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Spencer set to enhance excellent strike rate…

Good Morning all,

Plenty of racing last weekend but in truth most of it was pretty mediocre for Saturday. Indeed what a contrast to the previous week when there were three really top class cards. The action wasn’t helped by plenty of rain at two of the meetings; Newbury and Newmarket where the ground turned soft during racing.

All in all not much to say about last weeks racing and hence this week there is no horse for your notebooks. Still there were a fair few talking points to come out of the weekend.

Tragedy Highlights Racing's Unsung Heroes

The sad incident that led to the death of stall handler Stephen Yarborough at Haydock on Friday, not by horse but what looks a freak accident, has put the spotlight on the unsung work that stall handlers carry out day in, day out during the year on the turf and all weather. Sadly it takes a tragedy like this to highlight the hard work and indeed bravery that they put into their job each day. We punters tend to forget about the work the stall handlers do in this game, I doubt we will now. Your heart has to go out Steven’s family and friends at a time like this, no one expects a loved one to go to work and not come back at night.

Horses Are Not Machines

The defeat at Arrogate at Del Mar on Saturday at odds of 1/20, once again showed that horses are not machines, they are living, breathing animals, they can have an off day and however far ahead they maybe on the ratings, even the best can lose. The race provided the shock of the racing year as the world’s top rated horse ran no sort of race to finish 4th of 5, with the only horse he beat home having had his jockey lose his irons early in the contest. It underlines how good and well trained Frankel was to go through his career unbeaten. I am sure Arrogate will be back and whilst he remains a Champion he is no legend of the turf

Frankie’s Back

It wasn’t Frankie Dettori’s biggest success but his ride on Magical Memory on Saturday to win the Group 3 Hackwood Stakes at Newbury showed us that racing's most well known personality is back, after his recent shoulder injury. Granted he had already guided Enable to a facile win in the Irish Oaks last weekend but this ride showed he is well and truly back and with Goodwood and York to come in the coming weeks it will be great to see Frankie riding at both festivals.

Constable Comes into Champion Hurdle Picture

When John Constable won his first two juvenile hurdles in the early part of 2015 I think most of us would have expected him to have taken top rank as a hurdler but for almost two years he had become a very disappointing horse. Things began to change in the spring when the six year old fell at the last when he would have won a valuable handicap hurdle at Aintree. He then stormed home to win the Swinton Hurdle at Haydock a month later and continued his upward curve with a decisive win under top weight in Market Rasen’s Summer Hurdle. Officially rated 150 before Saturday’s win, he will no doubt go up 6lb or 7lb for this win but who’s to say he can’t win the Galway Hurdle even when reassessed. He is clearly a spring and summer horse who is at his best on good ground and if he hadn’t have fallen at Aintree he would have been 3 wins from 6 runs 4 placed on good ground. Obviously there will be talk of next years Champion Hurdle after this performance but he has to progress a bit further to be up to that level and he also has to prove that Cheltenham is his track, as he remains 0 wins 3 runs 0 placed on an undulating track. Maybe he will prove up to the task but I remain to be convinced.

Stat Corner:

I mentioned last week the record of jockey David Allan in handicaps at Ripon, in particular over 1m 4f, he had a winner at odds of 4/1 on Saturday with Mukhayyam to take his record to 9 winners from 15 runners 60% +12.69 13 placed 87%. Hopefully plenty of you were on!

Profiting From Franny Norton At Chester

I said I would look this week at Franny Norton’s record at Chester to see how you can profit from his rides there and with Chester racing next Saturday it’s the perfect time.

I will look at his record in handicaps: Since 2014 he is 24 winners from 142 bets 17% -34.72 A/E 0.88 55 placed 39% with his rides in such races.

Focusing on his rides going off at an SP of 8/1 and under and his record is – 24 winners from 105 bets +2.28 A/E 0.98 51 placed (0 wins 35 bets 4 placed over 8/1). Half of those wins have come when combining with trainer Mark Johnston 12 winners from 57 runners 21% -14.05 A/E 0.82 28 placed 49% – but there is no value in backing the pair blind!

The two micro angles to concentrate on are:

Jockey: Franny Norton
Odds SP: 8/1 & under
Horse Wins At Track: 1+

7 winners from 17 runners 41% +16.71 A/E 1.86 11 placed 67%

It may also pay to look at his rides in handicaps over 5f, especially those drawn in the first three stalls:

6 winners from 9 runners 67% +9.02 A/E 1.77 7 placed 78%

Monday Selections:

The Monday selection came off the cold list courtesy of a win by Desert Rain at odds of 3/1 to enhance trainer’s Saeed Bin Suroor’s excellent win strike rate in handicaps at Wolverhampton. Like last week I am going for a couple of selections both from Windsor’s evening card.


Jockey Jamie Spencer is 13 winners from 53 runners 22% +26 25 placed 43% with his rides in Windsor handicaps in the past three years but that good win strike rate is improved further when you focus in on his rides over 1m 3f & 1m 3 ½ f, he is 6 winners from 13 runners 46% +28.98 A/E 1.76 7 placed 54%. He rides last time out winner Jive Talking in the 6:45 for trainer Michael Bell who is 5 winners from 24 runners 21% in the past 14 days.

Trainer Roger Varian has had 28 winners from 81 runners 35% +37.79 A/E 1.37 39 placed 48% at Windsor since 2014. That impressive set of stats are improved further when you look at his 3-year-old + runners in Class 5 races at the track – 18 winners from 42 runners 43% +24.66 A/E 1.86 24 placed 57% with those ridden by jockey Andrea Atzeni being 9 winners from 18 runners 50% +15.46 A/E 1.77 12 placed 67%. The pair combine on Fujaira Prince in the 8:15.

6:45 – Jive Talking – 7/2

8:15 – Fujaira Prince – 5/1

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

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Is horse racing in trouble?….

Good morning all,

Well ‘Super Saturday’ is out of the way for another year. Certainly the day provides a feast of betting opportunities but for me it’s too much of a good thing and considering there is no flat racing in the UK today surely it would be better to have moved either Ascot or Chester to the Sunday. After all it is summer and three jumps meetings looks a shade over the top to me. I don’t see anything changing in the short terms so Super Saturday looks here to stay.

Of more pressing concern would be what Tom Segal talked about in his Sunday Column in the Racing Post. Two of the biggest handicaps of the summer the John Smith’s Cup and the Bunbury Cup were messy affairs. The former turned out to be one of the slowest renewals of recent years and turned into a four furlong sprint. Given the slow early pace those who were held up had no chance whatsoever and you have to feel for the owners of a number of horses who couldn’t get competitive.

As Tom points out “The point is these heritage handicaps are so difficult anyway that if they are slowly run or contests where no-one has a clue where the horses are going to race, they are virtually impossible”.

Not long after we had the Bunbury Cup at Newmarket which was another race run in unsatisfactory circumstances. As all the runners decided to head down the middle with, for me anyway, the low numbers at a disadvantage, especially those that were dropped in and held up. If they had gone stands side then I think the ground would have been better.

I have to agree with Tom when he says “if no one has a clue how the race is going to be run, or even where they are going to run, then punters are going to be leaving in droves, if they haven’t already”. This is a bigger problem for the sport than whether ‘Super Saturday’ is good for the game or not!

This isn’t me talking out of my pocket either as I came out of Saturday slightly ahead and the July Festival provided a very healthy profit for me and my subscribers albeit courtesy of a cracking opening day.

Angel Wings To July Cup Glory

The Caravaggio bubble was burst as he wasn’t able to follow up his impressive Commonwealth Cup win with the July Cup on Saturday. He sweated up before the race and didn’t run up to that form but that shouldn’t take away from the performance of the winner Harry’s Angel, who had finished 2nd behind Caravaggio at Royal Ascot, showed great speed and really there was only going to be one winner from two furlongs out. He showed he is a Group 1 horse, it will be interesting to see what his next race will be but he is such a speedy horse that the 5f Nunthorpe Stakes at York must now come under consideration. Aiden O’Brien trainer of the beaten favourite said after the race that he wouldn’t have any problem with running Caravaggio in the Nunthorpe and sprinting still looks the way connections are going with the colt but for me a step up in trip would be the way to go after all it was stamina that won him the race at Royal Ascot.

One For The Tracker:

As I mentioned earlier there were a few runners in the John Smith’s Cup who didn’t really have a chance the way the race was run such as Eddystone Rock and Garcia but for me I am happy to settle with the race favourite.

Victory Bond trained by William Haggas ended up going off the 6/1 favourite for the race after the rain that fell in the morning. The four year old had to be dropped in from his wide draw and was always going to be a hostage of fortune to the pace of the race. He made good headway out wide in the straight and did well in the circumstances to get within 2 ¾ lengths in 7th. Well regarded by his trainer the four year old had run well enough on his seasonal reappearance at York over a mile and the return to 1m 2f was expected to be ideal for him. He has only had six career starts so there is more to come from him especially when gets to some ease in the ground. One to follow on his next three starts when he gets his going.

Stat Corner:

Listening to a pundit on Racing UK, talking about Franny Norton’s record at Chester got me thinking a bit more on the subject of jockey’s records at a course and their best distances. Looking at Ripon, who incidentally have a meeting this coming Saturday, and two jockey’s David Allan and Graham Lee whose track records are worth a second look.

Ripon Jockeys

Since 2014 jockey David Allan’s record in handicaps at Ripon is 18 winners from 107 runners 17% -15.18 A/E 1.03 44 placed 41% but if you focus in on his record in races run over 1m 2f to 1m 4f he is 12 winners from 28 runners 43% +22.32 A/E 1.69 22 placed 79% +35.98. The win & place strike rate is very impressive indeed! Digging a bit further over 1m 4f he is 8 winners from 14 runners 57% +8.69 A/E 1.76 12 placed 86% +10.02.

Jockey Graham Lee’s record at the track in all races since 2014 is – 16 winners from 103 runners 16% +3.06 A/E 0.89 42 placed 41%. The former jump jockey really excels at the minimum trip. Over Ripon’s 5f distance he has had 7 winners from 17 runners 41% +48.42 A/E 2.41 12 places 71% +61.21.

I will be noting these two jockeys' rides at the weekend. By the way, I will take a look at Franny Norton’s Chester record in more detail in next weeks column.

Trainer Saeed Bin Suroor has an excellent win strike rate in Wolverhampton handicaps being 15 winners from 40 runners 38% +13.07 A/E 1.36 25 placed 63% since 2014. If we look at his runners going off at odds of 7/1 & under and had finished 1st or 2nd in at least one of their last three runs he is 14 winners from 28 runners 50 +21.57 24 placed 86% +32.79 A/E 1.55. The booking of a claiming jockey should also be seen a positive as he is 6 winners from 11 runners 55% +14.75 A/E 1.83 10 placed 91% +20.64 with horses ridden by apprentices. He has one such runner at Wolverhampton today Desert Rain (6:40) to be ridden by 3lb claimer Edward Greatrex.

Trainer Ralph Beckett has enjoyed plenty of success in Windsor handicaps and since 2014 he has had 13 winners from 47 runners 28% +15.47 A/E 1.5 21 placed 45%. That record can be improved when we look at his record with his three year olds, going off at an SP of 8/1 & under in Windsor handicaps – 12 winners from 29 runners 41% +26.47 A/E 1.87 17 placed 59% + 32.83 and he has one such runner in the 5:50.

Monday Selection:

I have two Monday selections for you today but neither at big prices.

Windsor – 5:50 – Secret Soul – 7/2 or better

Wolverhampton – 6:40 – Desert Rain – 11/4 or better

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

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Newmarket July Festival Trainer Angle…..

Good morning all,

Ulysses Wins Epic Eclipse

The word ‘epic’ is often used by horse racing journalists and pundits to describe a race but it’s often an over-used word. The front page of Sunday’s Racing Post used it when reporting on the Coral Eclipse, in this case the headline writer was right to do so.

Before the race the contest had all the makings of a good one and so it proved to be as the four year old Ulysses got the better of the three year old Barney Roy in a thrilling, heart stopping, head bobbing finish. The eventual winner looked to be cantering all over his rivals two furlongs out and once he took it up at the furlong mark the Sandown racegoers and those watching on TV were treated to top equine athletes battling for the lead inside the final furlong.

Just a few yards from the line it looked like Ulysses had finally got the measure of Barney Roy only for the latter’s jockey to manage to conjure up one final effort to almost grab the prize on the line. After 1m 2f there was only a nose between the pair and in a few more strides the runner up would have been entering the winner’s enclosure.

Trainer Aiden O’Brien once again provided the favourite for the race in the shape of Epsom Derby second Cliffs of Moher who was sent off at odds of 7/4. His race was over before it began as he was hampered early on, ironically by his pace-making stablemate. He did as well as he could to finish 4 ½ lengths behind the front two at the line. He can’t be measured on this run and should be able to get closer to the winner and the runner up if he meets them again.

Some had questioned whether the winner’s trainer Sir Michael Stoute had lost his touch. Well this performance showed there is life in the great man still. The scenes after the race showed just how much this win meant to Sir Michael, as the winner showed why the trainer had held him in such high regard. The pair pulled well clear of the 3rd and both look set to progress further. Hopefully racing fans will be able to look forward to a rematch in next month's Juddmonte International at York, add in the likes of Cliffs of Moher and others and that race has the potential to be the race of the season. It will certainly be a race worth travelling to see!

One For The Tracker:

This week’s horse for your trackers comes from the Old Newton Cup which was run at Haydock on Saturday.

Blakeney Point trained by Roger Charlton had begun the season by winning the Queen’s Prize handicap over 2m at Kempton beating subsequent Northumberland Plate winner Higher Power in the process. Hadn’t run to that form on his next two starts, probably didn’t stay when down the field in the Chester Cup, and was dropped back to 1m 4f here. He fared best of those horse’s coming from the rear to grab 4th on the line. He didn’t get the best of runs when slightly outpaced over two furlongs out but that didn’t make the difference to his winning chance although he could have finished second. The winner was a very well handicapped horse at his best, as I had advised to my subscribers on Saturday morning. I had thought he might be in the handicappers grip but this run suggests there could be another win in the gelding off his present mark of 95. The extra two furlongs of the Ebor Handicap look ideal for him.

Stat Corner:

This week I have focused in on Saeed Bin Suroor’s record at the Newmarket July Festival and also put trainer David O’Meara’s Ayr & Ripon runners under the microscope.

On Thursday, the three day Moet and Chandon July Festival begins at Newmarket. There a few trainer micro angles that you should have on side at this meeting. I will be sharing them with my subscribers this week but here is a taster.

Saeed Bin Suroor’s Juveniles Need Monitoring This Week

Trainer Saeed Bin Suroor is the second top trainer at the festival in terms of winners in the past 10 years with 13 winners from 64 runners 20% +10.73 A/E 1.16 31 placed 48%. But it’s his lightly raced runners that look worth focusing on:

Horses Age: 2 & 3 year olds
Career Runs: 0 to 2

Have provided 9 winners from 23 runners 39% +24.23 A/E 1.87 14 placed 61%

Drilling down even further we can see that the trainer’s record in Class 4, two year old races is a striking:

5 winners from 10 runners 50% +18.88 A/E 2.39 7 placed 70%

Clearly the trainer likes to introduce his nice two year olds at this meeting and they all need to be noted, particularly those in Class 4 races.

Trainer In Focus – David O’Meara

Trainer David O’Meara’s runners at Ayr in Class 4 races are worth respecting – 11 winners from 52 runners 21% +2.5 A/E 1.34 21 places 40% but the market is usually a reliable guide to their chances with his runners going off at odds of 6/1 or less being 10 winners from 26 runners 38% +18.5 A/E 1.66 16 placed 62%. He runs two today:


2:45 – Muscika
3:50 – Lamloom

Ripon is another track where David O’Meara has plenty of winners at. If we focus in on his runners in Class 3 races at the course he has had 14 winners from 72 runners 19% +27.25 A/E 1,27 28 placed 39%. His record is further improved when looking at his 4-year-old’s that are running in the same race class or stepping up in class from their last race who are 7 winners from 18 runners 39% +29.5 A/E 2.49 10 placed 56%. He has one such runner today which is today’s key stat selection:

Monday Selection:

Ripon – 8:15 – Sunglider – 7/2

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

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

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Trainer Bids To Enhance Hamilton Record…..

Good morning all,

It was a clear case of quantity over quality last weekend as far as horse racing this side of the Irish Sea was concerned. Meanwhile over In Ireland we had the three day Irish Derby Festival at the Curragh, the centrepiece being The Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby run on Saturday.

Epsom Derby hero Wings Of Eagles was bidding for the double in the big race but it was the Aiden O’Brien second string Capri who took the race in a gutsy fashion. Only 6th at Epsom he was clearly suited by the more conventional track he faced at the Curragh compared with the undulating track at Epsom. The slightly easier surface may also have been more in his favour here as all his previous wins had come with some juice in the ground. Once he took up the running two furlongs out he was also finding just enough to hold of his pursuers.

The second home Cracksman progressed again from Epsom he seems to take a bit of time to hit top gear and was one of the first of the fancied runners to come under pressure. Still he stayed on well enough to get 2nd.

Wings Of Eagles could only finish 3rd and of the front three he was probably the least suited by the way the race was run. As he showed at Epsom a big field and an end to end gallop played to his strengths. Sadly the colt sustained a career ending injury during the race which means this will be last time he is seen on a racecourse.

Fourth home was French Derby second Waldgeist, who seemed to run up to the form of his French Derby run, was only two lengths behind the winner at the finish although he has seemed to be travelling best of all two furlongs out. It will be interesting to see if his trainer Andre Fabre drops the horse back down to 1m 2f.

One For The Tracker:

This week’s runner for your notebook comes from Doncaster’s Saturday evening card:

Duke Cosimo – The 7-year- old had been off the track for 48 days and was only having his 3rd start of the season here. The Michael Herrington trained gelding didn’t get the best of passages in the final furlong but once in the clear was staying on well to the line and was only beaten 1 ¼ lengths into 5th. If he had got a clear run when making his effort he would probably have won the race. He has dropped down to a competitive mark, being 3lb lower than last years win at Ripon and he is 8lb lower than when beaten 2 ¼ lengths in to 4th in the Ayr Bronze Cup last September. All his four turf wins have come on good ground, all five over 6f and he is 5 wins from 21 runs 10 placed when racing 8 to 30 days since his last start. Two wins have come at Ripon so a return there for a 6f handicap could easily pay dividends over the next month.

Stat Corner:

Pontefract – 2:30 – Trainer Mark Johnson has won this race twice in the past ten years and his four runners have form figures of 4121 – He saddles the filly Izzy Bizu who bids for her fourth win of the season.

Hamilton – Trainer John Patrick Shanahan has a good record with his runners making their handicap debut. In the past 5 years he is 8 winners from 38 runners 21% +17.5 A/E 1,7 18 placed 47% and at Hamilton he is 4 winners from 12 runners 33% +18 A/E 2.05 7 placed 58% with such runners. He runs two today:

6:15 – Molecule
8:15 – What Wonders Weave

Today’s trainer in focus is Mark Johnston and his runners in 3-year-old handicaps at Wolverhampton. Since 2014 the trainer has had 19 winners from 68 runners 28% -8.36 32 placed A/E 1.26 47% in such races but if focus on his runners with following criteria:

Trainer: Mark Johnston
Race Type: Handicap
Age Restrictiond: 3-year-old only
Race Class: 4, 5 or 6
Weight: Between Top Weight and 4lb lighter.

15 winners from 34 runners 44% +8.31 A/E 1.52 21 placed 62%

With today’s jockey Silvestre De Sousa – 2 winners from 3 runners 3 placed

Monday Selection:

3:45 – Voski – 13/2

All that’s left 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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