Tag Archives: ascot

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


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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.

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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


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

25/1 opener

Three jump meetings for us today from Ascot, Haydock and Huntingdon. The headline race from the four graded races on offer is the Grade 1 Betfair Chase at Haydock.

We are concentrating on two races from the Haydock card in this analysis where the going is already reported as Heavy. The Lancashire track has had plenty of rain, with more forecast throughout the day. Any significant deterioration in the ground will be a factor.

Later this morning I will be getting direct course reports from all the tracks before briefing members with my betting plans.

12.10 1m7½f Newton Novices’ Hurdle (Listed Race) (Class 1) (4yo+)

Form of all of these is difficult to evaluate.

Dynamite Dollars looked impressive on latest start, but beat little.

I would be wary of anything at short odds.

A case of sorts can be made for all.

Locally trained Waterlord makes his debut for the McCain yard after a two year absence and is  worth keeping an eye on at big odds. Currently available at around 25/1.

My private tissue at this early stage:

Dynamite Dollars  5/2

Whatmore             4/1

Midnight Shadow 5/1

Gortroe Joe           6/1

Delire D’Estruval  8/1

Waterlord             10/1

Windshear            33/1



3.00 3m1½f Betfair Chase (Grade 1) (Class 1) (5yo+)

Well over £100,000 on offer to the winner.

Bristol De Mai returned to form at Wetherby and last season’s course win made a lasting impression.

Outlander also returned from the wilderness when winning on latest start.

Cue Card was beaten by Tea For Two when last completing.

My provisional tissue which is at variance with the generally available early prices:

Bristol De Mai  7/4

Cue Card           7/2

Outlander         7/2

Tea For Two     6/1

20/1 bar


Bristol De Mai

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Learning day

Good afternoon of racing ahead including three jumps meetings from Wetherby, Ayr and the first card of the season from Ascot. Going to look at three races from Wetherby where the going is Soft with light rain forecast.

1.30 1m7f  Happy 50th Birthday Jayne Forth Novices’ Chase (Class 3) (4yo+)

Born Survivor has point to point experience and shouldn’t lack for fitness on chasing debut. Evens my provisional tissue.

Born Survivor


2.05 2m olbg.com Mares’ Hurdle (Listed Race) (Class 1) (4yo+)

Soft ground is a concern for favourite La Bague Au Roi.

Lady Buttons worth a look in a race which is very difficult to price. Currently a best priced 8/1.


Lady Buttons


3.15 3m bet365 Charlie Hall Chase (Grade 2) (Class 1) (5yo+)

A repeat of Coneygree’s last run in the Punchestown Gold Cup would make him very difficult to beat.

Cue Card is the obvious danger.

Bristol De Mai worth a close look. I’m hoping he can get back to his best after disappointing on his last three starts.

Impossible race to price with confidence.



It is another learning day with so many making their seasonal debuts. The form will start to settle soon, making races easier to price more accurately. For the latest membership terms and your free information pack, go to: www.slh.co.uk

Grey day

Five turf meetings for us today with Champions Day at Ascot being the major attraction with over £4 million in prize money.

Fantastic card at Ascot, but not one that appeals to me from a serious professional backing perspective.

It would be good to see Order Of St George and Harry Angel run to their best and confirm their rightful positions at the head of the two markets. Neither should be inconvenienced by the softer ground conditions.

As a clear sign that the winter season is edging closer we have three jump meetings this afternoon. As has been the case throughout this opening month, plenty of runners making their seasonal or racecourse debuts whilst there is cut in the ground. A lot of yards are much further forward this year.

I am going to briefly look at two races from a very interesting Market Rasen meeting, the only fixture today to report the going as Good.

4.00 Capitaine looks to confirm the good impression he made on chase debut.

I go 6/4  as apposed to the majority of the books who are offering even money this morning


4.35 Ready Token can go well fresh. He is on a fair mark with conditions to suit.

4/1 fav on my private tissue.

Ready Token

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Ones to watch

Contrasting going reports today with our two featured meetings. Ascot is Good to Soft whilst Fontwell are watering to maintain good ground.

This is a transitional phase of the year as we enter the last full month of the flat and we start to see the higher quality jumpers make their seasonal debuts.

We start with the two Group 3 events at Ascot and then onto the most valuable race at Fontwell this afternoon.

2.25 Ascot 1m4f Gigaset Cumberland Lodge Stakes (Group 3) (Class 1) (3yo+)

The Galileo bred Waldgeist sets a very high standard on his French and Irish Derby form.

Conditions are fine and he deserves to be at short odds. 10/11 my provisional tissue.


3.00 Ascot 6f John Guest Bengough Stakes (Group 3) (Class 1) (3yo+)

A peak form Blue Point will prove difficult to beat. Disappointed on testing ground at Haydock latest start when he could not quicken in the final stages.

I expect a return to form on today’s surface; good to soft should be fine. 6/4 my provisional tissue.

Blue Point

3.05 Fontwell 2m3f Winner Group Handicap Hurdle (Class 2) (4yo+ 0-145)

Six of the seven here are making their seasonal debuts. With a few interesting horses who are expected to progress further.

Loverboy is an ex French horse having his first start for Dan Skelton after his move from France last week. Not seen on the track for 2 1/2 years.

I anticipate that both Diable De Sivola and Dashing Oscar will have successful seasons.

Definitely a race to watch for the future.

Dashing Oscar

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Success from the front

Six turf meetings today with all except Lingfield (Soft) reporting Good to Soft ground.

We are going to look at the premier races of the day from the cards at Ascot and York.

3.35 Ascot 1m4f  King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Sponsored By Qipco) (Group 1) (British Champions Series) (Class 1) (3yo+)

My initial thoughts were that Enable was too short in the market, and I was looking to oppose her.

After thorough analysis I have come to the conclusion she deserves her position at the head of the market. However I can’t get her as short as the 11/8 currently on general offer.

Both her wins in the Epsom and Irish Oaks were very impressive, and there could well be further improvement to come. Ground conditions aren’t expected to be an issue.

Highland Reel, Jack Hobbs and Ulysses have all achieved a similar level of form when at their best.

My tissue:

Enable               13/8

Highland Reel   9/2

Jack Hobbs        9/2

Ulysses              9/2

20/1 bar



3.15 York 1m2½f  Sky Bet York Stakes (Group 2) (Class 1) (3yo+)

Algometer has run consistently in his two Group races this season.

Success Days is a consistent front runner who is at his best on soft ground and would be my preference.

Hathal is a 5yo who is still unexposed and could improve for stepping up to 1m2f.

My original favourite Autocratic is a late non-runner and my revised market is:

Success Days 9/4

Hathal  7/2

Algometer 7/2

8/1 bar

Success Days


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The story of this summer has been the constant going changes. All six British meetings are reporting ground on the soft side for today and with only Chepstow likely to see any rain that ground will be drying throughout the day.

We are going to quickly look at two races this afternoon.

3.55 Ascot

Appeared is a previously noted horse. Softer ground isn’t expected to be an issue. Run twice this season, both at Ascot with the opening run producing a clear victory.

Unfortunately he hasn’t been missed in the market. Generally around 9/4 on offer this morning, I go 3/1.


Appeared winning at Ascot

3.05 Uttoxeter

With Cuirassier Dempire a non-runner, Deadly Move is the only runner in form.

Form of his latest run is solid and his point to point form impressive. 6/4 my tissue.


Deadly Move (left)

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Another good winner for us yesterday at a generally available 6/1 & 11/2.

10/1 Taurean on the upgrade

Seven meetings today across Britain plus the Curragh in Ireland. We are going to look at two races from Ascot. The going there is Good to Firm and the course has been watered.

 2.15 Ascot

 Four non-runners leaving seven to post to contest the £9,700 first prize.

Appeared is one of my noted horses from last season.

Has been gelded and is expected to go well on seasonal re-appearance.

Difficult race to price accurately. The books generally have him in at around 10/3 which is taking no chances.



4.00 Ascot

 After travelling smoothly Fastnet Tempest looked sure to win on latest start in Newbury’s Spring Mile. However he hung and found little – maybe this drop to 7f will suit.

At around 10/1 I prefer the chance of Taurean Star.

He won with something to spare at Yarmouth and looks on the upgrade.


Taurean Star (left)

Just the one race for us yesterday and it brought a dramatic finish as the gambled on Western Hymn claimed victory for us on the line. Discover more about my work by applying for your free information pack at: www.slh.co.uk