Category Archives: Systems

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Sunday Racing

Good morning all,

The wagon rolls on to Rolleston today, as I go back to the Fibresand to try and put some of Monday's learnings into action.

I don't tend to be on here much after Saturday morning, as you know, but Sunday's racing is pretty good this week and I had a look at it yesterday. My thoughts are on the main piece. Continue Reading

Cheltenham Open Meeting Stats + Monday Tip

Morning all,

In this week’s post I am going to have a look at some stats for next weekend’s Cheltenham Open Meeting. This week’s tracker horse, looks on a competitive handicap mark and can win a handicap chase in the coming weeks. You can find all that inside, as well as my Monday selection….

Remembering Our Equine Heroes

Well it was Remembrance Sunday and this year’s had an extra poignancy as it was the 100th anniversary of the end of World War 1. I suspect you might like horses if you read this blog.

So, I thought I would begin this week by highlighting those equine heroes who gave their lives for the British Empire.

The number of equine casualties was truly shocking. At the Battle of Verdun, in 1916, some 7,000 horses were killed by shelling. By 1917 Britain alone had over million horses in service. By the end of the war we had lost over 480,000 horses. Some 8 million horses died during the Great War. Many where not killed in battle but died as a result of the terrible conditions on the front through exhaustion and disease.

Most of you will probably have seen the film War Horse. Well when your putting on your bets today maybe you can pause for a few seconds to remember all those horses who gave their lives in World War 1.

Henderson’s Blue Hurdle Hope

It was Badger Ales Day at Wincanton on Saturday. The feature race of the card. For the second successive year the Badger Ales Trophy Handicap Chase was won by the Paul Nicholls trained Present Man.

The performance of the day arguably came from Verdana Blue in winning the Grade 2 Unibet Elite Hurdle. On paper the race looked an above average renewal with the likes of If The Cap Fits and We Have A Dream both making their seasonal returns. Both were not a match for recent Kempton winner Verdana Blue.

The Nicky Henderson trained 6-year-old looks a much-improved horse this season. The mare travelled really well throughout the race. After the last she only had to be pushed out for a comfortable 2 ¼ length win over If The Cap Fits with a further 7 lengths back to stablemate We Have A Dream.

At her best on a sound surface, her trainer could bring her out for next Sunday’s Greatwood Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham. As long as the ground isn’t soft. After her win Henderson told the Racing Post “She will end up going for the Champion Hurdle in the spring if the ground allows”.

Notebook Horse:

Warrior’s Tale, trained by Paul Nicholls, was having his first start since pulling up in last season's Grand National. The 9-year-old looked before the race like he would come on for the run and so it showed during the race. He got outpaced and lost his place five out but stayed on steadily enough to finish 4th on Saturday. The 2m 4f trip is too short for the gelding these days, he stays 3m, especially on good ground and on a track like Aintree.

The son of Midnight Legend didn’t win last season but in two good efforts when beaten just a neck by Gold Present at Newbury last December and ran even better when beaten just a head by Wakanda in the 3m Sky Bet Handicap Chase at Doncaster.

Four of his five career wins have come when running 16 to 30 days since his last run. Although, his best RPR came in the Sky Bet race his next five best RPR’s have come at Newbury, a track he goes really well at. Indeed, his form figures at Newbury are 225112.

Warrior’s Tale seems at his best on good to soft or soft ground and can surely win a handicap chase when racing back over 2m 6f+.

Cheltenham’s Open Meeting Stats:

An early look at Cheltenham's Open Meeting. Here are few interesting stats for the three day meeting which begins on Friday.


The figures are from 2012 to 2017 and the results consist of 114 winners from 1309 runners:

62% of the winners were in the first three in the betting from 28% of the total runners

41% of the winners had won their last start from 30% of the total runners


The top trainers numerically are:

Philip Hobbs – 14 winners from 60 runners 23% +23.84 A/E 1.33 28 placed 47%

All his runners at this meeting need respecting but if you focus on those ridden by Richard Johnson and racing over 2m & 2m 1f have produced 8 winners from 16 runners 50% +28.27 A/E 1.99 10 Placed 63%

David Pipe – 14 winners from 82 runners 17% +45.13 A/E 1.27 28 placed 34%

Note any of his 6yo & 7yo’s returning from a 150+day break – 7 winners from 18 runners 39% +20.88 A/E 1.89 8 placed 44%. Fifty percent of the winners from 22% of his runners had those two traits.

Monday Selection:

Last Monday’s selection Podemos finished 3rd to land the each-way money. This week selection runs at Carlisle.


3:10 – Calivigny, remains 0 wins from 15 start over fences. But there is no doubting he’s on a winnable mark based on his best form over C&D, including a six length second back in December off 10lb higher.

The 9-year-old is ground versatile. This is his first run since a wind operation but the 180-day absence shouldn’t be too much of an issue for the gelding as his form figures when returning from a 150+ day layoff are 152.

Calivigny – 11/2 or bigger

Until next week


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Rails Tales

Good morning all,

Thankfully I get to have a bit of rest for the next few days after a busy three days on the road, Ascot then Huntingdon then Hereford. I'd forgotten how arduous that last 20 miles from Worcester into Hereford is, and the journey back was even slower! My weekend is on the main piece, plus today's big-priced selection from Wolverhampton.Continue Reading

Sri Lanka v England Test Series Betting

Record books suggest inevitable Sri Lanka win

Let’s start with the most important thing of all. Test match cricket and ODI cricket are completely different beasts. Even more so these days where 300 batting first is generally seen as an absolute minimum and teams think nothing of scoring at 10 an over in the back end of a chase as long as they have a few wickets in hand, especially if there’s a set batsman at the crease.

So with that in mind, we can pretty much dismiss what happened in the ODI series between these two. Different format, different players, different wickets, different strategies. Almost irrelevant when it comes to the 5-day business.

And here’s the proof. That lacklustre Sri Lanka side who did well to win a game in the ODI Series have won their last three Series (including against South Africa and Australia, no less), winning all of their last seven Tests on home soil. England away? Haven’t won a Series for three years and have won just four of their last 26 when the ball isn’t swinging and seaming on fresh, green English wickets.

There are however two annoying flies in the ointment that should make us be a little cautious about being too ambitious here and going for say 2-0 (7.5) or 3-0 (15.0) Sri Lanka at chunky prices.

The first is that Rangana Herath (more on him in a second) has chosen to retire after the first of the three Tests. He has personal and professional reasons for insisting that he has one last shot at taking wickets in this Galle Test and if you’re wondering why he won’t play the full Series, it’s quite simply that he doesn’t think his body can hack it. Not that surprising: he’s 40 years old and was already playing Test cricket in the late 90s.

Anyway, given he has taken 41% of the team’s wickets over that seven-match period, you can see why it’s a huge blow that he isn’t around for the whole thing.

The second ‘fly’ is that it’s monsoon season in Sri Lanka; we already saw how that can be a nuisance in the ODI series where just about every match was rain-affected one way or the other. It means that it may simply not be possible to get a result with so many overs lost, however well bowlers bowl and however poorly batters bat. So we may even get a couple of draws in the series, making it very hard to have a stab at a correct score. The other obvious problem is that lots of rain doesn’t exactly make for great spinning conditions. Far from it. This is Sri Lanka’s strength when it comes to bowling and it’s the one area where their batsmen are better than England’s: playing spin. There may even be times where the conditions are far more favourable to England than to them.

Still, England’s away record is abysmal, Sri Lanka’s is excellent and if you want to argue that Herath is a huge loss after he plays the First Test, you can argue that the absence of Alastair Cook for England (allied with Jonny Bairstow’s almost certain absence from the First Test) more than levels things up. Let’s not try to be too smart here and let’s just plump for the straight Sri Lanka series win at 2.38.


Herath can retire on a high


Rain is forecast for pretty much the whole of the First Test.

Surely that means that Herath’s influence in his last-ever Test is limited. After all, the ball doesn’t spin much when the wicket is damp, does it?

Maybe not but with a little bit of imagination and some faith, we still think Herath may have the last laugh.

First up, what the weatherman says and what actually happens on the day can be two very different things. Maybe it won’t rain as much as he thinks and even if it does, it’s worth remembering that Herath doesn’t actually turn the ball that much anyway. He’s made a career out of subtle variations in pace and length, rather than relying on the ball turning square. Meaning that if any of the spinners are having to have joy here, it’s him.

The other important factor here is sentimentality. First in the sense that given it’s his last ever Test, he’ll bowl pretty much as many overs as is humanly possible. He’s a few wickets away from breaking some serious records so his captain will give him every chance to get to them by bowling lots and lots of overs.

He’s 7.0 to be man-of-the-match, so let’s think about the second part of the sentimentality issue. The award is decided by commentators or sponsors and even though most games produce an obvious MOM winner when you look at the scorecard, it’s not an exact science.

If someone scores a big hundred or takes 10 wickets in the game with Herath chipping in with just say four wickets, then fine, they’ll give it to that guy rather than Herath. But if it’s a close call with three or four candidates in the mix with Herath being one of them (including a scenario where there are two from each side, if it’s a draw) then few would begrudge the champion spinner getting it.   Seems like a small detail but it could make all the difference on the day.

You can read more about all aspects of cricket betting including explanations on how to play different markets and reviews of the best Cricket sportsbooks at


Back Sri Lanka to win the Series @ 2.38 with Ladbrokes/BetFred

Back Rangana Herath to be man-of-the-match in the First Test @ 7.0 with Bet365/Ladbrokes

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