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Aintree Grand National Meeting Tips

Today we have an interesting article from Mark Foley of Trainer Trends about the Aintree Grand National meeting that kicks off tomorrow.

But before we get to the article I just want to tell you about the big race trends service that Mark is offering for the three days of the Aintree festival.

If you joined Mark for Cheltenham then you will know that he had a very profitable Cheltenham. The highlight for me was using the Free £50 bet that Bet Victor gave on Champagne Fever at 7/1.

Mark is doing exactly the same for Aintree for just £14.99 for the 3 days – Click Here to secure a place for this.

Ok, over to the article which will hopefully steer you away from some losers…

How does Cheltenham form hold up at Aintree?

Backing favourites isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but knowing whether a favourite is strong or weak is fundamental to having a bet. It’s impossible to ignore Cheltenham form when it comes to forming the market at Aintree and the bookies have often got it horribly wrong, horses that looked invincible at Cheltenham a few weeks earlier have looked a shadow of themselves at Aintree.

In the past 10 years you would have made a small 3% loss following the 147 Aintree favourites who earned their market position on the back of their run at the Cheltenham festival. Two completely different tracks; left handed; right handed; undulating; flat; stiff finish; flat finish, long run in. So is it worth backing a Cheltenham horse that goes off as favourite at Aintree?

It would have taken a brave man to oppose the following horses after their scintillating performances at Cheltenham Denman (twice; Evens and 5/4); Imperial commander 11/8; Master Minded 2/5; Albertas Run 6/4; Kauto Star 4/7. They all got turned over at Aintree of course despite their short prices, so how do you find a reliable favourite at Aintree?

The first point to note is that runners that finished in the first 2 at Cheltenham tended to do well at Aintree; add in the runners that didn’t finish their race at the festival but still went off as favourites and the results are transformed.

All but 7 of the 43 winners either finished in the first two at Cheltenham or failed to finish and as the table below illustrates they were profitable to follow:

Grand National Aintree Trends


Impressive figures and following such runners would have seen you make a profit in all but 2 of the last 9 Aintree festivals. 

The next salient point is that the favourites over the shorter distances had the best record; it would appear that the speedsters don’t have quite as much taken out of them as the runners over longer distances. Seventeen winners from only 28 runners for a 107% return in races over 16 and 16 ½ f.

Aintree Favourites

The following trainers did particularly well:

(Runners who went off as favourites at Aintree having run at the Cheltenham Festival).

Aintree Profitable Trainers

The above four trainers have provided over 50% of the 47 winning favourites who also ran at the Cheltenham festival in the past 10 years and Nicky Henderson’s record in recent years has been particularly impressive.

In conclusion, following the runners who went off as favourites at Aintree who finished in the first 2 (or failed to finish) at the Cheltenham festival; runners over the shortest distances and runners trained by the above trainers proved to be reliable favourites and were profitable to follow.

All the best Mark.

Today's Selection

Wetherby 4.40 Musnad – win bet – evens Paddy Power

Gold Cup – Oppose Long Run

We've got a piece from Mark Foley today on the Gold Cup but before we get into that I want to tell you about a special offer for Mark's Cheltenham service.

Mark will be running his trends eye over all the Cheltenham races and giving his analysis along with details of the selections he will be backing.

As a bonus to his Cheltenham service Mark is giving full access to his Trainer Trends service up to the end of April all for just £14.99.

Click Here

Why I won’t be backing Long Run in the Gold Cup:
(figures since 1997 unless otherwise specified).

A quick question. How many multiple winners of the Gold Cup have there been in the past 40 years?

The answer is two.

Best Mate won at a time when staying Chasers were at rock bottom and Kauto Star is the best staying Chaser since the great Arkle in the sixties.

No other Championship race at Cheltenham comes close to being as difficult to win on more than one occasion.

Multiple winners of this race are a rarity, it is hard to continually run over 3 miles over fences, which takes its toll as runners reach the limits of their endurance, meaning injuries are inevitable in the long run.

The extra 2 furlongs, the frantic pace and the stiff finish take a lot out a horse. Paul Nicholls mentioned in his Autobiography that Denman was lifeless for three weeks after his win.

Since 1990, all but 2 of the Gold Cup winners were 7-9 year olds.

Only one of the forty one 10yos won and only 4 made the frame. (11yo and older were 0 from 30 and only 4 placed)

French bred Long Run was a freak at 6yo, the first 6yo winner since 1962.

Long Run and Kauto Star were French Breds; they have a much better record as youngsters. 6 and 7 yo French bred runners were 2 from 13 and 4 were placed; 8yo French Breds were 1 from 35 and only 4 made the frame.

Even Kauto Star failed to dominate here once age caught up with him.

Kauto Star at 8yo and older in Gold Cup: Kauto Star was the French exception as he retained his title as a 9yo, but had a 1 from 5 record in the Gold cup once he reached the age of eight.

Still a wonderful record but the dividing line at the top is remarkably fine.

He may still have been able to do it as an older horse at Kempton but not Cheltenham. Remember we are talking about a freak of a horse, the best staying chaser since Arkle.

It’s not just Kauto Star:

Date Horse Odds Position

2012 Kauto Star (FR) 3/1 PU/14

2011 Kauto Star (FR) 5/1 3rd/13

2010 Kauto Star (FR) 8/11 F/11

2009 Exotic Dancer (FR) 8/1 3rd/16

2009 Kauto Star (FR) 7/4 1st/16

2009 Neptune Collonges (FR) 15/2 4th/16

2008 Exotic Dancer (FR) 17/2 5th/12

2008 Kauto Star (FR) 10/11 2nd/12

2006 Monkerhostin (FR) 13/2 6th/22

2003 Hussard Collonges (FR) 8/1 PU/15

The winners aged 8 or older tend to be Irish Bred runners; 5 from 34 with 9year olds.

Silviniaco Conti (7yo) and Sir De Champs (7yo) are both French Bred, whereas Bobs Worth (8yo) is Irish bred and as Cheltenham specialists look like far better bets to me than Long Run.

All the best Mark.

Today's Selection

Southwell 2.40 Hot Sugar – each way bet- 8/1 Will Hill

Queen Mother Chase 10/1

Today we have more Road to Cheltenham thoughts from Mark Foley.

Sprinter Sacre is a silly price for the Queen Mother but this has created a decent EW market. Last year's winner Finian's Rainbow looks too big at 10/1.

He proved his undoubted class by following up his success here last year with a comprehensive win in the Melling. The failure for the only run this season can be attributed to the heavy ground, which he appeared to hate and ground permitting will reappear on Saturday at Ascot.

I've already covered the age aspect in the Champion hurdle, but it is not so prevalent in the shorter chases. Whereas 8 and 9 yo runners have struggled in the Champion Hurdle in recent years the last three renewals of the Queen mother have been won by a 9yo and you have to go all the way back to 2005 and the great Moscow Flyer to find a winner aged older than 9yo.

Since the Moscow Flyers win 16 runners aged 10 or older have taken part in the race and as all 16 were beaten it would appear than runners older than 9 struggle, but that's not necessarily true as just under half of them actually made the frame.

When you consider that half of the 16 older runners were no hopers who went off at 33/1 or bigger and that all but 2 of the 8 runners who went off at 20/1 or shorter actually made the frame, then it paints a completely different picture.

201 2 Big Zeb (IRE) 13/2 3rd/8
2012 Gauvain (GER) 20/1 4th/8
2012 Sizing Europe (IRE) 4/5 2nd/8
2011 Captain Cee Bee (IRE) 14/1 3rd/11
2011 Big Zeb (IRE) 3/1 2nd/11
2009 Well Chief (GER) 12/1 2nd/12
2006 Fota Island (IRE) 4/1 2nd/12
2006 Moscow Flyer (IRE) 5/1 5th/12

All but 2 of those older 8 runners were 10 yos and all but one of them made the frame.

Finian’s Rainbow is a 10 yo and what’s more he is a very lightly raced 10yo. All 5 of the 10yo horses that made the frame in the Queen Mother were lightly race and had less than 25 career runs to their name.

Finian’s Rainbow raced in only one PTP and never raced under rules until he was a 6yo, in total he has had 16 career races, which is incredibly few for a 10yo Chaser.

He has won 10 of his 15 races under rules and won 3 of his 5 races in Grade 1’s and was runner up in the other two races in the highest grade, as a lightly raced horse he has tended to go under the public radar, but make no mistake we are talking about a very classy chaser.

Flemenstar has all but been ruled out and Simonsig may not run in this race. Sprinter Sacre has been hugely impressive so far, but he has never met horses as classy as Sizing Europe or Finian’s Rainbow, who are both rated in the 170’s and has only ever run against two runners rated higher than 160 and that was on Soft and Heavy ground.

This will be a different proposition and run at a faster pace than anything he has encountered before. Although Sprinter Sacre may officially be the highest rated horse in training, which goes someway to explaining his ridiculously short price, bear in mind that only one of the past 5 renewals of the Queen mother have been won by a horse that was from the top two of the official ratings.

Finian’s rainbow looks like a solid EW bet to me if Nicky Henderson can get him to the Festival in peak condition.

Finians Rainbow 10/1 Each Way Paddy Power

All the best Mark Foley
www.trainertrends.co.uk

Today's Selection

Kelso 3.40 Funky Munky – each way – 6/1 Bet365 Paddy Power

Lewis for Texas Win

We have a couple of tidbits I want to share with you today, the first is a piece I read in yesterdays Oddschecker newsletter which makes a lot of sense…

F1 heads to Austin, Texas this weekend, and Sebastian Vettel can win a third straight drivers title if he scores 15 points more than Fernando Alonso.

With that in mind, he'll be doing his utmost to avoid a DNF and stick to minimum-risk overtaking. The value lies elsewhere, and it's Lewis Hamilton in his second-to-last race for McLaren who appeals. The car was faster than the Red Bull in Abu Dhabi, and with the desire to break the American market a key feature in Hamilton's move away he'll be itching to win the inaugural US Grand Prix in Austin. Click for full preview and big-priced tips.

Secondly we have a selection from Mark Foley's Trainer Trends along with his breakdown of why it's a selection. Here's Mark's message…

Good morning.
Al Jamal did the business nicely yesterday and Atlantis Crossing was just touched off at a big price.

There is one selection today and it is a recommendation

Thouwra 6.45 Wolverhampton 6/1
Dam won the Lowther and 1000 Guineas; she´s yet to produce a real top-notch runner, with multiple 7f-1m2f winner (including here) Benandonner (106 RPR at peak) the pick off her offspring so far; sire around 17% here and trainer 16% with first-time out juveniles in 2012.

Saeed Bin Suroor
2 yo runners on the AW tracks.
Favourites and 2nd favourites had a high strike rate and were profitable to follow.
The debutants had a good record: Yes
Runners ridden by Ted Durkan had a good record. No

All the best Mark

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