Author Archives: John Burke

Making Money From Aiden O’Brien At Royal Ascot….

The temperature has hit 29c here and I am writing this week’s column in shorts and a t-shirt, as it should be though given that it’s June and we reach midsummer this week. Hopefully the hot and sunny weather will continue this week, as tomorrow sees the start of the best flat racing festival in the world Royal Ascot. Oh, how time flies so fast these days doesn’t seem that long that I was getting excited at the start of the flat season. It must be age! Well plenty to get through this week. So let’s get cracking.

Double Delight For Horse Tracker Followers!

The racing on Saturday was low on quality but high on quantity in particular with competitive big field handicaps at Musselburgh and York. The William Hill Sprint Cup over 5f at Musselburgh was arguably the betting race of the weekend and was won by the Paul Midgley trained Line of Reason who completed a notable double for the trainer as his Orient Class also took the consolation race earlier on the card.

Line of Reason was well backed before the off, some 16/1 was available earlier in the day, and was sent off at odds of 11/1. It was also a good day for those of you who follow my One for the Tracker feature in this column as I had highlighted his claims for a win here a couple of weeks ago:

“Line Of Reason may not be the horse he was but the seven year old is now dropping down the handicap. Well backed before the race, he wouldn’t have liked the rain that fell just before and during the race as he has always been at his best on good to firm ground. He was just making some decent headway when he met trouble in running inside the final furlong. The gelding had to settle for a 3 ¾ length 7th at the finish but would have finished much closer with a better passage. There is a race in him when he gets his ground on the evidence of this run”.

The drying weather just came in time for the gelding who was given a fine hold up ride by jockey Joe Fanning to mow down Harry Hurricane who had looked the most likely winner inside the final furlong.

Another previous One for the Tracker horse Mamillius trained by George Baker won at Leicester on Saturday evening to give us a nice double on the day. This is what I wrote about the horse after his seasonal reappearance at the same course:

“..Was having his first start since last September and his first start since a gelding operation. A winner last year at Salisbury over 7f, he was a 3 length 4th of 18 in this Class 4 7f handicap. Given the three who finished in front of him were drawn on the far side he did well to finish as close as he did from the stands side. The four year old has only had six career starts so he remains open to a bit more progress this year and with this race under his belt looks capable of getting back into the winners enclosure sooner than later”.

The other big race of the weekend was the 6f, Class 2 Handicap for the three year old which attracted a field of 18 runners for the valuable prize on offer to the winner. The race was won by the Tim Easterby trained Golden Apollo who was sent off at odds of 5/1, I had advised my subscribers to back this one at 9/1 on the morning of the race. All in all a good weekend betting wise and let’s hope it can continue through Royal Ascot.

One For The Tracker:

Mazyoun trained by Hugo Palmer is this week’s horse for your trackers. The three year old has now had 9 career starts but just the one win in an all weather maiden to his name on his last start as a juvenile. Didn’t enjoy the rain softened ground when slightly below par at York on his previous start but the return to quick ground suited the gelding. He was beaten 2 ½ lengths into 5th in this York 7f Class 2 Handicap but still ran his best race of the season so far. He was settled at the rear, was arguably given too much to do, but was making noticeable headway when not getting the best of runs coming to the final furlong. Hadn’t looked a particularly well handicapped horse coming into the race but on the evidence of this run is capable of landing a handicap when gets his decent ground and he might be worth a second try at a mile.

Aiden O’Brien Group 3 & Listed Runners At Royal Ascot

Last week I shared some Royal Ascot favourite stats with you and as promised here are some more stats for Royal Ascot. This time I am focusing on Aiden O’Brien and his runners in Group 3 and Listed races at the meeting.

Last year the Irish Maestro had his best ever number of winners with seven and there is a chance he could match or even beat last years tally this time around. In the past 5 years he has had 20 winners from 115 runners 17% +61.42 A/E 1.01 52 placed 45% (profit to Betfair SP of 113.12). However, if we focus in on his runners in Group 3 & Listed races that had finished in the first three on their last start he has delivered – 9 winners from 25 runners 36% +73.98 A/E 2.09 13 places 52% +85.50 (profit to Betfair SP of 102.44)

Hopefully the above angle will be a profitable one again this year.

Stat Corner:


Trainer Richard Fahey’s juvenile newcomers should always be respected at Nottingham. Since 2014 he is 6 winners from 16 runners 38% +20.75 A/E 2.37 9 places 56% +33.35 with such runners so his runner in the 6:00 – Just For Fun could be worth supporting.

The tracker horses have been going well so it’s about time that the Monday selections step up too the plate and provide us with a winner.

Monday Selection:


8:45 – Hawridge Glory – Made a pleasing seasonal reappearance when a running on 5th here three weeks ago, The step up in trip 1m 2f should be fine on the evidence of that run. Of slightly more concern would be the likely good to firm going, it was good to soft last time and on his only run on quick ground as a juvenile he was 11th of 14 at Salisbury. If he handles the quicker surface he faces here I am sure he will go close. His trainer Rod Millman has been among the winners recently which is always a good sign and he is also 3 winners from 8 runners 38% +4 in Class 5 handicaps, for three year olds, at the course since 2014.

8:45 – Hawridge Glory – 6/1 or better.

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

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

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Course Specialist Can Benefit From Class Drop…

Good Morning all,

It’s supposed to be ‘flaming’ June but the weather where I live certainly wasn’t living up to the name. On Saturday all the cards, with the exception of the action on Newmarket’s July course, ended up with soft as the going description which doesn’t make life easy for us punters. Not sure what we can expect on the weather front this week but let’s hope for some drying weather in the run up to Royal Ascot which is just over a week away.

Most of the excitement last week centered around the General Election, with Jeremy Corbyn confounding his critics, with the racing even on Saturday not really doing it for me, if am honest. At least the lack of good quality action has allowed me to focus on the Royal meeting, some of the findings I will share with you this week and next.

The highlight of the weekend’s racing for me was the performance of Bateel in winning the Group 3 Pinnacle Stakes at Haydock. Formerly trained by David Simcock the five year old, is now trained over in France by Francis Graffard, and showed once again how she relishes soft ground (4 wins from 7 runs on soft). Travelling noticeably well throughout the race she was produced to win her race at the furlong mark and won by an easy ½ length at the line. The switch of trainer looks to have done the trick and on soft ground is more than capable of holding her own at a higher level than this. It will be interesting to see if she is brought back to Haydock for next months Lancashire Oaks a race she can go very well in on her favoured ground.

One For The Tracker:

Toofi ran a race of promise for the future in the 6f Class 3 handicap at Haydock. He has moved from Robert Cowell to John Butler. The six year old hadn’t shown much sparkle on his three starts for his new yard and didn’t make the best of starts but he did finish his race off nicely by staying on into a 1 ½ length 4th at the line. All his best form in the past has come on good or quicker going so the ground he faced here would have plenty soft enough for him based on his old form. Still only has the one career win to his name but he dropped to a very tempting handicap mark being 13lb lower than when finishing a length, 4th in the 2015 Ayr Gold Cup. If he can build on this performance there is surely a handicap in him.

Royal Ascot Stat: Group Race Favourites

I thought I would have a look at the fate of favourites at the Royal Meeting focusing in on Group races. There have been 64 winning favourites from 168 runners 38% +32 A/E 1.15 in Group races in the past 10 years. Favourites have been performing better than expected as can be seen from the A/E figure and even backing all favourites blindly would have led to profit being made. However, that winning strike rate can be improved by just backing Aiden O’Brien and John Gosden trained favourites. These two top trainers are:

26 winners from 49 runners 53% +27.18 A/E 1.38 36 places 73% with such runners since 2007.

When the money is down you can rely on this pair to deliver for you.

Stat Corner:

Profiting From Ruth Carr Runners at Ayr

Today’s trainer in focus is Ruth Carr and her record with runners in handicaps at Ayr. The trainer has had 26 winners from 221 runners 12% for a level stakes loss of 24.55pts. But if we focus in on her runners racing over 5f & 6f, that are racing in the same or up one class from their last race with an odds ceiling of 12/1 & under and she is 14 winners from 41 runners 34% +46.95 A/E 1.88 22 placed 53% +50.99. Using this qualifying criterion she has one such runner at the track today in the 4:30.

4:30 – Suwaan won on the all weather at Newcastle and has run well on his last two starts on turf, beaten just a head into 3rd at Nottingham two starts back and was drawn on the wrong side of the track last time at Redcar when sent off the 9/2 joint favourite. The really big unknown would be the going as this will be the three year old's first run on soft ground and he is by the sire Exceed And Excel whose progeny seem to be more effective on a sounder surface. At a double figure price he could be worth chancing on that he will handle underfoot conditions.

Whatever the fate of her runner here it’s a micro angle that will be worth keeping an eye on as the season progresses.

Monday Selection:


4:00 – Jay Kay – Hasn’t won since 2015 but is still 5lb higher than for his last win. Ran well enough here last week when 3rd to think he can still be competitive of this sort of mark. The 8 year old has plenty of ticks in the right boxes. He is 4 wins from 8 runs 50% +15.21 7 places 88% when racing in Class 5 or 6 company at Ayr and 3 wins from 5 runs 4 places when racing within 7 days of his last start.

Jay Kay – 5/1

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

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

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Appleby’s Fantasy Leicester Win…

Beggy Wings In For Shock Derby Win

I had mentioned last week about the Derby not having a hold on the public like it used to do but there is no denying this year’s race was dammed exciting with a pulsating finish, indeed all you want to see in a horse race. The winner was Wings Of Eagles arguably one of the least fancied of the Aiden O’Brien raiding party being sent off at odds of 40/1. How good was this year’s renewal? Only time will tell. I think the form has a solid look about but if we look at some recent Derby winners and the Racing Post Ratings (RPR’s) they achieved in winning the great race, it looks like we are not looking at a superstar colt in the making:

Golden Horn – 127
Ruler of the World- 121
Harzand – 121
Wings Of Eagles – 121

After his strong finishing 2nd in the Chester Vase I saw Wings Of Eagles as a strong St Léger contender and that race still looks tailor-made for him although his next assignment will be the Irish Derby. If he gets the pace to chase that he got at Epsom I can’t see any of the colts who finished behind him beating him at the Curragh. I say the colts because I would love to see Enable, the Oaks winner, take on the boys in the Irish Derby rather than go for the Oaks. Unlikely to happen but I think the middle distance fillies have the edge over the colts this year and Enable could beat the boys.

Cliffs Of Moher the number one hope of the O’Brien team came with what looked like a winning run between the final two furlongs but was mown down by the winner in the final strides. I haven’t seen the sectionals for the race yet but I suspect that the colt was making his effort in the hottest part of the race and has claims to be the best horse in the race. He could also go for the Irish Derby or could well be aimed at the 1m 2f Coral Eclipse.

Cracksman was sent off the 7/2 favourite to give trainer John Gosden a Derby & Oaks double and his effort deserves upgrading as he was always closer to the pace than the winner and the runner up although he didn’t handle coming down the hill as well as the other two. Given this was only his 3rd career start maybe this race came just a bit too soon for the colt, who like the runner up can win a Group 1 race this summer.

The fourth home Eminent showed he stayed 1m 4f but a drop back to the 1m 2f of the Coral Eclipse looks the way to go with this Frankel colt and he is another from the race who is capable of winning a Group 1 before the season is out. He looks an ideal type for the Coral Eclipse although his trainer Martyn Meade mentioned the Irish Derby as his next target and also that a bit more ease in the ground would probably suit his horse.

Maybe not a stellar renewal of the race but I think it will prove to be a better race than last years and there are grounds to think the likes of Cliffs Of Moher, Cracksman and Eminent can win at Group 1 level.

One For The Tracker:

Last weeks horse for the tracker Line of Reason ran a fair race to finish 9th in the ‘Dash’ on Saturday. He’s not one to give up on when he gets decent ground and slightly calmer waters than he faced here.

Shraaoh trained by Sir Michael Stoute was backed like defeat was out of the question in the 1m 4f handicap and the market support indicates he can win a race of his present mark. This was his first start since August and a gelding operation so he is entitled to come on for this run and jockey Frankie Dettori didn’t really give the horse a hard time in the final furlong. This run should have put him spot on for Royal Ascot and the Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes a race in which his trainer is 5 winners from 16 runners 31% +15.75 10 places 63% in the past 20 seasons.

Stat Corner:

Some trainer ‘s do well with horses they inherit from other trainers and manage to eke out that bit of improvement that enables the horse to win on his first start for the new yard. One trainer very good at this is Michael Appleby and in particular his stable switchers running in a handicap, sent off at odds of 20/1 or under on the flat turf. This is his record with such runners since 2012:

19 winners from 61 runners 31% +117.52 A/E 1.87 27 places 44% – (with a level stakes profit of 163.75pts when betting at Betfair SP)

He has one such runner today at Leicester.

Monday Selection:


5:25 – Flying Fantasy – win – 13/2

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

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

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Making Money From Andrew Balding Maidens….

Does The Derby Still Grab Your Attention?

It’s hard to believe it, but this time next week four of five English Classics will have been run with just the St Léger at Doncaster in September to come. On Friday we have the start of the two day Investec Derby Festival at Epsom with The Oaks and Coronation Cup and of course on Saturday the Derby.

I can remember the days when the great race was in midweek, all the tabloid newspapers would have special Derby Day pullouts and places of work would have a sweepstake on the great race just like for the Grand National. I doubt any workplace has a sweepstake on the race now and it underlines just how the Derby has dropped down in the thoughts of the general public and casual punters. Sadly it’s a race that is in terminal decline and has now just become like any other Group 1 contest. Can the decline be reversed? I doubt it, as the quality of top mile and half horses is also on a downward trajectory.

This years renewal certainly doesn’t look like it will do much for the prestige of the race not that, that will worry Aiden O’Brien who looks sure to dominate the race once again this year. A Ballydoyle clean sweep, I wouldn’t bet against it!

Clive Enjoys Priceless Haydock Win

There was plenty of top class racing on Saturday with Haydock providing arguably the best races in terms of quality. The Group 2 Temple Stakes was the feature race and was won by the Clive Cox trained Priceless. The four year old daughter of Exceed And Excel clearly likes Haydock, 2 from 3 and firm ground 2 from 2. Unlike a couple of the horses who finished behind her, she was always in a good position and once jockey Adam Kirby asked her to go at the furlong mark she never looked like being caught. She has trained on from three to four and will now head for Royal Ascot’s King Stand Stakes with a major chance of success.

The runner up Goldream also likes quick going and won the 2015 King Stand Stakes. He was arguably the unlucky horse in the race as he was slowly away but was running on well at the finish. The third home Alpha Delphini who has winning form at Ascot also shouldn’t be dismissed in the King Stand either as the six year old bounced back to form here. He can be backed at 40/1 with Coral for the race and does look overpriced compared to the two that finished just ahead of him.

One For The Tracker:

Line Of Reason may not be the horse he was but the seven year old is now dropping down the handicap. Well backed before the race, he wouldn’t have liked the rain that fell just before and during the race as he has always been at his best on good to firm ground. He was just making some decent headway when he met trouble in running inside the final furlong. The gelding had to settle for a 3 ¾ length 7th at the finish but would have finished much closer with a better passage. There is a race in him when he gets his ground on the evidence of this run.

Stat Corner:

Before sharing with you today’s selection, I thought I would share with you one of my many trainer micro systems. The system had another winner on Saturday at Chester and although it won’t provide you with many bets over the course season but it has been profitable for each of the last six years.

Here are the qualifying criteria and results since 2011.

Trainer: Andrew Balding
Race Type: Maiden
Class Move From Last Race: Same
Day Since Last Run: 6 to 30 days
Last Time Out Placing: 2nd

32 winners from 50 runners 64% +38.56 A/E 1.54 39 places 78% + 43.10

Monday Selection


3:30 – Ascot Day – The 3 year old won with a little bit more in hand than ¾ length margin suggests when winning at Lingfield back in January and although he 5lb higher than for that win there is every chance that he can overcome it today. He has been gelded since that win, with this being only his 5th career start and just his 2nd run at the minimum trip. Trainer David Simcock is 3 winners from 10 runners 30% +4.23 A/E 1.33 5 places 50% with his last time out winners in Windsor handicaps.

Ascot Day – 4/1

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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