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Start of the Flat Season Just Days Away….

Morning all,

Well the start flat turf season is less than a week away and with it the latest running of the Lincoln handicap.  We got into the mood for the summer with World Cup Night at Meydan on Saturday and the start of the Irish Flat season at Naas yesterday. I thought the Saturday jumps action was fairly average so for this week’s horse for the tracker I am heading out to Dubai. In Stats Corner I also have a trainer whose runners in handicaps need to be keep onside at this weekend’s Doncaster Lincoln meeting.

One For The Tracker:

Plenty of rain fell in the lead up to World Cup Night and not surprisingly the going on the evening was yielding which didn’t suit many of the runners who would have been expecting good ground. The softish ground faced probably contributed to a couple of big shock winners in the turf races.

Seventh Heaven trained by Aiden O’Brien was subject to some good reports in the days leading up to the meeting and she ran well to finish 2nd to Jack Hobbs in the 1m 4f Sheema Classic. The winner was one of the runners that appreciated the rain softened ground which would not have suited the Ballydoyle filly who is much better on quicker ground.

Jack Hobbs looks set to make up for lost time this season and he showed a good turn of pace to go clear two furlongs from home. The five year old was a worthy winner on the day and on this sort of going will be a tough nut to crack in Group 1 middle distance races this year.

The winner was too quick for Seventh Heaven when it mattered but the four year old was staying on well at the finish of the race to just finish ahead of Postponed. The latter seemed to run fairly close to his best and is another who would have preferred a sounder surface. It will be interesting to see how the six year old fares this summer as he has started to look like a horse that might have his mind on other matters these days.

Given how well she seems to have wintered Seventh Heaven, winner of the Irish & Yorkshire Oaks, looks capable of rating higher this season especially when she gets more of a stamina test and good or quicker going.

Stats Corner:

Richard Fahey Doncaster Lincoln Meeting Angle

Last week I gave you some stats on placed horses from the Cheltenham Festival going on to run at the Grand National meeting. Those stats seemed to go down well and I will be following up those Aintree stats further next week. This week, however, I am going to focus on a trainer who does well with his runners at Doncaster’s Lincoln meeting.

Trainer Richard Fahey seems to have his horses fit and ready to go for the first flat turf fixture of the season. Since 2012 his record with all his runners is:

11 winners from 56 runners 20% +59.5 26 places 46% +91.02 – with a profit to Betfair SP of +99.99. That’s a nice profit at Industry SP, Betfair SP and for those who like to bet each way.

You could have backed all his runners blindly at Doncaster’s opening fixture of the season in the last 5 years and had an excellent return on investment but as ever it can be worth looking a bit below the headline figures and see if there are any other angles that can increase strike rate or profit. Looking at the trainer’s record in handicaps with horses returning from a 150 to 240 day break:

8 winners from 24 runners 33% +62.5 A/E 3.11 14 places 58% +90.89 – with a profit to Betfair SP of +83.92.

There you have it, keep Richard Fahey’s handicappers returning from a break onside this weekend. I haven’t had a chance to look at the Lincoln Handicap in detail yet but it will be interesting to see who the trainer runs in the first big handicap of the 2017 flat season.

Monday Selection:

Last Monday’s selection Moorlands Jack was a non runner on account of the going at Taunton.

This week I am focusing in on a trainer who has an exceptionally good strike rate with her handicap hurdlers at her local track of Plumpton.

Suzy Smith hasn’t had the best of seasons but there is no doubting her ability to place her horses at Plumpton. In the past 5 years she is:

14 winners from 41 runners 34% +73.38 A/E 2.35 20 places 49% +79.47 – with a profit of 94.01 when backing to BetFair SP.

3:00 – Clondaw Bisto – Is her only runner here today in a handicap despite concerns over the stable form – 0 wins from 19 runners since December 16th. Trainer has booked 3lb claimer Jack Sherwood for the ride who is 2 winners from 4 runners +13.5 3 placed +16.48 when teaming up with the trainer in handicap hurdles at Plumpton and the gelding is 1 win from 3 runs 2 places at the track. I am happy to take a chance on the selection given his odds at the time of writing.

Clondaw Bisto – 22/1 each way

All that’s left now is to wish you an enjoyable and profitable weeks betting.

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Thanks
John

Cheltenham Hangover Sets In

Hi all,

The eagerly awaited Cheltenham Festival is over for another year. Hopefully you had a better festival betting wise than I did. Breaking even isn’t my idea of a successful weeks punting but on the plus side it could have been worse. Like all eagerly awaited events there is always a sense of deflation when the event is over and it’s no different with ending of Cheltenham Festival. Oh well just another 359 days to go till the start of the 2018 festival.

At least there is still plenty to look forward too with Aintree’s Grand National meeting just a couple of weeks away and the Punchestown Festival also on the horizon. Meanwhile those of us who like the flat will be heartened with the thought that there’s less than two weeks till Doncaster gets the 2017 flat season underway.Continue Reading

The Final Countdown

Good morning,

Cheltenham Countdown Begins

I am as excited about tomorrow as a child looking forward to Christmas morning, that’s what the Cheltenham festival does for me. I was lucky enough to have been there for three days in 2014 and I can say there is no horse racing festival that can beat it, certainly not in Britain or Ireland, for atmosphere or racing spectacle.

It can be said that the National Hunt season now just revolves around these four days in March but what a four days and whose to say that focus by those in the racing media on Cheltenham from the start of the jumps season is a bad thing, after all it is racing’s Olympics and were lucky we get it every year and not every four years.

My one gripe about Cheltenham is the lack of 48 hour declarations for all the 28 races, if there ever was a right occasion for 48 hour declarations, surely its here at the Cheltenham Festival.Continue Reading

Victor’s Monday Thoughts

Good morning,

I am going down with a fever; I always seem to do at this time of year. The fever has been named ‘Cheltenham Fever’ and plenty of punters are showing symptoms of it. If you are suffering from any of the symptoms, not long now till you have the cure. As I write this article there are just 8 days to go till the start of racing “Greatest Show on Earth”.

A slightly shorter column than normal this week but it still; contains my three performances of the weekend, one horse that you should put in your trackers for the future and of course my Monday selection in Stats Corner at the end.Continue Reading

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