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Sat TV Trends: 7th Jan 2017

Another MASSIVE day for the ITV4 horse racing cameras as they move to Wincanton and Sandown for more LIVE coverage - with the Tolworth Hurdle at the Esher track the weekend feature.

Like every Saturday horse racing trends expert Andy Newton takes you through all the key trends and stats to help you whittle down the runners and hopefully find a few winners.

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Sandown Horse Racing Trends (RUK/ITV4)

1.50 – 32Red Casino Handicap Chase Cl2 2m ITV4

10/10 – Won over at least 2m (chase) previously
9/10 – Ran within the last 2 months
9/10 – Priced 17/2 or shorter
9/10 – Winning distance – 2 lengths or more
8/10 – Never raced at Sandown
8/10 – Favourite placed
7/10 – Aged either 8 or 9 years-old
7/10 – From the top 3 in the betting
7/10 – Irish bred
7/10 – Officially rated 135 or higher
7/10 – Carried 11-0 or more in weight
7/10 – Won between 1-4 times over fences in the UK previously
5/10 – Unplaced last time out
5/10 – Winning Favourites
5/10 – Went onto run in that season’s Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival
4/10 – Trained by Paul Nicholls
4/10 – Went onto win a race at that season’s Cheltenham Festival (Champion Chase, Grand Annual)
3/10 – Ridden by Ruby Walsh
3/10 – Ran at Cheltenham last time out
3/10 – Won their last race
Bold Henry won the race 12 months ago
The average winning SP in the last 8 running is 5/1


2.25 – 32Red Tolworth Novices´ Hurdle (Grade 1) Cl1 2m110y ITV4

12/12 – Won over at least 2m (hurdles) before
12/12 – Placed 1st or 2nd in their last race
11/12 – Raced within the last 6 weeks
11/12 – Priced  5/1 or shorter
10/12 – Won between 1-2 times over hurdles previously
10/12 – Came from the top three in the market
10/12 – Won by a horse aged either 5 or 6 years-old
9/12 – Won last time out
9/12 – Placed favourites
8/12 – Winners that went onto run at that season’s Cheltenham Festival
7/12 – Won by an Irish bred horse
6/12 – Favourites
6/12 – Won by a horse aged 5 years-old
4/12 – Won by the Paul Nicholls stable
4/12 – Ran at either Sandown (2) or Newbury (2) last time out
3/12 – Won by the Nicky Henderson stable
3/12 – Ridden by jockey Barry Geraghty
3/12 – Ridden by jockey Ruby Walsh
2/12 – Ran at Sandown before
2/12 – Won by the Jonjo O’Neill stable
1/12 – Won the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle later that season (Noland 2006)
1/12 - Won the Neptune Investment Hurdle later that season (Yorkhill 2016)
5 or 6 years-old have won 18 of the last 24 runnings
Since 1988 ALL winners have been aged 7 or younger
The average winning SP in the last 13 runnings is 7/2


3.00 - 32RedSport.com Veterans´ Handicap Chase Final (The Final of The 2015 Veterans´ Chase Series) Cl2 3m37y ITV4

Your first 30 days for just £1

1 previous running
The David Pipe yard won the race 12 months ago
Tom Scudamore rode the winner in 2016
Trainer Nicky Henderson has a 25% record with his chasers here
Trainer Colin Tizzard is just 1 from 23 with his chasers here
Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies is 1 from 23 with his chasers here
Jockey Daryl Jacob has a 34% record riding over fences at the track
Jockey Sam Twiston-Davies is just 2 from 39 riding over fences here


3.35 –32Red Handicap Hurdle Cl2 2m110y ITV4

10/11 – Ran within the last 8 weeks
10/11 – Won over at least 2m1f (hurdles) previously
10/11 – Aged between 5-7 years-old
9/11 – Unplaced last time out
9/11 – Had won between 1-3 times over hurdles in the UK before
8/11 – Carried 10-12 or less in weight
6/11 – Went onto run at that season’s Cheltenham Festival (no winners)
6/11 – Officially rated between 127 and 132
6/11 – Priced a double-figure price in the betting
5/11 – Went onto finish unplaced in a Cheltenham Festival race that season
5/11 – Raced at either Ascot (3) or Cheltenham (2) last time out
4/11 – From the top 3 in the betting
4/11 – Irish bred
3/11 – Won last time out
2/11 – Trained by Nicky Henderson
2/11 – Trained by Oliver Sherwood
2/11 – Trained by the Pipe stable
2/11 – Trained by Venetia Williams
0/11 – Favourites
The average winning SP in the last 8 runnings is 11/1

Note: 2002 & 2003 runnings were staged at Ascot


Wincanton Horse Racing Betting Trends (RUK/ITV4)


2.40 – Bathwick Tyres Yeovil Chase (A Novices’ Limited Handicap) Cl3 2m4f35y ITV4

Trainer Nicky Henderson has 40% record with his chasers at the track
Trainer Donald McCain is 2-from-2 with his chasers at the course
Trainer Harry Fry has a 25% record with his chasers at the track
Trainer Paul Nicholls has a 26% record with his chasers at the track
Trainer Tom George has a 23% record with his chasers at the track
Trainer Neil Mulholland is just 2 from 30 with his chasers at the track


3.15 -  Bathwick Tyres Poole Handicap Hurdle Cl3 2m5f82y ITV4

Trainer Paul Nicholls has a 39% record with his hurdlers here
Trainer Neil King is 2 from 5 with his hurdlers here
Trainer Nicky Henderson has a 22% record with his hurdlers here
Trainer Sue Gardner is just 1 from 26 with his hurdlers here
Trainer Jonjo O’Neill is just 1 from 33 with his hurdlers here
Trainer Jamie Snowden is just 1 from 24 with his hurdlers here
Daryl Jacob has a 28% record riding over hurdles here

 

Trainers Quotes

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"Very disappointing run last time for Grand Facile. Using different tactics this time and if all goes well, may have a chance at a fair price being a former CD winner here."
Gary Moore

04/01/17 2nd 25/1

"Prisom - Tried over a mile last time but didn't really enjoy that. The return to 7f is, therefore, a big plus as is the return to Southwell. Looks a race with several (including us) with similar-looking chances, but she is well and so e/w claims."
Gay Kelleway

02/01/17 2nd 9/1

"Omintago - We look to have a decent chance here if running to the same level as last time when second at Wolverhampton. First run on the surface but no reason why it won't suit. Seems to be getting the hang of things now too so everything in place for a big run and looks one of my better chances on the day."
Mick Appleby

02/01/17 1st 11/10

 

Sat TV Trends: 20th Aug 2016

The C4 cameras remain at York for the final day of their Ebor Meeting, plus they also head to Sandown to take in three more races. As always Andy Newton’s on hand with all the key trends.


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YORK Horse Racing Trends (C4/RUK)


2.15 - Betfred Mobile Strensall Stakes (Group 3) Cl1 1m208y CH4

13/13 – Had won over at least a mile before
13/13 – Had won at least twice in the their career
12/13 – Had between 2 and 4 runs already that season
10/13 – Aged 4 or 5 years-old
10/13 – Had won over a mile before
9/13 – Winning distance of 1 length or less
9/13 – Favourites to finish in the top three
8/13 – Placed horses from stall 2
7/13 – Unplaced last time out
7/13 – Previous Group race winners
6/13 – Returned 11/4 or shorter in the betting
6/13 – Won by Godolphin
5/13 – Winning favourites (1 joint)
4/13 – Trained by Saeed Bin Suroor
4/13 – Ridden by Frankie Dettori
4/13 – Had won at York before
Custom Cut won the race in 2014
The average winning SP in the last 9 runnings is 9/2

Note: The 2009 running was a dead-heat


2.50 - Betfred Melrose Stakes (Handicap) Cl2 1m6f CH4

11/13 – Not raced at York before
11/13 – Had 4 or more runs that season
11/13 – Won carrying 9-0 or less
11/13 – Had won over 1m4f or further
10/13 – Returned 9/1 or shorter
10/13 – Had a top 5 finish last time out
8/13  - Drawn in stall 8 or lower
7/13 – Winning distance 1 length or less
5/13 – Ran at Goodwood last time out
5/13 – Won their previous race
3/13 – Winning favourites (1 co)
2/13 – Ridden by Jamie Spencer
The average winning SP in the last 9 years is 8/1

 

3.25 - Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Gimcrack Stakes (Group 2) (Colts & Geldings) Cl1 6f CH4

13/13 – Won just 1-2 times before
13/13 – Raced within the last 6 weeks
11/13 – Returned 8/1 or shorter in the betting
10/13 – Finished in the top 3 last time out
9/13 – Won just once before
8/13 – Foaled in March or later
8/13 – Had won over 6f before
8/13 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
8/13 – Unplaced favourites
5/13 – Won by a March foal
5/13 – Won last time out
4/13 – Raced at Newmarket last time out
3/13 – Trained by Kevin Ryan
3/13 – Trained by William Haggas
2/13 – Ridden by Jimmy Fortune
1/13 – Winning favourites
7 of the last 10 winners came between stalls 3-6 (inc)
The average winning SP in the last 10 years is 13/2


4.00 - Betfred Ebor (Heritage Handicap) Cl2 1m6f CH4

14/14 – Carried 9-4 or less
13/14 – Aged 6 or younger
11/14 – Won from a double-figure stall
11/14 – Aged either 4 or 5 years-old
11/14 – Had won over at least 1m4f before
10/14 – Winning Distance - 1 length or less
10/14 – Carried 9-1 or less
8/14 – Had 3 or more runs already that season
7/14 – Unplaced favourites
5/14 – Had run at York before
5/14 – Ran at Ascot last time out
4/14 – Ran at Goodwood last time out
4/14 – Won last time out
2/14 – Ridden by Jamie Spencer
2/14 – Trained by Luca Cumani
2/14 – Ran at Galway last time out
2/14 – Placed horses from stall 1 (third 2011, third 2013)
1/14 – Winning favourites
Luca Cumani has won the race in 1999, 2004 & 2007
Sir Michael Stoute won the race in 1980, 1991 & 1996
The average winning SP in the last 14 years is 23/1

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SANDOWN Horse Racing Trends (C4/RUK)

2.30 – Redrock Entertainment Atalanta Fillies’ Stakes (Group 3) (Fillies & Mares) Cl1 1m14y CH4

12/14 – Winning distance 1 ¼ or less
12/14 – Had 3 or more runs that season
11/14 – Had won over a mile before
10/14 – Aged 3 years-old
10/14 – Priced 4/1 or shorter
9/14 – Rated between 98 and 108
9/14 – Placed last time out
9/14 – Had won 3 or more times before
9/14 – Had won a Listed or Group class race
5/14 – Won last time out
5/14 – Winning favourites
4/14 – Had run at Sandown before
4/14 – Trained by Sir Michael Stoute
4/14 – Ran at Ascot last time out
The average winning SP in the last 11 years is 11/2


3.05 – TCA Abu Dhabi Solario Stakes (Group 3) Cl1 7f16y CH4

13/14 – Never raced at Sandown before
13/14 – Had won at least one race before
13/14 – Had won over 6 or 7f before
12/14 – Foaled in Jan, Feb or March
9/14 – Placed favourites
9/14 – Won last time out
9/14 – Had 2 or more previous runs
8/14 – Had won over 7f before
8/14 – Ran at Newmarket last time out
4/14 – Winning favourites
4/14 – Won by trainer John Gosden
3/14 – Ridden by Jimmy Fortune
2/14 – Won by Mark Johnston
2/14 – Trained by Jeremy Noseda (two of last 5 runnings)
The average winning SP in the last 10 years is 3/1


3.40 – National Feed & Flour Production Handicap Cl2 1m2f7y CH4

12/14 – Ran at either Haydock, York, Newmarket or Goodwood last time
12/14 – Had won over 1m2f before
11/14 – Had 4 or more runs that season
10/14 – Unplaced favourites
9/14 – Winning distance 1 length or less
9/14 – Won 3 or more times before
8/14 – Aged 4 years-old
8/14 – Had run at Sandown before (4 won)
8/14 – Carried 9-0 or more
7/14 – Returned a double-figure price
4/14 – Won last time out
2/14 –Winning favourites (1 joint)
2/14 – Trained by Luca Cumani
2/14 – Ridden by Martin Dwyer
The average winning SP in the last 10 years is 11/1

 

Trainers Quotes

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"Take Cover took this race in 2014 and a close second 12 months ago so no issues on the track and trip. Didn't work out at Ascot last time out as the ground went too soft for him and the draw not ideal. In really good form at home and at this course and on this quicker ground confident of a good run. Tough race, but looks a great e/w price."
David C Griffiths

29/07/16 1st 8/1

"Palmerston - Won well for us two runs back beating a fair yardstick in Fort Jefferson. That was over a mile so the return to this trip after trying 1m2f last time is a big plus. Yes, 5lbs higher than that win and higher grade but the horse is very well at home and I think we head here with a great each-way chance at a nice price. We've a few out today, but this one looks the value e/w bet from all my runners."
Mick Appleby

23/07/16 1st 20/1 

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Sat TV Trends: 11th June 2016

More LIVE C4 action This Saturday as the cameras head to Sandown, York and Musselburgh and as always Andy Newton’s got all the key trends & stats to help you narrow down the fields - hopefully these will point you in the direction of a few winners.

 

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Sandown Horse Racing Trends (C4/RUK)

2.10 – betstars.uk For Horse Racing Handicap Cl3 1m1f CH4

11/14 – Had won just once before
10/14 – Had raced within the last 6 weeks
10/14 – Drawn in stall 5 or lower
9/14 – Carried 9-0 or more
9/14 – Rated between 80-87
9/14 – Finished in the top 3 last time out
7/14 – Won by an Irish-bred horse
7/14 – Unplaced favourites
6/14 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
5/14 – Won last time out
4/14 – Ran at Newmarket last time out
2/14 – Had raced at the track before
2/14 – Trained by Sir Michael Stoute
2/14 – Ridden by Martin Dwyer
1/14 – Winning favourites
The average winning SP in the last 11 runnings is 11/1

 

2.45 – BetStars By Pokerstars Handicap Cl2 1m14y CH4

Only 4 previous runnings
3/4 – Aged 4 or younger
3/4 – Winners carried 9-5 or more
3/4 – Rated between 90-94
3/4 – Winners between stalls 6-9 (inc)
3/4 – Raced in the last 5 weeks
2/4 – Won last time out
1/4 – Winning favourites
Trainer Mark Johnston won the race in 2012
Trainer Amanda Perrett has a 20% record with her older horses at the track
Andrea Atzeni is just 1 from 32 riding older horses at the track

 

3.20 – betstars.uk Scurry Stakes (Listed Race) Cl1 5f6y CH4

11/11 – Returned 10/1 or shorter
9/11 – Had won over 5f before
9/11 – Placed favourites
9/11 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
8/11 – Returned 4/1 or shorter in the betting
8/11 – Had at least 2 previous runs that season
7/11 – Had won at least 3 times before
6/11 – Came from stall 7 or higher
6/11 – Finished 1st or 2nd last time out
6/11 – Winning favourites
6/11 – Winning distance – 2 lengths or more
6/11 – Irish bred
5/11 – Ran at either Haydock (3) or Beverley (2) last time out
5/11 – Had won a Listed or Group 3 race before
2/11 – Trained by Michael Bell
The average winning SP in the last 9 years is 4/1

 

York Horse Racing Trends (C4/RUK)

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1.50 – Queen Mother´s Cup (Lady Amateur Riders) (Handicap) Cl3 1m4f CH4

12/13 – Had raced within the last 5 weeks
11/13 – Carried 9-11 or more
11/13 – Aged 6 or younger
11/13 – Had won over 1m4f or further before
11/13 – Had run over 1m4f or further previously
10/13 – Had at least 2 previous runs already that season (flat)
10/13 – Rated between 80-89
9/13 – Favourites placed in the top four
9/13 – Had run at York before
9/13 – Won from a single-figure stall
8/13 – Had won at least 3 times before (flat)
8/13 – Winning distance – 3/4 length or less
7/13 – Returned 8/1 or shorter in the betting
7/13 – Aged either 5 or 6 years-old
6/13 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
4/13 – Winners that came from stalls 3 or 4
4/13 – Winning favourites (1 joint)
3/13 – Won last time out
3/13 – Won by trainer Tim Easterby
2/13 – Won by trainer Luca Cumani
2/13 – Ridden by Miss J Coward
0/13 – Placed horses from stall 2
The average winning SP in the last 9 runnings is 9.4/1
Trainer Brian Ellison won the race 12 months ago

 

2.25 – betstars.uk Home of Spin & Bet Stakes (Handicap) Cl2 7f CH4

1 previous running
Trainer William Haggas has a 20% record with his older horses at the track
Trainer Mark Johnston is just 2 from 55 with his older horses at the track
Trainer Mick Channon is just 1 from 25 with his older horses at the track
Trainer Richard Fahey is just 13 from 271 with his older horses at the track
Jockey Jim Crowley is only 1 from 41 when riding older horses at the track
Jockey Tom Eaves is only 1 from 52 when riding older horses at the track
Jockey David Nolan is only 1 from 38 when riding older horses at the track

 

3.00 – Best Western Hotels Ganton Stakes (Listed Race) Cl1 1m CH4

Only 4 previous runnings
4/4 – Returned 7/1 or shorter in the betting
4/4 – Aged 5 or younger
4/4 – Irish bred
3/4 – Placed favourites
3/4 – Had raced in the last 4 weeks
3/4 – Had won a Listed (or better) race before
3/4 – Returned 3/1 or shorter in the betting
2/4 – Raced at Doncaster last time out
2/4 – Winning favourites
Top Notch Tonto won the race in 2015
Andrew Balding won the race in 2012
The average winning SP in the last 4 runnings is 3/1

 

3.35 - 888Sport Charity Sprint (Handicap) Cl2 6f CH4

11/11 – Rated between 87-97
9/11 – Raced within the last 4 weeks
9/11 – Placed in the top 5 last time out
9/11 – Had won over 6f before
8/11 – Unplaced favourites
7/11 – Returned 12/1 or shorter in the betting
7/11 – Had won between 1-2 times before
5/11 – Irish bred
5/11 – Raced at Newmarket last time out
4/11 – Won last time out
2/11 – Won by David Nicholls
2/11 – Won by Tim Easterby (inc 2 of the last 3 runnings)
0/11 – Winners from stall 1
The average winning SP in the last 9 runnings is 10/1

 

Musselburgh Horse Racing Trends (C4/RUK)

3.10 - William Hill Scottish Tartan Trophy (A Consolation For Scottish Sprint Cup) (Handicap) Cl3 5f CH4

Only 2 previous runnings
Pearl Acclaim won the race 12 months ago
The last 2 winners were aged 4 or 5 years-old
Both recent winners carried 9-5 or more
Both winners came from double-figure stalls
Trainer Dandy Nicholls won the race in 2015
Trainer David Baron won the race in 2014
Trainer Mick Appleby has a 30% record with his older horses at the track
Trainer David Nicholls is just 3 from 68 with his older horses at the track

 

3.45 – William Hill Scottish Sprint Cup (A Heritage Handicap) Cl2 5f CH4

11/12 – Won over 5f before
10/12 – Had raced within the last 4 weeks
10/12 -  Winning distance – 1 length or less
10/12 – Favourites that finished in the top 5
9/12 – Carried 9-1 or less
9/12 – Had won between 2-5 times before
8/12 – Came from a double-figure stall
8/12 – Aged either 4 or 5 years-old
7/12 – Came from outside the top 3 in the betting
7/12 – Returned a double-figure price in the betting
5/12 – Won last time out
4/12 – Winning favourites
2/12 – Trained by Bryan Smart
The average winning SP in the last 10 runnings is 16/1
Red Baron won the race in 2015

 

Trainers Quotes

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"Entertaining Ben - The saddle slipped at Brighton last time which was frustrating as he was in great form.  He is still working well at home and I am hoping he can go close today - looks a fair e/w price at around 20/1."
William Muir 07/06/16 1st 25/1

 

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Sat TV Trends: 31st Jan 2015

More LIVE C4 action this weekend as the cameras head to Sandown, Wetherby and Ffos Las – As normal we've we've got all the big race trends and stats for you.

 

Sandown (C4/RUK)

1.50 - Betfred "Goals Galore" Handicap Chase Cl2 2m CH4

8 previous runnings
8/8 – Returned 10/1 or shorter
8/8 – Ran within the last 8 weeks
7/8 – Won between 1-4 times over fences previously
7/8 – Aged 9 or younger
7/8 – Winning distance – 2 lengths or more
7/8 – Placed in the top 3 last time out
6/8 – Ran within the last 4 weeks
5/8 – Carried 10-10 or less in weight
4/8 – Aged 7 years-old
4/8 – Had an official rating of exactly 125
4/8 – French bred
4/8 – From outside the top 4 in the betting
4/8 – Went onto run at that season’s Cheltenham Festival (no winners)
3/8 – Went to race in that season’s Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase
3/8 – Won their last race
3/8 – Raced over fences at Sandown before (2 won)
2/8 – Ran at Sandown last time out
2/8 – Trained by Nicky Hendserson
2/8 – Ridden by Timmy Murphy
1/8 – Favourites
The average winning SP in the last 7 renewals is 6/1
Trainer/Jockey Stats:
Paul Nicholls is 30% with his chasers here
Nicky Henderson has a 27% record with his chasers here
Philip Hobbs is just 3 from 36 with his chasers here
David Pipe is only 1 from 1 with his chasers here
Jonjo O’Neill is just 2 from 22 with his chasers here
Barry Geraghty has a 28% record riding over fences here

2.25 - Betfred TV Scilly Isles Novices´ Chase (Grade 1) Cl1 2m4f110y CH4

11/11 – Won no more than 3 times over fences previously
11/11 – Placed in the top 3 last time out
11/11 – Returned 4/1 or shorter in the betting
11/11 – From the top 3 in the betting
10/11 – Ran within the last 6 weeks
10/11 – Placed in the top 2 last time out
9/11 – Aged 7 or younger
9/11 – Won between 1-3 times over fences before
8/11 – Favourites
8/11 – Favourites placed
8/11 – Winners that went onto run at that season’s Cheltenham Festival (no winners)
7/11 – Winning distance – 2 lengths or more
6/11 – Aged 7 years-old
5/11 – French bred
5/11 – Irish bred
5/11 – Raced at Cheltenham last time out
4/11 – Trained by Paul Nicholls
3/11 – Went onto finish in the top 5 in the RSA Chase
3/11 – Raced over fences at Sandown previoulsy
2/11 – Ridden by Ruby Walsh
2/11 – Ridden by AP McCoy
The average winning  SP in the last 10 renewals is 7/4

Trainer/Jockey Stats:
Paul Nicholls is 30% with his chasers here
Philip Hobbs is just 3 from 36 with his chasers here
Nigel Twiston-Davies is 0 from 23 with his chasers here

3.00 - Betfred Mobile And Levy Board Heroes Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) Cl1 2m6f CH4

9/9 – Raced in the last 8 weeks
9/9 – Won by a horse aged 9 or younger
8/9 – Went to race at the Cheltenham Festival that season
8/9 – Winning distance – 2 ½ lengths or shorter
8/9 – Won only 2-3 times over hurdles before
8/9 – Won over at least 2m4f (hurdles) before
8/9 – Carried 10-12 or less in weight
8/9 – Officially rated 135 or lower
7/9 – Winners that came from the top 3 in the market
7/9 – Returned 13/2 or less
6/9 – Won by a horse aged 7 or younger
5/9 – Favourites placed
4/9 – Raced over hurdles at Sandown previously (3 won)
4/9 – Won last time out
4/9 – Favourites
4/9 – Won by a French-bred horse
4/9 – Won by an Irish-bred horse
3/9 – Raced at Cheltenham last time out
3/10 – Won by the Paul Nicholls yard
2/10 – Won by the Philip Hobbs yard
2/10 – Ridden by Richard Johnson
1/10 – Winners that went onto win at that season’s Cheltenham Festival (Ryanair Chase, 2007 Taranis)
The average winning SP in the last 8 renewals is 6/1

Trainer/Jockey Stats:
Charlie Longsdon has a 25% record with his hurdlers here
Lucy Wadham has a 20% record with her hurdlers here
Neil King has a 20% record with his hurdlers here
Emma Lavelle has a 20% record with her hurdlers here

3.35 - Betfred Masters Handicap Chase Cl2 3m110y CH4

11/11 – Carried 11-5 or less in weight
10/11 – Won over at least 3m (fences) before
9/11 – Raced within the last 8 weeks
9/11 – Rated 136 or lower
8/11 – Aged 9 or younger
7/11 – Won between 1-3 times over fences (UK) before
7/11 – Came from outside the top 3 in the betting
6/11 – Placed in their last race
6/11 – Ran at Sandown before (3 won)
6/11 – Favourites placed in the top 4
5/11 – Raced at either Sandown (3) or Haydock (2) last time out
5/11 – Went onto run at that season’s Cheltenham Festival (no winners)
5/11 – French-bred
4/11 – Irish-bred
3/11 – Favourites
2/11 – Went onto finish unplaced in that season’s Grand National
RELAX won this race 12 months ago
The average winning SP in the last 9 runnings is 9/1

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Trainer/Jockey Stats:
Nicky Henderson has a 27% record with his chasers here
Venetia Williams is just 3 from 39 with her chasers here
David Pipe is just 4 from 50 with his chasers here
Oliver Sherwood is just 1 from 24 with his chasers here
Richard Johnson has a 21% record riding over fences here

Ffos Las (C4/ATR)

2.05 - Betway Welsh Champion Hurdle (A Limited Handicap) Cl2 2m4f CH4

Normally staged at Chepstow the race was terminated in 2002, but brought back to life by Ffos Las racecourse in 2010 – however, there was no race in 2010, Oscar Whisky won a poor renewal in 2011, while the 2012 race was abandoned.
Only 2 previous runnings
Trainer Nicky Henderson has a 37% record with his hurdlers at the track
Trainer Sophie Leech has a 35% record with her hurdlers at the track
Trainer Paul Nicholls has a 38% record at the track

2.40 - Betway West Wales National (A Handicap Chase) Cl2 3m4f CH4

Just 2 previous running
Venetia Williams won the race 12 months ago – TARRACO & GORGEHOUS LLIEGE
Venetia Williams has a 36% record with her chasers here
Rebecca Curtis has a 23% record with her chasers here
Alan King is 2 from 7 with her chasers here
Jamie Moore has a 21% record when riding over fences here


Wetherby (C4/RUK)

3.20 - totepool Towton Novices´ Chase (Grade 2) Cl1 3m1f CH4

9/10 – Returned 3/1 or shorter in the betting
9/10 – From the top 3 in the betting
9/10 – Won over at least 3m (fences) previously
9/10 – Aged 8 or younger
9/10 – Never raced over fences at Wetherby previously
7/10 – Ran within the last 7 weeks
7/10 – Won between 1-2 times over fences previously
7/10 – Won their last race
7/10 – Aged 7 years-old
7/10 – Ran at either Cheltenham (4) or Warwick (3) last time out
7/10 – Favourites placed
6/10 – Winning favourites (1 joint)
6/10 – Irish bred
4/10 –Went onto run in that season’s RSA Chase (no winners, but all finished 6th or better)
2/10 – Trained by Ian Williams
The average winning SP in the last 8 renewals is 3/1

Trainer/Jockey Stats:
Brian Ellison has a 26% record with his chasers at the track
David Pipe has a 29% record with his chasers at the track
Micky Hammond is just 2 from 39 with his chasers at the track
Follow Andy Newton Here - @NewtsDailyLays

 

TRAINERS-QUOTES.COM: GET THE BEST INFO FROM 19 TOP STABLES EACH DAY - Sent direct to your in-box!

Some Recent Quotes..................

"Had more of a break since his last run and comes here today fresh and well. Testing ground conditions but GORES ISLAND should run well"
Gary Moore 29/01/15 1st 7/1

"Seek The Fair Land: Has had a break, but also been working well during that time. Only 8 runners so top three claims and was a good old servant last year for us - never really running a bad race. 7f trip ideal and won off higher in the past. William Carson rides, he's been on his back before and gets on well with him."
Lee Carter 28/01/15 2nd 25/1

 

 


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Tingle Creek Preview, Trends, Tips

Tingle Creek Preview, Trends, Tips

Tingle Creek Preview, Trends, Tips

Tingle Creek Preview, Trends, Tips

Sandown's big December jumps meeting is showcased by the Grade 1 Tingle Creek Chase, a two miler of some distinction. Due to the absences of the last two winners, Sire De Grugy and Sprinter Sacre, the contest has traded standout star quality for a deeper level of competitiveness, and still looks like a proper Grade 1.

Tingle Creek Trends

The trends for recent renewals, covering the last seventeen years (and including two rescheduled versions, both run at Cheltenham), are as follows, with thanks to horseracebase for the information:

- Paul Nicholls has won eight times since 1999, including a magnificent six in a row from 2005 to 2010.

- 13 of the 17 winners (76%) finished first or second last time out, from 54% of the runners. Two of the other four pulled up on their previous start.

- Horses aged five to seven have significantly out-performed their numerical representation, claiming twelve victories (71%) from 53 runners (43%)

- Five winners ran in the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter last time out since 1997, from 20 to have gone the Exeter-Sandown route. Twelve of the 20 last day Exeter runners went on to place in the Tingle Creek.

Those that fit this loose profile are Hinterland (trained by Paul Nicholls, pulled up in Haldon Gold Cup), Gods Own and Balder Succes (first and second respectively in Haldon Gold Cup), and Third Intention (won last time, though not at Exeter).

Tingle Creek Form Preview

The favourite for the race is Alan King's Balder Succes, runner up last time in the Haldon Gold Cup. He ran on this card last year, in the Henry VIII Novices' Chase, also a Grade 1, where he was a well beaten fifth of sixth to the re-opposing Hinterland.

After that, he went on to rattle off a hat-trick of wins at Warwick, Kempton and Aintree. The first two were in Grade 2 company, and the last was a Grade 1, on ground varying from heavy to good, and at trips from two miles to an extended two and a half.

All three of those tracks are flatter than Sandown, however, and he does have a little to prove on a more testing circuit, for me at least. That said, it was a perfectly pleasing seasonal introduction at Exeter behind God's Own, and both trainer King and jockey Richard Johnson continue in excellent form.

He's as short as 2/1 in a number of places, with the top price of 11/4 being about right, and I'd only be tempted to back him at 9/2 or bigger.

So the 10/1 available for new Winner Sports customers is an absolutely massive price.*

That's as good an odds enhancement as I've seen in a long while, and well worth availing of if you've not got a Winner account already.

Next in the market is the horse that beat Balder last time, and the time before that, God's Own. Tom George's novice has thoroughly earned his place in this line up with a convincing verdict in the Haldon Gold Cup (Balder Succes, Pepite Rose, Somersby and Hinterland all beaten off) supplementing his shock - at the time - Grade 1 success in the Ryanair Novice Chase at the Punchestown Festival.

Prior to that pair of wins, he was beaten by Balder Success over further, and it might be that the stamina test here plays to the jolly's deeper reserves. It's fair to say that there ought not to be too much between the pair.

But this is a deep contest, and there are others around whom it is easy enough to make a case. How about Oscar Whisky for instance?

He's a 7/1 chance here, and his line of green on the Instant Expert attests to how well suited to this examination he is. (Click the image below to open it full size in another window).

Plenty of Tingle Creek chances on form profiles, notably Oscar Whisky

Plenty of Tingle Creek chances on form profiles, notably Oscar Whisky

Oscar Whisky ran a great race when a couple of lengths fourth in the Paddy Power two weeks ago, and he's two from two at Sandown, including a win in a (granted, very soft) Grade 1. Talking of soft, the muddy turf is right up his street, and he looks an extremely solid each way bet.

Harry Fry runs his precocious French import, Vukovar, and this lad brought over a tall reputation from the continent. However, in three UK runs, he has managed a sole win, in a class 3 novice chase at odds of 4/6 and, while he remains open to bundles of improvement, he's a pretty skinny price for my tastes in a race of this quality and depth.

Talking of skinny prices, I find it hard to understand why the exposed ten year old, Somersby, is half the odds of Hinterland. Sure, the old lad retains ability, as he showed when second to Al Ferof the other day. But he was well beaten in the Haldon Gold Cup, and this will be a third run in the space of 32 days, which is tough at the top level.

Hinterland was pulled up in that Exeter Grade 2, but then so were Ask Tom (1997) and Flagship Uberalles (1998), the previous two horses to run in this having pulled up in the Haldon Gold Cup. That pair both won their Tingle Creek's, and Hinterland has plenty more in his favour than an obscure historical coincidence.

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To wit, he is a Grade 1 winner over track and trip, on this very day last year, when bagging the Henry VIII Novices' Chase, beating Grandouet a neck, with Balder Succes twenty lengths and more behind. The likes of Taquin De Seuil and Claret Cloak were also in behind there, and the form is sound.

For all that, Hinterland failed to win in three subsequent runs, and actually failed to finish in two of them. There was that last day 'P' at Devon and Exeter, and before that a last of seven in the Maghull Novices' Chase at Aintree. Before that, though, he was cruising in Sire De Grugy's Champion Chase at Cheltenham when unseating rider at the fourth from the finish.

I very much doubt he'd have beaten the winner there, but he might have been second, and that form gives him every chance here. For those of you who like their wagers on the speculative side of speculative, he's 50/1 for the Champion Chase, a price which would be more like 8/1 were he to win here.

Keep in mind also that Hinterland is Paul Nicholls' representative (along with Dodging Bullets) in a race he's won eight times since 1999. I've backed Hinterland at 16/1, and if the good version shows up, I think he'll be tough to beat. Of course, if the other version manifests, he'll probably not finish.

Talking of Dodging Bullets, he's a 10/1 poke, and was only beaten five lengths in the Arkle at the Cheltenham Festival in March. That narrow defeat was good enough for no better than fourth, and he was again close up when third - beaten two lengths - in the Listed Shloer Chase at the same venue. He's yet to race at Sandown but seems effective on most tracks, and both left and right handed.

And still there's another with a chance, as the form of the Colin Tizzard yard demands Third Intention is given consideration. Or ColinTizzardation. Hmm, maybe not. Anyway, since the 16th November, the stable - which had a bit of a bug last year and may have some well handicapped horses as a consequence (not relevant in this race, but a point to note generally) - has recorded the following results: 11132P01F4P435F511171312151423

That's a lot of 1's, and a fair few supporting 2's and 3's. In fact it's eleven wins from thirty runs (37%), which is stellar.

Third Intention has danced in the big dances for a number of seasons now and, over fences, he's been in the first three on no less than twelve of his fourteen chase starts. Alas, just two wins during that sequence betrays his lack of a gear to support his undoubted resolution.

Moreover, though he did win over an extended two miles last time, most of his chase form has been over further. He'll still be running when others have cried enough, but whether he's close enough for it to be material by that point is another question.

Tingle Creek Tips

The sick notes provided by Messrs de Grugy and Sacre have left an extremely compelling and competitive iteration of the Tingle Creek, and finding a winner is not easy.

If you're in a position to take 10/1 about Balder Succes, you obviously should. After all, 10/1 about a 2/1 shot is insane value, even if that horse should probably be nearer 4/1 (it's still 250% over the odds). He's only 6/1 with a number of firms for the Queen Mother Champion Chase itself, for pity sake!

You can steal 10/1 for a tenner here.*

Otherwise, I think God's Own has a good chance, but one which is accommodated by his price; Oscar Whisky looks close to a certainty for the frame if he jumps round; and Hinterland and, to a lesser degree, Third Intention, are interesting at big prices.

It is a belting betting race, and one where there might just be a whiff of value.

Value selection: Oscar Whisky 7/1 (general, but sponsors 888sport 1/4 odds 1-2-3)

Each way alternatives: Hinterland 16/1 (888sport 1/4 odds 1-2-3) - Third Intention 25/1 (PP, Hills)

Tingle Creek Bookie Offers

10/1 Balder Succes to win the Tingle Creek*

5/1 Balder Succes to win the Tingle Creek

 

*Winner promtional T's and C's:

Deposit £25 or more

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You can bet more than £10 on this promotion, but please be aware that only the first £10 of your stake will be paid out at the enhanced odds.

Bets placed using a Free Bet Token will not qualify for this offer.

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Free bet must be used in its entirety. If only used in part, what value remains will be lost.

Free bet tokens are non-refundable. The free bet stake is not included in any returns.

2014 bet365 Gold Cup Preview, Trends, Tips

bet365 Gold Cup Preview, Tips, Trends: Can Burton Port finally get that elusive big win?

bet365 Gold Cup Preview, Trends, Tips

2014 bet365 Gold Cup Preview, Trends, Tips

Sandown hosts the last hurrah of the UK National Hunt season, the bet365 Gold Cup, a three-and-three-quarter mile Grade 3 handicap chase. It's always a competitive race, with both quantity and quality on show, and the trick is often to sort the still firing wheat from the over-the-top chaff.

2014 bet365 Gold Cup Trends

There are some fair trends which readers might like to employ to whittle the field of twenty to a more manageable number. As ever, beware that in doing so one can leave the winner on the cutting room floor!

Age: Horses aged six to eleven have won this since 1997, though the place profile seems to favour younger horses. Specifically, 13 of the last 17 winners (76%) were aged six to nine, from 61% of the runners. While those aged six to eight claimed 32 of the 65 places (49%) from 37% of the runners.

Weight:  Two years ago, the magnificant Tidal Bay was able to overcome the enormous burden of 11-12 - top weight - to win this race. And in 1996, Life Of A Lord shouldered 11-10 to the same end. In 1988, Desert Orchid himself lugged 11-11 to victory. But every other winner since 1982 has ported a relatively light weight of 11-05 or less. Indeed, only six of the 32 winners since 1982 has humped more than eleven stone.

Official Rating: Four winners since 1997 were rated 145 or higher, from 63 horses. That's a 6% win rate. Those rated lower accounted for thirteen of the seventeen renewals in that time, but from 238 runners, a win rate of 5%! So it is probably fair to say that there is no material ratings edge, and that weight carried is a greater obstacle to victory.

Betting: The bet365 Gold Cup doesn't appear to be a race in which to side with a rank outsider. Since 1997, the 90 horses outside of the top dozen in the betting have failed to win, and are responsible for just seven of the 65 available places (11%), from 30% of the runners. Winners have been scattered throughout the top twelve in the market, though, with the favourite having won just once, and likewise the second favourite.

Last run: Twelve of the last seventeen winners (71%) last ran at Cheltenham, Aintree or Ayr, from 67% of the runners. However, Aintree's five wins-for-last-time-out-runners' contribution comes from a whopping 38% of the entry.

So trends followers may like to side with a younger horse carrying eleven stone or less; from the top dozen in the betting; and which last ran at one of Britain's late season Festival meetings. That brings in Godsmejudge, Hadrian's Approach, Same Difference, and Roalco De Farges.

2014 bet365 Gold Cup Form Preview

The favourite is currently Same Difference, for the Twiston-Davies team. He was a winner at the Cheltenham Festival last year, and ran a gallant fifth this time around. That was the first piece of form he'd shown since running second in this race last year, and he should again go well off a seven pound lower mark. Assuming the going stays on the soft side of good, and no worse, he has a solid chance of going one better than a year ago, though the stable is in less than brilliant form right now.

Doctor Richard Newland is having a phenomenal season with his small string, including winning the Grand National with Pineau De Re. Ardkilly Witness has been in winning form too, and is effective on all ground conditions. He's unpenalized for a win last time in a novices' chase, though it's debatable how much further improvement he still has (he's already rated a pound higher than his top hurdle mark). Clearly, anything the Newland team runs has to be feared, but I wasn't hugely taken by that last day win, and nor it seems was the official handicapper.

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Burton Port has been a deeply frustrating horse to follow, and his unseat at only the second fence in the National typified his disdain for punters since winning the Mildmay Novices' Chase of 2010. Despite myself, I can't ignore him as he has a robust profile for a race like this. He's probably optimally suited by good to soft; he wants a trip; he's got bags of class; and he's been placed on both runs at Sandown.

Oh, and he's the small matter of eleven pounds lower than that last winning rating, and gets to dance through this race with but 10-09 on his back, most of which is made up by a certain AP McCoy. Yes, I'll be going to the Burton Port well once more here.

Roalco De Farges has been almost as expensive to follow as BP on the big days. A hold up horse, he was never likely to be suited by the front-runners' dominion of a Scottish National, but plenty of closers get involved in Sandown Gold Cup Chases. If he didn't leave his race at Ayr, he can get stick his nose in at the business end without being obviously well handicapped.

A similar comment applies to Godsmejudge, first and second in the last two Scottish Nationals. He's had a light, virus-ridden campaign, and it was easily his best effort of the year when chasing home Al Co at Ayr. If he's not cream crackered from those exertions a fortnight ago, he's had just the four runs this term, and gets to race off the same peg as the last day.

Bury Parade and Spring Heeled both seem to have plenty of weight, the former especially. He's got 11-10 here, and is no Tidal Bay. Nevertheless, he is progressive and ran a fine race last time when second in the Betbright Chase at Kempton. He looked unlucky there, and has plenty of scope to improve in future, but weight stops trains, as the cliché-peddlers will readily attest (whilst also spluttering weight-related stats in the manner of this cliché-peddling scribe!)

Spring Heeled has a more realistic opportunity off 11-03, and again the ground looks optimal at good to soft. He is up nine pounds for his Cheltenham win, and has the heavy end of a stone weight turnaround with Same Difference. As a young progressive type he could narrow that gap, but he may have to settle for a place.

Hadrian's Approach is beginning to look like a 'weak finisher' (apostrophes used to imply, without explicitly stating, something else), and I'd not be inclined to wager him off just a pound lower than when well beaten in this last year. Nothing much has happened this term to show he's ready to win a race like this.

Of the rest, Poungach catches (or gach'es?) my eye. He took a big step up in trip and ran a fair second behind an upwardly mobile type when conceding the best part of two stone in soft ground last time. He's certainly bred for a trip, and is six pounds below his last winning rating. At 20/1 with the sponsors, who are paying five places, and having won his only previous race at Sandown - a hyper-competitive Class 2 19-runner handicap hurdle - he is well worth an each way play.

2014 bet365 Gold Cup Tips

As ever, this is a wide open betting heat where form has to be considered alongside well-being after a long hard season for many. Two that have had lighter campaigns than most and might still have more to offer are Same Difference and Poungach. Both have solid form at the track, both look well-handicapped, and both are at least fairly well suited by conditions.

At the prices, I favour Poungach (20/1, versus 8/1 Same Difference). And I'll lob in my old mate - the sort of mate whose round it never is, and who is often asking to borrow a tenner (on a non-returnable basis) - Burton Port. He's got it all, and if he puts it together, he'll win. Simples. If. If. If...

Best value each way play:
Poungach 20/1 Best Odds Guaranteed, FIVE places 1/4 the odds bet365

Obvious danger:
Same Difference 9/1 Betbright Money back if 2nd; risk free £20 bet for new customers

Best handicapped horse in the race:
Burton Port 10/1 Best Odds Guaranteed, FIVE places 1/4 the odds bet365

 

Sat TV Trends: 7th Dec 2103

Sandown Park

A Big Day At Sandown This Saturday.....

Another huge Saturday of NH action with the C4 cameras heading to Sandown and Aintree - As always Andy Newton's got all the big-race trends and stats...... Read more

Sat TV Trends: 6th July 2013

Coral Eclipse

It's Coral Eclipse Day At Sandown.....

The C4 cameras head to Sandown and Haydock this Saturday with the Coral-Eclipse and the Old Newton Cup the highlights – Andy Newton’s got all the TV races covered from a trends angle. Read more

Sat TV Trends: 27th April 2013

Sandown Park

Who'll Be Landing Gold At Sandown?

It's Bet365 Gold Cup day at Sandown Park, while the C4 cameras are also heading to Ripon for a couple or races - As always we've got all the LIVE TV trends ......
Read more

Sandown attack leaves racegoer in hospital

Sandown car  park - scene of racing's latest brawl

Sandown car park - scene of racing's latest brawl

There has always been an element or risk in racing, particularly for jump jockeys, and they accept broken bones as part of the terms and conditions of the job. Now it seems, racing is becoming more dangerous for spectators. Read more

Monday Mish Mash: Wacky Races

Well, what a weekend a wacing... sorry, racing... that was. Wacky races indeed. I was lucky enough to attend a couple of meetings last week and I've jotted my thoughts down here.

It all started on Thursday, down on the Dorset/Somerset border, and frosty Wincanton. The good people at Racing Welfare had commandeered the meeting for promotional and fund-raising purposes, and had a number of events scheduled as part of the afternoon's merriment.

However, all that would come to nought if dear old Winny couldn't pass its 8am inspection. Now, as you'll know if you've been following twitter in these weather-dominated days of abandonments and further inspections, the micro-blogging site is an absolute treasure trove of current information, most of it pretty much spot on.

So, as I clambered aboard the 08:20 rattler from Waterloo to Templecombe, I was expecting to tune in and get full chapter and verse before the carriages left the platform. Alas, no. When you need it to be, life is often not that simple.

It seems - from a communications perspective, at least - that Wincanton's 8am inspection lasted until 09:20! And even then, the bulletin was that there would be a further inspection at 10am.

Having made the early part of the journey through streets of frosted roofs as the iron horse wended westward, I knew the problem. It would be a fair few degrees sharper in the country. And indeed, by the time the 08:20 from Waterloo had become the 09:23 from Andover, the battle in which the clerks of the course were engaged became apparent as field after field was topped with a crusty, dusty white surface.

I was making contingency plans when it was finally revealed, some time after 10am and just as I was alighting the train, that the meeting would go ahead. Stepping down from a warm heated carriage into the fresh, cold morning offered little in the way of supporting evidence that the meeting could proceed, and it wasn't until I arrived at the track that I realised what a superb job the maintenance staff had done.

Let's be clear: clerks of the course and their teams have a generally thankless task. If it's not trainers and owners whining that they shouldn't have watered /the ground is too firm / there's a draw bias; then it's the dreaded 'will temperatures rise?' conundrum.

This one is a bit of a nightmare for all concerned, and is clearly not as cut and dried as some dismissive observers insinuate. Sure, it's easy enough to gauge the depth of frost in the ground; but overlaying the likely rise in air and ground temperature between inspection time and first race time... and doing that in a manner where you simply cannot afford to be wrong... is a real challenge.

Back to Thursday, and Wincanton. They had more reasons than most to ensure the meeting went ahead. Not, you understand, especially for the racing itself, which was only marginally above moderate in the main. No, this was about fund-raising, and the aforementioned Racing Welfare, as well as EPDS Racing - more of them momentarily.

You see, on this day, there was a special charity race featuring twelve trainers or assistant trainers riding nags which varied from a Group 3 winner that ran in the Derby (Ted Spread) to a winning three mile chaser (Roalco de Farges). Not only that, but each of the jockeys was sponsored for the event, and one of them - Anthony Honeyball - was sponsored by me!

It seems the excitement of such lofty backing was lost on AJH, as he told me prior to the start that his mount, Swincombe Stone, needed a blow out and this was an ideal opportunity. As a race not run under the rules of racing, it seemed that schooling in public was positively de rigeur!

Not that I cared, of course. It was little more than an excuse for a day out and a chance to catch up with the sport we all love. Here are some pictures of various riders before and after the race...

Anthony in the paddock beforehand

Anthony Honeyball in the paddock beforehand

Kieran Burke, Anthony Knott's trainer

Kieran Burke, Anthony Knott's trainer

Neil Mulholland enters the winners' circle

Neil Mulholland enters the winners' circle

Ralph Beckett (nearest), Tim Vaughan (with daughter), and Johnson White

Ralph Beckett (nearest), Tim Vaughan (with daughter), and Johnson White

Bill Turner with Anthony Knott

Bill Turner with Anthony Knott

The race was won by Neil Mulholland, aboard Adiynara, and I have to say he was very stylish in the finish to see off all comers. Ralph Beckett will have been pleased with his placed showing in third, with Tim Vaughan splitting the pair. Dan Skelton, atop the aforementioned Ted Spread, did all he could but his mount didn't seem to have the guts in the last furlong of his trio of vanquishers. Fourth only for the logical favourite.

As you can see from the snaps, much fun was had by all, principally the spectators.

The 'actual' racing, featuring professional jockeys and obstacles barring the path to victory, was less comment worthy. Luckily for me, a chance meeting with a friend, John Powell of EPDS Racing, led to a spot of lunch and a glass of wine. That was a by-product of the fact that the great and the good of the racing fraternity in this part of Albion had convened for a luncheon. Thirty-odd tables of ten were thronged with munching and guzzling, with the likes of The Chemist and The Denizen (names protected to protect the innocent, but regular readers will know to whom I refer) in their midst. And this prior to the ROA Awards that very night. It would be a long day for some of those lunchtime revellers.

(My thanks to John for his kind hospitality, and best wishes to his Shilpa, which runs today at Fakenham).

On the track, Coole River made a very pleasing return from three years off on his first start for Emma Lavelle and should be winning soon. He was only second here to Paul Nicholls' Grandioso, which plugged on best in very sticky conditions. I wouldn't fancy him to confirm form with the second next time they meet.

I backed Ulis de Vassy, the horse at the centre of Daryl Jacob's ten day ban: a suspension that will see him miss all of the Christmas and New Year racing and, potentially, some big pay days. He received his ban for not riding to the finish. I have to say, I thought that was extremely harsh, as his horse went from cruising to nothing in a couple of strides.

Clearly a monkey, Ulis de Vassy would not have beaten the game and super-consistent Quaddick Lake. This is the race from which I think future winners will emanate, and if any of the sextet are worth a weather eye, then concentrate here. Top Wood, Notarfbad and Headly's Bridge should all be competitive under optimal conditions in the near future.

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Leaving the course after the fifth race, I was in a hurry to catch a train for an evening meeting with some of the other online racing product vendors: a meeting which I'd arranged. Unfortunately, I wasn't familiar with Wincanton, and didn't realise that taxis are rarer than hen's teeth there. I was extremely lucky then to find a minibus driver awaiting his party after the last, and to blag a ride from him to Templecombe station, some five miles away.

Having recouped my earlier losses with a fairly lumpy investment on Ballinahow Star, I made the journey worth his while, and thanked him kindly for getting me out of a self-dug hole.

Back in London and a quick spin up the Northern Line from Waterloo to Euston to meet with ten or so fellow online racing chaps. Fun, booze and curry were the watch words, as well as a smattering of business chat of course!

Friday was a day on the 'easy list' after this, and especially so as I had plans to be at Sandown on Saturday for a card that included the wonderful Sprinter Sacre making his seasonal bow in the Tingle Creek Chase.

Last season, I'm slightly embarrassed to say, I was a little slow on the uptake in acknowledging the brilliance of this horse. And I tried to 'get him' a couple of times. Naturally enough, the record shows the futility of those attempts and I'm now firmly in the 'Sprinter is a machine' camp.

I headed to Esher (home of Sandown Park) with Declan Rix, who works for At The Races, and we strolled across the course from station to grandstand. It was a truly glorious early winter day and, as the sun's watery warmth dulled the worst of the cold, I thought to myself what a wonderful week it was.

The racing, in contrast to that at Wincanton, was generally excellent, and there were many pointers for the future. The opening novice hurdle was run at a crawl, but it was hard not to be taken by the performance of Golden Hoof, owned - like a number of other 'Hoof' horses - by golf agent, Chubby Chandler, and his former world number one golfer, Lee Westwood.

The Hoof cruised through the race and quickened smartly to win going away by eight lengths from the pace-setting Lord Protector. Most of these will find their mark in handicaps rather than Festival Championship events, but there were some decent sticks in here, perhaps most notably Beckhani, which ran better than a free-falling drift from 7/2 to 11/2 implied.

The second race, a mares' handicap hurdle, was won by the top weight, Kentford Grey Lady. Second in the Mares' Hurdle at Cheltenham, behind the mighty Quevega, entitled her to serious respect; and the manner of this victory is worth a good bit more than the winning margin, to my eye at least.

She travelled very well off the pace, and when she was asked to get involved, fair cantered up to the leaders. She was giving a stone to the second horse, and the best part of the same to the third, so this was a run of proper class.

The unlucky mare was Justazippy, who looked the main danger to the winner when taking a heavy fall at the last. She's one to keep an eye on next time, as is the winner, wherever she goes next, as long as it's against her own sex.

Araldur was another impressive winner, and was ridden like a non-trier. Certainly, the jockey would have been in trouble had he not got up in the shadow of the post to collar Kasbadali for the luckless Oliver Sherwood (received a hefty fine for a very dubious stewarding judgment of a non-trier in the week).

Araldur could have picked them up a quarter of a mile earlier, and three miles on soft ground looks well within his scope. He's another to follow. The other in this race of some interest is David Pipe's Amigo, who was expected to need the run. He raced prominently throughout and plugged on for third, on his first start in Britain. I'm fairly sure he'll be tilting at one of the Festival handicaps, perhaps the race named in his trainer's father's honour.

Captain Conan too was impressive, for different reasons. His jumping was the thing that caught my eye. For a novice having only his second run over fences, he was athletic generally and clever when needed. It is that second component which is so important in novices, and this fellow now has a Grade 2 and a Grade 1 chase win under his belt. He looks a ready made Arkle candidate, and is already no better than 7/1 for that race. He'll continue to be hard to beat.

If there was a horse not trying on this card, then it was Paul Nicholls' Hinterland. Quite clearly ridden from way off the pace, Hinterland wasn't asked for maximum effort until late in the piece, and he cruised through for second, eventually beaten three and a half lengths. After the 'brave' verdicts of the stewards earlier in the week, in the cases of Jacob and Sherwood, it seemed remiss of them to fail to enquire as to the running and riding of Hinterland, in my view.

Presumably the Denizen of Ditcheat (oops, that's one cat out of the bag) will be plotting up a Festival handicap with this chap off a big weight...

Sprinter Sacre

Sprinter Sacre

Then it was time for the big one in the big one. Sprinter Sacre is a monster. He has huge hind quarters, and that - I presume, being no expert on such equine constitutional matters - is from where he derives his 'Forrest Gump' ability to just keep on running.

Sanctuaire was supposedly a credible threat and, according to official ratings, there wasn't too much between them. But, sometimes, official ratings don't really tell the whole story. This was one of those times.

Sanctuaire leads Sprinter Sacre

Sanctuaire leads Sprinter Sacre

I had heralded Sprinter's chances to readers in an email on Saturday morning, compelling all who would listen to back him with the race sponsors, sportingbet.com, who not only were guaranteeing to match the best price of their fellow bookmakers, but were also offering to pay out at evens if Sprinter Sacre won by more than ten lengths.

And, not only that, they were offering a free bet if he got beaten for new account holders.

Some of you shrewdies took advantage of the sponsors' generosity. Bizarrely, to me at least, most did not.

The long and short of it is that Sprinter Sacre was truly imperious in destroying a decent field of 150+ rated speed chasers.

Sanctuaire set the gallop, as he was almost certain to do. He failed to sustain it, as also was almost certain. Sprinter Sacre slipstreamed the cut-throat pacemaker, and ambled to the front in his own time.

Sanctuaire, rolling up the Sandown hill like a drunk trying to 'do a runner' from a taxi, was caught and passed by Kumbeshwar, a horse for whom I have great affection, and which I thought had a place chance if the 'Sanctuaire ran out of gas' scenario came to pass. I backed him at 11/2 for a place.

Sportingbet.com paid me - and those who followed me - out at 1-2, and then topped that up to make things up to evens, as the official margin was fifteen lengths, considerably bigger than the ten lengths qualifying verdict.

Sporting Bet payout on Sprinter Sacre

Sporting Bet payout on Sprinter Sacre

Sometimes we are guilty of looking a gift horse in the  mouth and, if you saw this and ignored it, you probably already have too much money. 😉
[Note, you didn't have to take the offer for £50. You could have bet £20, £10, £5 or even £2]
Value. Is value. It can be found in odds on chances.

Then came Sunday, and the much vaunted John Durkan Memorial Chase, featuring a shootout between some of Ireland's top chasers, Flemenstar, Sir Des Champs, Rubi Light, and Bog Warrior.

The race lost some of its interest with the morning defection of Bog Warrior, and most of its interest as the tapes went up and Rubi Light didn't try to lead. That one was nursed round for third place money, and the big two were left to fight out the finish. Except Flemenstar had already gone before Davy Russell pretended to get serious on Sir Des Champs.

It was a most unsatisfactory affair, and told us little to nothing we didn't already know. Yes, Flemenstar is very good. And he stays two and a half miles in a bog. But how... how the hell... does that make him 4/1 joint favourite with Ladbrokes for the Gold Cup?!

Seriously, that's a joke price whether he goes on to win it or not. He's never won beyond two and a half miles (except in a pointing field), and almost all his form is in deep ground. 4/1. Joke price.

Sir Des Champs had a racecourse gallop and little more. He is the 6/1 third favourite for the Gold Cup on the back of that, and there's little value there either. He does have credentials that suggest he can win a Gold Cup at least.

If you want to look for a Gold Cup wager, my quartet worthy of further investigation are Bobs Worth, Sir Des Champs, First Lieutenant, and The Giant Bolster.

Trainers riding in charity races; Sprinter Sacre demonising a decent field; and a three runner farce at Punchestown. Yep, these were wacky races indeed...

What were your weekend racing highlights? Any horses to follow in your notebook? Leave a comment and let us all in on the secret. 😉

Matt

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