Category Archives: horse racing

Eyes right

As seems to be the case for quite a while, the weather forecast has to be studied almost as carefully as the form. Today the block capitals HEAVY loom large in the going reports for all three jump meetings. We are set for a dry day with temperatures nudging towards double figures in the south. Therefore we are likely to see the ground drying as the afternoon progresses. It will be a factor.

We are concentrating on the Ascot card today starting with a stamina test.

2.25 3m Keltbray Swinley Chase (A Limited Handicap) (Listed Race) (Class 1) (5yo+)

Early morning favourite Gold Present is now a non-runner leaving six to post.

Holly Bush Henry and Another Venture are the two that come into this race in form.

From a handicapping perspective a case can be made for the other three.

The horse in that list of most interest is last year’s winner of this race Tenor Nivernais.

He has been well beaten on all three starts since that impressive performance. However all three of those starts were on left handed tracks and he needs to go right handed.

On the same handicap mark as last year, a big run is expected.

My tissue:

Holly Bush  Henry   10/3

Another Venture    10/3

Tenor Nivernais       9/2

7/1 Bar

Tenor Nivernais

 

3.00 2m3½f Ascot Spring Garden Show Handicap Hurdle (Class

2) (4yo+)

Dieg Man is expected to improve on first start in a handicap.

Kildisart has solid handicap form.

Both the Henderson runners, Fixe Le Cap and Stowaway Magic are reverting from chasing. The latter has attracted some market support this morning.

Friday Night Light improved on latest start, when runner up at Taunton earlier this month. Can improve further stepping up in trip. Currently a general 9/1.

My tissue:

Kildisart   4/1

Dieg Man 4/1

Friday Night Light  11/2

7/1 bar

 

Friday Night Light

 

2018 Cheltenham Festival

I will again be supporting the stable staff through our Cheltenham Festival preview and special membership package. You will get:

– The Cheltenham Preview featuring my analysis of the home trained runners and the Irish challengers from top Irish racing expert, Donn McClean.
Plus contributions from Britain’s leading racing commentators, John Hunt from the BBC and ITV’s Richard Hoiles.

– Exclusive list of horses to follow, with comments, from the Lambourn trainers. Nicky Henderson, Henry Candy and Oliver Sherwood are regular contributors.

– Full access to my bets and analysis for the ten day period Friday 9th to Sunday 19th March.

During the 2017 Cheltenham special membership period on all Private bets we achieved a 57% success rate and a rewarding 125% profit on stakes invested. The selective exchange bets also added to the overall profits with a 5/1 winner.

The full preview and membership package is just £25 when you order now. All of your £25 goes to the Lambourn Valley Housing Trust (Registered Charity No. 1049742). The Trust provide affordable homes for stable staff their families. Helping to keep vital stable staff in racing.

The preview and a special ten day membership is now available at: http://www.slh.co.uk/2018-cheltenham-special/

Click on the link for more details and to secure your place now.

Worth a look at 40/1

An interesting day of racing with the better quality to be found at Newbury and Warwick. The other turf meeting of the day at Uttoxeter appears to have cornered the market in Class 4 races, with all seven on the card being of that standard.

We are concentrating on two races from Newbury. The official going is soft/good to soft in places. Very similar to that reported by Sandown last Saturday, which proved to be generous as many toiled in the testing ground. I understand why tracks don’t want to deter connections from pulling out, but for the serious backers it is not helpful.

With rain widespread across the country I will be getting up to date going reports direct from contacts at the tracks prior to making my betting decisions before briefing clients at lunchtime.

1.50 3m Betfair Cash Out Handicap Hurdle (Class 2) (4yo+ 0-145)

Barters Hill’s reappearance after a fourteen month absence is of significant interest.

A leading novice hurdler in 2015/16, he was pulled up on his chase debut when last seen on the track.

He has done plenty of work in preparation for today. If retaining his ability he is very favourably handicapped.

The Eaglehaslanded also returns from a long absence.

He has been dropped a few pounds in the handicap since last seen. Conditions will suit and I expect him to go well.

With the horses that have recent form all looking beatable it is a difficult race to price with confidence.

The two returners make the most appeal.

Barters Hill

 

3.35 2m½f Betfair Hurdle (Handicap) (Grade 3) (Class 1) (4yo+)

The maximum twenty four declared for this valuable handicap. With over £150,000 prize money on offer it ensures that the respective trainers will have made all preparations to bring their horses here with a fighting chance.

As the betting suggests it is wide open. I will highlight five horses that are expected to run big races.

Current 9/1 favourite Irish Roe has to be considered. She continues to progress and in theory gets into today’s race very favourably handicapped. However, I’m not sure that her latest form can be taken at face value and her chance is reflected in the market.

Misterton comes into this race of the back of his best performance. Conditions are fine and further improvement is anticipated. 20/1 is fair.

Waterlord disappointed on latest start after impressing when winning previously. This will be his first run in a handicap with a return to his earlier form expected. Presently on offer between 16/1 and 20/1.

And finally two further down the betting list, both available at a general 40/1. Don’t be put off by the price, they are worthy of consideration.

Divin Bere is Paul Nichols sole runner. He shaped much better than his finishing position suggests on reappearance. His Cheltenham and Aintree form from last season puts him in with a live chance at big odds.

Nietzsche is another I can make a case for at big odds. A strong run, big field race will suit. Last season’s form ties in with Divin Bere.

 

Divin Bere (right)

The recent radical changes in the weather have been a dominant factor as seen by the abandonment of all jump meetings on Wednesday. However, the overarching theme of this winter has been prolonged testing ground. It is a time to circumspect in your betting. This week we have had just four bets producing two winners at 6/4 and 3/1.

2018 Cheltenham Festival

We are now just over four weeks away from the start of the 2018 Cheltenham Festival. I will once again be providing the Cheltenham preview and membership package with all funds going to support the stable staff.

The preview and a special ten day membership is now available at: http://www.slh.co.uk/2018-cheltenham-special/

The advance price is £25. Click on the link for more details.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14/1 Chance

Two races from Sandown to look at today. The forecast going is on the good side of soft, which is in marked contrast to the heavier conditions experienced at most courses recently that have played a dominant role in my pricing and overall assessment of races.

1.15 1m7½f Betfred “Treble Odds On Lucky 15’s” Handicap Chase (Class 2) (5yo+)

Gino Trail and Big Jim should ensure this race is run at a good pace.

Difficult to access the level of form achieved by Dolos over fences with certainty, but his mark looks high enough.

Cepage stayed on well to finish second at Ascot in similar conditions. A reproduction of that effort gives him every chance here. Charlie Deutsch claims 3lb which is a positive.

Top Gamble is on a good handicap mark.

I price the field as follows:

Cepage          5/2

Top Gamble 7/2

Gino Trail      4/1

Dolos             6/1

Big Jim           6/1

Somchine     33/1

Currently the books all hover around the 3/1 mark for the top three in the market.

Cepage

3.35 3m Betfred Mobile Masters Handicap Chase (Class 2) (5yo+)

Very open handicap.

Final Nudge will be suited by conditions and is on a fair mark. He is the 5/1 favourite with the majority of layers.

Quite By Chance has had a wind operation since last seen at Cheltenham on new year’s day. He has always given me the impression that longer distances could suit him best. At the 14/1 presently on offer, he is of interest.

 

Quite By Chance

 

2018 Cheltenham Festival

We are now just over five weeks away from the start of the 2018 Cheltenham Festival. I will once again be providing the Cheltenham preview and membership package with all funds going to support the stable staff.

For more information and to register for further details, please go to: http://www.slh.co.uk/racing-charity/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Favourites too short

Today we have the final Cheltenham meeting before the Festival. It is a fantastic day of racing with eight graded races, five from Cheltenham plus three at Doncaster.

The going at both meetings is soft with further rain forecast throughout the day. The other jumps fixture in Britain is at Uttoxeter where the going is heavy. There is also racing in Ireland at Fairyhouse which contains a few races of interest for the future.

We are going to look at two of the Grade 2 races from Cheltenham:

2.25 3m1½f (New) BetBright Trial Cotswold Chase (Grade 2) (Class 1) (5yo+)

Bristol de Mai would be at very short odds if coming here directly from his Betfair Chase success at Haydock. However there is the small matter of a desperately disappointing subsequent effort in the King George on Boxing Day to consider.

His two best pieces of form have been shown in very deep ground at Haydock.

It may be that he can handle those conditions when others can’t.

Although the ground will be soft today, it’s very doubtful if it will be as testing as at Haydock. He has to be considered a vulnerable favourite.

Most of the opposition have achieved a similar level of form, with the exception of The Last Samuri. He has been a wonderfully consistent horse at a high handicap level.

He looks to be as good as ever, judging on his latest Aintree run.

In receipt of weight from the majority of the field I expect a big performance.

I provisionally price as follows:

Bristol  De Mai  3/1

The Last Samuri 4/1

American  11/2

Tea For Two  11/2

Definitly Red  6/1

20/1 bar

 

The Last Samuri
The Last Samuri

 3.35 3m (New) galliardhomes.com Cleeve Hurdle (Grade 2) (Class 1) (5yo+)

Wholestone put up an improved performance when winning the Relkeel Hurdle on New Years Day.

Both Agrapart and Colins Sister finished behind him there.

Although both enjoy a small pull in the weights, I expect Wholestone to confirm that form.

Finian’s Oscar reverts to hurdles from chasing and his chance is greatly respected.

Beer Goggles has improved on each of his three starts this season.

A line through Colin’s Sister puts him on a par with Wholestone.

Let’s hope he puts up a very strong performance.

On my private tissue I have the front of the market as below:

Wholestone  7/2

Beer Goggles  5/1

Finian’s  Oscar  5/1

 

Wholestone

The early prices on offer from the books are fairly tight around their respective favourites: Bristol and Finian’s. As you will see when making a comparison, it is a view I do not share.

2017 Report & Special Membership

Looking back at 2017, it proved to be another lucrative year for my select group of members with well over 100 points profit. We recorded a profit on stakes invested of some 30% and an overall strike rate of 43%.

As with 2016 when we made 100 points, my traditional bookmaker style bets on the Private Service accounted for around 60% of the total bets and profit. 92% of all Private bets were win only and as always, no bets were odds-on.

The Exchange bets maintained steady profit growth achieving an overall 62% strike rate. With the large discount on offer the Exchange Service is well worth adding to your betting portfolio.

You also have my additional race analysis which is for your discretionary use. Members using this area of my work found it to be a regular source of additional profit.

In all, a wholly professional service for the more astute backer.

There are currently special terms available which you can take advantage of now for a limited period. For example to the end of the jumps season, 1st May, are £245 for the Private Service only and £285 for both the Private and Exchange Services. There is also a saving of up to £175 against standard terms for yearly membership. For full details go to: http://www.slh.co.uk/special-terms/

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Who’s the Daddy?

Top quality afternoon of racing with the Clarence House being the premier race of the day. One of seven graded races from Ascot and Haydock. At a lower level, we also have an interesting card from Taunton.

We are staying at Ascot for the early analysis. Heavy rain is forecast throughout the morning which lightens during racing. The reported soft ground is likely to ease further as the day progresses.

3.00 2m5f bet365 Handicap Chase (Class 2) (5yo+)

A case of sorts can be made for all of today’s six remaining runners after three came out first thing this morning.

Acting Lass is progressive. However his chase wins were gained at Leicester and Market Rasen. He takes on stronger opposition here and could be a vulnerable favourite.

The horse that interests me most is the outsider Minella Daddy.

He hasn’t been seen since disappointing at Kempton on Boxing Day 2016. He had been progressive until that run, and returns to action on a fair handicap mark. Minella Daddy’s best two performances have been at this track. The 2m 5f today in testing conditions will take plenty of the stamina he has shown over 3m.

Looking at the odds currently on offer I would make two observations: Acting Lass at 6/4 looks skinny and the 12/1 for Minella Daddy is value in theory.

 

Minella Daddy

 

3.35 2m1f Royal Salute Whisky Clarence House Chase (Grade 1) (Class 1) (5yo+)

Un De Sceaux sets a high standard. His reappearance win at Cork indicates that he retains plenty of ability.

Brain Power impressed on chase debut before disappointing  at Sandown.

Kylemore Lough can be forgiven his latest pulled-up on latest start at Cheltenham.

He was in front travelling well, when he made a terrible mistake at the water jump and could never recover his rhythm.

I expect him to go well on this second run for Harry Fry. Currently a best quoted 12/1.

My private tissue:

Un De Sceaux      4/7

Brain Power         5/1

Kylemore Lough  5/1

33/1 bar

 

Kylemore Lough

 

I will be getting going reports direct from course contacts before finalising my betting plans and briefing members at lunchtime. Haydock has passed the inspection and like Taunton, the ground will be testing. It is important to have up to date going reports with such changeable conditions.

Looking back at 2017, it proved to be another lucrative year for my select group of members with well over 100 points profit. We recorded a profit on stakes invested of some 30% and an overall strike rate of 43%. As with 2016 when we made 100 points, my traditional bookmaker style bets on the Private Service accounted for around 60% of the total. 92% of all Private bets were win only and as always, no bets were odds-on. The Exchange bets maintained steady profit growth and with the large discount on offer are well worth adding to your betting portfolio.

Latest membership terms, with up to a £100 saving on standard rates are shown at: http://www.slh.co.uk/201718-jumps-campaign/

If you want to take your first steps towards genuine professional backing, take the time to visit the website and apply for the free info pack. Go to: www.slh.co.uk

Please rest assured that any details you provide are held in strictest confidence and are never passed to any third party.

Hot Lanzarote

Just back from my annual break refreshed and ready to make 2018 another year of good profits from my selective value driven betting.

Three turf meetings this afternoon, all reporting soft ground.

Today we are looking at a race apiece from Kempton and Warwick. Both higher quality races are covered on ITV4. We start with the Lanzarote at Kempton.

2.40 2m5f (Winter) 32Red Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle (Listed Race) (Class 1) (4yo+)

Highly competitive race with the books unable to make any discernible difference between the front three in the market. All are going around 5/1 the field.

Coeur Blimey steps back up in trip and is worth keeping on side at double figure odds. After impressing at Wincanton on his penultimate start, he disappointed at Ascot, where his jumping wasn’t fluent. He had high class bumper form and the Wincanton win confirmed that he retains that level of ability. Today’s conditions will suit and a big run is expected.

Today’s jockey is Lucy Gardener, who is his regular rider and claims what could be a valuable 3lb in this tight race.

16 runners currently, so four places on offer to each way backers.

Coeur Blimey

 

3.00 2m5f (Inner) Ballymore Leamington Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2) (Class 1) (5yo+)

Count Meribel looked sure to win at the final hurdle, before being outstayed by Kilbricken Storm on latest start at Cheltenham.

Mr Whipped still looked ‘green’ when winning at Newbury. That run makes him the form choice, and with further improvement anticipated he will be hard to beat.

I provisionally price the six runners as follows:

Mr Whipped               7/4

Count Meribel            9/4

Chooseyourweapon  8/1

Knight In Dubai          10/1

Paisley Park                10/1

Cave Top                     16/1

 

Mr Whipped

Looking back at 2017, it proved to be another lucrative year for my select group of members with well over 100 points profit. We recorded a profit on stakes invested of some 30% and an overall strike rate of 43%. As with 2016 when we made 100 points, my traditional bookmaker style bets on the Private Service accounted for around 60% of the total. 92% of all Private bets were win only and as always, no bets were odds-on. The Exchange bets maintained steady profit growth and with the large discount on offer are well worth adding to your betting portfolio.

Latest membership terms, with up to a £100 saving on standard rates are shown at: http://www.slh.co.uk/201718-jumps-campaign/

If you want to take your first steps towards genuine professional backing, take the time to visit the website and apply for the free info pack. Go to: www.slh.co.uk

Please rest assured that any details you provide are held in strictest confidence and are never passed to any third party.

Long Lil

Two races for us today: Starting with a tight little handicap hurdle to start the seven race card at Haydock. Then on to the feature race of the day, the Grade 1 Long Walk Hurdle from Ascot where Unowhatimeanharry looks to repeat his victory in this race last year.

Contrast in ground conditions between the two tracks with Haydock reporting the going as Heavy whilst Ascot is Good to Soft. Both will be run under the thick cloud forecast to cover most of the country.

 

11.50 2m7f Betfred Wishing You A Merry Christmas Handicap Hurdle (Class 3) (4yo+ 0-135)

Southfield Royale is potentially well handicapped switching to hurdles, but has plenty to prove.

Away For Slates has his third start for the Skelton stable. His form ties in with Becky The Thatcher, with nothing between them on their Wetherby run.

Neither is sure to be suited by today’s stamina test.

Isaacstown Lad ran well on his reappearance at Ayr. He is on a reasonable handicap mark. Conditions are ideal and he is a worthy favourite.

My tissue for the front of the market:

Isaacstown Lad  9/4

Away For Slates 4/1

Becky The Thatcher 4/1

Southfield Royale 8/1

Southfield Royale

 

2.25 3m½f JLT Reve De Sivola Long Walk Hurdle (Grade 1) (Class 1) (4yo+)

 

At their best Unowhatimeanharry and Lil Rockerfeller set the form standard.

Although both have performed well this season, neither has run to their very best.

I expect them both to run close to their best today.

At the current odds Lil Rockerfeller is my preferred.

Sam Spinner and Thomas Campbell the the two progressive performers who take a step up in class.

I price as follows:

Unowhatimeanharry    3/1

Lil Rockerfeller       3/1

L’Ami Serge  11/2

Sam Spinner 7/1

Thomas Campbell 7/1

Lil Rockerfeller

 

Six bets so far this week on the Private Service producing three winners at 9/4, 4/1 and 6/1 plus more profits from our exchange betting. We are well over 100 points ahead for the year with a profit on stakes of some 30%, which betters last year’s 25%.

Latest membership terms, with up to a £100 saving on standard rates are shown at: http://www.slh.co.uk/201718-jumps-campaign/

 

I will be taking my annual break after racing on Boxing Day, returning in early January. If you want to take your first steps towards genuine professional backing, take the time to visit the website and apply for the free info pack. Go to: www.slh.co.uk

My best wishes for Christmas and the new year. The next preview will be Saturday 13th January.

Skelton first?

Cheltenham took the wise precaution to entirely cover the course to ensure the meeting goes ahead. The going is Soft/Good to Soft in places.

Hereford has passed an 8.00 inspection and officials at Doncaster will be assessing the course at 9.00 this morning.

We are going to look at two races from Cheltenham.

1.20 2m½f  (New) Junior Jumpers Handicap Chase (Class 2) (4yo+)

Knockgraffon has first start since moving stables from Dan Skelton.

He is fairly handicapped if Olly Murphy can get him back to his best form.

Gin Trail returned to his best on latest start. Harry Skelton takes the ride. If successful it would be his first winner this season for an outside stable.

Bun Doran looks sure to go well. He figures on a fair mark and may well progress further.

I provisionally price the race as follows:

Bun Doran      3/1

Gino Trail        4/1

Knockgraffon 11/2

10/1 bar

 

Knockgraffon

 

1.55 2m5f (New) Caspian Caviar Gold Cup Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (Class 1) (4yo+)

 All bar three of these ran in the Betvictor just under a month ago.

Starchitect made errors at the final two fences, but for which I think he would have beaten Splash Of Ginge.

Outside of the Betvictor form, King’s Odyssey ran with promise on reappearance and is handicapped to win. If anywhere near his best he must go well.

Clan Des Obeaux stayed on well to win at Haydock. He is progressive and my preferred.

My tissue for the front of market:

Clan Des Obeaux  7/2

King’s Odyssey      6/1

Starchitect             6/1

Clan Des Obeaux

 

With so much racing lost to the weather, it has been a very quiet week for account betting. The many members who use my selective additional analysis and information have been rewarded in the past couple of days with two good priced winners. Firstly with Padleyourowncanoe at Taunton on Thursday who was backed from 8/1 early into 13/2 and then yesterday at Cheltenham with Arthur’s Gift who stayed on strongly to win at 6/1. Both were also the only horses highlighted on my Facebook and Twitter posts. You can discover more about my work at: www.slh.co.uk

Making the grade

We are going to look at the two major races at Sandown this afternoon, both will be significant yardsticks for the season.

The going is Good to Soft and whilst a dry day is forecast, the temperature is not expected to get above 3 Celsius after being below zero overnight. As usual, I will be getting a first-hand course report in time to brief members with my betting plans later this morning.

A further inpection is planned for 10 a.m. but officials are very optimistic that racing will go ahead.

1.45 1m7½f  randoxhealth.com Henry VIII Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) (Class 1) (4yo+)

A cracking novice chase with all five runners capable of winning further races.

Brain Power made a big impression on chase debut at Kempton.

He looks sue to be a big player come the ‘spring festival’ meetings.

Finian’s Oscar is also a top class prospect.

However, he could be vulnerable dropping back to 2 miles against a horse of the class of Brain Power.

On my private tissue I have them provisionally priced as follows:

Brain Power           13/8

Finian’s Oscar        5/2

Capitaine                13/2

North Hill Harvey  7/1

Sceau Royale         12/1

 

Brain Power

2.55 1m7½f Betfair Tingle Creek Chase (Grade 1) (Class 1) (4yo+)

Fox Norton sets a very high standard and looks to be still progressing. His reappearance win at Cheltenham was impressive.

The only negative I can find is that he’s possibly better going left-handed. He had to be hard ridden to win at right-handed Punchestown last season, but even so that form is high class.

Of the opposition Sir Valentino looks to be overpriced. Currently around 20/1 with the books. He returned to form on latest start and is expected to run well.

My early tissue:

Fox Norton       4/6

Politologue       11/2

Sir Valentino    13/2

Ar Mad             20/1

San Benedeto  25/1

Charbel             25/1

Fox Norton

Peter Walwyn MBE

The sad news was announced yesterday that Peter Walwyn had died. Like many others I would like to pay tribute to one of the true greats of horse racing. His achievements as a trainer are legendary.

I first met Peter and his wife, known to all as ‘Bonk’ at Newbury many years ago. My first and lasting impression of Peter was of his warmth and passion for racing.

We met and spoke over the ‘phone numerous times over the years and I was always impressed by his knowledge and forward thinking.

Lambourn and racing generally owes this man of his word a huge debt of gratitude in so many areas.

He has laid a foundation for significant advancement in racing welfare and inclusiveness which I hope will be taken forward in his name.

Delightful company and a true gentleman. I will miss him.

Peter Walwyn trained Grundy, ridden by Pat Eddery, just gets the better of Bustino in the King George. An epic battle described as the ‘Race of the century.’

Progress

Terrific card at Newbury this afternoon with two graded and two listed races amongst the seven race card. The going is Good to Soft and a dry day is forecast.

Going to look at two races both honouring two greats of National Hunt racing:

12.45 2m7½f Ladbrokes John Francome Novices’ Chase (Grade 2) (Class 1) (4yo+)

Black Corton has been in fantastic form, putting up his best performance yet when winning at Cheltenham on latest start. Always previously considered best on good ground that latest win was on testing ground. That victory was his fifth consecutive win, all partnered by Bryony Frost, who is in the saddle today.

Black Corton may well continue to progress.

Fountains Windfall won on his chasing debut at Southwell, where his jumping improved as the race progressed. He was a progressive hurdler last season, and could be even better over fences.

I provisionally price the field as follows:

Black Corton 2/1

Fountains Windfall 9/4

Sir Ivan 5/1

Wait For Me 8/1

Elegant Escape 10/1

Black Corton

 

1.20 2m6½f Sir Peter O’Sullevan Memorial Handicap Chase (Class 2) (4yo+ 0-145)

O Maonlai is weighted go close in the race he won last year.

He goes well fresh and this race has been his target.

Arguments can be made for both Bouvreuil and recent Aintree winner On Tour, but both need to prove their effectiveness at this trip.

Currently a general 11/2, which is in keeping with my thinking.

 

O Maonlai

As I outlined to my select group of members on the weekly review message last Sunday – now the form is now setting down and we have suitable jumping conditions, I will continue to increase turnover levels and look to push the overall profit levels higher. Whilst maintaining a selective value led approach.

Yesterday we were rewarded with a good 12/1 winner at S.P. which followed another decent winner earlier in the week.

To discover more about my work as a professional backer and how you can be backing alongside me, go to: www.slh.co.uk

Take yearly membership today and we will add the rest of 2017 free of charge and also provide you with a £150 discount on standard terms.