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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thursday's bets

A great day yesterday with two decent winners on the horses. I also done Everton/Arsenal both teams to score so I earned about two ton in total over the three bets which was great because I had quite a few big losses over the weekend.

Unfortunately, gold has tanked a little following the nice rush last week. I'm still in profit but it has declined significantly.

On the horses today, Clashnabrook can go well in the 3.20 Thurles in his favoured heavy ground. He's up a hefty 16lbs for a recent win though so it won't be a walk in the park. Currently 5/2.

In the favourites strategy, Cedre Bleu is the selection in the 2.40 at Newbury, priced around 11/4.

Daily gold chart:

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wednesday's bets

In a bit of a hurry so not much time for a write-up. In the handicaps, Happy New Year looks a couple of lbs ahead of the assessor at 2.55 Limerick, priced around 2/1. On the favourites strategy, Langham Lily is the selection at Wolves (4.50) at 11/8.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Not much happening in the racing with Lingfield the only survivor. I've one form study bet there, Sire de Grugy at 2.00. Short price though around 1.7 on the machine.

The favourites strategy has also thrown up the same selection so fingers crossed. Here's Timeform's comment:

Smart handicap hurdler who has made a pleasing start to life over fences, winning 2m maiden on debut before finishing second to Captain Conan in Grade 2 novice at Cheltenham. The one to beat.

In the financials, there was a very small gap of about ten pips on the S&P500. I don't normally trade gaps that small but it was starting to rally so I threw a couple of quid down and earned a nice 22 quid in about ten minutes :-) Not a lot but it would be nice if it was always that easy!

S&P Gap trade:

Monday, November 26, 2012


Pretty crappy weekend on the horses. It's funny how it works out, last weekend the winners were flowing left, right and centre but this week, I drew a blank other than a couple of short ones. As Jimmy Greaves might say, it's a funny old game.

Had a look through the cards this morning and can't find anything much so I'm staying away. There's one bet on the favourites strategy but it's hardly worth posting up as it is five to one on: Snake Eyes, 1.00 Kempton.

Don't want to go near the financial markets either until we see what happens over this Greek deal today - could be a bit choppy until something is sorted.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Saturday's Irish Independent article

Another good day on the favourites strategy yesterday with Minella Class winning at a decent enough price.  One bet on that today which turns out to be Long Run. That's fine with me as I've tipped him in my Indo column for today (see below).

The price of gold shot to the moon yesterday too which was fantastic for my open trade. As always, I wish I had bought more but sure I can't complain. As mentioned on here, I bought at $1707 an ounce and as I type it is now $1752.

Today's Irish Independent article:

WITH Imperial Commander ruled out of the Betfair Chase (3.05 Haydock) due to injury, one would have expected Long Run to be red-hot in the betting - but that just hasn’t been the case and punters have deserted Nicky Henderson’s seven-year-old this week in favour of the new kid on the block; Paul Nicholls' Silviniaco Conti. While Long Run is still most likely to go off as favourite, it seems quite bizarre to see his price as big as 13/8 in places considering he’s 10lbs clear of the field on official ratings and 13lbs clear according to Timeform. In my eyes, that price is huge and I’ve yet to hear a strong reason from his opponents as to why he should be avoided. I wouldn’t say it’s a case of getting the wheelbarrow out, but I'll definitely take a trip to the nearest automatic teller machine to have a decent sized punt if he goes off anywhere near those odds. Perhaps I’m being a little naive here; after all, the market is the collective voice of the people and it’s surprisingly accurate at assessing a horse’s chance in a race. When it goes cold on a horse, it's usually with good reason. Yet the arguments put forward for opposing him have been quite weak and mainly focus on the fact that he won just one race last season, the Denman Chase at Newbury. But let’s not forget that he won the King George and Gold Cup in 2010/2011 and while Kauto Star put him firmly in his place this time last year, he’s still relatively young and should not be written off after one or two questionable performances. It’s been pointed out that he doesn’t have a great record when fresh but the word from the yard is that they are getting a different feel for him this time around and as long as he keeps his jumping mistakes to a minimum, he’ll almost certainly be thereabouts. Looking at his more recent races, his style seems to be getting closer to a stayer as he matures - so three miles in soft to heavy ground might actually prove advantageous. His owner, Robert Waley-Cohen, has admitted that they enter unknown territory if the ground comes up heavy – although it must be noted that he has faced poor ground in France in the past. If I were in charge, I’d get amateur jockey Sam Waley-Cohen to hunt him around the sharp course as best he can and let him take his time approaching the fences. Silviniaco Conti put in a fantastic round of jumping in the Charlie Hall Chase and it’s important that Long Run doesn’t lose too much ground by crashing through any obstacles. Nicholls’ horse is fairly unexposed and on his novice form, he looks extremely promising. But even considering Long Run’s flaws, Silviniaco Conti still has a good lot to make up and I think he needs some more big-race experience before we see him hit the big time. The rest of the field make it an intriguing race; The Giant Bolster finished ahead of Long Run in this year's Gold Cup, while Donald McCain's Weird Al has been kept rested with this race in mind.

*Last week's winners: Al Ferof (8/1), Money Spider (4/6), Far West (15/8).

American Spin defied a 7lb rise to win an eighteen-runner handicap in May and I'm still not convinced the handicapper has him in his grip. He finished mid-division in a similar race at Cheltenham last month but it was his first run of the season and it will have helped get him back in shape. He's as tough as nails and odds of 12/1 for the Betfair 'Fixed Brush' Handicap Hurdle (2.30 Haydock) appear a little generous.

* Last week's each-way selection, Cross Kennon, was second at 16/1.

Horseracing: He didn't get the trip in the World Hurdle but Oscar Whisky will be right at home in the Ascot Hurdle (2.45) and the extra cut in the ground will give him an advantage. With eleven wins from fifteen races, he's remarkably consistent and can justify his odds-on price of 8/11 with yet another victory this afternoon.
Soccer: QPR have lost twelve of their last thirteen away matches and that figure looks set to increase today as they face Manchester United at Old Trafford. Back the Red Devils to keep a clean sheet at 5/6 in what's likely to be an extremely lob-sided affair.

* Last week's double was successful on both legs at an overall price of 6/4

11.40 Lingfield: Dream About You
2.30 Haydock: American Spin (e/w)
2.45 Ascot: Oscar Whisky
3.05 Haydock: Long Run

Friday, November 23, 2012


Have a lot of work on so I haven't had time to go through today's cards. Yesterday's favourites strategy won and I've one on that today, priced around 2/1:

1.30 Ascot - Minella Class
Grade 1 hurdles winner who made a promising start over fences when runner-up at Bangor in January, but failed to complete all outings since (over hurdles last time), and bit to prove on return.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


It's thanksgiving weekend in the U.S. so nothing much happening on the financials. The racing too is quiet with Thurles, Hereford and Wincanton abandoned and any other horses I fancied are very very short so I think I'll stay away and keep the gunpowder dry for the weekend. There's one on the favourites strategy, Changing Times in the 1.40 at Market Rasen. Short enough around 4/5. Here's Timeform's comment:

Dual Fairyhouse hurdles winner last term and runner-up both outings over fences so far, bad mistake 4 out when beaten by Molotof in 11-runner event at Taunton late last month. Looks the one to beat.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Quiet day today and I can't find any real betting opportunities on the racing. The S&P500 held most of its gains yesterday but has dropped a little in the overnight futures trading. Can't spot anything there either so pretty much a blank day for me.

There's one qualifier on the favourites strategy I've been testing:

2.50 Warwick - Uxizandre
Useful form when runner-up sole run over hurdles in France for T. Trapenard in May. Sets a good standard here and likely to prove tough to beat on British debut for new yard.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tuesday's bets and FTSE trading

No formstudy or handicap bets today, there's just one on the favourites strategy I have on trial:

3.20 South - No Dominion
Firmly on the upgrade switched to this surface, winning twice over C&D in October. Value for more than winning margin latest, so no surprise if he made a bold bid to complete the hat-trick.

Currently around 5/2 on the machine.


The financial markets stayed up yesterday and rallied through the day. I didn't do any trades yesterday but it looks like a small downside gap is appearing on the S&P500 today so I'll go back to that around 11.30am and see if there's a trade there.

The gap trade strategy has been working very well for me on the S&P and I'm going to start a trial on the FTSE this week. Of course, the times are different with the FTSE opening at 8.30am our time and closing at 4.30pm so it's a nice trade that could be done in the mornings before work or whatever. Hopefully, it works out and I'll report back here on progress.

The City,  London:

Monday, November 19, 2012


It was a cracker of a weekend with Al Ferof winning at a nice big price, plus some others coming in a decent prices too.

My double came up too which was great. Those 'both teams to score' bets have been going great for me lately - I was put on to them by a friend, Tony, who is good at football betting. Focusing on the top six or so in the Premier League and then being selective with the bets is paying off so far. Might start looking a bit more serious at it as up until now, I've just been throwing a few ponies here and there in the bookies to pay for a night out or whatever. But it's going quite well and I'm going to look into it further.

No bets on the formstudy or the handicaps today although the favourites strategy has one qualifier. It's as short as 2/5 however, so no-one's going to be retiring on this just yet. Here's Timeform's comments.

1.20 Plumpton - Broadbackbob
Useful novice hurdler last term, winning first 2 starts, and improved again to finish second in Grade 2 at Cheltenham in January. Type to take high rank amongst this season's novice chasers.

Nothing much doing on the financial front either, we had a bounce on Friday in the end but whether or not that continues this week remains to be seen. I sometimes find Monday a tricky day to trade as everyone is cautious, waiting to see what piece of news is going to push the market. Think I'll leave it for today.

Al Ferof:

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Saturday at Cheltenham Open Meeting

Not a bad day at all yesterday with the S&P Gap trade going perfectly well and Dodging Bullets adding some more profit to the favourites strategy. The other horse was nowhere!

Today, Grands Crus comes up as the selection on the favourites strategy and this puts me in a bit of a mix as I fancy Al Ferof, as you can see from Saturday's Indo article below. Might actually dutch both but it's a fascinating  PP Gold Cup. Can't wait!


AL FEROF THERE aren't too many big races left that Paul Nicholls has yet to win, but the Paddy Power Gold Cup (2.35 Cheltenham) is one that has somehow eluded the master of Ditcheat hitherto. Having trained the runner-up on three occasions, he knows what it's like to play the bridesmaid and this year he'll have three runners to try and get the monkey off his back - namely Poquelin, Al Ferof and Aerial. If the betting market has it right, there's a 7/2 chance of any one of the Nicholls horses winning today with Al Ferof the most likely to perform best out of the trio at 7/1. The 2011 Supreme Novices' Hurdle winner has only five chases under the belt but he's amassed some decent prizemoney during that period including a grade one win at Sandown. He was a little unlucky in the Arkle when he made a blunder at the 10th, and he looked a quite weary last time out in a novice chase at Aintree in March. While those two races are a cause for concern, it's worth remembering that Al Ferof always goes best when fresh so we can expect to see a rejuvenated animal this afternoon. Nicholls brought him for a racecourse gallop at Wincanton on Sunday to loosen him up a bit and reports from the yard say the gelding is in fine fettle and rearing to go. He does have to give weight to almost all of the field but if he's back in form as expected, the extra lead will not be a problem. That said, it would be foolish to underestimate the claims of the favourite Grands Crus, trained by David Pipe. If anyone knows how to prepare a horse for the Paddy Power Gold Cup, it's the Pipe yard. Great Endeavour won last year for David, while his father Martin holds the record as the most successful trainer of all time in the race (eight wins). Grand Crus was disappointing in the RSA Chase last time out but he scoped badly afterwards and can be given the benefit of the doubt. At these weights, you'd suspect he has more to come but his price is simply too short at 9/4 in a race where a strong case could also be made for Hunt Ball, Walkon, Micheal Flips and one or two others. In the opening Juvenile Hurdle (12.45), Far West is the one to beat at 2/1 receiving 4lbs from the Alan King trained Mcvicar. The selection is another one of Paul Nicholls' French recruits and was a real eyecatcher when winning his debut British race at Chepstow last month. His jumping was fluent, he travelled well throughout and for a three-year-old, he appeared very calm and in control. The horse he beat handily at Chepstow (Handazan) has since gone on to win at Aintree and I'm certain we'll be hearing a lot more about Far West as the season progresses. Definitely one to stick in the notebook. At Lingfield, Bint Alzain (7/2) should take all the beating in the Get Straight To The Bet At Claiming Stakes (1.05). She's been running to form in some all-weather handicaps of late but should be seen to better effect now that she's been significantly dropped in class today.

At 33/1, the market gives Cross Kennon very little hope in the Ultima Business Solutions Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham (3.05) but he won this race a couple of years ago and was fourth in the World Hurdle in 2011. Some lacklustre performances since have seen him go below the radar and while it's fair to say that the eight-year-old has seen better days, he's not without a place chance in what looks to be a wide-open contest this afternoon.

Soccer: The Arsenal v Tottenham London Derby is always a tough one to call. In fact, this fixture has seen more draws than any other in Premier League history with 17 clashes of the pair ending in a stalemate. In the latest four renewals, the average number of goals per game has been 5.75 and with both sides badly needing the win, we can expect to see that trend to continue today. Back both teams to score at 8/15. Horseracing: The handicapper has caught up with Money Spider on the flat, but she's got other
options over hurdles and wasn't disgraced when third of fifteen runners in her first race under that code at Thurles recently. She may have done better had she not been hampered early on and she's a safe enough bet to make amends today priced 4/6.

12.45 Cheltenham: Far West
1.00 Punchestown: Money Spider
1.05 Lingfield: Bint Alzain
2.35 Cheltenham: Al Ferof
3.05 Cheltenham: Cross Kennon (e/w)

Friday, November 16, 2012


No real time for a write up - my internet was down all morning and I'm now under pressure to get some work done.

Bought the S&P just now and hope to do a gap trade. In the handicaps, Akbabend looks overpriced in the 3.35 at Cheltenham and is taken each-way. In the favourites strategy, Dodging Bullets 2.25 Chelt is the selection.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thursday's racing tips

Didn't get to post yesterday as I was working on my book. It's coming along nicely again and I'm about 3/4 of the way through. It's about trading on the exchanges and it's nice to see light at the end of the tunnel although editing it will be another big job.

Had a great day on Tuesday, the S&P Gap trade I tipped worked out fantastically well so I earned a nice few bob from that. It's my absolute favourite trade to do - but there's no opportunities today, more's the pity. I only really do downside gaps as I find the strike rate much greater. Then the racing bet, Anna's Arch won very well so some nice money was made. I actually done that one 'old style' in the bookies as I was hoping for some ready cash. As much as I love the computer, there's still something magical about being handed real cash across the counter.

In today's racing, I've two form study bets today - Sizing Europe is very hard to oppose in the Clonmel Oil Chase (2.25) although at 1/4, no-one will be getting rich. In the following race at the same venue, Knockfierna looks the one to beat - although I must admit it's a worry to see it drifting in the market considering the yard it comes from. In the handicaps, Dark Energy and A Decent Excuse look a couple of pounds ahead of the handicapper in the 1.30 Ludlow and 1.55 Clonmel respectively.

Separately, I've been working on a new strategy that mostly involves favourites. I'll call it the favourites strategy for now for want of a better name but the horses may not always be the jolly. So far so good but it's early days. I've had 15 winners from 31 bets and a profit of 13pts has been shown to a level stake at Betfair SP, assuming commission is 5pc. One qualifier today, Havin A Good Time in the 2.20 at Southwell.

Sizing Europe should continue his form today:

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Octopus: Sam Israel, the Secret Market, and Wall Street's Wildest Con

Just finished a fantastic book:

It's a non-fiction book but it reads like a thriller and they definitely should make a movie about it. I won't ruin it too much in case anyone chooses to read it but basically, it's about Sam Israel III, the guy that ran the Bayou Hedge Fund.
Israel was basically a good guy at heart but some bad trades seen his hedge fund in trouble. He ended up treating it like a Ponzi scheme and needed to get out. Amazingly, he fell for a load of conspiracy theory stuff about a secret trading market and ended up putting Bayou's hedge fund in accounts with guys in London and elsewhere. The trickster was tricked himself. Amazing story and a proper page turner. 
In the racing, I've one for today - Anna's Arch in the 2.50 at Sedgefield. Turned out quickly under a penalty and should be hard to beat:

Dual bumper winner who shaped with promise in couple of novices last December before taking significant step forward to make winning handicap bow at Kelso last week. Hard to oppose under penalty.

In the financial trading, there looks to be a nice Gap Trade opportunity on the S&P500. As explained before, the gap simply involves buying the S&P around 11.30am (Irish time) when there is a decent gap between the current price and last night's close price. If you take a look at the graph, you will see that I bought the index this morning at 1368.8. My profit target is last night's closing price of 1378.4 and my stop loss is one and a half times my desired profit at 1354. I've added lines at the key prices explaining each:

Elsewhere, my gold trade is still in profit thankfully to the tune of about €40. Best of luck with your trading and betting today.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Saturday's Irish Independent article

I ONCE heard it said that statistics should be used in the same way as a drunk uses a lamppost: for support, rather than illumination. Stats and trends can be useful if you want to draw up a profile of what type of animal is likely to win a certain race but you still have to do your homework on each individual horse and there are few, if any, shortcuts in this game. Having said all that, I was struck by one statistic I read this week while researching the November Handicap (2.35 Doncaster) and that is how poorly favourites have performed in the last two decades. The last time a jolly won, Coolio was number one in the Irish charts with ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ (1995) and very few fancied horses have even made the frame since. It’s worth noting too that horses that haven’t raced in the previous two months have a woeful record so race fitness, it seems, is crucial. Likely favourite First Mohican is race fit once again, winning both starts this year and the four-year-old may well be a pound or two ahead of the handicapper. But at 7/2, you’d have to say he’s a little short in the market in what is likely to be his toughest assignment yet. In 2010, Sir Henry Cecil said he could be a Derby horse after his debut win at Yarmouth but unfortunately, he fractured his knee soon afterwards so we didn't get to see him race again until last month. I don’t dismiss him lightly though and his name is in the notebook as one to back at a later date, presuming he stays in training. Instead, a chance is taken each-way on the Kevin Ryan trained Clayton (8/1), with Jimmy Quinn booked to ride. The three-year-old barely broke a sweat when comfortably winning his debut maiden at Southwell back in March and he's progressed steadily in his four races since. His sixth place of 12 in a handicap at Newmarket last time didn't do him justice as he was coming back after a four month break and needed to shake off the cobwebs - but he'll be fit today can give the favourite a run for his money. Of course, today’s meeting at Doncaster brings down the curtain on the 2012 flat season, a year that will be remembered for Frankel, arguably the greatest ever. It was a somewhat sombre day at Warren Place on Thursday as the colt left the yard to take up stud duties at the nearby Banstead Manor . But along with sadness, there was a huge sense of pride as Cecil said goodbye to a horse that has given everyone so much joy: “I want to thank Frankel for so much - for being such a very special part of my training career. Thank you, Frankel”. Already, names like Midday and the Australian superstar Black Caviar are being mentioned as potential partners and while it could be a long time before we see one as good as Frankel grace a racecourse, his story is not over yet.

It's been a few weeks since I landed a nice double-priced winner but I'm hoping Highland Colori can change my fortunes at 14/1 in the Betfred 'The Bonus King' Handicap at Doncaster (3.45). He hit 1/4 in-running before being touched off by Mass Rally in the Ayr Silver Cup in September and wasn't disgraced when finishing seventh of 20 runners in a competitive handicap at Ascot on Champions Day. The assessor hasn't been too harsh and with four places up for grabs, it would be a surprise to see connections go home empty-handed.

Soccer: After the dizzying highs of beating one of the world’s greatest teams on Wednesday, Celtic are back to the bread and butter games of the SPL , hosting St Johnstone tomorrow. While top teams often see a dip in form following a big match, I reckon the Hoops will have their measure considering the Perth based outfit have failed to score in seven of the last nine meetings of the pair. Back the Bhoys at 5/6 to keep a clean sheet tomorrow afternoon.
Horseracing: Sajjhaa can take the Betfred E.B.F. Gillies Fillies' Stakes on behalf of Saeed bin Suroor at Doncaster (2.00). The five-year-old found three too good last time in the Premio Lydia Tesio Longines in Rome but it was a respectable performance in group one company. Previously, she put in a career best when second to Izzi Top in the group two Middleton Stakes at York and the drop down to listed company today should see her outclass her rivals, priced around 15/8.

2.00 Doncaster: Sajjhaa
2.35 Doncaster: Clayton (e/w)
2.50 Wincanton: Prospect Wells
3.45 Doncaster: Highland Colori (e/w)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thursday's bets

Gonna have one bet today - Purcell's Bridge in the 3.00 at Musselburgh. Looks to have a great chance at these weights - here's Timeform's comments:

Made frame in couple of Irish bumpers last spring, but much improved when winning 14-runner conditionals handicap at Wetherby (2¾m) last week and can race from same mark here.


The markets were not too impressed with Obama's victory yesterday and the S&P500 took a bit of a hammering - here's the latest 15min chart:

In fairness though,  the short term timeframe probably gives an over-dramatic effect and if you look at the longer term charts, we are only back down to where we were two months ago. Focus now is on the Fiscal Cliff so we could be bearish for a bit - hard to say really.

On a positive note, my gold is doing OK and trades around $1720 per ounce. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Price of gold on Obama re-election

Well, it's been a mixed bag for me with the news that Obama will be re-elected. I backed Romney before Sandy so that bet is down the drain. However, the bet I have on gold going up has gone into profit. Fair enough, it's not a huge amount of money but it covers my loser on Romney:

When you consider the fact that my gold bet was around a hundred quid in the red the other day, I think I should be pretty happy to have got out alive here. Obama is likely to continue his QE programme, hence the rise.

It will be interesting to see how the markets (Dow and S&P etc) react when the American traders hit their desks later - it's been somewhat muted in Asia and Europe so far which means an Obama victory was probably priced in to the markets already.

On the racing, it's another blank day - I've been through the cards but couldn't find anything decent.

Best of luck with what you do today. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Bad timing

That gold I bought the other day took a turn for the worst (within a few hours) and the price tanked a little. At one stage, my losses were down near €100 but it has since recovered and it's now around thirty quid in the red:

It was a bit of bad timing but these unfortunate things happen. But in the longer term (weeks & months), I'm still a little bullish on gold and I actually think it's good value around the $1690 to $1710 range.

In the racing, I've been though the cards but won't be having a bet. I reckon Tony Martin's one in the first at Punchestown looks the proverbial good thing but I'm not that comfortable with taking such a short price on a horse that's having it's chasing debut. It'll be very surprising to see it beat though.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


Today's Irish Independent article:

"FALLEN leaves lying on the grass in the November sun bring more happiness than the daffodils" (Cyril Connolly).  As a punter, the month of November is always welcome as the National Hunt season kicks in proper and the flat winds down for another year. We still have the November Handicap at Doncaster next week to officially bring the curtain down on the summer code but for the most part, attention now turns to finding them all important winners over obstacles. It's not that I prefer the jumps, I simply find the months of September and October quite tricky from a betting point of view as it can be difficult to focus on both codes at once with the seasons overlapping. Interestingly, the month of November has proved the most lucrative for punters lately compared to any other month over jumps. In the past decade, National Hunt favourites had a win-rate of 38pc in November which compares favourably to their average win-rate of 35pc. September happens to be one of the worst months for backing National Hunt favourites with just 32% of jollies going on to win. Speaking of favourites, Sizing Europe should reward his backers in the first grade one of the season at Down Royal (2.25), priced around 2/1. The Champion Chase will be associated with now retired Kauto Star, which won the 2008 and 2010 renewals - and the list of other past winners is impressive including Florida Pearl and Beef Or Salmon. In the twelve renewals since 1999 (the race was abandoned in 2005), six favourites went on to win and Sizing Europe should add his name to that list following-on from a handy enough victory in the PWC Champion Chase at Gowran Park last month. Last year, Quito De La Roque (3/1) took the selection's scalp in a dour affair on soft ground, but Colm Murphy's gelding has had a number of problems in the meantime and hasn't raced since coming third in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown; so it's hard to tell if he's fully fit. Across the water at Wetherby, a chance is taken on Phillip Hobbs' Planet Of Sound at 5/1 in the grade two Charlie Hall chase (3.25). While the favourite Silviniaco Conti looks the best of the lot on paper, there's not much value left at 5/4 with punters getting stuck in to the six-year-old all week in the ante-post markets. Time For Rupert is another one to watch and I can see him going close, but Planet Of Sound usually goes well fresh and his twelfth place in the Grand National at Aintree doesn't do him justice as he was travelling very well before making a blunder four fences out. It's been a while since his last win in the Punchestown Gold Cup (2010) but he's been thereabouts in some top level contests including the Hennessey Gold Cup at Newbury and I'm hoping his big-race experience will give him an edge over his younger rivals. Later on at Ascot, Puffin Billy should give a good account of himself in the bumper (4.15) at 11/4. A promising sort, he never came off the bridle when winning his debut race at Fontwell back in March and a number of horses he beat that day have since gone on to win.  

Frisco Depot makes appeal at 10/1 in the United House Gold Cup Handicap Chase at Ascot (3.10). Racegoers may remember seeing the gelding win a couple of races for Dessie Hughes in Ireland including a grade two novice chase in Limerick back in April. He's since moved to Charlie Longsdon's yard and with the handicapper giving him a fair chance this afternoon, his new stable will be disappointed if they go home empty-handed. 

Soccer: Manchester United are 8/11 to beat Arsenal this afternoon and that price looks about right considering the Gunners haven't won at Old Trafford since 2006. But with United still experiencing problems in defence, this could be trickier than it looks on paper and I wouldn't be surprised if it turns out to be a high-scoring affair. A safer option then, is to back both teams to score at 4/6.
Horseracing: Falcarragh should take all the beating in the Download The Free Racing Plus App Novices' Hurdle (1.05 Wetherby), priced around 3/1. He was rarely out of the frame when racing in Ireland for David O'Brien and he showed plenty on his UK debut for Tim Vaughan when fourth to Court Minstrel last time at Cheltenham. Stick this five-year-old in the notebook as one to watch. 

1.05 Wetherby: Falcarragh
1.55 Newmarket: Desert Image
2.25 Down Royal: Sizing Europe
3.10 Ascot: Frisco Depot (e/w)
3.25 Wetherby: Planet Of Sound
4.15 Ascot: Puffin Billy

Friday, November 2, 2012

Time to buy gold again?

I notice that the 20 week Moving Average (coloured blue) has crossed over the 50 week Moving Average (coloured pink) on Gold:

For those that follow MA trends, this is a buy signal. I'm not one for blindly following moving averages, in that they are always out of date as such, but in longer term timeframes, I do think they are useful for eliminating noise and identifying trends and I've decided to buy some more gold at $1707 per ounce. I like the fundamentals anyway and I wouldn't be shocked to see it hit $1800 an ounce before the year is out.

You can see from the above chart, the trend followers would have made a killing when the moving averages crossed over and suggested good was a good buy at $870 around March/April 2009. That trend lasted all the way to April of this year when the 50MA crossed back below the 20MA and suggested a sell at $1707.  That's some profit! Hindsight is a wonderful thing however.

Anyhow, for various reasons, I'm back involved with gold.

On the racing front, I've one form study bet today, Yes Way Hosay in the 2.40 at Down Royal, priced around 10/11. Here's Timeform's comments:

Bumper winner who finished fifth in Champion Bumper at Cheltenham Festival in March. Collared on line when nose second of 20 to Digeanta in maiden at Gowran on hurdling debut. Sure to progress.

The big danger for me is Gordon Elliot's Bonisland, which I'm told by the trainer is a quite exciting prospect. He won a point-to-point in May and then won his bumper very well. Perhaps the selection's experience will count for something though and I think he'll just about edge it. Could be a cracking race.

As always, thoughts and comments are most welcome.


Thursday, November 1, 2012


Well, Wall Street has re-opened after storm Sandy.

It wasn't much of a surprise to see the markets finish down yesterday and to be honest, I think I'll wait until next week before I got near them. The non-farm payrolls are out tomorrow so that could send the markets either way. As regards my bet on the next US president, the storm has really boosted Obama's campaign and he now trades at 4/11. There's no such thing as a certainty but it looks like I'll be crumpling up the metaphorical docket on Romney. Hey-ho, that's the way it goes.

In the racing, I couldn't find any form study bets this morning but in the handicaps, I reckon Boomtown could be worth a punt around 7/4 in the last at Stratford. He bolted up at Wincanton on Saturday and the handicapper hasn't had a chance to get a hold of him yet so he looks well treated under a penalty - and the jockey claims 7lbs.