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Saturday, March 14, 2015

Lingfield Winter Derby



WITH hoof marks still fresh in the ground at Prestbury Park after a hugely enjoyable Cheltenham Festival, it's a little hard to think about flat racing, especially with Aintree and Punchestown still to come. But the Winter Derby (3.05) Lingfield is the first Group race of the British season and it's a signal that we must, as my sat nav would say, recalibrate. The flat season proper kicks off with the Lincoln at Doncaster in just a couple of weeks so the Winter Derby acts as a warm up act as we try to take our mind off hurdles and fences. Regular readers will have had to put up with me moaning about how I lost a fortune backing Jeremy Noseda's Grandeur in the trial for this last month, although I also said I'd consider backing him again. But having checked the betting, I've decided to oppose him this afternoon as I was looking for something a bit bigger than 5/1.  Of course if he goes on to win, I'll be left pulling my hair out in frustrating - but when I priced up this race when the declarations came out, I had him down as a 7/1. In the long term, I have to trust that such underpriced bets are best avoided. The one that beat him in the Derby Trial was Grendisar, and Marco Botti's five-year-old gets the nod to complete the double today priced in the region of 4/1. Botti has said that he came out of his last race in great form and he comes here with every chance - although it must be said that he's a quirky sort and he usually idles mid-race. What he really needs is a strong gallop and a somewhat aggressive ride so I hope to see jockey Martin Harley stay up with the pace and give him a shake as soon as he starts to relax. That Winter Derby trial was his third Listed win in the space of a year and he hasn't finished outside the top two in nine races and his record on the all-weather is certainly impressive. All considered, 4/1 is a fair price. Along with Grandeur, Tryster has a good chance of troubling the selection. Charlie Appleby's gelding has beaten some useful sorts to complete a hat-trick of wins in all-weather handicaps and the assessor always seems to be one step behind. He's progressive, that's for sure, although this will be the biggest test he's faced in some time. 


Wayne's book Sports Trading on Betfair is out now:


Friday, March 13, 2015

Cheltenham Festival day four (Friday)

Nothing spectacular yesterday but a profitable day overall with a 9/1 winner. Here's today's race-by-race guide which I wrote for the Irish Independent.

1.30
Peace And Co will be popular in the betting but the trial he won for this race was weak and the pace was very slow. At 9/4, he’s too short for me. Preference is for BELTOR at 6/1. A son of Derby winner Authorized, he won a Grade Two at Kempton on soft ground.
2.05
A tricky race to decipher, SORT IT OUT gets the each-way vote at 14/1 or thereabouts. Edward Harty’s gelding flew home at my local track Leopardstown in an 18-runner handicap last month and is taken to progress even further.
2.40
The Nick Williams-trained TEA FOR TWO was beaten in a novices’ hurdle at Ascot last time but is best judged on his previous handicap win at Kempton. Priced as high as 25/1, he’s another one to take each-way.
3.20
Both Holywell and Djakadam are ones for the shortlist but I reckon
SILVINIACO CONTI’s time has come. A faller in this in 2013 and fourth in a messy renewal last year, he has perked up in his latest two races wearing cheekpieces. He’s definitely the one they have to beat.
4.0
Just two 11-year-olds have won this race since 1987 so older horses are usually best avoided. One of the best hunter chasers around, the Warren Greatrex-trained PAINT THE CLOUDS stands out as a horse which is laid out for this.
4.40
Willie Mullins has had a great festival and a chance is taken on
MCKINLEY to add to his tally. He was disappointing in a Grade One at Leopardstown last time but the handicapper has given him a break here and he’s entitled to go well off a rating of 136. Should be thereabouts.
5.15
The final race has been renamed this year in honour of the soon to be retired Tony McCoy, and his mount Ned Buntline is bound to be popular. But he’s a little short at 5/1 and BELLENOS makes appeal at a decent each-way price. I’ll also keep TURN OVER SIVOLA onside in the place-only markets on the exchanges.


Wayne's book Sports Trading on Betfair is out now:

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Cheltenham Festival day three (Thursday)

Another great day yesterday with a 25/1 winner and a 9/2 winner, although I wish I had more on the big priced one. Never happy are we? !

Anyway, we push on with day three. Here's today's race by race guide for the Irish Independent.  Best of luck with your Festival bets.

1.30
Willie Mullins’ Vautour (15/8) will be all the rage for this but might be a bit on the short side so PTIT
ZIG is nominated at 100/30. Paul Nicholls’ gelding normally jumps very soundly but made a rare error and fell in the Ascot Chase. Worth another chance at a fair price.
2.05
Just one horse aged five (Pragada in 1988) has won the Pertemps Network Final since it was established in 1974 so Dawalan and Aqalim have their work cut out. At 7/1, CALL THE COPS gets the vote following a recent three-mile victory at Doncaster. Second in the 2013 Champion Bumper, Regal Encore is the Danger Horse under champion jockey Tony McCoy.
2.40
A good race for punters, just one Ryanair Chase winner in the last ten years was priced in double figures. Ma Filleule is popular in the betting but her recent Grade One second place was weak and preference is for DON COSSACK, which is shaping up to be a seriously talented chaser.
3.20
Both Zarkandar and Saphir Du Rheu are ones for the shortlist but don’t overlook DEDIGOUT each-way from Tony Martin’s yard. He’s in great form and will have no problem with the distance. He prefers the ground a little soft so a bit of rain overnight would help. Overpriced at 20/1.
4.00
One of the hardest races of the Festival for punters, Salut Flo (2012) was the only winner priced in single figures in the latest 14 renewals. I won’t spend too much on this but I’ll have a small each-way punt on DE BOITRON (50/1), which is said to have perked up following a breathing operation.
4.40
A tricky handicap for amateur riders, Sue Smith’s VINTAGE STAR looks generous at 16/1. He likes to race prominently so his jockey is best advised to get up ahead of the traffic early. He looked tired when third in the Grade Two Peter Marsh Chase but he’s had a nice break and may bounce back here.

Wayne's book Sports Trading on Betfair is out now:
 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Cheltenham Festival day two (Wednesday)

Morning folks, a cracker of a day yesterday with two 8/1 winners and an 11/1 winner. Hope it's not all downhill from here!

Here's today's race-by-race guide for the Irish Independent:

1.30
Willie Mullins’ yard provides the market leaders in Nichols Canyon and OUTLANDER and it’s the last named of the two which makes the most appeal at 7/2. A fivetime winner, he progressed enough to turn the tables on Martello Tower in a Grade Two at Leopardstown. Keep Vyta Du Roc onside in the place-only markets at 2/1.
2.05
Six-year-olds often struggle in the RSA Chase so today’s favourite Don Poli is opposed for that reason. David Pipe’s KINGS PALACE looks a good alternative at carpet (3/1) and the sevenyear-old made an impressive recovery to put Vivaldi Collonges to the sword at Newbury last time, having landed badly three fences out.
2.40
Favourites have a poor record in the Coral Cup so don’t give the bookmakers too much money here. MIJHAAR is a big outsider at 33/1 but gets a token each-way vote to get back to form and improve on a disappointing showing in a graded handicap at Sandown.
3.20
The 2013 winner Sprinter Sacre was not himself when losing his comeback race at Ascot but connections are keeping the faith in the horse. However, SIRE DE GRUGY can take advantage of any weakness and win this for the second year running for Gary and Jamie Moore.
4.00
Enda Bolger has a good record in this race, although he’s drawn a blank since 2009. The race’s most successful jockey, Nina Carberry, teams up with QUANTITATIVEEASING which has a good chance now back over his preferred distance.
4.40
Paul Nicholls’ QUALANDO gets a tentative vote at 14/1 following a recent novices’ hurdle success at Exeter but it’s not a race for heavy punting.
5.15
Willie Mullins’ horses are bound to be popular given his record in this race but a chance is taken today on David Pipe’s MOON RACER at 7/1 which showed very smart form to win two bumpers in 2014.


Wayne's book Sports Trading on Betfair is out now:
 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Cheltenham Festival day one (Tuesday)

Hi folks, here's my race-by-race guide for day one which I've wrote for the Irish Independent:



1.30
L'ami Serge has won all three races for Nicky Henderson and beat the talented Jolly's Cracked It by fourteen lengths in the Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown. The form from his Newbury Handicap has worked out well with a couple of those going on to win since, and 3/1 looks generous enough considering he's only 2lbs behind Douvan on official ratings.

2.05
This should be a straight-forward penalty kick for Un De Sceaux although at 8/13, it's not worth the risk. He beat Clarcam with ease in a Grade One at Leopardstown last time but Vibrato Valtat has plenty of talent too and has already won a number of Graded races for Paul Nicholls. At 11/10, Vibrato Valtat is a confident selection in the place only markets on the exchanges.

2.40
I don't like betting big in the handicaps but The Druids Nephew might be the one to side with now back over fences. He was out of his depth in the Cleeve Hurdle last time but he's smarter over fences and this race has been his target for some time.

3.20
Faugheen is clearly something special which you have to be to win a Champion Hurdle but he's never faced rivals of this calibre and his price is a little short. Last year's winner Jezki is a fair price at 4/1 and can get the better of regular sparring partner Hurricane Fly.

4.00
Annie Power is far superior to any of these but that's reflected in her short price. She hasn't raced since May which is a slight concern. As an each-way alternative, consider Carole's Spirit, a tough enough sort that never gives up.

4.40
Gordon Elliott's Cause Of Causes certainly wasn't disgraced when second in the Kim Muir last year and gets a tentative vote at 8/1 to trouble the likely favourite Very Wood. Alan King's Sego Success will love the trip and won't be too far off.

5.15
A tricky handicap in which stakes should be kept to a minimum. Generous Ransom is a progressive sort and deserves his place at the head of the market but Irish Cavalier makes more appeal each-way at 12/1. Rebecca Curtis' gelding was second to the favourite in a handicap here in January but first time cheekpieces may just sharpen her up.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Winter Derby Trial at Lingfield

I quite like this race - it usually attracts the same sort of horses each year and the form usually stands up. It's been one for the punters with the last seven favourites all winning. It could be close, but I fancy Grandeur to win this for the second year in-a-row. Today's column:

http://www.independent.ie/sport/horse-racing/grandeur-to-punish-bookies-for-second-time-at-lingfield-31009894.html


Wayne's book Sports Trading on Betfair is out now:
 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Living dangerously (part two)

Hi folks, just an update on the 'Living Dangerously' post I made a while back.

In short, it's a strategy whereby I lay big priced horses in the place markets based on my ratings. It's a risky strategy as it involves laying at prices of up to 100.0. You can read more by clicking on the link above.

Anyhow, here's a quick review. It's still in the black although I have hit a rough patch at the moment. Despite this, I still think it has plenty of potential and am happy with how it is going. I've earned just over a monkey (€500) from 787 bets to a €2 stake (I began in November) but as I say, it's been a little tricky lately. Still, I'll keep at it and if I earn another monkey in that space of time again, I'll be well pleased.

The stats:

Bets: 787
Unsuccessful bets: 15
Strike rate: 98.09%
Total profit: €501.75
The chart:



I'll keep going with it anyhow and update the blog now and again.

Wayne


Wayne's book Sports Trading on Betfair is out now: