Good morning all,
Back after the Bank Holiday and pleased to say that, in the main, the selections from Saturday for the weekend ran okay, with All But Grey creeping into the frame (huge Rule 4 but if you took the early price you were well on the right side) and best of all, Mab Dab winning at Plumpton yesterday. It's always pleasing when one you've seen that most of the rest of the world misses goes in, and Mab Dab will win more races, of that I'm sure.
Today's a day I've not much interest in – the jumps cards are pretty poor but it's Cheltenham for the next two days so I'll be spending a good proportion today looking at those and hopefully we can find a winner or two. Plus, I'll be giving the course a ring – to find out what the runners in the charity race will be….
You'll probably not believe it, but charity races are actually a good money-making source if you're not too greedy and willing to put a bit of legwork in. In the same way as pony races, when they appear on the racecard, most bookmakers won't put much effort in in terms of pricing them up. A ten runner charity race will normally result in the bookmaker going 200% or more on his board, which of course gives him plenty of margin, but if you've put a bit of work into the form of the horses (and the jockeys, just as important) you can often whittle it down to two or three, and then make your own book around them.
To show you how little interest the bookmakers have, the last time I was at Newbury there was a charity race at the end of the day. One of the main ring bookmakers (I won't name and shame them) that knows me well saw me sitting and having a drink before racing. I was doing the homework for the charity race when one of the firm came up to me and asked me if I'd price it up for them as they hadn't a clue! In return, I'd get a better price on the ones I fancied, of course.
So I priced it up (to 100%, as you should do) and went 5/4, 6/4, 6/1 and 16/1 bar – including five 100/1 shots! I really fancied the second favourite, Eddiemaurice, as he was the one guaranteed to have the speed for the trip and his rider was very competent. The firm were very generous to lay me 3-1 about him and suffice to say, when Eddiemaurice won later, they won well on the race.
Better still, Paddy Power put prices up later in the afternoon on their website – they went 7-1! I managed to get another tenner on before I told their PR bloke he was well out on the price! Too late – they'd already took another few bets (including a £50 e/w, he told me later) and even in cutting it to 3-1 they were still over the price.
So if you get the opportunity, have a look at these races when they occur. And if you feel bad about making money on charity races – you can always throw a few quid in their buckets at the end of the day if you win!
For today's selection I'm going to Ludlow this evening for their 6.00, the Mares Handicap Hurdle. Jester Jet is one that had always shown some ability but her new trainer, Tom Lacey, unlocked it at the first attempt and she looked like she had plenty left in the tank as well when winning at Wetherby so despite a 7lb rise in the weights, she can follow up in another very winnable race.
Today's selection – Jester Jet, 6.00 Ludlow.
Good luck with all your bets today,