Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Fancy a Curley Wurly !!

Barney Curley is still keeping the pundits going in the racing press and the Weekender sees Tom Segal, Pietro Innocenzi and Alistair Whitehouse-Jones all having there two penneth worth on the betting coup on 22nd January.

The latter though is interesting under the heading "Coup chaps take the mick" the writer says "Fair play to Barney for the coup, but let's have less of him being hailed as some sort of Messiah to punters. In pulling these rabbits out of hats, Curley treats the majority of gamblers with contempt."
I think Alistair must have a short memory as in the Weekender dated 8th January(14 days before the coup) under the heading "Life a trifle duller without Curley" he eulogised over Curley's training and gambling exploits of the past and went so far as to comment that "racing needs characters like Curley" finishing the article with "Hope all is good, Barney" ! Perhaps Alistair knows more than he's letting on ? to ponder there I think.

With little National Hunt Racing on this week due to weather conditions I can indulge in my passion for All Weather sprinting action and I have been running through the form of the sprint action so far over the winter with a view to the Good Friday meeting in April and I will try and put my thoughts down over the next few days.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

All weather winners !

Caramack was one of three All Weather sprinters highlighted by the blog 2 weeks ago and he duly followed up yesterday at odds of 7/2, having touched 4/1, at Wolverhampton. Today Random Success is another of the three who runs in the 1.25 at Lingfield and she is expected to go well by her stable. She recorded the fastest final 2f in a sprint at Lingfield since 2005 when winning last time out and with only a 5lb rise for that she should win again. Tomorrow Caspian Prince makes up the three when running at Wolverhampton in the 2.55 where he takes on Trinityelitedotcom again. 

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Pause for thought

Plenty of comment about today about the big gamble that was landed last night. Can't say that I'm overly bothered by it, it obviously happens and probably more so than we think. We can't lay it all at Barney Curley's door and it wouldn't surprise me if two or three stables got together on a regular basis and plotted gambles between their respective runners - with prize money as dismal as it is there will always be temptation to get a little more.

Saturday looks to be a day of prospective Cheltenham runners and we should be able to get plenty of clues to whittle down our lists for the big week in March. I took the plunge yesterday on Night In Milan in the Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster and took the 12/1 on offer. He looks to be an improver that has done well on the course in the past and he travels and jumps well which is major plus at Donny.

Great picture of Red Rum at the age of 12 winning the Grand National in 1977 with ears pricked in the Weekender this week - I know its a picture that's used a lot but it was a special day being his third National win and it's unlikely you would see people on this side of the running rail in this day and age.

There's a decent  Class 2 sprint over 6f at Lingfield tomorrow with £28,000.00 on offer for the winner and Hawkeyethenoo must have a fav's chance on a course that generally suits hold up horses and hopefully Graham Lee will get the gaps.

Good Luck !

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Weekend Review

Katenko could only finish 4th beaten 2 1/4 lengths at Haydock in the Peter Marsh Chase and if he had any Gold Cup aspirations then he should really have won on what was his favoured going. Both trainer and jockey had said pre race that he had his ideal conditions and therefore anything less than a win was simply not good enough in the context of the Gold Cup and he doesn't look the same horse as last season pre his injury.

Sire De Grugy cemented his position as the best opposition to Sprinter Sacre in the Champion Chase and I am of the same opinion as Paul Kealy in the Weekender in that there must be some value to be had in that race. There is every possibility in a championship race that Sprinter Sacre may succumb to the irregular heartbeat that troubled him at Kempton and if that were the case  then Barry Geraghty will be pulling him up, that's even if he makes the race which may be in some doubt. The outsiders need some looking at in detail as with non runner no bet already in operation with some bookmakers you have a chance to get some big odds without risk of losing your stake.

Melodic Rendezvous is back on track for his Champion Hurdle bid after winning the Champion Hurdle Trial at Haydock, the fact that he did it whilst being a little short on fitness is a sign that he should go well if conditions were to come up soft at Cheltenham and if that were the case then 25/1 would be a good ew price.

Paul Nicholls released another handicap blot in Irish Saint at Ascot (Tom Segal was well up to picking it out in his pricewise column in the Racing Post) and Nicholls seems to have a good grasp of what is required from his handicap hurdlers at the moment. He is now likely to run in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury and Nicholls states "I’ll discuss it with the owner and see what reaction we get from the handicapper, but he might have to run in the Betfair Hurdle. We struggled with him early with niggly problems and we had a job getting him fit, so yesterday was the best we’ve had him. The main thing is he’s back in form and where we want him. He carries only a 5lb penalty so we’ll have to look at Newbury. I can’t confirm him as a definite as we want to see what new mark he gets and how he is, but it’s very likely he’ll run.”
Bury Parade was also on his best behaviour in the Sodexo Handicap Chase but there's no knowing if the hood will work again if the horse has cottoned on to the fact that he was duped.

Mike Cattermole's swipe at the C4 Racing team in the Weekender smacked of sour grapes and if that is all he has to write about then can we have someone else who wants to write about the future and not the past.

Finally I put forward a few All Weather performers in my last post and Trinityelitedotcom paid a compliment to the progressive form of Caspian Prince by winning at Lingfield.


Thursday, 16 January 2014

Shot Down In Flames !

Novice chaser Shotgun Paddy wielded his gun in the big chase at Warwick last weekend to beat the good yardstick Carruthers off a mark of 145 on what was only his fourth chase start. In doing so he was only the second novice to win this event since 1989, the other was Baron Windrush off a mark of 129 in 2005 (on his seventh chase start), however it took him another 10 races to win again.
Shotgun Paddy had already finished behind Black Thunder on two occasions this season in small fields and that rival was put in his place earlier on the card by Corrin Wood (up 12lb to 156) who looks on course for the festival.
Shotgun Paddy has received quotes for the National Hunt Chase and his trainer has said he wont be entered for the Grand National this season. Up 7lb for his win he is definitely a chaser to keep on side with the Welsh National looking an obvious target next season with heavy going almost assured at Chepstow in winter.
Carruthers really did run a cracker - going at a good pace and jumping with authority he had all the field working double to keep on his tail and he looks sure to win again shortly.
At Kempton other Festival hopefuls on show were Saphir Du Rheu who won the competitive  Lanzarote Hurdle by 6 lengths from If In Doubt, he has now gone up 28lb in two races and there are a couple of options available to him over the next few weeks.
Planet Of Sound performed well in Class 2 Handicap Chase and he looks like he will be having another go at the National in which he has run well before. He was entered at Aintree for the Becher Chase but was taken out on the afternoon leaving his stable mate Chance Du Roy to win.
Henderson dominated the Tolworth with Royal Boy and Josses Hill and it was surprising to hear that the winner was better at 2m 4f.

It wasn't all about the National Hunt at the weekend with Random Success, Caramack and Caspian Prince all showing progressive form that gives us hope for the future on the All Weather.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Betfred Classic Chase (Handicap) (Grade 3) (CLASS 1)

This looks a cracking contest with plenty of horses running with the required staying credentials and you could make a case for many of the field. I'm going to row in with Boyfromnowhere who was being aimed at the Welsh National but didn't get in. His win last time out in the Southern National at Fontwell on heavy gives him the right credentials for this. He has a low weight which could prove crucial in this staying contest and he has room for improvement with this being only his fourth chase start to date. Others down the bottom of the weigths with a chance are Major Malarkey and Royale Knight who won the Devon Marathon and Borders National, both extreme tests, between them. However I like the Old Vic connection with Boyfromnowhere and I think he has a solid chance.

Two others that I am on today are Kaylif Aramis in the Lanzarote Hurdle at Kempton who will love the soft ground and Forward Flight at Wetherby for the in form Sue Smith yard who could be favourable weighted on his handicap debut.

There's nothing much I like the look of on the AW today.

Good Luck

Friday, 10 January 2014

New Year - same old winners !

It was great to start the New Year with a win on the All Weather in a sprint with Even Stevens advised at 6/1. He really was a penalty kick on the day and I don't know why the pundits in the Weekender deserted his excellent course form but luckily for me they did.

Eagle eyed readers may have also noticed that I put in a good word for Mr Moonshine when he ran at Aintree and he duly won next time out at Musselburgh at 4/1 - Hopefully he will back at Aintree in the spring.

Regular readers may be wondering why I'm writing my blog on a Friday afternoon as normally at this time I would be toiling away at work, however the fridge freezer went on the blink last weekend so I'm off to oversee repairs to that. Whilst I'm having a few hours of peace and quiet I've put on Kodaline's "In a Perfect World" on the cd player which is good music for these sort of times.

Friday sees another chance to win the new All Weather Scoop 6 at Dundalk and Wolverhampton, needless to say I wont be able to put my selections up for obvious reasons - but hoping for a big win.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

The Year is 2014

Happy New Year to everyone past and present who has looked in at some stage to this blog.

Firstly I must point out that there is a great write up by the Handicapper Phil Smith on the Handicappers Blog on the BHB site which can be reached via the link on the right hand side of this page. It is always useful to know his thoughts and how he has arrived at the ratings that he has set and it is also a good read.

Not much depth to the racing today, however De La Bech runs in the 12.45 at Cheltenham and as we know he beat the first and second home in the Welsh National last time out so you would think he must have place prospects at the very least today and the stable are performing at a good level at the moment.

Southwell favours course and distance runners as they either like or hate it and Even Stevens returns to improve upon a record of 6 from 9 in the 2.00, a race he won last year from a 2lb higher mark. He has a visor on for the first time and you would hope he would be in the shake up at this track and there is a little bit of 6/1 left.

Good Luck

Conditions at Cheltenham were atrocious and it should have been abandoned.