Thursday's Result :

6.10 Chelmsford : Bosham @ 5/1 BOG WON at 6/1 (Made all, travelled well throughout, hard driven when challenged inside final furlong, stayed on well)

Friday's runner goes in the...

9.00 Dundalk :

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.


Poetic Choice @ 5/1 BOG


We'll wait for the last race on Friday, to get involved with a trainer and jockey who might be under your radar currently. Keith Clarke is the trainer and, 92 runs into his career, he's notched five wins and nine second places. Fairly unspectacular stuff, but four of those five wins have come here at Dundalk, a reasonably healthy 14% strike rate, but only worth a loss of £6.92 to a £1 level stake.

Enter Robbie Downey, an apprentice jockey who has 54 wins from 509 rides, a perfectly respectable 11% hit rate. Exactly half of those 54 wins have come on the beach here, from 206 rides, at 13%. That, too, has been loss-making as a strategy, to the tune of 18.01 units.

But when the pair have combined the picture has been a good bit rosier. They've teamed up on 16 occasions, winning four times and being in the first three nine times, for a small profit.

Looking at the partnership only at Dundalk, Downey and Clarke are four from twelve (33%), and all of those nine placed efforts have come here (75%). That was worth £9.08 of win profit or £16.75 for a £1 e/w level stakes.

Specifically with Poetic Choice, our duo have yet to hit the board. However, they've gone mightily close twice from four attempts in a form string which reads 5232. The brace of silvers were both by a neck, most recently when nutted on the line off today's mark three weeks ago.

The son of Byron likes to race handily or on the speed, and he'll have every chance of this from the inside draw. It's a competitive race, but Poetic Choice is well suited by the race conditions; looks likely to have the run of it; and comes from a team in fine form at the track.

It's tempting to suggest splitting stakes win and place, but we'll go all in for a one point win bet at the current 5/1 BOG with bet365 and Boyle.

Alternatively, click below to check with your preferred bookie... here for the betting on the 9.00 Dundalk

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Stat of the Day, 21st December 2015

Saturday's Result :

2.25 Ascot : Reve de Sivola @ 9/2 BOG 2nd at 11/4 (Led, hit 8th, headed 2 out, chased winner, ridden and no impression between last two, kept on for clear 2nd opened 4/1)

We got closer than anyone to massive improver, Thistlecrack, on Saturday, but that was still only good enough for second behind a runaway winner. Cold comfort in hammering the SP. On to Monday, and a late in the day play...

7.10 Wolverhampton: 

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.


Hickster @ 7/2 BOG



Hickster loves it round here. He's won five times from eleven Dunstall Park starts (+15.38) and been in the frame in eight of those eleven.

His course and distance form reads 812141, those three wins coming for a +14 point profit. That sequence included a course and distance win last time, where he made all and was value for more than the near two length verdict at the line.

His bid to make all here is helped firstly by a draw in stall two and secondly by the absence of any other obvious pace angle.

Trainer Ron Bowring is in good form with a winner and two more placed from eight runners in the last fortnight, and I'm hopeful this lad will make a very bold bid from the front in familiar conditions at a better than fair 7/2.

Those odds are available with bet365, Skybet, Victor, Paddy, Coral, Betfair Sports, Betway and Betbright. here for the betting on the 7.10 Wolves

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Stat of the Day, 19th December 2015

Friday's Result :

1.20 Ascot : Ozzy Thomas @ 3/1 BOG 5th at 3/1 (Always about same pace in mid-division, pushed along when not fluent 8th, struggling after, plugged on run-in)

Matt in the seat for a couple of days as Chris goes gluhwein-supping around the Christmas markets of northern Europe. Saturday's selection runs in the...

2.25 Ascot :

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.


Reve de Sivola @ 9/2 BOG


The selection almost picks itself, having won the last three renewals of this Grade 1 staying hurdle prize. Ten rising eleven now, Reve de Sivola seems in as good a form as ever judged on his close sixth in a valuable Auteuil G1 last month. He was beaten a dozen lengths further in the same race last year before lifting this prize.

To the stats:

Reve de Sivola has run at Ascot four times, finishing 3111. The 111 were achieved over course and distance in this race the past three years. On none of those three occasions did RdS go off favourite. He won't again tomorrow.

The softer the better for Nick Williams' old stick. His record over hurdles on soft reads 122312.

Williams is in very good 'nick' (pardon the pun) just now and has a pretty good long term record at the track.

Richard Johnson, who knows the horse well (three wins including this race in 2013), takes the ride. Johnson is in permanently good form this season, and has ridden 23 winners from exactly 100 rides in the last 30 days.

As you'd expect in a Grade 1, competition is hot, led by the rising stars, Saphir du Rheu and especially Thistlecrack; but the pick has been there and got three T-shirts. He could gain an unprecedented fourth on Saturday afternoon.

Reve de Sivola is 9/2 with Paddy, Betfair Sports, and BetVictor at time of writing here for the betting on the 2.25 Ascot

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Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 11th April 2014

Floral Spinner was given an absolute howler of a ride yesterday, and it's no wonder that jockey doesn't win more races. Honestly, she clouted every... single... fence. And still ran on for seventh of twelve. She's such a likeable mare, and is on my to follow list.

Today is tough, and confidence is low (Chris returns tomorrow!), but I quite the look of one in the...

7.05 Wolverhampton:

It's at the narrow end of the odds spectrum for a SotD pick, but Final Delivery has a heck of a lot going for him this evening.

A course record of 33211102 is a good enough start, but a course, distance and class record of 11102 - that '2' being a short head defeat - reads extremely well.

He's likely to track the pace tonight, as there's not much of it, and off a two pound lower mark, must be in the shake up once more.

9/4 with Betfair Sportsbook in a pretty poor race, Best Odds Guaranteed, is worth a point.

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Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 9th April 2014

We got the best of the price yesterday, as 4/1 Honoured was sent off 3/1, but he failed to stay which was the main question he had to answer, and eventually finished fourth. Today, we're siding with a trainer record in the absence of much form, in the...

6.00 Kempton:

James Fanshawe is a brilliant trainer. His record at Kempton is, like his record at many other tracks, excellent. Since 2009, he's saddled 234 runners, 52 of which have won, and another 55 of which have placed.

His winners in that time have been worth 84.81 points profit. In the last year at Kempton, Fanshawe has sent out 52 runners, 11 of which won and another 10 placed. They were worth a profit of 15.13 points.

Fanshawe has started the season well enough, with his three runners to date including a winner and a third, and of his three today - two at Nottingham - he runs Invasor Luck at Kempton this evening. Talk about a well bred colt, this fellow is a son of Breeders' Cup Classic winner, Invasor, out of Lonely Ahead, a mare who is a daughter of 1000 Guineas winner, Sayyedati.

Be that as it may, Invasor Luck also showed immense promise on his only start to date, when just collared in a mile Lingfield maiden. He's up against a couple of horses with form on soft turf and everything to prove on this very different surface, and he's been nibbled in the early markets.

But Betfred still go 9/2 and that looks worth taking, best odds guaranteed.

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Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 7th April 2014

Forceful Appeal was ridden with much more prominence on Saturday and, ultimately, faded badly in the final furlong from second to the rear of the field. It goes down as a clunker, and was one of many frustrations for me personally on a day to forget.

Onwards, and as I've written elsewhere, this can be a tricky time of year to be punting, with the changing of the seasons. But there are winners to be found always, and I'm hoping I've spotted one in the...

4.30 Kelso:

Perth trainer, Nick Alexander, has enjoyed a whale of a time since his daughter Lucy began riding his horses, and she's one of the best jockeys in the north of Britain. Indeed, her record for the old man is 34 wins, and 46 places, from 301 rides for a small profit at SP. 

Their record here at Kelso is six wins and ten places from 52 runners, for a profit at SP of 56.2 points, and today they team up with a quintet of horses: Another Mattie, Landecker, The Orange Rogue, The Flaming Matron, and Or De Grugy.

While you could do worse than roll those up into doubles and trebles, I'm most interested in the last named, Or De Grugy, whose record here in five starts over this trip reads 12212. That two of those defeats were by a nose and a short head means the horse is actually unlucky not to have a course / distance record of 12111, and he should again give his running, despite sneaking up the handicap to 113.

He was a short head second last time off 111, so it's far from an insurmountable mark. With Kealigolane set to lead them, Or De Grugy should be able to slipstream that one and strike for home after the turn in, and Paddy's 10/3 offer is fair enough. Win only, of course.

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Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 2nd April 2014

More frustrating for geegeez' flagship daily tipping piece yesterday as Pull The Pin beat all bar Klynch at 5/1. First is first and second is nowhere is a harsh truism, and we mark yesterday's result as a '0' and roll on to Wednesday, and the...

4.40 Leopardstown:

A race featuring a long odds on favourite may seem like a strange place to take an ailing Stat of the Day, but the Listed Heritage Stakes offers quite a compelling each way chance despite there only being two places to go at. Kingsbarns is favoured, and he has the official rating to duff these up.

Indeed, he's a stone less a pound better than the next best on those numbers. But... this will be a big season for the 2012 Racing Post Trophy winner, and his trainer and owner will have fatter purses in mind when they hit the track this afternoon. Aidan O'Brien, the aforementioned trainer, has scored with just one of his 16 runners in the past fortnight, and had runners well beaten in March at 13/8, 11/8 and 4/9. Still, Kingsbarns will almost certainly win if fit.

I'm taking a chance that he'll come on for it, and siding with Jim Bolger's Light Heavy. Third in the Irish Derby of 2012, and fourth in the Irish Champion Stakes, Light Heavy is also a triple winner at this track, where his form reads 11164, the last two races in Group 3 and Group 1 company.

In contrast to Aidan O'Brien, Jim Bolger has hit the lids in the early part of the season - as is customary for his team - and he has three wins from sixteen runners already on the board. They were worth a profit of 3 points after accounting for the losers, and Bolger's longer term Leopardstown record is exemplary.

In the past year, he's saddled 17 winners from 98 runners for a profit of 20.78 points. And since 2009, he's won with 69 of his 466 track runners (14.81%) and placed with 153 (33%).

In such context, the 8/1 about Light Heavy looks more appealing. He's not been seen since an abortive mission to Meydan last spring, when two runs down the field on the Dubai lawns saw his mark drop from 113 to 104. Clearly something was amiss there, as he's been off the track for 405 days. But, as material as that is the fact that Bolger has persisted with this stallion prospect into his fifth year, and it would appear he feels the fire still burns.

Despite the absence, Light Heavy is likely to be a good bit fitter than Kingsbarns today and, while the likes of Bold Thady Quill and Pop Art are talented on their day, neither could have got close to placing in a Derby or a Champion Stakes.

Light Heavy, each way, is the interesting line of attack today. 8/1 is ubiquitous so take the price with the Best Odds Guaranteed bookie of your choice, and let's hope some fire still burns in the belly of Bolger's beast.

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Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 29th March 2014

Monumental Man was the subject of monumental support, from 10/1 into 5/1, but was unable to get on the lead and couldn't quicken at the end. No excuses, well enough beaten. I'm siding with a fairly short one for Saturday, but I think he's a standout chance, in the ...

2.40 Doncaster:

This is all about the favourite, and class horse, Jack Dexter. He won this race last year on soft ground, the same underhoof as today. He then won again over the course and distance on soft ground on the last day of the season, also in Listed company. In fact, his only defeat on soft ground was in a Group 2 on Champions Day, when he finished a close second to Slade Power.

There's nothing of the calibre in this field, and everything looks set fair for a great run. I could spell it all out for you, but I thought a picture might paint it better.


Jack goes well fresh, as he showed when scoring in this last year, and he should get a nice tow into the race from Es Que Love, Inxile and / or Jimmy Styles, before having too much class for those rivals. 9/4 with Hills is at the thin end of our price wedge, but he looks value at that. I make him nearer the 5/4 mark against this sort of opposition.

For all the prices available...

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Nice flippers Mr Bond!

New BDH squad member: "He always runs while others walk"...

A couple of things to cover today here on BDH with a quick look back at the weather decimated Ebor Handicap from Saturday and a new addition to our BDH forward line, in the shape of a runner who will be looking for the rain to continue... Ebor Handicap Debrief... Safe to say the Ebor was a royal pain in the ass for me! I went into the morning with 3 fairly solid strings to my bow (including what I thought was a rather tasty 25-1 Ante-Post shot) and by lunchtime (4 hours from the race) I was left with a rather feeble 1 strong attack line!!

It's very rare that I play ante-post (it doesn't really fit with my punting style) so you can imagine how happy/smug I was feeling with my 25-1 ticket on Tropical Beat, who in some places was trading as low as single figures, thanks to a certain Mr Pricewise. You can then imagine my overwhelming sense of utter deflation when I heard he was a non-runner!!! Safe to say I turned the air a nasty colour of blue for a few minutes in the BDH office! If I'm honest I think a number of the Non-Runners were a bit hasty. The track wasn't actually riding that slow/soft, visually or on the clock. In fact I had a look at the results in my Proform database on Sunday and it told me the track was riding more like Good to Soft than Soft. I'm assuming connections walked the track before pulling their runners from the race and I can only assume it then felt softer than it actually was. Anyhoo it's a moot point now and the result was that I was left with a threadbare attack from my initial selections. Best thing to do then is revert to my shortlist...

Here is how the shortlist from the FREE analysis guide fared...

TIGER CLIFF 18/19 - 1st @ BFSP 7.06


OPINION 16/19 - 10th @ BFSP 6.57

GUARANTEE 16/19 - 7th @ BFSP 18

SHEIKHZAYEDROAD 15/19 - 9th @ BFSP 25.97

CARAVAN ROLLS ON 15/19 - 11th @ BFSP 8


With the withdrawal of No Heretic Lady Cecil's Tiger Cliff was left clear on his own at the top of the shortlist and he went on to justify his top ranking on the BDH figures with a well timed victory under Tom Queally.

It's a minor reward for what was a bit of a bugger of a race and hopefully some of you reverted to the figures once the runners started dropping  like flies.

There has been word in the past that the winner may eventually end up going hurdling and although I am a dyed in the wool National Hunt man I don't think I would be too keen on that option, he surely has enough to offer on the flat without going pot-hunting over timber?

BDH Review…

I'm stepping back 2 Saturday's to seek out our new squad member...

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Race in focus: 3.30 Ripon (17-08-2013): William Hill Great St Wilfrid Stakes – 6f, Class 2 Handicap (20 ran)

How the race played out…

Great St Wilf review

Pace wise this was all about the low numbers. As mentioned in my race analysis for the Great St Wilf the pace looked to be coming from middle to low and large field sprints over the Ripon 6f weigh heavily in favour of those drawn in the low stalls. The field split into 2 groups (as is the norm in this contest) with 8 staying high and the rest sticking to the far rail. Confirmed front-runner and track specialist  SPINATRIX was the one to pull the field along from her 1 stall, closely followed by RODRIGO DE TORRES from his 7 stall. SPINATRIX held the front spot for most of the contest and it was her strong front-running tactics that were one of the main contributing factors to the low to middle dominance of this race.  There were also a large group of the low-middle runners that were sitting close to the pace and this again made sure that the high numbers had their work cut out to get involved. From up high it was DR RED EYE that tried to lead his side along but despite his valiant effort he was always up against it.

The end result clearly showed that it was an advantage to be drawn low with the first 4 home being drawn in stall 9 or below, anything finishing in the ball park from up high deserves our utmost attention.

The end result…

We know all about the winner BACCARAT. He was on our BDH list, he was in the prime spot throughout the race and was able to pick up the pace-setting Spinatrix in the final 50 or so yards. The Fahey youngster probably has more to come and it will be very interesting to see where they go from here. 2nd placed SPINATRIX ran a career best on the figures and although she may still just be improving her new mark of 105 could start to make life pretty tricky. If she doesn't prove up to that mark then it will be interesting if her mark drops back down enough to be competitive in the 2014 renewal of this race (*makes a mental note for August 2014!). 3rd placed RODRIGO DE TORRES ran a highly credible race and he is on a mark he can score from if conditions are correct. 4th home REGAL PARADE easily did best of those that tried to come from out the back and although he was under the pump fairly early on he did keep responding and was doing his best work late on. He is a 9yo now but his mark is creeping down all the time and he has been producing some consistent figures, it would be no surprise to see him pop into the winners enclosure before the season is out. 5th home SUMMERINTHECITY was the first home from the high numbers and that may be simply due to the fact his jockey shifted him closer to the middle of the track at the 3f pole. He looks on a tricky handicap mark at the minute and my personal feeling is that he needs to drop at least a few lbs before winning again. Next home from the top group, and filling 6th spot overall, was the Scott Dixon trained THUNDERBALL. This would have been ground he wouldn't have appreciated and from his extremely tricky draw in stall 17 he put in a very eye-catching performance.

BDH to follow…

THUNDERBALL (6th) (S Dixon)

As already mentioned in detail those drawn high were at a significant disadvantage. THUNDERBALL in box 17 had no choice really but to stay high and essentially his cards were marked as soon as Spinatrix in stall 1 blasted off in the lead. He is also very much a horse that relies on Soft underfoot conditions to produce his best and as such the Good ground he met was also unlikely to suit him. With those 2 major factors against him his 6 length 6th is a very eye-catching performance indeed.

Staying with his ground preferences here is the breakdown of his form figures on different conditions...

Heavy - 0 wins from 2 starts

Soft - 4 wins from 9 starts

Good to Soft or better - 1 win from 40 starts

A/W - 5 wins from 29

Interestingly all 4 of his turf victories have been over 6 furlongs and all 5 of his A/W victories have been over 7f or 8f; a clear indicator that on the turf his ideal trip is 6f.

As it is the turf we are really concerned with here lets take a bit of a closer look...

First up his Soft ground form line reads an impressive 323611011; clearly he loves running when the ground is officially described as Soft.

On the distance side of things here are the breakdowns over the different trips...

6f - 5 wins from 19 starts

6 1/2f or further - 0 wins from 32 starts

6 furlongs the ideal trip? I'd say that's an affirmative!

If we squeeze things up just a touch more and look ONLY at his 6f form on Soft ground we get a rather impressive form line of 1111. Those 4 wins were gained from handicap marks of 91-86-90-85. He currently sits on OR 90 and the figures and visual evidence tells us that is a mark he is more than capable of running well from, indeed he is more than capable of winning from.

Conditions – Essentially we are looking for 6 furlongs and soft! Simple! He is currently on a mark that he has proven he can win from in the past so from a handicapping perspective this mark or below is where we want him.

He is yet to prove he is up to winning a really valuable contest (20k+) but if he gets his conditions it would not be hard to see him running well in such a race. 4 of his 5 turf wins have come on a straight track and although that condition isn't a necessity it probably is preferable.

In summary we want 6 furlongs on soft from a mark of 90 or below. The probable area for him to strike will be in a less than 20k to the winner race on a straight track although I would be flexible on that score.

THUNDERBALL now enters my Proform ‘Horse Watcher’ tool and I will post on the Blog when he is due to run next.

Ben (BDH)

p.s. Thanks to those of you that joined my SkyBet Super 6 mini league. We can at least try and beat each other as we try and nail that £250,000 first prize!

p.p.s I will have a free guide available soon to all members of the FREE service. It concerns an angle that I follow that can generate huge priced winners! If you are not on the Free service then you won't get the guide. 

BDH Bunbury Cup Review: Dance our way to future BDH profits…

Well it was quite a weekend on the BDH front! Today I will be adding another horse to our BDH war chest but before that I just want to tidy up the loose ends from the weekends racing.

Starting with...

Saturday's 2 BDH runners: Redvers & Field of Dream

We went into the 19 runner Bunbury Cup with a two-pronged attack and came out with our pockets bulging with profits!

With FIELD OF DREAM it was a case of job done, money in the bank, thank you very much, lovely jubbly! Jamie Osborne's 6yo fired in at 14-1 (21.61 BFSP!) for us and us such is now off the BDH list. As always that doesn't mean I won't back him if the situation dictates in the future, but for the purposes of our BDH war chest he has done his time and his services are no longer required. Fine effort Field of Dream, good lad.

REDVERS, on the other hand, remains on the list. He put in a big effort to finish a strong closing 5th and he did extremely well to get so close as he had to pick his way through the densest part of the pack. He looks in rude health and his time will surely come soon.

Darley July Cup

The celebrations were only just dying down when we were out of our seats again (or in my case running round B&Q getting some very strange looks!!) cheering home the winner of the July Cup, LETHAL FORCE, at 9/2 (7.22 BFSP).

It was a superb performance from Clive Cox's sprinter and as I said in my guide he was probably going to get an easy lead and that was going to make him very dangerous indeed. It was a strong performance, beating confirmed Grade 1 animals, and there is nothing to suggest he can't add more G1's to his tally going forward.

BDH Review...

As enjoyable as Saturday's shenanigans were there is no point resting on our laurels, so lets crack on with the meat of today's post and go in search of our next BDH warrior!

Race in focus: 3.15 Newmarket (12-07-2013): Bunbury Cup – 7f, Class 2 Heritage Handicap (19 ran)

How the race played out...

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The field split into 3 groups from the off with 4 staying high and 4 staying low, with the bulk of the pack staying down the middle lane. The low group and middle group started to merge around the halfway point but the top 4 remained steadfast to their far side rail for most of the contest. As the pace map tells us it was this top 4 breakaway group that held the pace advantage, so much so they filled the first 3 positions at the finish; it was a strong pace bias at play. REDVERS can maybe count himself a bit unlucky as he was right on the cusp of the top 4 in stall 15 but jockey Neil Callan made the early decision to hook down onto the back of the main group. It was probably a decision that ended up costing him at least a place, however it's not a decision that you can knock him over as he set his stall out early and stuck to his guns. BURWAAZ set a decent enough clip for the middle group but he clearly wasn't going the same pace as I'M SO GLAD up the top end who had ES QUE LOVE right on his tail, pushing him along and keeping him honest. Down the bottom end it was up to HIGHLAND COLORI to set the fractions but one feels he was always just having to be kept up to his work and probably would have preferred a bit of company to help him set the pace. All in all this was a race dominated by the high numbers and again goes to show that you don't necessarily need a large group to set a strong pace.

The end result...

The winner FIELD OF DREAM was able to sit in-behind the 2 pace pushers in front of him and hook onto the strong pace they were setting. A gap also opened up between the 2 of them in the final furlong and jockey Adam Kirby sensibly fired his mount through the gap, giving his horse the added impetus to go on and win the race. He was on a decent mark coming into this and was also in decent form, in winning this he equaled his career best RPR figure. Second home ES QUE LOVE put in a sterling effort here and he also equaled his career best RPR mark with this performance. He is starting to creep back up the handicap so that would be my worry for him going forward from here, you want him hitting the mark sooner rather than later, before his mark becomes really difficult to win from. Third placed I'M SO GLAD possibly paid the price for setting the strong pace up top but this was a decent effort and he is on a mark he can win from, probably at a slightly lower level. Fourth home DANCE AND DANCE was, in my opinion, very unlucky in-running. He didn't break ideally from the stalls and also got bumped a little, meaning he was just caught on the hop for a few strides. Ryan Moore then went to make a forward move around the 2 furlong pole but had to switch left for room, room that didn't come instantly and his run had to be checked. When that path was blocked he had to switch back right again and when a gap did appear in front of him he fairly powered home. He was the first home outwith the top group and there is every reason to believe he would have been much closer than 2.5 lengths down had it not been for interference; his draw and poor start clearly hindered him. Fifth home REDVERS was another that was a tad unlucky. Like Dance And Dance he had to work his way through the thickest part of the field and once daylight appeared he blasted home. HIGHLAND COLORI was the best home in 6th of the low drawn group and this was a solid run on a track he likes and ground he loves. My feeling is that he needs a bit of respite from the handicapper before we see him winning again though.

The bare facts are that this was very much a race to be drawn high. The low numbers were probably the most inconvenienced although the middle group would also be classed as 'poorly drawn' by myself.

BDH(s) to follow…

DANCE AND DANCE (4th) (E Vaughan)

The 7yo blasted home after having a less than ideal passage through the race and once Ryan Moore was able to get him properly  into top gear he sprouted wings. This was a clear indicator to me that a) he is rediscovering his form and b) he is on a bloody handy handicap mark! 

From a handicapping perspective we have to remember that he has won a competitive Epsom handicap off OR97 and finished very close in high class handicaps at Ascot (off OR102) and Goodwood (off OR110); he is currently on OR94. That's 3lb lower than his highest winning mark and 16lbs LOWER than when finishing a very close 5th at Goodwood in the 2011 Totesport Mile handicap. Since that time he has ran well in numerous Group races, including Group 1 races. There is plenty about him that shouts 'Well Handicapped' and 'Ready to Win'.

He has had numerous pilots throughout his career although for me Ryan Moore (Saturday's jockey) looks the perfect foil. The horse loves to come with a rattle from right out the back and Moore is the perfect jockey to stoke him up and get him motoring. For the record the pairing have a tasty 1224 record together.

In general he is a fairly adaptable horse with regards to most race conditions although it may just be over the 8f trip that we really see him at his best; his best RPR figures and Proform speed figures have all been gained over 8 furlongs.

Interestingly he is entered in the Betfred Mile at this years Glorious Goodwood Festival, to me that looks an extremely viable and sensible target.

Conditions – I think it's simply with this lad. He is on a very winnable handicap mark and connections know where he performs at his best. Ideally we want him in 1 mile races although 7 furlongs will also suit. Ryan Moore, again, would be ideal in the saddle although I won't be put off by other jockeys. 

He is in form and on a good mark and looks primed to strike very soon.

DANCE AND DANCE now enters my Proform ‘Horse Watcher’ tool and I will post on the Blog when he is due to run next.

A day out at Beverley...

I'm off to Beverley tomorrow to watch my horse (horse I have a share in would be more accurate!!)  TRENDING run in the 5.35 race. My good friend Tony McCormick (@TonyMacRacing on Twitter) is also sponsoring a race on the card (the 3.30) so I'm also there to support him as well/have a few drinks.

If you happen to be at the track come along and say hello, don't ask for any tips though, I don't plan on studying any of the races!

Cheers - Ben (BDH)

You can get more from myself over at my Blog

BDH Sandown Review: Gannon’s not Dun yet….

An interesting couple of days for us over the weekend and before I crack into the review of the 5f sprint at Sandown from Friday I just want to tidy up a few loose ends.

Starting with...


As far as his role as a BDH runner is concerned it's job done and thank you very much. On Friday he was very much a 'well drawn horse' and he rewarded us all at some very tasty prices. It will be interesting to see what the handicapper does but for the purposes of this here blog he happily moves off the BDH list. Good job Doc.


I think what Duke of Firenze (I'm going to call him DOF from now on!) confirmed to me on Saturday was that he needs the big fields to produce his best. Small fields tend to congregate and cluster up into 1 group, causing plenty of traffic jams for hold-up runners, such as DOF. In large field races the runners tend to fan out at the end of the race and gaps appear between runners as the petrol gauge starts to flicker on empty, gaps that Duke of Firenze obviously loves coming through in the closing stages. When the runners are spread across the track they naturally open up and fan out as the energy levels drop in the closing stages, this is where I feel Duke Of Firenze can be seen at his best.

He certainly met plenty trouble in-running on Saturday and he was hindered at least twice when looking to make forward moves. As mentioned this is more likely to happen in small fields when they cluster up so as frustrating as it is, it also isn't surprising.

For now he remains on the BDH list.

Now onto the meat of today's post...

Race in focus: 2.20 Sandown (05-07-2013) – LONDON'S RACE TRACKS RACINGANDMUSIC.CO.UK HANDICAP (Class 3 Handicap) 5f (14ran)

Your first 30 days for just £1

How the race played out…

Doctor Parkes Sandown Race 05-07

As is generally the case with sprints at Sandown it is the runners drawn low and up with the pace that come out on top and it was no different in this contest. There was some fine analysis pre-race on Racing UK by Eddie 'the shoe' Fremantle about the effect of the draw at Sandown over the 5f trip, where he pointed out the advantage of being drawn in the low stalls. He himself had walked the track before the race and stated that there was a distinct advantage, in his opinion, to those drawn low. That was purely from him having walked the track and tested the underfoot conditions himself. As it turns out he was spot on and it was also something I had indicated in my Blog post on Friday. It is very much something to keep in mind when punting in these types of races at Sandown although obviously the bias is somewhat negated in the smaller fields (7 or less runners).

The pace map tells us that the pace was set by FAIR VALUE in the 6 box and he tracked across to the far rail early on. DOCTOR PARKES got a good break from the 2 box and that allowed jockey Neil Callan to position him just where he wanted him, something that proved pivotal in his victory. JOE PACKET didn't break quite as well and he was maybe just a quarter step behind where he wanted to be for most of the race, nevertheless he was still in a decent posi compared to some. Possibly the most interesting aspect of the pace was the fact that the top 5 stalls (boxes 10-15) all made the early decision to switch in behind the pack and run held-up. That isn't too unexpected as they all generally run that way anyway but in truth it was also their only real option from their unfavorable draws. Unfortunately it was also a moved that severely compromised their chances. Of the 5 of them the smartest riding came from Thomas Brown on STEPS who kept his mount on the outer of the main group, leaving him room to try and bullet home late with an unblocked passage (ooh er missus!). He did, however, have the 'best' of the wide draws and was in a prime slot to make that decision.

The end result…

The winner DOCTOR PARKES was well drawn, in the prime position throughout and took full advantage. This was a good performance and he won fairly readily in the end. He will possibly now be pushing on to a mark that he will start to struggle with, as always it will be interesting to see the handicappers reaction. Second placed JOE PACKET possibly didn't get the best start and had to fight his way back into it a bit but it was a solid run and there is every suggestion that he can win from this mark. He may just be better suited to being stepped back up to 6f. Third placed STEPS ran a very sound race from out wide, he was one that didn't have a great draw but the fact he stayed wide probably benefited him as he had a clear passage to the line. He is running from a career high mark at the minute but still remains competitive, it is a close call whether the handicapper has him in his grip or not; personally I would like to see him dropped just a couple of lbs. FAIR VALUE gave it fair effort from the front but just couldn't keep the closer's at bay and faded slightly in the final yards into fourth. His recent runs suggest he could well pick a race up from this mark though and an easy 5f is probably his best option. Fifth place TAAJUB didn't really take advantage of his good draw and found trouble by being held up. He is another that suggests he could win from his current mark. As previously mentioned it's hard to win from out the back and out wide over Sandown's flying 5 furlongs so for that reason I would be willing to crank up DUNGANNON's 6th placed run a notch or 2. It was an extremely difficult draw to win from and he did well to get so close and he did motor home once the gaps appeared; to only finish 2.5 lengths in arrears was a fine effort.

BDH(s) to follow…

DUNGANNON (6th) (A Balding)

This 6yo gelding put in some decent late work once the gaps appeared and whilst his finishing position probably doesn't fully justify his effort it should be enough to keep him under the radar of most punters.

Possibly the most interesting angle with this horse is his current handicap mark of 88. That is a full 7lbs lower than his last winning mark and 2lbs lower than his 2nd highest winning mark. If we also consider the fact that he has run well from marks as high as 99 & 97 then it isn't hard to make the assumption that he is currently sitting on a pretty handy mark.

It's also interesting to note that all his wins have come when returning within 28 days or less of his last run (on Friday it was 32 days since his last run)...

Form when returning within 28 days of last run - 010061013571

Form when returning after a break of 29 days+ - 569252678055

He doesn't necessarily run 'poorly' after longer breaks but the fact all his wins have come off shorter breaks suggests that ideally we want him on the track within a month.

He looks fairly adaptable when it comes to ground and to a certain extent distance (winning form over 5f, 6f & 7f) so his options should be open enough with regards to future targets. His handicap mark is clearly the most interesting aspect about him and I would be surprised if he can't take advantage of it very soon, especially off the back of his run at Sandown last Friday.

Conditions – Ideally we are wanting him back on the track within the month, the 28 day window looks his optimum and there should be plenty of targets for him to be aimed at. He has winning form over 7f but personally I think 5f or 6f would be the ideal trips for him, again there should be plenty of openings for him within the next few weeks.

DUNGANNON now enters my Proform ‘Horse Watcher’ tool and I will post on the Blog when he is due to run next.

You can read much more from myself over at my own site

Ben (BDH)

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 9th June 2013

Another good winner for Chris yesterday, beating the 11/4 SP with his recommended 7/2 early price, so I've a challenge to replicate his fine form while he enjoys a day off. Faint heart never won fair maiden, and I'm having a small dig at probably the most competitive race of the day, the...

4.30 Perth

No yard is in better fettle right now than Peter Bowen's. The man is almost literally on fire, but mercifully the only burns on show are to those bookmakers whose fingers dare take the Welsh wizard on.

Specifically, in the last fourteen days, Bowen has saddled 28 runners, with ten of them winniner (36%), and another eight hitting the frame (64% place strike rate). He runs just one today, and he's gone all the way to Perth, the northernmost course in the British Isles, to do it.

Mumbles Head is a twelve year old now, but age didn't stop him winning this race last year as an eleven year old. His form appears to have tapered off in recent starts, and it's possible he's regressive now. But it's also possible his mark has been managed for a repeat tilt at this good prize. He won it off a handicap rating of 129 last year, and went up to as high as 142. Just a few runs later, and he's 'magically' back on 129, the same as last year.

His form here at Perth is, ahem, 1111, which gives cause for optimism, and he's ridden by Tom O'Brien, who has won six times from just fourteen mounts (and been placed on another five occasions).

He's been well backed, from 7's and 6's into 5's, and that price is going too. But it's still available with Coral, Ladbrokes and Hills, BOG, so grab it while you can, win only of course.

Click here for the latest betting on the 4.30 Perth

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Stat of the Day : 2/5/13

Stat of the Day : 2/5/13

Stat of the Day, 2nd May 2013

A neither here nor there run from Brass Monkey yesterday, as he neither went badly, nor did he go well. It was just nondescript, I suppose. He was held up, the pushed along for a while and then got outpaced and stayed one-paced to a 5th place finish. It goes down on our record as a -1 and we move on to Thursday.

A change of tack today, as we head west to Wales for another tea time encounter. This one is a Class 5 Maiden over 5 furlongs, where the going is expected to be good for the nine runners aiming to break their duck in the...

5.05 Chepstow:

It's all about Richard Hannon today and his placement of horses in selected races. It's already a well-known fact that his 2 yr olds tend to fly at this time of year, winning around 24% of their races in April & May and whilst that alone isn't enough for me, it's a good starting point.

Now, Chepstow isn't a place that Mr Hannon sends too many runners to, but his record of 15 winners from 54 in non-handicap races here is something to take note of and raises genuine interest whenever he's represented in such a race here. And that 27.8% strike rate is further enhanced to 30% when we look at his 2 yr olds in isolation, courtesy of 12 wins from 40 (5 of the last 15 have won too).

At this point, I felt that his record with 2 yr olds at this time of year allied to the record of his horses (especially 2yr olds) here at Chepstow was enough for me to base today selection on, but then I remember something Matt (the boss!) told me several months ago, when he mentioned that the trainer was particularly adept at getting horses to win second time out.

So, I dug through some stats last night and I discovered that since 2008, Mr Hannon's 2yr olds have won 21.67% of their second races and that figure is particularly high here at Chepstow with 7 winners from just 15: a strike rate of 46.67% yielding 11pts level stakes profit, a return of 76.9% over stakes.

All of which brings us to Hedge End, a filly who wasn't disgraced when finishing 6th of 8 on debut in early April on the A/W at Kempton and much more is expected of this one. She fits all the above requirements re: age, time of year, number of runs, type of race, track and as Mr Hannon's only runner here today, I'd hope she was coming here to more than cover the petrol money.

If things go to plan, I expect to see Hedge End in the winners' enclosure before 5.15 this evening, so I'll be putting my money on her at 3/1 (BOG, of course) with Bet365, but to see what your bookie is offering...

Click here for the latest betting on the 5.05 Chepstow.

Stat of the Day : 1/5/13

Stat of the Day : 1/5/13

Stat of the Day, 1st May 2013

No joy for the Turner/Bell combination yesterday as both Sunningdale Rose (3rd of 5) and our selection George Cinq were well beaten. Hayley seemed like she was producing George Cinq at just the right time. The 3/1 shot had been kept covered up and when she pulled him out two furlongs from home, I was just waiting for the burst to the line. Hayley pressed the button and there was little response to be honest and a 2.75 length defeat was the outcome, back in 4th place.

We're off to Nottinghamshire today for a Class 5 Handicap Hurdle over two miles, four and a half furlongs, where the going is expected to be good for the ten runners contesting the...

5.30 Southwell:

Today we turn to another familiar SotD name, Charlie Longsdon, as I noticed last night that he has a very good record in recent years with horses making their first run for his yard. Sometimes, a horse needs a change of scenery / tactics to get the best out of them and certain trainers are more adept than others at resurrecting a horse's form.

Mr Longsdon is one such trainer, having secured 32 winners from 140 yard debutants since the start of 2011. This 22.9% strike rate over the last 28 months has yielded a level stakes profit of 149.21pts, a return on investment of over 106.5%: a nice chunk of change indeed.

Our selection today, Brass Monkey, is a lightly-raced 6 yr old gelding whose previous form suggests that he'll enjoy the good ground underfoot, as he has really struggled in softer conditions. He won a bumper here at Southwell for Sarah Humphrey almost a year ago (15th May 2012) on his second attempt, but has struggled over hurdles in three races since then in conditions described as soft (twice) and heavy, where he clearly didn't get the ground, but did complete the races to gain today's handicap mark of 88.

Today is Brass Monkey's handicap debut and he'll also be assisted by the booking of the best jockey to have ridden him so far (Richard Johnson), this addition plus the switch to the new yard and their record with debutants allied to the horse's previous course victory make me confident of a good show today and I'm happy to place my shilling on Brass Monkey at 7/2 BOG.

That price is quite wildly available, so for your choice of bookmaker, simply...

Click here for the latest betting on the 5.30 Southwell.

Stat of the Day : 30th April

Stat of the Day : 30th April

Stat of the Day, 30th April 2013

A poor run from Thunder Sheik yesterday, as he was eventually pulled up before the penultimate fence. He'd started well enough and led in the opening stages of the contest, but soon slipped back through the field before having his run curtailed prematurely. The market had it spot on as he drifted from our advised 7/2 out to an SP of 11/2.

We're back on the flat today and we're off to the Norfolk seaside for a 7-runner, Class 4 handicap over a mile. The going is expected to be good to firm for the...

3.10 Yarmouth:

Stat of the Day exists because racing has a habit of repeating itself year after year and today's stat is no exception. Today is the last day of April: a notoriously difficult time of year to find winners, both as a punter and also as a "racing connection" ie it's tough for trainers and jockeys too.

April however represents a very good time of year for the jockey / trainer partnership of Hayley Turner and Michael Bell, who have an impressive record when teaming up together.

Since the start of April 2010, Ms Turner has ridden for Mr Bell some 47 times in the month of April, winning a dozen of those races (25.5% of the time) and producing level stakes profits of 40.25pts = an ROI of some 85.6%.

These figures are impressive enough, but if we consider just handicap contests like today's race, that record is improved upon to 8 wins from 22 (36.4%) for 46.5pts (+211.4%) profit, quite astounding. This isn't skewed by one freakish month: in years 2010, 2011 and so far this year the strike rate has been 33% in each of those years, whilst 2012 saw a 43% winning ratio, so it's a consistent stat at least.

There's just one horse that fits the criteria today: George Cinq, who makes only his fourth start today. He was 6th on debut in a Newmarket maiden, before breaking his duck on the A/W track at Kempton over 7f in his second contest. He continued his progression when stepping up top Class 2 company last time out for his final Nursery outing also over 7f at Kempton. He encountered plenty of trouble in running that day, but stayed on really well in the closing stages to chase home the highly regarded Godolphin horse Tamarkuz.

Any repeat of that type of form and/or a continuance of his progress shown last term should be enough to take this contest today and I'd expect this one to be quite popular today and he'll probably end up in the 9/4 to 5/2 region. I'd have thought.

Therefore, I was quite pleased to get a 1pt bet on George Cinq at 3/1 BOG with BetVictor, but as we know prices do fluctuate, so please...

Click here for the latest betting on the 3.10 Yarmouth.

PS Sunningdale Rose will also be ridden by Hayley Turner for Michael Bell in the 2.10 race, but that's not a handicap event.