Tag Archives: doncaster

Focus on value

Bangor, Newbury and the first flat card of the season from Doncaster for us today.

We are concentrating on one race at Newbury this afternoon. The going remains soft after racing there yesterday.

2.40 2m3f Be Wiser Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Class 2) (4yo)

Morning favourite Oistrakh Le Noir won with plenty in hand at Market Rasen and is progressive. A big run is expected, but he hasn’t been missed in the market and 5/4 is short in a race with other potential improvers.

Mister Chow was impressive two outings ago at Warwick, but has subsequently been tailed off at Haydock.

Nigh Or Never and Falcon Sun are both lightly raced runners from respected stables.

Ulysses is a difficult horse to quantify. After being beaten in a seller he changed stables before finishing a decent third behind Apple’s Shakira at Cheltenham.

He didn’t appear to be flattered by that performance, which makes him look fairly handicapped here. Presently a general 10/1.

I provisionally price the race as follows:

Oistrakh  Le Noir 15/8

Mister Chow   6/1

Nigh or Never 7/1

Falcon Sun       7/1

Ulysses             7/1

14/1 bar



Race pricing and value

As a professional I price up every race of interest based on my form analysis, personal ratings and information from various well-placed sources. It is the viable way of judging true betting value. If you don’t have value on your side in the long term you will not make a profit. This is applicable in all forms of business transactions.

A good example of value came last Saturday from the one race analysed on this blog.

My prices were:

Copain De Classe 5/2

Kayf Blanco  3/1

Vocaliser       3/1

Deauville      6/1

Free Stone Hill   12/1

The favourite, Copain De Classe was vulnerable. On the early prices he was a general 5/4 and went off at an S.P. of 11/10. A long way from the 5/2 I had him in at on my prices. We had two lays last Saturday, both successful. One was Copain De Classe, who I recommended to be laid up to a maximum of 2.4. There is always a maximum, otherwise you are laying blind and that is a very dangerous practice.

Copain De Classe finished last having struggled for most of the race.

The eventual winner was Vocaliser. My price 3/1 – the S.P. 7/1.

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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.

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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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

Another Defoe winner?

Concentrating on the St Leger this afternoon. The going at Doncaster was described as ‘Good to dead’ by one rider yesterday. There has been some rain overnight and it is officially Good to Soft and Good in places today. Faster ground horses will remain at a disadvantage.

3.35 1m6½f St Leger Stakes (Group 1) (Colts & Fillies) (Class 1) (3yo)

 A high class renewal of the St Leger.

Capri sets the standard with his Irish Derby win, and is expected to stay this trip.

Crystal Ocean impressed at Goodwood, although staying this trip is a slight concern.

Defoe is progressing race by race. Conditions will suit and he must run a big race.

Rekindling and Stradivarius are confirmed stayers who can’t be ruled out.

Coronet has to be considered in receipt of her sex allowance.

Defoe is my preferred.

My personal tissue:

Capri  4/1

Defoe  9/2

Crystal Ocean  6/1

Coronet  6/1

Rekindling 7/1

Stradivarius 7/1

20/1 bar

Defoe (right)

Further increased the profits this week with three winners from our only four bets. Looking to finish the summer season strongly before starting on the main jumps campaign.

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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

Harri up

Just the two meetings remain after the abandonment of Huntingdon. One race apiece from Doncaster and Taunton to look at. The going at both is Good.

 1.55 Doncaster

 Both Fort Worth and Henllan Harri are handicapped to go well.

Paddy’s Field has disappointed this season and has to prove he stays.

Behind The Wire jumped well when winning at Taunton and is progressive.

I price the market leaders as follows:

Behind The Wire  2/1

Henllan Harri  5/2

Forth Worth 7/2

Paddy’s Field 10/1  


Henllan Harri

Taunton 2.45

 Difficult to evaluate the odds-on favourite Dolos.

Both The Unit and Air Horse One have a good level of form.

I would be wary of Dolos at the current short odds. 6/4 on my tissue.


Taunton Racecourse

Good 5/2 winner for us from our only bet yesterday, our strongest of the week so far.

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Watch the weather

Back for two races at Doncaster today including the Leger and then over to Leopardstown for the Irish Champion Stakes. After the strong winds yesterday at Doncaster the forecast is more benign. However there is there a possibility of rain and the clerk of the course has not ruled out the possibility of the ground easing from the current good conditions.

At Leopardstown the going is on the softer side of Good.

 2.00 Doncaster Champagne Stakes (Group 2)

Six to post for this 7f event for the 2y.o. boys.

Thunder Snow sets the form standard on his second in the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood.

He looks sure to go close, although the Saeed bin Suroor stable remain relatively quiet and that is a cause for concern.

Rivet impressed when winning at York. Rivet looks sure to step up significantly on that bare form and is in the ‘could be anything’ category. Partnered by Andrea Atzeni; the young Italian has already ridden five winners at this meeting so far.

2/1 joint favs on my provisional tissue.




3.45 Doncaster St Leger Stakes (Group 1)


A.P. O’Brien has three of the nine entered here. His Great Voltigeur winner Idaho being the strong market leader.

With the heavy rain having missed Doncaster Idaho deserves to be at short odds. He sets a high standard with the prospect of further improvement on this step up to 14f.

Muntahaa is progressing with racing but faces a very tough task in improving past Idaho.

The market has it about right. I go:

Idaho  4/5

Muntahaa  5/1

10/1 bar




6.45 Leopardstown Irish Champion Stakes (Group 1)

Here we have the Oaks winner taking on the Derby winner.

I favour Minding to come out on top against the highest class opposition.

Harzand may find the drop back to 10f a problem, the Arc being his target.

I price them as follows:

Minding   5/2

Harzand   7/2

10/1 bar



It is a day of high quality where the layers have had ample time to get their markets right for the main contenders. An angle in may be a change in the conditions at Doncaster and a sharp weather eye is advised.

Yalta conference

We head to Doncaster for two races this afternoon. The going is Good and a dry sunny day is forecast. I will be firming up my prices a little later once I have spoken to a number of contacts at the course.

1.55: The opening race is a Group 3 confined to fillies and mares.

With Lumiere having disappointed on latest start and Same Jurisdiction having her first start since arriving from South Africa, this is a difficult race to price with total confidence.

However Nemoralia was impressive at York. She sets a high standard and deserves to be at short odds.

With various doubts concerning the others runners Spangled can figure at big odds. Currently available at 16/1 with quite a few firms.

I provisionally price as follows:

Nemoralia evens

Lumiere    9/2

Spangled  8/1




2.30: A 5f Group 2 with local trainer Mark Johnston holding two strong entries with The Last Lion and Yalta.

What to make of Yalta is the big question here. His impressive win in the Molecomb at Goodwood two starts ago would make him difficult to beat here.

However he finished last at York on his latest start, being beaten before half  way.

Excuses concerning the draw and a more competitive race have been put forward for that York reverse. To my eye it looked a possible physical issue. A return to that Goodwood form would set a good standard.

For me, Tis Marvellous and Afandem are the dangers in this highly competitive sprint.

I presently  make Yalta, Tis Marvellous and Afandem 4/1 co favs.




Another very good week in the making with three winners from four bets only so far this week. Special terms for the 2016/17 main jumps campaign are now available. They include a discount on standard rates plus the remainder of this month free. See the website for full details of membership opportunities and to get your free information pack: www.slh.co.uk




Reference Day

Scrappy looking afternoon of racing with little of discernible value to go at.

Difficult to accurately price up the key races at Doncaster. More a card for future reference.

At Huntingdon there are two races of interest. The 2.40 doesn’t look as clear cut as the betting suggests and there are plenty here with chances.

The 3.15 is a real conundrum. None of the five come into this inspiring confidence. At The Top makes her chasing debut after not really doing a lot over hurdles. However, she has the make of a chaser. Wouldn’t want to take anything under 13/8.

Djakadam impressed on latest outing when winning the John Durkan Memorial
Djakadam impressed on latest outing when winning the John Durkan Memorial

Tomorrow is an entirely different matter with last year’s Gold Cup runner-up Djakadam being Willie Mullins’ only runner at Cheltenham. Paul Townend is dispatched to Doncaster to ride his three runners there.

Back tomorrow morning with a full preview.