Saturday, 31 January 2009

2 pts win OTTO DES PICTONS 8.2/1 (Betdaq) Totescoop Millions H'cap Hdle
1 pt win KHACHATURIAN 33/1 (Betfair) Totescoop Millions H'cap Hdle

The handicapper has put Ballydub up again being fairly certain that he would have finished close had he not crashed out last time. He's now 19lb higher than his last winning mark and with uncertainty over just how much ability Blue Shark possesses it may be best siding with Otto Des Pictons who could perhaps be a little better than his current rating.He ran well in that highly competitive Sandown novice handicap behind Alberta's Run two seasons ago before beating a half useful sort comfortably at Ayr. Needless to say he ran like a horse that would come on for the run when reappearing after a long lay off and this could be his day.

With his yard flying it's hard to resist a point on Khachaturian at his odds. He's better that he's shown so far this season and ran a blinder in a competitive Aintree handicap on National day. The ground is a bit of an unkown - he did run well on testing going at Towcester but that was before he became the horse he is now and all of his improvement was on better going.

Lost - 3pts

3 pts win I'M SO LUCKY 4.9/1 (Betfair and Betdaq) (Generally available) William Dot Com H'cap Chase

A useful flat horse, and very useful handicap hurdle,I'm So Lucky has made a promising start to his chasing career and is mighty interesting on his first venture in open handicap company.His Newbury defeat could look alot better in the next couple of months than it did at the time, his jumping is assured, and he must surely go very close here.

Lost - 3pts

Sunday, 25 January 2009

1 pt win RIVER LIANE 100/1 (Generally available) Champion Hurdle

The first dabble in the Cheltenham ante-post market and though it's very speculative, having something on this horse is a must if you believe that he could do something today. We don't know alot about him and the bare ratings do not suggest that he is of the class required - however, he did look something really special when winning his pre-Cheltenham race last year and again on his reappearance. This maybe an occasion to use visual impressions over the substance of the form book and it won't break the bank to have a point on him right now.

Lost - 1 pt
2 pts win HARDY EUSTACE 10.5/1 ( Betfair) Toshiba Irish Champion Hurdle
1 pt win RIVER LIANE 18.5/1 (Betfair) Toshiba Irish Champion Hurdle

There are more in this with a chance than than it may appear at first glance. The amazing Hardy Eustace has bounced back to form before when written off and the application of a tong tie for this race suggests there was a legitimate excuse for his run last time. Admittedly he has ground to make up on his old adversary Brave Inca on the Hatton's Grace run but these two have regularly been turning the form around and having returned from injury, there must be a doubt as to how many races Brave Inca can take. At his odds Hardy Eustace makes plenty of appeal and this is the ideal scenario for him to put in a really big run.

River Liane looked visually exciting when beating a useful sort here before disappointing at Cheltenham. He again looked a little special when defeating another useful performer on his comeback race at Naas but disappointed on his last outing here behind Sublimity despite running a lifetime best on ratings. It's hard to believe that is his true merit and he is worth chancing at his odds in the hope that he is as good as he has sometimes looked.

Lost - 3 pts

Saturday, 24 January 2009

2 pts win TIDAL BAY 11/2 (Generally available) Letheby and Christopher Chase
1 pt win SNOOPY LOOPY 23/1( Betfair)Letheby and Christopher Chase

With his yard in form Tidal Bay is the interesting one here. He's a proven class act but still one that we don't yet know everything about and it may just be that he will find his true niche in the top class events around three miles. He seemed a little off his best at Wetherby last time despite the ratings he returned suggesting the opposite and though if you swear by these things the pull in the weights should see him turn the form around with the clear cut winner Nozic, it's the prospect of him really being himself and racing much kinder that appeals here.

Snoopy Loopy has to be worth small stakes at his present odds. OK, he's eleven and that run of form he had in the autumn where he suddenly found improvement from God knows where is unlikely to be repeated in so many successive runs again; but his King George run does not been that everything is over and in a race were a couple of fancied one's will probably run absolute stinkers, he is just the type to run a big race.

Lost - 3 pts

2 pts win BLAZING BAILEY 8.6/1 (Betfair) Byrne Group Cleeve Hurdle
1 pt win FAIR ALONG 7.8/1 (Betfair) Byrne Group Cleeve Hurdle

Though it may be clutching at straws given that he's won in heavy ground and shown quality form in the soft here, there is a possibility ( or hope at least!) that Punchestowns may not be able to reproduce the level of form he showed last time in these conditions - if that is the case then there is some terrific value to be found elsewhere and Blazing Bailey who won this in similar conditions two years is worth chancing.He's been a little off his best in his two runs this season but it's unlikely that he's gone into decline and there are still a few of these races left in him. Former exciting 2 mile novice chaser Fair Along has surprisingly found himself a trade in staying hurdles and, unbelievably still only seven, he remains unexposed in this sphere. He is reliable, excels around here, and is worth back up support.

Lost - 3 pts

Saturday, 17 January 2009

1.5pts win KANDJAR D'ALLIER 7.4/1 (Betfair and Betdaq) Peter Marsh Chase
1.5pts win MIKO DE BEAUCHENE 8/1 ( Generally available) Peter Marsh Chase

With the ground deteriorating not many are going to be still in with a chance turning for home but there is no reason why Kandjar D'Allier should not be bang there.Despite his age he retains all of his ability and enthusiasm, he'll not mind the ground and comes here on the back of a course and distance victory. With the assurance that the conditions are perfect for him I'd rather have him on side with his 8lb rise in the ratings than trying to second guess whether some of the better handicapped looking contenders will return to form.

Miko De Beauchene had been trained for a repeat success in the Welsh National and the liklehood is that he would have put in a bold showing if he'd not departed early. It's also very likely that he'll line up here in fair heart and it is worth remembering that he does not necessarily require distances in excess of this - that cracking run over hurdles on faster ground than this at Cheltenham. Off an 8lb higher mark than when winning here last February he has strongish claims.

Lost - 3 pts

2pts win WILL BE DONE 3/1 (Betfair) Blue Square Novices Chase
1 pt win TARTAK 8.8/1 (Betfair)Blue Square Novices Chase

Massini's Maguire has not been convincing over fences so far and is worth taking on here with the progressive Will Be Done. He beat three useful sorts at Wetherby last time and they can't have all ran below form - thus his official rating (he'd be getting 4lb off Massini's Maguire if this was a handicap)is very unlikely to be flattering. Admittedly, his tendency to jump right is no help but he's only made one mistake in his last three races and is a safe jumper.

Will Be Done won 1.72/1(NR) + 2.3pts

It's hard to resist a point on Tartak at his odds. He's come up against useful sorts in his last two races and he should outrun his price here on a track that will suit him better than Cheltenham. Certainly, anyone seriously fancying Gone To Lunch at the festival will be hoping and expecting Tartak to go very close to winning this.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

2 pts win IMPERIAL HILLS 12/1 ( 3 firms and exchanges) Pierse Hurdle
1 pt win VITAL PLOT 31/1 ( Betfair) Pierse Hurdle

Horses running consistently well who are bang in form win these sort of events as much as the plotted out types and Imperial Hills, who has really come of age lately, makes plenty of appeal. He has put together two lifetimes bests on his recent two runs and could be one who is cutting sharply up through the ranks and can confirm recent form with Fen Game on worse terms. The big field scenario clearly suits him well, as does this track, and it is comforting to know that he'll be coming from a mid-div position as opposed to the trouble seeking positions that many of the Tony Martin horses come from.

Vital Plot is not your ideal type for this in the sense that he lacks handicapping experience. However, the race he ran in last time was the hottest novice hurdle anywhere so far this season and he finished on the heels of some quality animals and only seven lengths off the winner who has received all sorts of adulations. He could be really useful and is worth a point at his present exchange odds - though you'd ideally like them to shorten between now and racetime.

Lost - 3 pts

Thursday, 1 January 2009

2 pts win MY PETRA 7.6/1 ( Betfair and Betdaq) Chase
1 pt win OSLOT 10/1 ( Betfair and Betdaq) Skybet,com Chase

This race is not as competitive as it could be given the prize money on offer and there is nothing that really appeals at double figure odds, thus it may not be worth trying to be cute and straying from those near the front end of the market.

My Petra would be a couple of points shorter if the ground was better. However, she has produced some excellent performances on this sort of ground, and a repeat of her Ascot performance last time would probably be suffice to win this. She is in great heart at the moment after running a couple of poor races in the spring after the very hard race she had here at the festival. Galway Plate winner Oslot is the most interesting of the others. He has a pull in the weights with My Petra on November Ascot form and is open to further improvement.

Lost - 3 pts

No 320 pts profit like last year but after being in the region of 90 + points down at one stage it feels almost as satisfying to have escaped from jail. Yep, Sentry Duty has been the Saviour but in any set of results where the emphasis has been on value as opposed to strike rate's, there is always going to defining moments. All bets have been double checked with deductions taken out for exchange commission, NR's ect.

Total Staked 490.5 pts
Total Returned 494.5 pts

A profit of 4 pts ( 0.8 % on outlay)