Back With A Bad Back

Good morning all,

Well, back after a week away and pleased to say all went well with the first part of the move (the good lady moves her stuff in next week -” final week of freedom for you”, her words not mine ;-)) but on Sunday morning, whilst doing nothing more strenuous than putting a pair of socks on I managed to slip a disc in my back!

The pain was an 8 out of 10 all day Sunday, a 5 yesterday and pleased to say it's a three this morning. So I'm getting there! The temptation of either a day at Huntingdon or Leicester is before me, and I'll make a decision in about an hour as to how I feel then.

For the time being, a review of Friday's Future Champions Day at Newmarket which I attended. It's quite big so it's in two parts, with the maidens coming tomorrow. Plus a selection from Hereford that I like a lot. Continue Reading

It’s Time For Security!

Morning all,

Sadly, no ante-post winner to report this week. However, if you followed my each-way suggestions for Saturday’s Cesarewitch; Cleonte and Theglasgowwarrior, you made a tidy profit on the race. As they finished 3rd and 5th respectively.

Plenty to cover this week. As I take a look back at Future Champions Weekend at Newmarket on Friday. Before taking an early peek at Champions Day. You can find all this and my Monday tip inside..

Joseph's Surprise In Fillies Mile!

Lets begin with a few reflections on Future Champions Weekend.

Iridessa, caused a bit of a shock when landing the Fillies Mile on Friday at 16/1. The Joseph O’Brien trained filly beat Hermosa trained by father Aidan. There was a very strong headwind and the winner got plenty of cover during the race. The runner-up was ridden more prominently and in the circumstances did well.

Pretty Pollyanna ran much better than she had done in the Cheveley Park, in finishing 3rd. The filly had been ante-post favourite for next year’s 1000 Guineas prior to her Cheveley Park run. She has now been pushed out to as big as 33/1 with Ladbrokes and Coral which looks a bit of an overreaction, given she wasn’t totally disgraced.

Norway Could Be Classic Contender?

The Zetland Stakes was won by Norway. Not the country. The horse.

Trainer Aiden O’Brien had won last years race with Kew Gardens and he has another future middle distance horse on his hands. Norway showed he already has excellent reserves of stamina to win this 1m 2f contest. Given his full brother Ruler Of The World, won the Derby you couldn’t rule him out for the Epsom Classic but he already has the look of a St Leger horse.

Persian Takes Centre Stage!

I suggested a couple of weeks ago that you grab the 25/1 available about the Andre Fabre trained Persian King for next years 2000 Guineas. He’s now as low as 10/1 for next year’s first colt’s classic after his win the Group 3 Autumn Stakes.

The son of Kingman looked really well in the paddock before the race and took the preliminaries in his stride. He has plenty in his favour and I really like him. He’s a good stamp of a horse and looks open to even more improvement as a 3-year-old. I was impressed with his attitude in the finish. His jockey had a hard time pulling him up after the race which suggests there was plenty in the tank.

Hot Winner Of Dewhurst!

I don’t have much to say about Too Darn Hot’s performance in winning the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes. Apart from the fact he put in a fantastic one. He’s clearly the best 2-year-old around and looks an exceptional horse.

The further they went the better he looked. You can see why he’s now a best priced 7/4 for the 2000 Guineas. The juvenile colts look a very strong bunch this year, so let's hope they all train on. As it looks like we could have a vintage crop.

Notebook Horse:

This weeks tracker horse is the first of the 2018-19 jumps season.

Carole’s Destrier, trained by Neil Mulholland, has dropped down the weights since finishing a ½ length second to Native River in the 2016 Hennessey Gold Cup at Newbury off 12lb higher.

The 10-year-old ran well for a long way in the Veterans Chase at Chepstow yesterday.This was his first start for 169 days and he was outpaced three out. Not surprisingly he tired but at least his jockey didn’t subject him to hard race after the last.

The 2m 7f would also have been a bare minimum for the horse who has won over 3m 5f.  There are races in him if he can build on this performance, which is by no mean certain.

For reference. The gelding is 5 wins from 12 runs +16.63 7 places when going right handed, 1 win from 15 runs 5 places going the other way. He’s also 6 wins from 13 runs +17.25 when racing 21 to 45 days since his last run.

He could well head for the Badger Ales Trophy at Wincanton next month.

Champions Day

It’s Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday. The end of season finale is the richest days racing held in Britain with £4.35 million on offer.

The highlight could be the Champion Stakes if Cracksmen, possibly in first time headgear, takes on stablemate Roaring Lion and Crystal Ocean.

My only bet so far is Hydrangea to win the Fillies & Mares race for the second year running. Hydrangea hasn’t run since finishing last of seven in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. She showed improved form when winning last years renewal and it looks like Aiden O’Brien has trained her for the race.

Granted her three runs this season haven’t reached that level but she is almost three times the price of Bateel, the second favourite behind Lah Ti Dar. Hydrangea beat Bateel by a fairly comfortable 2 lengths in the race last year. The 16/1 available with Paddy Power looks great each way value to me.

Balmoral Handicap 

The final race on Champions Day is the Balmoral Handicap over the Hunt Cup mile.

I like Flaming Spear (11/1). He will be suited by any ease in the ground and mile now looks his trip. Hopefully the trainer's horses will have returned to form by the weekend.

Fire Brigade (16/1) has run well on Ascot’s straight track in the past and he should get the easy surface that suits. He ran really well at Ayr on his last start and this race could well have been a target for trainer Michael Bell.

The Ralph Beckett trained Mitchum Swagger (20/1) likes some ease in the ground. He ran disappointingly at Haydock last month but that was his first start since finishing 3rd in the Lincoln back in March. Just behind Addeybb and Lord Glitters that day.

The 6-year-old clearly hasn’t been the easiest to keep sound but if produces his best he looks on a competitive mark. He ran well over C&D when 3rd in the Hunt Cup back in 2016, for his previous trainer and now races off a 4lb lower mark.

Monday Selection:

Mr Reckless provided the column with a much-needed winner last Monday at 4/1.

Gowran Park

Today’s selection is Art Of Security who goes in the 5:30 at Gowran Park. The winning hurdler remains lightly raced on the flat. This is his first start since finishing 6th of 20 to Low Sun over hurdles at the Galway Festival. The rain softened ground is in his favour and if he’s ready to roll after his short break looks on a competitive mark here.

5:30 – Art Of Security – 11/1 or bigger

Until next week

Sri Lanka v England 2nd ODI: Faith in Thisara, dough on Dananjaya

Starts Saturday 05:30

In the end, all we got from Wednesday’s game was 15 overs after England batted first. So whereas we’ll never know how Perera- either of them- would have fared if there had been a completed game, we still managed to accumulate a few morsels of knowledge about what may happen when the action gets underway again on Saturday.

The first thing we noticed was that Thisara Perera was chalked to come in at 6 rather than 7. That may seem like a somewhat trivial difference but actually…it isn’t. That could make all the difference between him having enough time at the crease to get to whatever score is there waiting to be beaten, or simply not having enough deliveries with which to do it. As a reminder: we know he can do it because he has the ability to score quicker than anyone else in the team; it’s the overs he’s out there for that we might be a bit concerned about.

So now to the strange bit. Despite being likely to bat a place higher than we all at first thought – there’s no reason why Sri Lanka should change the batting order at the same venue when no-one got a bat – he’s now a best price of 17.0 with Betfair Sportsbook rather than the 15.0 he was last time out. There’s absolutely no reason why we should jump ship on Thisara when he’s batting a position higher and a bigger price than he was three days ago.  So, we won’t.

And if you’re wondering why we’re bailing out of our other Perera- Kusal – it’s purely on price. He was 7.0 last time and is a best price of 5.5 this time. The value is gone.

The other thing that was noticeable was that England played the seamers well. Lasith Malinga, once just about the best limited overs fast bowler in the world was treated by England’s batters like a Sunday league trundler. He went for 7.4 runs an over. Age and injuries catch up with you in the end, Lasith.

Pradeep was considerably better and took a wicket- a genuine edge- and class player that he is, he deserves some respect.

We never got to see Thisara Perera, him again, bowl because he tends to bowl in the middle overs and at the death. But there’s nothing we don’t know about him already. He’ll bowl good lines and lengths and provide some decent variations but he’s one of those bowlers that you get yourself out to rather than him getting you out. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

But the other bowler we did see was spinner A. Dananjaya. His figures don’t look particularly impressive with 30 runs conceded from six overs. But that’s because he was hit for two sixes. All well and good but on another day a couple of batsmen miscue and are caught. Which by the way, is exactly what happened when Jason Roy went after him, misread the turn and was caught trying to clear the boundary.

And across those five overs he was menacing with a few swings and misses, plenty of respectful blocks and a few false shots as well. It should come as no surprise that he caused England problems and is likely to do so again, for two reasons. One: England play pace much better than seam.

Two: the wicket at Dambulla (the 2nd match is there as well) is a good one and with little or no assistance from the pitch, it may have to be cunning deviations and changes of pace that get batsmen out rather than the wicket itself.

Dananjaya is actually Sri Lanka’s second top wicket-taker over the past 12 months in this format.  The first is our old mucker Thisara Perera.  But there’s not much to choose between them in terms of price and our money is on England struggling with his spin rather than Thisara’s medium pace next time.


0.5pts Back Thisara Perera to be Sri Lanka Top Batsman @ 17.0 with Betfair Sportsbook

1pt Back Akila Dananjaya to be Sri Lanka Top Bowler @ 4.0 with Betfair Sportsbook/Ladbrokes


You can read more about all aspects of cricket betting including explanations on how to play different markets and reviews of the best Cricket sportsbooks at


Horses to Follow

Today we have two horses for your tracker from John Burke along with a selection from his post in the Betting Insiders forum.

Saturday – 06/10


Flaming Spear – Give the recent form of the Dean Ivory stable this wasn’t a bad run in the circumstances.  Not for the first time he wasn’t the best away but he finished his race off strongly to take 5th.

Granted he’s a bit of a ‘quirky’ horse but when all the cards fall right there is a good race in the gelding.

As I mentioned in my Royal Ascot “Horses To Follow” he looks like he needs a mile now and he has an entry in the 1m Balmoral Handicap back here on Champions Day. Now you would want to see the stable runners in a bit better form by the time of that race but he looks to have a good chance there. He can be backed at 14/1 with Sky Bet or 12/1 with William Hill for the Balmoral.

Advice: Just have him in the tracker for the Balmoral Handicap.


The good thing about end of season juvenile maidens & novice races at Newmarket are the future winners that can be found.

Turgenev – Who got the eye when an impressive winner of a Newcastle novice on his second career start. The John Gosden trained newcomer took another step forward here when giving 6lb + to his eleven rivals to win this 1m Newmarket novice. 

His final margin of victory 1 ½ lengths doesn’t reflect his superiority as his jockey eased him up the final 100yds.

The son of Dubawi had no problem with the easy surface and the Group 1 Vertem Futurity Trophy Stakes at Doncaster could be his next assignment.

He looks a nice horse already and he’s bred to do better as a three-year-old. When he should be able to stay 1m 2f.

Besides the winner the trainer also had the third home with Franz Kafka. Another son of Dubawi he was making his racecourse debut and his inexperience showed. He stayed on nicely enough into a well beaten 3rd at the line. He’s very much a work in progress and should do better with time and racing. His dam won the 1m 2f Pretty Polly as 3-year-old and was 5th in that seasons Oaks.

Advice: Back Turgenev if he runs at Doncaster but also keep him your trackers for next season.

Today's Selections


I pointed out last week the good record of Irish trainer John James Feane at Ayr – 7 winners from 19 runners 37% +9.13 A/E 1.68 9 placed 47%. He had another winner here last week and he send over two from his Curragh base for today’s meeting:

2:05 – Syndicate – 11/4 @ Lads & Sky
3:40 – Long Wood – 5/2 @ WH & BV

Both runners look strong contenders in their respective races. But it maybe worth pointing out that the trainers record in Class 6 races (Long Wood) is – 6 winners from 14 runners 43% +10.88 A/E 1.88 7 placed 50%. With all seven of his winners having their first run at Ayr – 7 winners from 14 runners 50% +14.13 A/E 2.05 8 placed 54% (Syndicate & Long Wood)

Free Big Priced Winning Tips 

The Daily Punt is updated 6 days a week and always includes a racing tip for the day. If you would like to be notified when it is updated please enter your details in the box below & click submit. 

When you subscribe to the Daily Punt we will email you 6 days per week to notify you of the new blog post & free horse racing tip, we may also occasionally send you related material (systems & strategies etc). These emails will sometimes contain promotional messages for other services and occasionally we will email you with other marketing messages in line with our Privacy Policy


By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.