Author Archives: John Burke

Tiger Rolls for Daily Punt Readers At 50/1!

Morning all

It’s been a tough year for the Monday column on the tipping front but last week’s Tuesday selection One Style won at Hereford and Tiger Roll won the Grand National on Saturday.

In the 19th February column, I noted four key trends for the Grand National:

Age: 8 to 11-year-olds
Won A Race 3m 1f+
Runs in 90 Days: 1 to 3
Handicap Chase Wins: 1 to 3

I also wrote this:

“At the moment I will be noting all horses 10-10 or higher in the weights in addition to those trends above. Looking at the horses who take my eye at the moment and they are both trained by Gordon Elliott. The first is the 8-year-old Tiger Roll who last season won the 3m Munster National and the 4m National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. He isn’t the biggest horse in training but as he showed at Cheltenham if he gets in a good jumping rhythm he’s a really decent horse. At the 50/1 available with William Hill looks worth a modest each way bet at this stage”.

Hopefully some of you followed me in.

Grand National Look Back

Onto the great race itself. Thankfully, all horses and jockeys returned home safely which was the best news to come from the race.

Tiger Roll was given a great ride by Davy Russell who got the 8-year-old into a good jumping rhythm from the off and despite the jockey briefly losing an iron during the race. Coming to two out it just looked a case of how far he would win by and went six lengths clear after the last. But the Elbow at Aintree has produced plenty of dramatic finishes in the past. He started to tire on the long run which gave the eventual runner up Pleasant Company a hint of a chance and he rallied bravely to run get within a head of the winner at the line. If he hadn’t had made a mistake two out, he may well have won the race and a few strides after the line he was in the lead. No doubt like the winner he will be back for next years race.

Ironically, given the fact the Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins have been fighting out for The Irish Champion Trainer Title that he should have the first three home in the race.

Of the rest the well backed Anibale Fly found his big weight of 11-8 just too much on this ground against some stronger finishers. Still it was a great run from the Tony Martin trained 8-year-old to give the Irish the first four home in this year’s race.

Milansbar ran well but lost his place at important stage of the race but stayed on to take 5th.

Road to Riches was held up to get the trip but just didn’t stay on this ground and plugged on to be 6th.

The well backed ante-post Baie Des Iles was badly hampered at Valentines second time around and had no chance after and eventually finished last of the 12 finishers. She’s only a 7-year-old, so has time on her side and will no doubt be aimed at this race again next year.

I don’t think there were any real unlucky horses in this year’s renewal. Blaklion was brought down at the 1st so never got the chance to see if he stayed the trip.

The quietly fancied Colin Tizzard trained The Dutchman was still in with a chance but he unseated his rider at Foinavon second time around and the 8-year-old is another who will no doubt be aimed at the race.

Ucello Conti like the winner trained by Gordon Elliott is a guilty pleasure in this race with plenty of punters and he was in with a bit of a chance when unseating his rider four out but my suspicion is that his stamina was about to run out when he came to grief.

Grand National Tracker Horse:

One horse to take out of the race with the future in mind is the Willie Mullins trained Childrens List who travelled well for a long way but didn’t seem to stay this far on heavy ground and was pulled up coming two out.

The 8-year-old has only had five starts over fences so he lacked experience of most of the field so could be open to a bit more improvement next season.

Being by Presenting he would probably have preferred less testing ground and his record when good is in the description 3 wins from 5 runs 4 placed seems to back up that view and he’s 1 win from 13 runs 4 placed on all other going.

Given how well he ran here he would be a very interesting contender on a sounder surface next year.

Monday Racing and Selection:

We have jumping cards at Kelso and Tramore today but you can tell Summer isn’t far away as it’s the first Windsor Monday meeting of the year which looks like it will be run on heavy ground and there is also a late afternoon flat meeting at Leopardstown which will also be run on testing ground.


6:35 – Alcatraz doesn’t have the best of win records 1 win from 28 runs 12 placed but there is no doubt the 6-year-old has dropped down to a winning mark.

All five of his starts for trainer Richard O’Brien have come on the all-weather this winter and he showed three starts back when beaten just a length into 3rd at Dundalk that he retains ability and indeed but for a slow start, may well have won. Two lesser efforts back there since but it is worth remembering that he has form on heavy and his sole win came on soft ground Chepstow back in May 2015. Last May he was beaten just a head on soft ground at Newmarket off 5lb higher.

Stall 12 isn’t ideal and step back in trip maybe required but if he gets off on good terms he has each way claims.

Alcatraz – 10/1 @BetVictor & Bet365 (each way)

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

You can benefit from Victor Value expertise and tips every day when you take a trial of his service for just £1 – Click Here

Aintree Pointers and Hereford Selection

Morning all,

If you were expecting Dave to be in his normal Tuesday hot seat you’re going to be disappointed, as I am standing in for big Dave today. But don’t worry normal service will be resumed tomorrow.

Given the Aintree Festival starts on Thursday I thought today’s column should take a look at that great meeting. The weather forecast for the Liverpool area this week is suggesting some rain/showers over the next few days. Although Thursday and Saturday are looking like they will be mainly dry with some decent April temperatures.

At the time of writing this, the Mildmay Course is good-to-soft and the National Course is riding soft. But with a bit more rain forecast it’s increasingly likely that we will see soft on both courses come the start of the Festival.

Aintree Grand National Festival Trainer Pointers

Anyway, away from the weather and back to the racing. Here are a few trainer stats that could be worth looking out for over the three days at Aintree. Since 2014 there have been 84 winners from 1274 runners. The top four trainers during the period under research have provided 35 (42%) of those winners:

Nicky Henderson – 12 winners from 86 runners 14% -3.69 A/E 1.05 28 placed 33%
Colin Tizzard – 9 winners from 26 runners 35% +97.99 A/E 2.87 13 placed 50%
Willie Mullins – 8 winners from 53 runners 15% -9.61 A/E 0.86 18 placed 34%
Paul Nicholls – 6 winners from 95 runners 6% -58.87 A/E 0.59 17 placed 18%

Three interesting things about the above stats is the excellent recent record at the meeting by Colin Tizzard stable. Can he continue this recent good run?

Nicky Henderson is the top trainer numerically and it’s clearly a meeting that he has targeted successfully in the recent past. If the ground is softer than normally will the winners continue to flow from Seven Barrows?

Willie Mullins will no doubt have a winner at this year’s Festival but how strong will his team be this year, with Punchestown Festival just a couple of weeks away and the Irish Champion Trainer still up for grabs?

So are there any profitable angles that can be exploited by us this week.

Starting with Nicky Henderson: Looking at those of his runners starting 14/1 and under, that last ran within the last 30-days and finished 1st or 2nd on their last start. Has produced the following results – 7 winners from 20 runners 35% +23.56 A/E 1.56 13 placed 65%.

Colin Tizzard’s runners could probably be backed blind at the meeting this week but if you wanted to drill down a bit further and focus in on those of his runners that had finished 1st or 2nd on one of their last three starts, this has produced the following set of results – 8 winners from 18 runners 44% +54.99 A/E 3.03 10 placed 56%.

Finally, it may pay to note what trainer Peter Bowen’s runs in the bumper race at the Festival, as he is 2 winners from 8 runners 25% +30 4 placed 50% with his runners in the race.

Tuesday Racing

We have jumps action from Hereford, Southwell and Hexham today as well as all-weather cards at Wolverhampton and over the Irish Sea at Dundalk.

Venetia Williams had a cracking day on Monday with a few winners and hopefully her good run can continue today with One Style in the 2:40 at Hereford. Just two runs since last April but the 8-year-old shaped with a bit more promise when 3rd at Southwell 36 days ago. The return to this longer trip should suit the gelding. A 0 wins from 21 runs career record isn’t great but he’s shown enough to think he can win a moderate handicap over fences.

Monday Selection


2:40 – One Style – 3/1 @ Bet365 & Coral

All that’s left now is to wish you a profitable Aintree Festival.

You can benefit from Victor Value expertise and tips every day when you take a trial of his service for just £1 – Click Here

Under The Phone For Kempton Win?

Hi all,

Well the weekend’s racing was truly the calm before the storm. Thursday sees the start of the three-day Aintree Festival which culminates in, of course, the world's most famous horse the Grand National. That is quickly followed by Newmarket’s Craven Meeting and Newbury’s Greenham Meeting and the Scottish Grand National at Ayr on Saturday.

The following week it’s the Punchestown Festival and the Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown which see’s the curtain coming down on the on the 2017-18 jumps season both sides of the Irish Sea. To be followed a week or so later by the first classics of the season the 1000 and 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.

It’s safe to say that the next three weeks are going to be very busy indeed for those of us who like top class horse racing.

A shorter column this week than normal as there wasn’t much to report from the weekend action.

Elliott Has Strong National Hand

Back to the Grand National. I nailed my colours to the Tiger Roll mast in this column back in February. I hope some of you got on the advised 50/1 with William Hill, as he is now 10/1 with the same firm now. I wouldn’t be interested in his price now given his jumping but hopefully he will give us a good spin. I also mentioned another Elliott runner Ucello Conti in that piece. I haven’t backed him yet but he’s been trained for the race and was going well in the race last year when coming down at Becher’s the second time around. Seeyouatmidnight has a decent chance of giving a Scotland a second successive win in the race. My slight concern with him would be the recent form of Sandy Thomson horses.

Horse For The Tracker

This week’s horse for the notebook is Jumira Bridge. The 4-year-old was having his first start for Robert Cowell since being sold at the sales last autumn. The trainer has a tremendous reputation with sprinters and it’s not hard to think that new connections have got a future handicap winner on their hands and indeed a horse who could well be up to pattern level later this season. A strongly run 5f looks ideal for the gelding who has two wins on the turf last April to his name although the way he was finishing his race off here you wouldn’t rule out the horse getting an extra furlong.

Monday Racing

Three jumps meetings today from Kempton, Wincanton and Ludlow and the obligatory Wolverhampton all-weather Monday card. The racing isn’t too bad for a Monday with some good-looking handicaps for their class on both the Kempton and Ludlow cards. I have a couple of darts from the Kempton card for you.


4:45 – Versifier – The 6-year-old arguably put in a career best when runner up at Huntingdon on her last start 26 days ago. The mare step ups ½ mile in distance for this handicap hurdle but if she stays and can build on the promise of her last run then she has a good chance of going one better today.

Versifier – 8/1 @ Bet365 & Ladbrokes

Another to note is the Robin Dickin trained Under The Phone in the 4:10. Trainer has his horses in winning form 2 wins from 4 runners in the past 14 days. The 9-year-old a winner over hurdles at the track back in February 2015. Returned from a 655 day absence when a well beaten 5th at Huntingdon 46 days ago. Has to prove that his old ability remains but he’s 2lb lower than his last winning mark in April 2016. The sounder surface should suit and a better performance can be expected with the trainers horse’s going well. Has to be considered an each way contender.

4:10 – 16/1 @ William Hill & Ladbrokes (each way)

All that’s left now is to wish you a profitable Aintree Festival.

You can benefit from Victor Value expertise and tips every day of the Aintree Grand National Festival, when you take a trial of his service for just £1 – Click Here

Falcon To Fly Home In Irish National

Morning all,

Well I am glad that March is now over as it was a personal disaster from a punting point of view but there is plenty to look forward to this month in both codes.

Over jumps we have the Irish Grand National today (more on that later) we have the Aintree Grand National Festival with of course the Grand National. We also have the Punchestown Festival over the Irish Sea at the end of the month.

On the flat just a few days after Aintree we have the real start of the flat turf season with the three-day Craven Meeting at Newmarket, closely followed by Newbury’s Greenham meeting both of which host the first of the Guineas Trials. Lets just hope we can have some warm spring like weather with a decent dry spell to allow the racecourses to dry out and enable some decent grass growth.

Mendelssohn Lays Down Kentucky Challenge

Last weekend there was plenty of racing albeit there were no standout races in either Britain or Ireland. For the really best racing you had to head off to Dubai which saw the culmination of the Dubai Winter Festival with World Cup Night.

There has been a clear track bias on the dirt track this winter with horses making their efforts out wide or coming from the rear not having any real chance of winning. That track bias continued on Saturday.

The two stand out performances of the meeting came from the Aiden O’Brien trained 3-year-old Mendelssohn. The son of Scat Daddy, who had won last year's Breeders Cup Juvenile on the Turf at Del Mar last year, showed the benefit of a recent prep run at Dundalk. Bred for the dirt, his half-sister Beholder was one of the best dirt mares of recent years in the USA.

This was the colts first start on the surface. Nicely drawn in stall four. He broke well for jockey Ryan Moore, was soon in the lead and just galloped away from his eight rivals to win the UAE Derby by long looking 18 lengths. In the process he broke the course record.

Not surprisingly most bookmakers now make him the favourite for the Kentucky Derby. He has to be a major contender for that historic race and if gets luck with the draw he will be a tough nut to peg back. Could Aiden O’Brien have a Triple Crown horse on his hands? On the evidence of this performance you would have to say, yes.

The £4,444,444.44 to the winner Dubai World Cup was once again grabbed by Godolphin as the Saeed Bin Suroor trained Thunder Snow overcame a wide draw, grabbed the lead and the rail and was not for catching.

It was a good enterprising ride by jockey Christophe Soumillon who spotted the track bias and had also been enterprisingly ridden to win a Group 1 at Chantilly on the turf last season. Connections and backers of the 5/4 favourite, the US trained West Coast will have been disappointed with the ride that Javier Castellano gave the runner up, who gave the winner a good horse on his day too much rope out front.

No doubt, Thunder Snow will race in Europe again this summer and he will be competitive at the highest level, especially if he’s ever given an easy lead as he was here.

Horse For The Tracker:

This week’s notebook horse comes from a very wet Musselburgh. It’s not often you get heavy in the going description at the course but we did on Saturday which made the run of Foxtrot Knight all the more eye-catching in the circumstances.

The 6-year-olds last win came off an 11lb higher mark, so the Ruth Carr trained gelding has dropped down to a tempting handicap mark. He is 0 wins from 6 runs on soft and heavy and when he gets a better surface he should be up to winning a 5f handicap like this in the coming weeks. It’s worth noting he is 3 wins from 5 runs 4 placed in April.

Monday Racing:

It’s Easter Monday so there is plenty of racing both sides of the Irish Sea today although Huntingdon and Redcar have already succumbed to the effects of the wet weather.

The days standout race is over in Ireland with the latest running of the Boylesports Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse. A field of 30 are set to go to post for this year’s renewal and Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins have between them 18 of the 30 runners.

My two against the field are:

Bellshill won the Bobbyjo Chase here, in good style on his last start. He jumped solidly that day. That was his first start since finishing 3rd behind Might Bite in The RSA Novices Chase in March 2017. Entitled to come on for that run but an 8lb penalty makes life difficult. No issues with the ground as he’s 4 wins from 5 runs when heavy is in the going description. This is only the 8-year-olds 6th start over fences so there is still untapped potential over the larger obstacles and this longer trip could aloss bring out more improvement in him

Novice Chasers have a good record in the race so the Noel Meade trained Snow Falcon has to be respected. A high-class staying hurdler. He has taken well to fences 1 win from 4 runs 3 placed. Stayed 3m over hurdles if his stamina hold out for 5 furlongs further he looks competitively weighted off 149. Trainer has his horses in great form at present 5 wins from 18 runners 28% +15.75 in the past 14 days.

Monday Selections:


5:00 – Snow Falcon – 25/1 @ BetVictor & Boylesports (paying 6 places 1/5 odds) Each way and Bellshill 10/1 @ William Hill & Coral Win

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

You can benefit from Victor Value expertise and tips every day when you take a trial of his service for just £1 –Click Here

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