More Characters

Good morning all,

Thank you for all the comments on yesterday's blog post, if you've not had a look at he comments I'd advise you to do so, as there's some good points made (not least the smoking ban, which I have no doubt had a massive impact on betting shops and their clientele) and one or two reminiscing about their own characters, sadly no longer with us.

I'll just do one more on it, as I worked I quite a few shops when I was younger and met an awful lot of interesting people….! Plus today's selection, we got off to a good start for the week yesterday and I'm hoping to keep that going. Continue Reading


Good morning all,

Over the weekend I managed to rip a hole in pair of my favourite jeans, and given yesterday's racing didn't make much appeal I decided to have a wander into town to go and buy a new pair.

After finding a pair I liked, I realised it was almost time for my one bet yesterday, Oliver's Gold, to run at Cartmel so I had reason to call into the local bookmakers.

Now, I don't go into bookies offices very much any more, so it came as a bit of a shock to find the place absolutely deserted at 3pm in the afternoon. Where have all the people gone? Those characters of yesteryear that I'm sure we all knew, whether it be on course or at the track? I recall a few that I knew on today's piece, plus today's pick from Nottingham.Continue Reading

Spencer set to enhance excellent strike rate…

Good Morning all,

Plenty of racing last weekend but in truth most of it was pretty mediocre for Saturday. Indeed what a contrast to the previous week when there were three really top class cards. The action wasn’t helped by plenty of rain at two of the meetings; Newbury and Newmarket where the ground turned soft during racing.

All in all not much to say about last weeks racing and hence this week there is no horse for your notebooks. Still there were a fair few talking points to come out of the weekend.

Tragedy Highlights Racing's Unsung Heroes

The sad incident that led to the death of stall handler Stephen Yarborough at Haydock on Friday, not by horse but what looks a freak accident, has put the spotlight on the unsung work that stall handlers carry out day in, day out during the year on the turf and all weather. Sadly it takes a tragedy like this to highlight the hard work and indeed bravery that they put into their job each day. We punters tend to forget about the work the stall handlers do in this game, I doubt we will now. Your heart has to go out Steven’s family and friends at a time like this, no one expects a loved one to go to work and not come back at night.

Horses Are Not Machines

The defeat at Arrogate at Del Mar on Saturday at odds of 1/20, once again showed that horses are not machines, they are living, breathing animals, they can have an off day and however far ahead they maybe on the ratings, even the best can lose. The race provided the shock of the racing year as the world’s top rated horse ran no sort of race to finish 4th of 5, with the only horse he beat home having had his jockey lose his irons early in the contest. It underlines how good and well trained Frankel was to go through his career unbeaten. I am sure Arrogate will be back and whilst he remains a Champion he is no legend of the turf

Frankie’s Back

It wasn’t Frankie Dettori’s biggest success but his ride on Magical Memory on Saturday to win the Group 3 Hackwood Stakes at Newbury showed us that racing's most well known personality is back, after his recent shoulder injury. Granted he had already guided Enable to a facile win in the Irish Oaks last weekend but this ride showed he is well and truly back and with Goodwood and York to come in the coming weeks it will be great to see Frankie riding at both festivals.

Constable Comes into Champion Hurdle Picture

When John Constable won his first two juvenile hurdles in the early part of 2015 I think most of us would have expected him to have taken top rank as a hurdler but for almost two years he had become a very disappointing horse. Things began to change in the spring when the six year old fell at the last when he would have won a valuable handicap hurdle at Aintree. He then stormed home to win the Swinton Hurdle at Haydock a month later and continued his upward curve with a decisive win under top weight in Market Rasen’s Summer Hurdle. Officially rated 150 before Saturday’s win, he will no doubt go up 6lb or 7lb for this win but who’s to say he can’t win the Galway Hurdle even when reassessed. He is clearly a spring and summer horse who is at his best on good ground and if he hadn’t have fallen at Aintree he would have been 3 wins from 6 runs 4 placed on good ground. Obviously there will be talk of next years Champion Hurdle after this performance but he has to progress a bit further to be up to that level and he also has to prove that Cheltenham is his track, as he remains 0 wins 3 runs 0 placed on an undulating track. Maybe he will prove up to the task but I remain to be convinced.

Stat Corner:

I mentioned last week the record of jockey David Allan in handicaps at Ripon, in particular over 1m 4f, he had a winner at odds of 4/1 on Saturday with Mukhayyam to take his record to 9 winners from 15 runners 60% +12.69 13 placed 87%. Hopefully plenty of you were on!

Profiting From Franny Norton At Chester

I said I would look this week at Franny Norton’s record at Chester to see how you can profit from his rides there and with Chester racing next Saturday it’s the perfect time.

I will look at his record in handicaps: Since 2014 he is 24 winners from 142 bets 17% -34.72 A/E 0.88 55 placed 39% with his rides in such races.

Focusing on his rides going off at an SP of 8/1 and under and his record is – 24 winners from 105 bets +2.28 A/E 0.98 51 placed (0 wins 35 bets 4 placed over 8/1). Half of those wins have come when combining with trainer Mark Johnston 12 winners from 57 runners 21% -14.05 A/E 0.82 28 placed 49% – but there is no value in backing the pair blind!

The two micro angles to concentrate on are:

Jockey: Franny Norton
Odds SP: 8/1 & under
Horse Wins At Track: 1+

7 winners from 17 runners 41% +16.71 A/E 1.86 11 placed 67%

It may also pay to look at his rides in handicaps over 5f, especially those drawn in the first three stalls:

6 winners from 9 runners 67% +9.02 A/E 1.77 7 placed 78%

Monday Selections:

The Monday selection came off the cold list courtesy of a win by Desert Rain at odds of 3/1 to enhance trainer’s Saeed Bin Suroor’s excellent win strike rate in handicaps at Wolverhampton. Like last week I am going for a couple of selections both from Windsor’s evening card.


Jockey Jamie Spencer is 13 winners from 53 runners 22% +26 25 placed 43% with his rides in Windsor handicaps in the past three years but that good win strike rate is improved further when you focus in on his rides over 1m 3f & 1m 3 ½ f, he is 6 winners from 13 runners 46% +28.98 A/E 1.76 7 placed 54%. He rides last time out winner Jive Talking in the 6:45 for trainer Michael Bell who is 5 winners from 24 runners 21% in the past 14 days.

Trainer Roger Varian has had 28 winners from 81 runners 35% +37.79 A/E 1.37 39 placed 48% at Windsor since 2014. That impressive set of stats are improved further when you look at his 3-year-old + runners in Class 5 races at the track – 18 winners from 42 runners 43% +24.66 A/E 1.86 24 placed 57% with those ridden by jockey Andrea Atzeni being 9 winners from 18 runners 50% +15.46 A/E 1.77 12 placed 67%. The pair combine on Fujaira Prince in the 8:15.

6:45 – Jive Talking – 7/2

8:15 – Fujaira Prince – 5/1

All that’s left is to wish you a profitable weeks punting.

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Soggy Saturday

Good morning all,

Still some rain around this morning but that won't stop me from going and working somewhere today – it'll either be Lingfield tonight or Market Rasen this afternoon. You get no prizes for guessing which one I'd rather go to.

In fact, I've done the whole Rasen card comments for the Sporting Life today – and as ever, having to do them yesterday when you've no idea of how much rain is about to fall proved quite challenging. If you feel so inclined, the card is here –'-hurdle

Anyway, my thoughts on today's TV races on the main piece. Continue Reading

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