Tag Archives: ITV Racing

Sandown finale

The final day of the jumps season and it has been another rewarding one. Our summer campaign starts next week, more on that later.

Two races from Sandown for us to briefly look at this afternoon. The going is now Good to Soft.

1.50 2m bet365 Novices’ Championship Final Handicap Hurdle (Class 2) (4yo+)

A maximum of twenty runners entered for the opener.

Ar Mest is fairly handicapped in a wide open race. He is expected to appreciate conditions and should figure.

Currently a general 14/1. Some firms are offering to pay quarter odds the first five.


2.25 2m6½f bet365 Oaksey Chase (Grade 2) (Class 1) (5yo+)

All of these have something to prove after being below form of late.

A top form Top Notch would be very difficult to beat.

I price the leading contenders as follows:

Top Notch  13/8

Art Maures 4/1

Double Shuffle 4/1

Alcala  7/1

16/1 bar

The books have Top Notch in at around 5/4 with Double Shuffle second best at 11/4.


Top Notch


Latest news & Summer campaign

Both our strongest bets so far this week have been successful including our only bet yesterday, a lay of odds-on favourite Samcro. On my ratings I could not have Samcro at odds-on. He has all the makings of a top class performer but the short price on offer was based on potential and maybe too much hype rather than a record of form shown at the very highest level. Thankfully both Samcro and Melon were fine after their falls and so were the riders.

Our five month summer season gets underway next week. During the summer I concentrate on higher quality flat and summer jumps. Last year between May and September we recorded a profit on stakes of over 50% on all bets. For more details and membership options take a visit to my website: www.slh.co.uk

Currently you can get a significant discount against standard terms. Put your betting on truly professional level.

As I reported last week, this blog will now be taking a break. My thanks for your visits over the past months.


Patience rewarded

It has made a refreshing change this week to see better ground conditions than those we have endured over the past months.

Good ground for Scottish Grand National Day at Ayr and we are going to look at the opening race of their well supported eight race card.

1.45 2m½f  Scotty Brand Handicap Chase (Listed Race) (Class 1) (5yo+)

A number of these are returning from breaks after being out of form and are potentially well handicapped. This makes for a difficult race to price with total confidence.

Dolos caught the eye on his latest start at Cheltenham, when being tailed off at the top of the hill before staying on well up the home straight.

If Theinval turns out again after yesterday’s run here in which he was badly hampered five out and battled on to finish fourth. His chance is respected, although he is a difficult horse to win with.

Last year’s winner of this race Vaniteux was then trained by Nicky Henderson. He has his second run back after a wind operation and is well in on last year’s form.

Forest Bihan makes most appeal at the current prices. Connections have patiently waited for quicker ground conditions, having bypassed Cheltenham and Aintree. He has a tough task under top weight, but is expected to run a big race.

I price the top of the market on my private tissue as follows:

Forest Bihan      5/1

Theinval             11/2

Vaniteux            7/1

Dolos                 7/1

Duke of Navan  8/1

The early books have Vaniteux as their marginal favourite at around 9/2. With twelve to post at present, each way backers can get  quarter odds.


Forest Bihan

Summer campaign

Just the one bet yesterday as 2/1 winner Azzuri led all the way for dominant 15 length victory.

You can join now for the summer season and get the rest of this month included free plus a good discount from the standard terms. Last summer saw a profit on stakes on all bets of over 50% and a 45% strike rate. For more details go to: www.slh.co.uk

Please note that this blog will be taking a break after next Saturday. We are looking at a low cost Saturday only email service with Steve’s bets and extra race analysis for blog regulars. If you wish to receive further details just email steve@slh.co.uk   Mark your email Saturday blog.

National experience

The Aintree going is a big factor again today. The ground on the Mildmay and Hurdle course is Soft whilst it is Heavy on the National course. However, the area has had a dry night and the forecast is for a warm breezy day with temperatures up to 15 Celsius by this afternoon. It is likely to be drying ground which can make the surface unresponsive.

One race to look at this afternoon plus the Grand National.

4.20 3m½f Ryanair Stayers Hurdle (Registered As The Liverpool Hurdle) (Grade 1) (Class 1) (4yo+)

 Sam Spinner and Wholestone have little between them on Cheltenham form.

Sam Spinner will be ridden positively and may still progress.

Wholestone looks sure to go well, but doesn’t always find a great deal at the finish.

If L’Ami Serge runs, he has a live chance of following up Thursday’s success.

I have the front of the market as follows:

Sam Spinner  9/4

Wholestone  4/1

L’Ami Serge   4/1

Sam Spinner

Grand National

I will be getting a course report from Aintree at lunchtime before briefing members at 1.00 p.m. By then we should have a better idea how the ground will ride. At present my thoughts on the Grand National are for Gordon Elliott’s Ucello Conti. Has course experience with conditions suitable. Daryl Jacob again takes the ride over the national fences.


Ucello Conti

 Summer campaign

We are now in the final weeks of the main seven month 2017/18 jumps campaign which has yielded a rewarding 35% profit on stakes invested.

You can join now for the summer season and get the rest of this month included free plus a good discount from the standard terms. For more details go to: www.slh.co.uk

Back to earth

After the highs of a fabulous four days at Cheltenham it’s back to earth today with three jumps cards from Kempton, Fontwell and Uttoxeter.

One race from Kempton for us this morning.

 2m Matchbook VIP Chase (A Novices’ Limited Handicap) (Class 3) (5yo+ 0-135)

A case can be made for all five runners.

Free Stone Hill has dropped to handicap mark that he has the ability to win off. However he finds little in a finish and isn’t to be trusted.

Deauville Dancer returns from a winter break and may benefit from this race.

Copain De Classe was left with a solo after his only rival fell at only the second fence on his latest start. He has potential, but is at short odds on form achieved.  Currently on offer at 5/4.

Both Kayf Blanco and Vocaliser are running well.

My private tissue:

Copain De Classe 5/2

Kayf Blanco  3/1

Vocaliser       3/1

Deauville      6/1

Free Stone Hill   12/1


Copain De Classe


2018 Cheltenham Festival

My thanks to everyone who donated and to the preview contributors: Donn McClean, Richard Hoiles, John Hunt and Paul O’Hara.

The two commentators both enjoyed success from their selective advices. Richard with 13/2 winner Mr Whitaker and John emphatically stated that the ‘best bet of the entire meeting has to be Presenting Percy.’  Another great ride from Davy Russell providing a 5/2 winner.

Plus there was plenty for readers from the other contributors.

Lots of great performances with many thrilling finishes and the dominant displays from the likes of Samcro, Altior and Laurina. For me the highlight of the week was the Gold Cup and the relentless jumping performance of Native River. However I have doubts whether the Gold Cup is recently of the same standard of past era’s.

All donations go to the Lambourn Valley Housing Trust who build affordable homes for stable staff and their families. Helping keep vital staff in racing.

Support the stable staff

Concentrating on the big race of the day at Sandown; the Imperial Cup. A race with a long history dating back to 1907. Until the launch of the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival it was regarded as the most important hurdle of the jumps season.

Our special Cheltenham membership is available from today. It includes a comprehensive Festival preview which will also be sent today. More details about both below.

2.25 2m Matchbook Imperial Cup Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) (Class 1) (4yo+)

Whatswrongwithyou impressed when winning at Newbury and falls into the category of “could be anything”. It was the manner of that victory rather than the substance of the form.

However he hasn’t been missed in the market. The general 7/2 on offer in a seventeen runner highly competitive handicap makes little appeal.


Master Of Irony was noted on his latest start, being never nearer than at the finish in a slowly run race at Newbury.

He handles today’s conditions and with Richard Johnson back in the saddle (he rode him when winning at Wetherby) and a big run is expected. Presently quoted around the 10/1 mark.



2018 Cheltenham Festival

The Festival starts this Tuesday and 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 avoids the obvious with a one at a backable price.

– Full access to my bets and analysis from today 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.

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

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.’


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.

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

Over the past seven days we have had just the five selective bets producing four winners. Those four include winners at 9/4 and 10/3, the latter being our biggest bet of this week so far. Plus two more successful lays against short priced favourites, the latest being against a heavily backed 8/11 shot.

Added to our 10/1 winner earlier in the month, it has contributed to our profits for the new season and year overall.

 Membership terms have been updated, see all the latest options and get your free information pack at: 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.






Fine time

Ideal jumping ground at all three of our meetings today from Cheltenham, Uttoxeter and Wetherby plus I will be keeping a watch on Punchestown where the ground will be a little more testing.

Day 2 of the Open meeting from Cheltenham and two races for us to look at this morning.

1.50 3m3½f  (Old) BetVictor.com Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (Class 1) (4yo+)

A difficult race to evaluate with many of these having later season targets. The Grand National being the main aim for most.

Doing Fine is the only horse coming into the race of the back of a good recent performance.

Although exposed he is expected to figure. A general 5/1 at present and a couple of firms are going a quarter odds the first three.


Doing Fine


2.25 2m4½f (Old) BetVictor Gold Cup Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (Class 1) (4yo+)

 Eighteen declared with over £90,000 going to the winner.

Kylemore Lough and Ballyalton are the two of most interest.

Kylemore Lough is well handicapped, has conditions that suit and has been aimed at this race on his first start for Harry Fry.

Ballyalton also figures on a good handicap mark. He had a prep race over hurdles at Aintree just under three weeks ago and looks sure to go well.

Kylemore Lough is my provisional 6/1 favourite followed by Ballyalton at 8/1.

Best early prices for the pair are 13/2 and 11/1 respectively.

Kylemore Lough

As always I will be getting reports direct from the courses throughout the morning before finalising betting plans and briefing my select group of members at noon today. Membership terms have been updated, see all the latest options and get your free information pack at: www.slh.co.uk