good (stall 2) draw, this could be interesting.

Andrew Balding's horses look like they're coming into a bit of late season form too, as they had two winners from their three runners on Thursday and are very well represented around the country today.

Kinematic, however, looks to have as good a chance as any of the yard's representatives today, hence the 1pt win bet at 11/4 BOG.  That price is widely available, but I've gone with Coral again for that "beaten by a head" insurance policy, but you can take your pick of the bookies, when you... here for the latest betting on the 4.15 Chester

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Here is today's racecard.

Double Dutch

Double Dutch

Double Dutch, 12th July 2014

Well, we managed to win and lose at the same time yesterday. We go paid put on a "winning" double, but we actually lost money! The problem stems from Min Alemarat being withdrawn at Ascot. Second choice 5/1 shot Alcaeus ran really well and might well have won had he not been bumped on the run in.

He was beaten by just a head and after lengthy deliberations, the stewards decided it hadn't cost him the race. This left us with a shot at redemption via two singles in the later event at Chepstow and when this happens, we need a 3/1 winner to break even.

As it was, we got the first two home and with the Exacta paying just 3.8/1, it seems many others did too. Our winner was a gambled-on 9/4 BOG shot, meaning a small (0.37pt) loss on the day.

Friday's results were as follows:

Alcaeus: 2nd at 11/4 (adv 5/1)
Min Alemarat: non-runner (adv 5/2)
Accipter: won at 11/8 (adv 9/4)
Fuwairt: 2nd at 7/4 (adv 6/4)
The Exacta was returned at 3.8/1

Results to date:
286 winning selections from 1012 = 28.26%
94 winning bets in 264 days = 35.61%

Stakes: 530.00pts
Returns: 591.71pts

Your first 30 days for just £1

P/L : +61.71pts (+11.64% ROI)


Last selections of the week, so I hope to sign off on a high note with these...

3.25 Chester:

And an interesting Listed contest. Now I don't often select such lofty races for DD, but this looks (to me, at least!) a classic two-horse race.

Glory Awaits (11/4 BOG) is the best at the weights here, but bare form says he doesn't win often enough, with just a maiden victory under his belt. It should however be noted that he has been running at Listed/Group level for eight of his 10 defeats since that win.

Any horse good enough to finish second in a 2,000 Guineas warrants respect and he ran far better last time out than the result would suggest on paper. He was 7th (5 lengths) in the Queen Anne at Ascot 25 days ago, when he ran really well until fading late on in a one mile race. This is a step down in trip and class and could well be his best route back to the winners' enclosure for some time.

Unfortunately for Glory Awaits, bottom weight Mushir looks a handful. This 15/8 favourite has already got one win and one second pace from three Listed events and is by far the least exposed runner in this contest.

He was, admittedly disappointing at Newbury last time out, but a bad run can be forgiven, especially as prior to that, he was only a head behind Shifting Power in another Listed race over today's trip at Newmarket.

He had dropped in trip at Newbury and the step back up to 7f should see him display more of his true ability than last time.


5.55 Salisbury:

Justice Well was a winner on debut at Newmarket six weeks ago over today's 6f trip (Class 4), before stepping up in trip and quite a bit in class to run in the Listed Chesham Stakes at Ascot three weeks ago. He was by no means disgraced that day, finishing 5th of 14 and the drop back in trip and class should help him here.

If Justice Well runs anything like he has done on his two previous outings, then this race is there for the taking and it's only fair to expect some more progression today. The only blot on the horizons is the fairly skinny 11/8 BOG odds on offer, whilst 2/1 BOG shot Be Bold should be the most likely to chase him home.

Be Bold has been coming to the boil with finishes of 521 so far in his short career. He won easily at Chepstow last time out and there was an eye-catching runner-up finish at Kempton in April, when he was within 3 lengths of Escalating who then won at Class 2 level at Ascot and was considered good enough to run in Listed company at Sandown.

Be Bold looks to be the stable pick of two in this race and his trainer/jockey won this race last year and it seems to be a target of theirs with this one who looks ready to step up in trip.

4 x 0.5pt BOG doubles, as follows:

Mushir / Justice Well @ 5.83/1 (15/8 & 11/8  : BetVictor)
Mushir / Be Bold @ 7.63/1 (15/8 & 2/1 : BetVictor, Coral & Stan James)
Glory Awaits / Justice Well @ 7.91/1 (11/4 & 11/8  : BetVictor & Hills)
Glory Awaits / Be Bold @ 10.25/1 (11/4 & 2/1  : BetVictor)

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 27th June 2014

Felwah was a fairly comfortable winner in the end on Thursday, drawing three lengths clear of the pack after taking the lead inside the final furlong.

Once the race was won, jockey Paul Hanagan eased off the gas a little which reduced the final winning margin to just over two lengths, but the turn of pace late on to put the race to bed was pretty impressive and you can't help but think that this is another one with plenty more to offer later.

The icing on the cake came when a volatile betting market eventually returned an 11/4 SP, slightly longer than our advised 5/2 BOG price and much longer than the 6/5 on offer at one point in the afternoon.

June is turning out to be good for us and I'm very hopeful of more success on Friday evening in the...

6.50 Chester:

A race won last year by Franny Norton aboard a Mark Johnston runner and I'm hoping that they repeat that feat again tonight. This year's entrant is the lightly raced (just 3 starts to date) 3 yr old maiden Alpine Storm, who is currently priced up at 4/1 BOG.

Mark Johnston's horses tend to go well here at the Roodee...

Since the start of the 2011 season, 31 of his 190 (16.3% SR) runners here have been successful and the resultant 91.8pts profit is the equivalent of making £4.83 from every tenner wagered. Those horses sent off between evens and 6/1 won 20 of 79 races for 27.3pts (+34.5% ROI) profit.

Franny Norton also has a decent record here...

As can be seen by his 39 winners from 241 rides (16.2% SR) over the four seasons and those winners have generated 112.5pts profits (+46.7% ROI) from level stakes.

As with yesterday, we have another profitable partnership...

Franny Norton has ridden 13 winners from 63 Mark Johnston trained horses here at Chester with that 20.6% strike rate producing levels takes profits of some 76.7pts (+121.8% ROI), including the winner fot his very race last year.

Alpine Storm makes her yard debut today after three runs for Charlie Appleby...

Over the last five seasons, Mark Johnston has a good record with horses coming in from other yards, getting 24 of his 79 newcomers to win first time out. That's a 30.4% strike rate for 63.5pts (+80.3% ROI) profit with all the winners attracting market support and going off at odds below 9/1, where the record reads 24/58 (41.45% SR) for 84.5pts (+145.6% ROI).

The horse looks out of form (6th of 6 LTO) and now steps up in trip...

That might look a little disconcerting, but (and there's always a but! 😀 )... Mark Johnston has a knack of taking 3 yr old horses who were unplaced last time out and stepping them up in trip to win a flat handicap. In fact he has tried this approach 265 times in the last six years, resulting in 38 winners (14.3% SR) and 68.2pts (+25.7% ROI)  profit. Once again the bulk of the success came from more fancied horses. So, with an 8/1 odds cap we have 32 winners from 134 runners (23.9% SR) for 63.5pts (+47.4% ROI).

What about Alpine Storm, though?

There's not a lot to tell form-wise after just three runs, but she showed promise over 7f at Wolverhampton on her second outing, when she was runner-up to Euro Charline who then won again next time out, before going down by just half a length in the group 3 Nell Gwyn Stakes at Newmarket.

Alpine Storm has run over 7f (twice) and a mile, but the step up to 1m2f should be more to her liking, as she's a half-sister to Centennial and Sirens Song who won far better races than this over today's trip (Group 3 and Listed respectively) with Centennial going on to Group 2 glory over 12 furlongs, so stamina shouldn't be an issue.

I think Alpine Storm's last run was just a bad day at the office and her opening handicap mark of 72 looks lenient and although several seem (on paper, at least!) to have a chance here< I doubt this will take much winning and the usual Johnston improvement should be enough here.

So, the call is a 1pt win bet on Alpine Storm at 4/1 BOG. This price is currently available at both PP and BetVictor and I've gone with Paddy Power. You are, of course, free to make your own choice and if you need help finding a price, simply... here for the latest betting on the 6.50 Chester

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Here is today's racecard.

Chester Cup Preview, Trends, Tips

Chester Cup Preview, Trends, Tips

2014 Chester Cup Day Preview, Trends, Tips

The first two Classics now behind us, we turn our attention to the Oaks and Derby, with Chester's May meeting showcasing a number of trials as well as its flagship event, the Chester Cup, a big field two and a quarter mile handicap run on the first day.

As well as the trials and the Chester Cup, there are also three five furlong burn ups on one of the most speed favouring, draw favouring pistes in the land. Perfect placepot material, so let's get to it.


The Lily Agnes is the traditional curtain-raiser, a five furlong two year old conditions race , where speed is everything. Miss the break and it's game over. Get drawn wide and it's game over. Not be quick, and it's game over.

To emphasise the importance of the draw, fifteen of the last seventeen winners of the Lily Agnes were drawn in boxes one to five, as were 35 of the 44 placed horses during that time. That's 88% of the winners, and 80% of the placed horses, from just 58% of the runners.

To underline the importance of early pace, below are snippets from the comments of the winners of recent years:

Quatuor - "made all" from stall 8
All Fur Coat - "made all" from stall 4
Lily's Angel - "missed break" from stall 2
Julius Geezer - "made all" from stall 5
Star Rover - "made all" from stall 5
Doncaster Rover - "tracked leaders" from stall 2
Cracking - "made all" from stall 3

As you can see, it is possible to win from off the pace (Lily's Angel) and it is possible to win from a wide draw (Quatuor). But the balance of probabilities say you'll get out and stay out from a favourable inside berth.

Using geegeez' racecards pace analysis on, admittedly, limited sample data - most of these horses have run only once - alerts us to the fact that David Evans' two runners, drawn 1 and 3, have speed to burn.

They are unlikely to take each other on for the lead, however, and should run 1-2 into the first turn. It is possible that the 'job horse', Roudee, named after the racecourse at Chester and running for the stable that sponsors the race and has won it twice in the last four years, will attempt to get to the bend in front from stall nine. They managed it with Quatuor from stall eight last year, so that cannot be ruled out.

Indeed, Quatuor led home an 8-9-10-12 stall finish to sound a cautionary note to blind draw backers. However, the first two home there were the first two throughout, and draw allied to speed looks a potent combination, though the lowest box of all may be a slight negative, given that they start on the arc of a bend (there are lots of bends on Chester's bullring track).

Evans' pair of fillies, Cheerio Sweetie and Charlie's Star, are both fast starters, are both well drawn, and both get at least seven pounds in allowances from the other fancied - but more widely drawn - pair of Mukhdam and Roudee.

Magical Memory is one I haven't mentioned. He was favourite when only seventh on debut - Charlie's Star second there - and is clearly thought better than he showed that day. Moreover, he should improve for the run, and Charlie Hills' horses are in excellent form (32% strike rate in the past fortnight).

But I'm taking the speedy well-drawn pair against the field, with slight preference for Charlie's Star, whose Newbury form looks solid, over Cheerio Sweetie.

2.15 CHESHIRE OAKS (Listed Race)

The first of the Classic trials is the Cheshire Oaks, for three year old fillies, run over 150 yards shy of the Oaks trip. It's been a fair pointer, too, with Light Shift stopping off here en route to en emotional return to the top table for her trainer Sir Henry Cecil in 2007, and Wonder Of Wonders undone in her double bid by a brilliant Johnny Murtagh ride aboard Dancing Rain in 2011.

The 2014 renewal looks at least reasonably strong, with representation from the yards of O'Brien, Stoute, Gosden, Charlton and Varian.

14 of the last 17 winners (82%) finished in the top three last time out, from 63% of the runners.

13 of the last 17 winners (76%) had run within the last month, from just 51% of the runners, and that fitness edge looks material.

Aidan O'Brien has won three of the last six Cheshire Oaks', from just six runners, and his overall form string in the race is 211612.

Ballydoyle is the obvious place to start here. Aidan O'Brien, the master of Ballydoyle, has a fantastic record in the race from a selective number of entries, and he runs the blinkered Terrific. This lass won her last two of three juvenile starts, and will strip a lot fitter for a third placed effort in Listed company at Navan 25 days ago. That makes her a perfect profile fit as well, and she ought to be hard to beat if taking to the tight corners of Chester's unique track.

Bright Approach made her debut just 26 days ago when winning a Newbury maiden. The second and third have both won since, giving the form a most solid look. Johnny G(osden) rarely tilts at windmills, so that fact he's pitched Bright Approach straight into this Listed heat is a good sign. It's a very different test to Newbury, and she'll need to improve in the order of ten pounds but, with just a single run on the board, there's every chance of that much more to come, and still more to offer by Oaks day.

At a much bigger price, one that looks well bred for a job like this is the unbeaten in 2014, Anipa. She's by the peerless Sea The Stars out of an In The Wings mare, and should get every yard of the trip, a comment not universally applicable. It's obviously a huge step up from a Class 5 handicap to a Listed Oaks trial, but the hood has improved Anipa markedly as has the longer trip, and she'll be gunned prominently in the field with stamina assured.

In summary, I like the look of Bright Approach as the horse with the most improvement to come, and she'll probably have most to fear from Terrific. At a whopper price, we might get a run for a penny each way on Anipa at 28/1.

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A two and a quarter mile handicap may not seem like a likely place for a draw bias, but in such a big field as this - habitually paying four places - and around the always-turning Roodee circuit, low is generally best.

Chester Cup Trends

Eleven of the last seventeen, and ten of the last fourteen, winners have started from trap seven or lower which, in a field of normally double that and more, is material.

Every winner of the Chester Cup since Morgans Choice in 1985 has been aged four to seven. It's very hard for the older boys here. Unfortunately, that doesn't help as all of the field are aged four to six this year!

None of the 62 runners since 1997 to return within a fortnight of their previous start have won. However, those off a slightly longer break - between two weeks and a month - have claimed eight of the seventeen renewals in that time (47%), from 31% of the runners.

14 of the last seventeen winners had won over at least two miles. That's 82% of the winners from 65% of the runners.

Of the last ten winners, two made all, five raced prominently, two were midfield runners, and just one was held up. Look to those who race near the front, as it is like the Monaco Grand Prix trying to overtake at Chester. Interestingly, much if not all of the recent pace evidence is drawn in double figures, which may well give a high drawn horse a better chance to win this year.

All that gives us a trends shortlist of Montaser, Mubaraza, and Body Language.

Chester Cup Form Preview

Mubaraza is the favourite in a race where they bet 6/1 the field. He deserves to be market leader, as he's got good form in the grade, on the ground and in big fields, including when a neck second last time over two miles. His "major malfunction", to quote Full Metal Jacket, is that he's a hold up type, and he'll need a lot more luck in running than 6/1 affords. Obvious form chance, but the race may well not set up to suit.

The next trio in the market - all in single figure prices - are Glenard, Angel Gabrial, and Communicator. Glenard is the shortest of the three, and is another perennial hold up horse. He looked the classic mug punt last time, as he was a 'never nearer' sixth of ten. In other words, he was never in the race, and half the field beat him. Granted, he was only two and a bit lengths behind the winner, but Ryan Moore - who rarely rides a bad race and didn't that day - gets off to ride something else here.

Angel Gabrial is one of the Koukash squad, and the Good Doctor is famously hungry when it comes to winning at Chester. He owns just the five in this race. Ahem. Angel Gabrial is drawn in the middle and can race prominently. Jamie Spencer takes the ride and if going forwards on him, could get in the shake up. He's often been found out in this class, though that is mitigated by his lack of exposure at the marathon trip. He beat Mubaraza last time on his first try at two miles in a valuable handicap.

Communicator is a consistent type, and has the Oisin Murphy factor in his favour this afternoon. He's ostensibly well drawn in two, but if held up might find himself horribly boxed in. On the plus side, he has plenty of form at two miles or so, though with a frustrating lack of winning runs amongst the place pile. He's a classy type and proven at the track as well.

Suegioo looks very interesting. Marco Botti is a genius awaiting media recognition, and Ryan Moore legs up today. He was under-cooked the last day at Ripon - over a mile and a half - and he's been gelded since last season. As a Koukash Klan member (excuse the pun), he'll have been targeted at this, and Ryan will have him in the right position from stall four. I think he looks a serious each way play.

Of the wide drawn prominent racers, Clowance Estate is probably over-priced based on his draw. Roger Charlton's 5yo Teofilo gelding could get to the lead despite starting in box fifteen and, if he does, he might control steady fractions. That combined with the tight turns here mean he has every chance of staying the two and quarter trip - much more so than the interminable Newmarket straight on which he folded in the Cesarewitch over the same trip - and I reckon James Doyle has a dandy chance of bagging place money at least.

Chester Cup Tips

I'm taking two each way against the field. They are Ryan Moore and Suegioo, and James Doyle and Clowance Estate. At 12/1 and 16/1 respectively, they look good value in a race where there will be a lot of hard luck stories.

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The first sprint handicap of the season at Chester, and a low draw and early pace is the optimal combination, especially for those proven at the track. As such, it is no surprise that - as has now become the norm - some of the high drawn horses are self-certificated absentees. In this case, the two non-runners were drawn 13 and 14. Apparently, neither ate up when they heard their stall positions..!

Anyway, the long and short of this one is that Caspian Prince, a front runner, is drawn one, and has won three of his six races at the minimum trip. True, he's been beaten all three times in this grade, but they were on the all weather. In fact, this nine race novice has only run once on turf, when winning a Class 3 handicap at Epsom, making all. I like him, and I've backed him (in cross doubles).

The horse I've taken alongside Caspian Prince is Chester specialist, Ballista. He's drawn seven which is neither ideal nor terrible, and he does have plenty of early zip. Although runners are supposed to stay in imaginary 'lanes' for the first 100 yards, he might try to gun directly for the rail, with limited pace inside, Red Baron and Caspian Prince notwithstanding.

He's dropped down the handicap a few pounds, and this will have been his early season target for local trainer and connections.

Go Nani Go will get the tow into the race he prefers, but it remains to be seen how he'll take to the turns here, all of his turf winning form coming on straight tracks. That doesn't mean he can't win, just that at the price he might be a bit skinny.

There are lots of old sprint warriors in here, and if a speed duel transpires, those who might benefit at monster prices are Swendab and Free Zone. Both are excellent five furlong nags on their day, and Free Zone will be attempting to maintain a 100% placed record at the track, albeit that that record was achieved from two six furlong races. As I've written, he - like Swendab - has bags of pace for five too, and may be able to get a fairly handy position despite the ultimate car park draw.

But it's Caspian Prince and Ballista for me.

3.50 Maiden Stakes

A maiden race, and your guess is as good as mine. John Gosden's Prince Of Stars is about 5/4, and he ran encouraginly on his sole start. Only two have come out of that race so far, both well beaten, so it's hard to say what the form is worth. But the son of Sea The Stars should appreciate this extra quarter mile, and will be better for that first racecourse experience.

Who knows what he's up against? A couple of note might be Charles Hills' Computer, from a team who always target this meeting; and Mark Johnston's Special Fighter, well bred and from a team that would have had plenty of options for this.


The third five furlong contest, and the second conditions stakes. As ever, a low draw and early pace is optimal, and the nags fitting the bill this time are Lucky Beggar and Swansong.

Lucky Beggar has stall one, and likes to lead. He's also the best in at the weights according the conditions of the race, and he's about the least exposed in the field. He looks capable of improving from his first run of the year - a win in a decent Newbury sprint - and I can only find one possible chink in his armour.

That sole chink is the glut of pace in the field. He'll have to be hoof perfect at the gate, because if he misses it, the peloton may well be away and gone. The one I fear most of the speedsters is Trinityelitedotcom. This fellow was third at this meeting two years ago, and has been in very good form on the all weather, surging up the handicap as a consequence. He's perfectly effective on turf, and will bid to outblaze Lucky Beggar in the early running.

Again, with the chance of a murderous pace up front, it might be that something comes from far back to pick up the pieces. Unlikely, but if it is to happen, Inxile could be the one. He's got a bit to find at the weights, but he ran much better last time, and has plenty of talent on his day (beaten just a length in a Listed race on his only previous run at Chester, over six furlongs).

My cross doubles from the sprint handicap terminate (or, hopefully, germinate) here, with Lucky Beggar and Trinityelitedotcom. I think the favourite has a heck of a lot going for him and looks solid.


Day one closes with a mile and a half handicap, for three year olds only. The usual suspects almost monopolize the recent winners' roster, with Messrs. Hills, Dascombe, Jarvis M (whose spirit is carried by Roger Varian), and Johnston responsible for six of the last ten winners.

Johnston saddles a pair this time, Hills and Dascombe one each. The 'Always Trying' couple are Swivel and Maxi T, both converting winning sequences into duck eggs last time, and both 20/1 shots here. Those odds look too big on the back of one poor run apiece, but there are more attractive/obvious wagers in the line up.

Charlie Hills' Lovelocks, for instance. She's bred for this, on the sire side at least, and steps up a quarter mile on her first run of the season, and a full half mile on her three previous handicap rating-acquiring efforts. She ought to go close from the bottom of the weights.

The favourite is Anglo Irish, a Dansili colt out of a Selkirk mare. He'll love the trip but whether he might prefer a bit more give in the turf, on what will be his first run on turf, is open to question. At 7/2, I'm happy to to let him beat me, especially with the Gosden camp in less than brilliant form in the past fortnight.

Captain Morley won his maiden last time at Wolverhampton, and steps up three furlongs in trip for this first run in a handicap. It's hard to know what he beat, or of what he's capable, and 6/1 looks about right with that double-edge imponderable in mind.

It's guesswork pretty much all the way down the field, with many aiming to convert good all weather form onto turf, and some aiming to show considerably more for a considerably longer trip. In the circumstances, I'm siding tentatively with Lovelocks, who does look to have plenty of scope to be fitter for her seasonal debut and better for the mile and a half distance. Captain Morley might be an interesting alternative.

Placepot permutation

Let's have a crack at the placepot, shall we? I'm going to do something rare, and play an A-C combination. That means we're looking to get an A selection placed in at least five of the races, or all six, with the C options only offering a single 'lifeline'. Hope that makes sense, and here goes:

1.45 - A: 8, 9 / C: 2, 4

2.15 - A: 2, 9

2.45 - A: 2, 9, 11, 15 / C: 1, 6, 7, 14

3.15 - A: 3, 8 / C: 10/13

3.50 - A: 7 / C: 1

4.25 - A: 6, 8 / C: 5, 7

The above part-perm, for 60p stakes on the first ticket, and 20p stakes on all others, comes to £102.40. Half that would be £51.20, and the William Hill 5p tickets would come to £25.60. Alternatively, just playing the A selections makes for 64 lines, which at 5p totals £3.20.

All A's - 2 x 2 x 4 x 2 x 1 x 2 = 64 bets

All A's and C's - 4 x 2 x 8 x 4 x 2 x 4 = 2048 bets (!)

Chester placepot perm

Chester placepot perm