Tag Archives: cheltenham

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



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.

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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




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

Top class weekend

Tremendous day of racing ahead with four turf meetings in Britain from Cheltenham and Kelso over the jumps and two top class flat cards at Doncaster and Newbury. Plus there is a  decent fixture in Ireland from Leopardstown. There will be plenty to take from today and from the Aintree and Wincanton cards tomorrow.

Looking at two races from Cheltenham this afternoon. The going is on the soft side of Good.

3.10 2m  (Old) Randox Health Handicap Chase (Class 2) (4yo+)

Both Some Plan and Le Prezien have course form that makes them fairly handicapped.

With many here making seasonal reappearances it is a difficult race to price.

Both horses mentioned are worth consideration.

Some Plan

4.20 2m4f  (Old) Royal Gloucestershire Hussars Novices’ Chase (Class 2) (4yo+)

The grey Alcala held every chance when slipping up on the bend to the home straight on latest start.

Two Taffs put up his best performance at Ayr on latest start.

Fitness is not an issue returning from a break.

9/4 joint favs my provisional tissue.



Don’t miss this…

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Five winners from six bets so far this week which included a solid 3/1 winner at Exeter plus another strong and successful lay of a short priced favourite. The sixth consecutive successful lay, prices ranging from 2.6 to 2.1.

Members following my selective extra race analysis were pinpointed 12/1 winner Master Dancer at Cheltenham yesterday.

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What a day!

What a great day of racing we have ahead of us and there will be plenty to go at.

The freezing conditions of the week have given way to widespread rain as the temperature inches slightly upwards. With it has brought a disparity of going across the three jump meetings this afternoon. As we head northwards, Cheltenham is now Soft, Uttoxeter Heavy on the chase curse and Soft /Heavy for the hurdlers and Doncaster Good which could ease as the forecast rain penetrates.

We are going to quickly look at two races from Cheltenham.

12.00 Cheltenham JCB Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 2)

Both Charli Parcs and Defi Du Seuil have impressed.

Defi Du Seuil boasts the more solid form and is preferred.

My tissue:

Defi Du Seuil  evens

Charli Parcs 11/8

Defi Du Seuil

2.15 Cheltenham BetBright Trial Cotswold Chase (Grade 2)

Smad Place is expected to give Thistlecrack a race.

I go:

Thistlecrack 8/11

Smad Place 5/1

Smad Place

Apologies for the brevity but it is a very busy day of racing with nine races at Cheltenham alone. There is a lot to finalise before I brief my select group of clients at 11.45.

Our good week continued yesterday with another successful lay of a short priced favourite making it three profitable bets from the four advised. For more details about my work, go to: www.slh.co.uk

20/1 target

We stay at Cheltenham for the second day of the International meeting. The going is Good/Good to Soft in places and showers are likely during the afternoon.

1.15 Cheltenham Raymond Mould Handicap Chase (CLASS 2)

Top weighted Vaniteux looks sure to have benefited from his reappearance at Ascot and is favourably handicapped on last season’s form.

Sew On Target is an outsider to keep an eye on having dropped in the handicap. Plenty of 20/1 around this morning. Unless the rains arrive he may find conditions too sharp, but is worth considering for future engagements.

I make Vaniteux my 7/2 favourite.

Sew On Target
Sew On Target



1.50 Cheltenham Caspian Caviar Gold Cup Handicap Chase (Grade 3)

A few of these tie in together on recent Betvictor Gold Cup form.

Aso would be my preferred of these-softening ground would be a plus.

Kylemore Lough is also expected  to figure, again with softer ground being a bonus.

8/1 the field on my tissue.


3.00 Cheltenham stanjames.com International Hurdle (Grade 2)

Six declared for the £74,000 first prize.

A very difficult race to evaluate with form horse My Tent Or Yours being at short odds despite having something to prove after a disappointing run at Haydock.

Melodic Rendezvouz finished in front of My Tent yet is the outsider of the field.

The New One is of interest, with his chasing career being put on hold for his attempt to win this race.

I make My Tent Or Yours and The New One my 11/4 joint favourites.

The New One
The New One

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Wide open for Sam

After some fairly moderate cards this week, horse racing springs to life with good meetings at Cheltenham and Doncaster plus an interesting ‘undercard’ at Bangor.

I am looking at two races from Cheltenham where the going is Good but firmer on the Cross-Country course.

 Cheltenham 12.20 Jockey Club Ownership Syndicate Novices´ Chase (CLASS 2)

 A case can be made for 6 runners contesting a decent £25,000 in prize money.

Emerging Force stayed on well to win at Exeter, though tended to jump right-handed, which could be a problem today. Looking at the general prices, I have him bigger than the 9/4 on offer.

Arpege D’alene is talented but not straightforward.

Laurium, Label Des Obeaux and Singlefarmpayment have a similar level of form.

Relentless Dreamer will need to improve, but impressed on his latest start.

I price the six as follows:

Arpege D’alene 7/2

Emerging Force  4/1

Laurium  5/1

Label  Des Obeaux 5/1

Singlefarmpayment   5/1

Relentless Dreamer  10/1


Arpege D'alene
Arpege D’alene

Cheltenham 1.30 Unicoin Group Handicap Chase (Grade 3)

 Cogry has failed to complete on three starts this season but is fairly handicapped.

Southfield Theatre looked the winner when falling latest start and hadn’t been completely fluent prior to the fall at the last fence .

Out Sam has a piece of form that makes him very attractively weighted and I would keep him onside.

I go 6/1 the field in a wide open affair, with Out Sam being the preference.

 Out Sam

Out Sam

 It has been a quiet week so far, the rise in quality should present more opportunities starting today.

Form figures misleading…

Back for the second day at Cheltenham and the ground has eased to Good to Soft with further rain forecast today. I will be getting a course update from a contact later this morning before making final plans.

I am going to concentrate on a few noted horses running in wide open handicaps.

 Cheltenham 1.50 BetVictor Handicap Chase (Grade 3)

Racing Pulse unseated his rider fairly early when expected to go well on latest start.

Uninspiring form figures are misleading as this horse retains plenty of ability.

He is well handicapped on the best of his form, will be suited by soft ground and can go well in a highly competitive race.

Currently a general 16/1 and 18/1 best, which looks about right.


Racing Pulse (right) winning at Chepstow earlier this year.
Racing Pulse (right) winning at Chepstow earlier this year.


Cheltenham 2.25 BetVictor Gold Cup Handicap Chase (Grade 3)

 Taquin Du Seuil and Buywise have the benefit of recent pipe openers over hurdles.

Both will be suited by the softening ground conditions, and are fairly handicapped.

A case of sorts can be made for all eighteen declared, although nine of them make their seasonal reappearance.

Too many unknowns to price accurately but the two mentioned are expected to run very well at double figure prices.



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Peregrine to swoop?

First day of the Cheltenham Open meeting and three races to look at. The track has been watered over the last few weeks and the going is Good/Good to Soft in places.


12.55 Cheltenham Glenfarclas Veterans´ Handicap Chase (CLASS 2)

Due to firm ground the Cross Country chase has been postponed to late January and this race for the older horses substituted.

Ericht and Realt Mor are the two runners with recent form. Both having run last week with Realt Mor being one of a number of winners for Gordon Elliott at Down Royal.

Astracad is of interest, having been sent to the sales and then bought back by his trainer.

With Shuil Royale now a non-runner the above three are at the head of the market.

I go 9/2 the field.

Realt Mor
Realt Mor


2.40 Cheltenham Neptune Investment Management Hyde Novices´ Hurdle (Grade 2)


West Approach and Wholestone are essentially the same horse on previous form.

Peregrine Run continues to improve.

Baden sets the form standard. The grey has had four career outings; two in Ireland and his two in Britain have both been at this course.

My provisional tissue:

Baden 3/1

Peregrine Run 9/2

West Approach 9/2

Wholestone 9/2

20/1 bar

Peregrine Run
Peregrine Run

3.15 Cheltenham Opus Energy Novices´ Handicap Hurdle (CLASS 3)

Eighteen runners at present and the layers are taking no chances with their morning prices.

Plenty of these look badly handicapped.

Tudor City was a very easy winner on latest start on the flat.

Air Horse One is potentially well handicapped on his bumper form, but this is reflected in the 4/1 currently on offer.



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Back tomorrow morning for day 2.

Saturday value

Excellent day’s racing to look forward to this afternoon. We have one race from both Cheltenham and Newbury to consider. The going at the latter is now good to soft throughout. A dry cloudy day is forecast at both courses.

Cheltenham 1.50 Randox Handicap Chase (CLASS 2)

A few fairly well handicapped horses take part in what should be a highly informative contest.

Henryville will be suited by conditions. He will be held-up and the stronger the early pace the more it will suit his running style.

Racing Pulse is fairly treated and from the in-form Rebecca Curtis stable.

Full Shift is well handicapped but has to prove he stays.

I marginally favour the chance of Alternatif, who is well weighted with conditions not an issue, and is available at double figure odds.

I go 8/1 the field on my provisional tissue

Current market leader Henryville
Current market leader Henryville

Newbury 2.20 Worthington´s OCSL Stakes (Registered As The St Simon) (Group 3)

Godolphin have the two market leaders with Frontiersman and Memorial Day.

Both step up in class having impressed in handicaps on last starts.

Memorial Day should go very close, having won after an eleven month absence. Stepping back up in trip could see him progress further.

My tissue:

9/2 Memorial Day

6/1 Frontiersman

10/1 Bar

Memorial Day
Memorial Day

An informative day yesterday and I expect today and tomorrow to provide more future pointers. Very shortly I will be compiling my early season noted horses shortlist. You can get a free copy by either applying for the information pack via: http://www.slh.co.uk/free-information-pack/ or emailing me at: steve@slh.co.uk

Finger gamble value?

The two day Cheltenham Showcase meeting starts today. The ground has been watered over the last nine weeks of relatively dry weather to produce good going. With this meeting and Aintree on Sunday, the main 2016/17 jumps season is now taking centre stage.

Cheltenham 3.55 Ryman Stationery Cheltenham Business Club Novices´ Chase (CLASS 2)

Tiger Roll showed improved form over fences when winning the Grade A Munster National on latest start earlier this month. A repeat of that effort would make it very difficult task for his five rivals.

His trainer Gordon Elliott reported: “We were thrilled with the way he won the Munster National. He surprised me there but as a Triumph Hurdle winner he’s always had ability. The ground will suit and he’s been in good form since Limerick.”

I have him in at 5/4 and go 8/1 bar.

Tiger Roll
Tiger Roll

Cheltenham 5.05 Ryman Stationery Amateur Riders´ Handicap Chase (CLASS 3)

Fingerontheswitch is potentially thrown-in on the best of his hurdles form.

On the positive side conditions will suit and a very experienced jockey is booked.

However the negatives are that his jumping wasn’t entirely fluent at Cartmel on latest start and he didn’t appear to find much for pressure.

Although there has been support for him in the market this morning I would be cautious.

Cheltenham racecourse
Cheltenham racecourse

The next three days will be highly informative. We have a strong Irish contingent and many of the home horses making seasonal debuts, both important unknown factors. The bookmaker pricing will be defensive, making the assessment of true value more difficult. Statistically October is something of a bookmakers benefit month. I always take the long term disciplined approach and with a good profit already this month, I see no reason to get to seriously involved when I cannot see a clear advantage. You must wait for the correct opportunities and then take advantage of them.