Tuesday, 28 September 2021

10 Dark Horses 2021 (13th August)

New Kingdom - Charlie Appleby - Form: 51

This son of Dubawi cost 800,000g as a yearling and another classy addition to the stable.

Laheg - Marco Botti  - Form: 21

This £105,000 breeze-up purchase has ability. 

Macchiavello - Karl Burke - Form: 45

Spigot Lodge always do well with the juveniles and this son of No Nay Never cost £300,000 at the breeze-up sales and in the familiar silks of Amo Racing Ltd and Michael Tabor.   

Ingra Tor - Mick Channon - Form: 9

It's been a quiet season for Mick Channon's two-year-olds but this home bred son of Churchill for Jon & Julia Aisbitt should hold claims. 

Alvediston - William Haggas - Form: 645

I've heard this son of New Bay has a high level of ability and looking forward to seeing this colt make his debut. 

Educator - William Haggas - Form: 021

In the ownership of The Queen, this home bred son of Deep Impact is one of the best juveniles at Somerville Lodge Stables. Both of these Haggas newcomers are exciting prospects. 

Wanees - Charles Hills - Form: 611

In the ownership of Shadwell Estate Company Ltd, this son of Le Havre cost 325,000g at the yearling sales and I'm very excited about this February foal. 

Dayman - David Loughnane - Form: 06

Amo Racing Limited have been in buying mood this season with a wealth of talented two-year-olds to show for their investment. This son of Oasis Dream wasn't the most expensive but held in high regard by David Loughnane. A stable that often go well with their debutantes. 

Adjourn - David Simcock - Form: 25

A quiet year for this Simock yard and limited number of two-year-olds. However, I always take note of owners Never Say Die Partnership and this 135,000g breeze up purchase could go well. The stable can ready a debutante and if strong in the market should go well.   

Space Cowboy - Richard Spencer - Form: 011

Another colt, this son of Kodi Bear runs in the familiar silks of Rebel Racing Premier IV. Purchased by Phil Cunningham at a cost of £110,000.  

It's worth noting that two-year-olds, in general, have a much better chance of winning on their second start than debut. However, I do expect a lot of these named horses to run big raced on their racecourse bow.  


Update: 14th August, 2021: A pretty inauspicious start to proceedings with a number of debutantes running in the same race and performing, at best, indifferently. However, this is often the nature of the beast with debutantes who can be quoted as Easy winners or poor losers. However, if you look at each horse there are reasons to consider they have ability. I'm confident you will see a marked improvement on their second start. Most were supported in the market, ran with some promise and even highlighted by a steward's inquiry [Waneese]. This proves the difficult of even training talented juveniles as I can guarantee all trainers thought their respective horses would run well. 

Update: 28th August, 2021: 

Another debutante today in the shape of Dayman for David Loughnane. Well backed, although drifted just before the off. Ran terrible and beaten almost a country mile. I tell you, these debutantes are a tricky business and reason why I say they have much more chance of winning on their second start. I must admit I can hardly believe what I've seen with the horse on my 10 Dark Horse list. It's been a disaster. However, each and every horse has given reason to think they were actually fancied and went to the races with a real live hope. It just shows that you can never tell what a debutante will do. As I often say they are either easy winners or poor loser and what we have seen so far is like something from a horror show. It's like Count Dracula is riding Eeyore while trying to suck his blood and steer at the same time. This will either be the worst list of all time or it will be akin to the phoenix rising from the flames. Because if these horses are going to win the chances are it will be second or third start. So I would suggest you pay close attention to them next time out. I can imagine a lot of our readers thinking this has to be the worst 10 Dark Horses ever. We will see. As I can tell you this, I've not lost confidence and second and third start will see some decent winners. Time will tell. 

Update: 2nd September, 2021: 

Good to see Marco Botti's Laheg battle to a win on his second start at the odds of 11/4. 

Update: 3rd September, 2021: 

I actually miss this winner, New Kingdom, only noticed on the 3rd October, a month later. I really need to concentrate. However, I'll take a winner any time of the day. It was a close call but a nose is the same as a country mile when it comes to putting money in your pocket. A decent victory beating a winner with a penalty. There'll be more to come.   

Update: 4th September, 2021:

Good to see Wanees win on his second start and detailed by Charles Hills as a quality horse and one he had always liked. It proves the point that betting on debutantes is often hard work but second start is often the truth of a talented horse. 

Update: 7th September, 2021: 

Educator was very well backed for his second start. I would ask all who to look at this horse on its first start and its second. A truly marked improvement and make no mistake this is a talented colt as I detailed on debut but with the proviso most horses run better on their second start. It's disappointed he got in a brawl with Sir Mark Prescott's Sea King and this really helped neither horse. Any other day Educator would have won well. So often winning and losing is about circumstance and today that didn't go for the Queen's two-year-old. This horse will be racing at pattern class. Irritating to come second best. 

Update: 8th September, 2021: 

You see a pattern here? Space Cowboy wins easily after looking hopeless on debut. I wonder how many people unsubscribed after the debut of so many of these horses? To learn, if they stayed around, surprise surprise, that I was exact in my knowledge. A dream performance from this horse who was available with Sportsbook early 15/1 two places each-way. I want to ask you a serious question: ''Do you know anyone who comes close to the quality of this information?'' I don't need an answer. 

Update: 10th September, 2021:

Lovely introduction for David Simcock's Adjourn who ran very well on debut at Chester to finish second. A really good-looking colt who will be winning soon and contesting Group races. 

Update: 18th September, 2021:

I must apologise for the belated update but was on holiday at great Yarmouth (Caister-on-sea) and it's difficult to keep all things done in a timely fashion. We've had a couple of horse on the list make their second starts. 

Alvediston made his second start at Yarmouth. He was a little on his toes in the paddock and I was expecting a big run. I got nothing of the sort with a pretty poor effort. William Haggas' colt travelled ok but looked a little awkward hanging. A truly dismal performance to finish fourth. I can't believe that's the measure of this horse but time will tell. Often, what you see is what you get. I will see how Alvediston goes next start and fingers crossed there was a reason for this feeble effort. Gosden's winner, Millennium Moon, was impressive but I could hardly imagine James Wigan's colt half way down the field. 

Then we had David Loughnane's Dayman returning after a horrendous debut at Windsor. Coming back to face a Class 2 race detailed a horse which the stable rate. Stepping up to 7f looked a positive. A drifting in the betting, after money early, this son of Oasis Dream in the ownership of Amo Racing Ltd did very well showing much more ability. Even finishing sixth of seven wasn't a disgrace, beaten just under five lengths. In fact, he travelled as well as anything before tiring in the last half furlong. A horse with ability and a winner in waiting.

Update: 23rd September, 2021: 

Adjourn made his second start today. There was money for this good-looking colt and I was quite hopeful but the late drift didn't bode well and even though running a great race he finished fifth beaten just two and half lengths. He's up to winning races but this looked a stiff race and there will be plenty of winners come from it.    

Update: 25th September, 2021:

Good to see Educator make it third time lucky and win at Haydock. He's a lovely horse with size and scope to progress with racing. I'm hopeful he can go for a pattern race at some point in his career. 

Update: 30th September, 2021:

Wanees did well in testing conditions to will his second start under a penalty. It proves he's a fair juvenile and potential group horse. 

Update: 15th October, 2021:

I thought we would have a decent debut winner in Macchiavellio, starting at fractional odds on but his keenness in the early stages of the race took the edge of him and it finished in a fourth place, beaten one length. These debut wins are hard to come by and there were many good reasons to think this son of No Nay Never would be victorious. We will have to see whether he can do just that next time out. 

Update: 19th October, 2021: 

A nice front-running performance from Space Cowboy who won unchallenged. Time will tell how good this colt is but he's going in the right direction and could well head fro Group class.

Update: 28th October, 2021: 

Alvediston is becoming a disappointing colt and today's performance detailed why his run at Yarmouth was below expectation. William Haggas' colt had been gelded and very well backed. I can't say I was feeling too optimist and so often after a second start disappointment ''you get what you see''. Pretty much a similar display to Yarmouth if not worse. Connections will be heading to nursery races after this and he may well pick up a race if given a fair mark. A disappointing horse on the list and one I wouldn't be holding my breath to shine.  

I will update these horses until the end of the Flat turf season and will update on the turn of the year. Most horses are of interest for their first three races, beyond that point, personally, they have little interest for me as regards betting. I'm hoping one or two will progress to Group class which is the aim. 

Update: 29th October, 2021:

Ingra Tor was well backed for his debut at Newmarket but a disappointing effort trailing home in ninth. Channon's two-year-olds have been below par for the last few years and a lack of numbers shows limitation. I would expect a bolder show next start as I have little doubt connections expected a lot more. This year's theme has been dire debut efforts and better second start. Time will tell. 

Update: 25th November, 2021: 

Macchiavello made his second start stepping up a furlong. Considering he was keen on debut I was fearful this would be a similar story and it was. Seven furlong isn't a distance you want to be overly keen and he had little hope of winning. A big, strong colt, he will be winning sooner than later but needs to relax a little. I wonder after the debut loss if connections feel the nursery route will bring more rewards and I am pretty sure that will be the path to success. I can imagine he will run over 7f once more and when getting a mark drop back to 6f and I'd expect a big run. 

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Discussing the Merit in a Cheltenham Festival Warm-Up Event

In the world of sport, there are always those moments when it becomes apparent that something fundamental has gone wrong. In soccer, for example, England’s defeat to Iceland at Euro 2016 was seen as a particular nadir for the 3 Lions, and it hinted at a deeper malaise within the structure of the England set-up. A period of reflection followed, and changes were made, and you can argue that the current England team is enjoying the fruits of those changes today. 

In horse racing, there was a much-talked-about low-point for British-trained horses this year at the Cheltenham Festival. A record 23 wins from 28 races went to Irish trainers at the 2021 Festival. Make no mistake about it – that was a trouncing. And while we can always have outlier years, the fact it was 19 wins for Irish trainers the year before suggests it’s more of a trend. 

As was expected, an inquiry was set up by British racing authorities to get to the root of the problem. And an advisory board has suggested that one solution might be to have a kind of warm-up festival before the main event at Cheltenham. Newbury, which already holds several Cheltenham trials, has been cited as a possible venue in early February each year. 

Dublin Festival has been a success 

Now, it is clear that the advisory panel has had a look at the Dublin Festival at Leopardstown, which is held in early February and always features Cheltenham runners, and surmised that this might be the key to the Irish trainers’ success. Plenty of racing journalists have poured cold water on the idea, claiming that there are more fundamental reasons for the pendulum swinging in favour of the Irish. They believe everything from prize money to structural differences in British and Irish racing plays a part, and that the issue will not be solved by a warm-up at Newbury or anywhere else. 

But might we argue that there is at least some merit in the idea? We know that big names such as Honeysuckle and Monkfish did a double shift by winning at Leopardstown and Cheltenham within the space of five weeks. We might also argue that Minella Indo, the eventual Gold Cup winner at Cheltenham, might have been well served by competing in the Irish Gold Cup at the Dublin Racing Festival, even if the horse could only manage a 5th place finish at Leopardstown. 

And yet, the counterargument is that a trainer will know the best time to give a horse a run. It’s not as if all Ireland’s 2021 Cheltenham winners were at the Dublin Festival the month beforehand. Many were held back and will not have run since December. Moreover, plenty of British runners had appeared just weeks before Cheltenham at Newbury and elsewhere. In short, there is no exact formula.

No discernible patterns in resting or running Cheltenham horses 

The advisory panel might believe that a warm-up festival offers a chance for British horses to test their mettle against quality opposition (you would imagine the plan is to have some Grade 1s, as they have at Leopardstown). But it’s not as if British trainers avoid throwing their horses into tough contests pre-Cheltenham. 

For example, the Irish Gold Cup was run on 7th February, with a field containing Minella Indo, Melon, Delta Work, The Storyteller and the eventual winner, Kemboy. The day before, Native River – the best-placed British-trained horse in the Cheltenham Gold Cup – was winning the Cotswold Chase at Sandown. Native River faced Bristol de Mai, Santini, Yala Enki, Saint Calvados and Lake View Lad.

You might argue that the field at Leopardstown was slightly stronger, but certainly not by much. Regardless, it would be a thin argument to say that Minella Indo had better preparation than Native River: The horses ran at a similar date against a similar field of runners (in terms of size and quality) before going to the Gold Cup five weeks later, so there is no discernible advantage. 

Perhaps the most intriguing take on all this came from the Guardian’s Greg Wood, who claimed that prize money made the difference. Of course, the horses don’t know how much is in the pot. But Wood believes the superior purses in Irish jumps racing has created a situation where the best national hunt horses are being kept across the Irish Sea. Wood even imagines a scenario where Irish trainers – he mentions Willie Mullins and Henry de Bromhead – send their “second-string” horses over to plunder the prize money from British races. 

It’s difficult not to agree with Woods’ assertion, nor others who believe there is a fundamental problem with British jumps racing. A festival before Cheltenham might work to focus some minds, and it would be a nice amuse-bouche before the main course at the Festival. But as for a cure-all to the woes of British trainers? It’s going to take something a lot more seismic.

Wednesday, 28 July 2021

York Ebor Festival

York Ebor Festival is a four-day meeting for flat races. The event annually takes place in August. The pavilions include beautiful and striking, with remarkable Ebor and Knavesmire stand. This makes York an outstanding racing festival, where you can witness top-class horse racing.

In 1843, the first meeting commenced with the Ebor handicap match, which is the biggest race of the festival to date. Today, the event includes four days of non-stop action, where each day will include some featured races. 

On the first day, you will witness Juddmonte International Stakes, and the second day includes the Yorkshire Oaks. Nunthorpe Stakes and Ebor Day are the center of attention for the third and fourth days. 

The second day is Ladies Day because of the off-course fashion along with professional female horses skillfully performing. Horse racing enthusiasts find these races attractive because of the thrilling live-action. That’s why people travel all the way to the UK, so they do not miss their favorite participant winning the race. 

First Day of York Ebor Festival 

Below, you will find the featured race for the first day of the festival. You can also check out all the previews of the York Ebor Festival races

1. Acomb Stakes 

Two-year-old horses will compete in this Group Three race. The race, named after a local area inYork, began in 1998. But, the organizers included it in Group 3 in 2006. Acomb Stakes takes place on the seven furlongs of the track. The weight allowed for this match is nine stones and one pound. But, there is a three-pound exception for the fillies

The winners of Group 1 and Group 2 receive a penalty of five pounds. However, winners of Group 3 will receive a three-pound penalty. The horses competing in this race will fall under the category of Group 1 races afterward. The participants outperforming others run for the Classics in the following years. 

Due to the age restriction, a horse can win this match only once. But, Sir Michael Stoute as a trainer and Pat Eddery as a Jockey won this race four times in their career. 

2. Great Voltigeur Stakes 

The race inaugurated in 1950 is a tribute to the winner of St Leger and the Derby. Traditionally, the name of this race was Voltigeur, but it included Great in 1957. This is one mile and three furlongs race, on which three-year-old geldings and colts race for the title. The eligible weight for this race is nine stones. 

However, there is a penalty for Group 1 and Group 2 winners. The Group 1 winner will get a 5-pound penalty. However, a 3-pound penalty is for Group 2 winners. In this race, the audience anticipates the performance of the horses that are ready to participate in the St Leger next month. In 1953, Premonition won both races marking his name in history.

3. Judmonte International Stakes 

Judmonte International Stakes is the first big race of the first day. The race inaugurated in 1972 is a race for three-year-old horses. The race track is one mile and two furlongs created by Major Leslie Petch. Previously, the name of the race was Benson and Hedges Gold Cup because of the sponsorship. 

There is no doubt that Ebor Handicap is the most popular race of the festival. Internationally, it is the richest race of the entire season. You can place your bets and gamble at York Ebor Festival. In 2020, the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities crowned this race as the World’s Best Race. To compete in this race, the participants should weigh eight stonesand thirteen pounds. However, if the horses are older than three, they should have nine stone six pounds.

Saturday, 1 May 2021

Lily Agnes Stakes 2021 Entries (2nd May)

Things are heating up. 

That's the two-year-old horse racing reason. Once again I must apologise for those who have been waiting for the mailings to be sent out on a regular basis. Life has been getting in the way but when I get a moment you will see a new email.

So the first month of the season has come and gone. To be exact, the month of April and two races in the month of March. 

My first mailing detailed that in 2019 (the 2020 season wasn't counted as it was an anomaly with the season starting in June) that 75% of the winners were priced 11/2 and less SP. 

This season has been pretty much the same with 76%. 

It's interesting how many patterns can be seen within the two-year-old racing whether it's trainers, jockeys, betting...

Basically, most things follow a pattern and in that sense can be relied upon. 

Anyway, that was all something and nothing. I've noticed that the Chester May meeting is on the horizon and the Lily Agnes has 16 two-year-old (2yo) entrants. This seems quite a large number compared with previous years. I don't know the exact number but it's the first big juvenile race of the season. 

Get ready for the 5th May 1:45 Chester. 

This 5f race has a rich history.

Remember this is the first entry stage and the final declaration will see a maximum of 12 runners. I would imagine it will be 9 or so as it's often the case those with a wide draw are non runners (self certificate). 

At the time of writing, 10 of the potential runners are winners. 

I will give an update the the final declarations are made.

Take a look at these previous winners.

Result: By the time the race started the 2021 Lily Agnes had just 4 runners. 

Navello, trained by George Boughey, in the silks of Ms Fiona Carmicheal & Mrs Evelyn Yates. 

The former, the owner of the sire, Ivawood. Navello ran out an impressive winner and looks a very good two-year-old who is likely to improve for a step up to six furlongs. 

See the full result of the 2021 Lily Agnes Stakes Here.

Could well go to Royal Ascot and take some beating.

Graphics: Racing Post

Tuesday, 20 April 2021

2YO Winners for the 2021 Early Season

Well, the Flat turf season has started in earnest. 

In fact, at the time of writing this post, there have been 22 winners. To me, early season is a time to assess, be patient, and bet carefully. I often say the quote about taking a punt on a debutante or early-season form horse: 

''They are either easy winners or poor losers.''  

It's a fact. 

There is little value to be had betting on a form horse. And whether you realise this or not, assessing the form of these races is incredibly difficult. Take any race and try to find a winner. You may get lucky or not. Each horse has to be taken as an individual but take it from me you'll be doing well to find a winner and even more so find any value. 

Not to say you can't.  

What I'm trying to say, is that it is best to let the dust settle before being too dogmatic about who will win the next race. 

Taking a look at the winners so far, there has been a mixed bag. 

It's pretty much pointless detailing winners. From a purists aspect they are good to follow and see where they lead. 

Thinking about who will be heading to Royal Ascot is what keeps race fans excited. Not only race fans but owners, trainers and all those related to the business. 

Here are a few of the better two-year-old winners I have seen so far. 

How good - who knows?

Chipotle [trained by Eve Johnson Houghton] 

A nice ''easy'' winner of the Brocklesby Stakes, a race that has seen a number of form horses disappoint. 

The Gatekeeper [trained by Mark Johnston]

A small race of just four runners but a determined winner at Musselburgh. The form has been franked with the third horse Khunan showing ability at Ripon next time out. In the ownership of Middleham Park Racing XIV, The Gatekeeper is one of the better juveniles I've seen this early season. A very good yearling purchase at £60,000. 

Arboy Will [trained by John Bridger]

Horse racing is often about rooting for the underdog. It is something that makes not only a story but brings hope to the little stables and owners who don't have deep pockets but a passion for their racing and hope beyond hope their day will come. Arboy Will won at Windsor on debut at odds of 150/1. I couldn't have been more pleased for connections. Whether this son of Ardad will keep on winning only time will tell but I have a thought this gelding will be heading to Royal Ascot. It's a fact, that every horse trainer has their day and they make the two-year-old season all the more special for these moments. 

Forca Brasil [trained by George Boughey]

Without doubt it is difficult to assess the form of these early-season races. However, Newmarket is always a good starting point to find a talented juvenile. Forca Brasil is owned by Amo Racing Ltd, who have started this Flat season with an abundance of two-year-old runners from a mix of trainers. Kiavash Joorabchian, a football agent, really seems to have a bottomless pit of money and he is getting the success he deserves. Forca Brasil won in comfortable fashion and looks a colt going places. Boughey has started the season in good form and it's worth noting this colt was earmarked for the Brocklesby Stakes. In ways, it's a shame this son of Cotai Glory didn't make his debut at Doncaster. For good measure he beat Mark Johnston's Love De Vega, who also held an entry for the Brocklesby so that tells a story in itself. 

Berkshire Shadow [Andrew Balding] 

It's always a good sign when Andrew Balding sends out a debut winner. You can pretty much guarantee there is much more to come. Racing in the familiar silks of Berkshire Parts & Panels Ltd, this grey son of Dark Angel was nibbled in the market (6/1 - 9/2) and caught the eye after a slow start which saw layers on the exchanges thinking they had found a candidate to make some easy cash. That turned out to be a very expensive idea as although several lengths behind this March foal ran on well in the closing stages to win a shade cosily. It's difficult to assess the strength of the Newbury race but Oisin Murphy was impressed by the colt who really looked a hopeless case with a tardy start. 

Anyway, these five two-year-old winners have proved victorious and connections will be hoping they can follow up next start, which is no easy task under a win penalty. It's often a sign a horse is up to competing at pattern class. 

Good luck to all. 

Thursday, 15 April 2021

Understanding Horse Trainers to Find Winners

It doesn't take much working out that all horse trainers aren't created equally. 

The might of a powerful owner can transform the fortunes of any yard. However, most stables have a familiar type of setup. The ebb and flow of owners sees most reaching a point of equilibrium. 

From my vast horse trainer analysis I have found a lot of data and understand the strength and weakness of stables. This regards the standard of horse, potential winning grade and most importantly winning starting price (SP). 

What's interesting about studying horse trainer data?

Most punters don't look beyond the basic info what's found on your favourite platform. I use the Racing Post and Time Form. 

The important undertaking is to go beyond the average study. If you don't have the passion, motivation or hunger to go the extra mile you are wasting your time. It might sound a bit cutting, but it's true. 

With a little bit of digging you will go from the populous to those in the 1% of understanding. That information gives you a winning edge and just as importantly helps direct your focus. If you aren't looking in the right direction, you are not only going to lose money gambling but you are simply wasting your time. 

The interesting point is that you either know something or you don't. If you don't have data you are lacking. Your best idea is a hunch. If you want to bet on a hunch then go for it. But without that reference point you won't understand anything. 

Every trainer is different. That doesn't take much working out but if you don't know about a given trainer you are betting in the dark. 

And, true, you may be able to understand that one has more winners than another. But what do those winners tell you? Is there a pattern or some vital information you can gather from this data? 

There is so much information waiting to be found. 

For instance, certain trainers never, ever, win at speculative priced odds. In fact, some of the data I have about trainers would make you question what you have been doing for all these years. I would use this same data to look at your bets objectively and a lot of the time I would be shaking my head. 

Any horse can defy the odds and win. But do you really want to be fighting against the tide of data that say your bet is most likely a loser?

And I'm not talking about horses a giant odds. 

You'd be surprised. 

The problem with lacking in any area that you bet is that you simply don't know. 

To be a successful gambler you need to know answers to questions. If you can't put the work into find this elusive data then you will never learn from those losses. In addition, you will never learn from those wins. 

If you don't work to understand horse trainer data you are missing a trick. 

A little bit of work can reap rewards. 

Learn more about Top Trainer Secrets by subscribing to the Easy Professional Gambler Mailing Series, click the button, below. 


Saturday, 3 April 2021

Littletimyhoulihan Heads to Musselburgh (3rd April)

Ontoawinner syndicate were probably ruing their luck when Alaskan Jewel was caught on the line at Newcastle (1:40) when Kevin Ryan's Anadora led on the post. 

In truth, it was a fantastic debut effort, a winner waiting to happen.

Adrian Paul Keatley has a number of two-year-olds for owners Ontoawinner most likely due to his success last year with 33/1 debut winner Queen of Rio, Wob Wob Wob, Shala Asker, Twice Adaay & Quiet Assassin. 

Both Queen Of Rio and Queen Assassin raced at pattern class. The former now sold and in training with Luke McJannet. 

It's interesting to see Keatley is sending Littletimyhoulihan to make his debut at Musselburgh (1:20) to contest the 5f Betway EBF Novices Stakes (Class 4) (2yo) race on good to soft going. It's just a small field of four horses. 

This bay gelding, a March foal, is sired by Due Diligence out of a debut-winning mare. Littletimyhoulihan may be an inspired purchase, a 4000 guinea yearling. The stable have a good record with the two-year-old debutantes and it's interesting to note that this colt was earmarked for the Brocklesby Conditions Stakes. Considering Ontoawinner won the Brocklesby with Show Me Show Me (2019) it could be a sign of confidence. 

I will be watching today as this may be a tactical affair but it would be no surprise to see Littletimyhoulihan run a big race today. 

Who could forget the success of their star filly Quiet Reflection who won at Group One on two occasions as well as other pattern race wins. An exceptional horse. 

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Chipotle Wins 2021 Brocklesby Conditions Stakes for Eve Johnson Houghton

It has felt like a long wait. 

Then the first two-year-old race of the season appeared at Doncaster's Lincoln meeting. The Brocklesby started proceedings and it was great to see Eve Johnson Hought's Chipotle (red and black silks) run out a comprehensive winner. This son of Havana Gold looks to be an inspired purchase costing just 10,000 guineas (4,500g foal). Owners The Woodway 20 have a potentially smart colt on their hands. 

Chipotle was pretty streetwise for his debut over the five-furlong straight and cruised up on the outside of the field to pull clear by two-and-a-quarter lengths from Wonderful World (Mick Channon) & Makalu (Kevin Ryan). Charles Bishop rode a nice race on this April foal. 

There have been many and varied winners of the Brocklesby Stakes. For instance there have been a number of horses (some very talented) who have never won again, while the likes of Hearts Of Fire & The Last Lion who have won at the highest level. 

Chipotle's victory detailed a potentially smart horse. I was struck by the physicality of this colt who has size and scope to progress with racing and should defy a win penalty. Most two-year-olds winners under a penalty compete at pattern class. Although not wanting to get ahead of ourselves, it would be no surprise to see this colt earmarked for the Lily Agnes Stakes and thoughts of Royal Ascot. 

Good luck to connections.

Monday, 15 March 2021

Cheltenham Festival 2021: Gold Cup

Are you ready for the Cheltenham Festival Gold Cup? 

What do you fancy?

I've got a short-list of one horse. 

It's a secret! 

Anyway, what's all this about, Betway asking West Ham Football players and Richard Hoiles to take part in a game show?

Not heard about it? 

Then you really need to watch the video, below, because it's one of the funniest promotions I've ever seen. In fact, it is hilarious. It's like a head-on crash between footaball and horse racing. The Betway Bumper is a fun-packed three minutes of joy where Jesse Lingard and three teammates compete in a battle of everything equine. 

What's happens next will surprise you. 

You'll laugh. Lots. 

Perhaps there's just too much information!


Sunday, 28 February 2021

Horse Racing: Using Data to Find Winners

One thing you will notice about successful punters - they often rely on data. 

You read about successful gambling syndicates or individuals such as Patrick Veitch and Starlizard run by Tony Bloom. 

Data is used with military precision. 

There's a good reason for this. It works. Even with exacting levels of information their return on investment may be minimal. However, betting with vast amounts of money, even a percent profit can return big money. Let alone if you can get to the dizzy heights of, perhaps 16%, as detailed by some. 

Data is king. 

It's the difference between knowing and not knowing, something.  

Without statistical significance we are in the realm of guessing. There's nothing wrong with guessing because to a point even the best of us do just that. 

I once had someone send me an email saying: ''You don't know anything about two-year-old horse racing, you're just guessing.''

The joys of having a mailing list. 

Even the best trainers guess. If they guess, what do you expect a mere mortal to do? 

What's the saying: ''Never bet on a tip from a jockey.''

Perhaps a variation of the word guessing is interpretation. 

The data I use is interpreted to bring understanding. 

Even with the best data we are at the mercy of anomalies. For instance, every favourite doesn't win. This assessment of the favourite is based on data. It is still a matter of opinion. Using the given data. When dealing with physical beings, we can only use skill to find and interpret the data. As they say, animals aren't machines. Even a machine can go wrong. However, if dealing with fixed odds, such as a roulette wheel, we can understand what, on average, we are dealing with. 

So when someone says: ''You're guessing!''

I think you're right because even Willie Mullins heading to the Cheltenham Festival is guessing. If he isn't guessing quite so much about his horses he is the opposition which he is unlikely to be privy. He is guessing with millions of variables. It may be something like a rogue, sleepy, winter wasp stinging a horse which goes unnoticed, but if the horse has an allergic reaction you may as well be betting on the rag.

Over the last few years, I have investigated just about every trainer. Without this data I would well and truly be guessing. Not to say that experience and all those other skills would leave me lacking. I don't believe I would be lacking. In fact, I know I would have enough ability to make my betting pay. 

But data helps us work within some area of structure, the realms of possibility. 

I don't care who you are or what you know or what you say, any horse can defy the odds. 

But should we be scared of such anomalies?

Without question, no. 

Data sets the boundaries. It tells you, on balance, what is possible and what is not. It is a friend who tips you a good few winners and helps you leave those losers alone. 

Data is key to your success. In fact, it is something that easily sets you apart because it is a truth of some kind. 

For example, data about a horse trainer can be a significant pointer, added to other aspects such as form, significant entries, jockey booking, course stats and all other parts of the jigsaw puzzle show the way. 

No one, unless some God-given force, knows the future. 

You can name anyone on planet Earth, and they will have misgivings, worries, concerns about a potential loss. 

But long term it is a different matter. 

You can use data to bring confidence, structure and a reference point to work from. 

This will help you look in the right direction. 

If you are looking in the wrong direction you have no hope. 

Data is king. But it is only part of understanding. It is the scaffolding to your success. 

When it comes to it, we are all guessing to a point. Even the greatest minds are guessing to point. 

That isn't a weakness, it's a fact, and one that really is the truth of an understanding that you should applaud.