Thursday, 9 April 2015

Final Selections

There were no defections from the original top 40 when the final declarations were made on Thursday morning.

After doing a bit of reading today, I'm going to back

Al Co 1 pt e/w @ 25/1
Godsmejudge 1pt e/w @ 22/1
Chance Du Roy 0.5 pts e/w @ 40/1
Gas Line Boy 0.5 pts e/w @ 100/1
Mon Parrain 0.5 pts e/w @ 50/1

Also going to put the five of them into small stake combination forecasts (20 bets) cos you never know !

Can't wait for Saturday now, will be a great day out  - hopefully I'll come back with a few quid in my pocket.

Monday, 6 April 2015

Quick National Update...

The five day declarations have now been made for Saturday's race and all the horses on my rather long "shortlist" stand their ground.

Of those listed, Duke of Lucca (42), Raz De Maree (43) and The Package (44) are all currently outside the top 40 who are guaranteed a place in the field, and so need some further up the list to be withdrawn to enable them to take their chance.

More to follow later in the week.

Friday, 3 April 2015

Finding The National Winner (2)

OK so my earlier work has left me with a list of 15 runners to work with. Five day entries are on Monday, and I’ll do plenty of reading between then and when the final declarations are made.

First Lieutenant (23 chase starts – 3 wins / 8 seconds / 5 thirds) 

Won the Grade 1 Betfred Bowl over 3m 1f of the Mildmay course here in April 2013 off a mark of 168. Not won in 11 races since, including 4th of 6 in the Bowl last year, and not shown much this season so far. Finished 3rd of 4 in a hurdles race at Thurles last time. 33/1 GENERALLY AVAILABLE

Mon Parrain (19 – 6/2/2) 

Well beaten in the Grimthorpe Chase at Doncaster last time (3miles 2f). Caused a surprise when winning at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day over 3m 2.5f at 20/1. 11th of 14 finishers in the Becher Chase over the National course in December. Finished second in the Topham Chase as a 5yo way back in 2011, when looking all over the winner jumping the last until Always Waining breezed past. Wears blinkers which isn’t ideal in this big field. 50/1 GENERALLY AVAILABLE

Night In Milan (18 – 4/6/3)

Won the Grimthorpe in 2014 jumping very well on that occasion. Third this year having belted the first fence.  Usually races prominently / wears blinkers. 40/1 LADBROKES / CORALS, 33/1 GENERALLY

Al Co (12 – 4/1/1)

Won the Scottish National at Ayr last April when an unconsidered 40/1 outsider so stamina is assured, unlike so many in the race. Pulled up in the Becher Chase in December when a 50/1 chance in his only attempt over this course, never showed and didn’t jump well. Has also had three spins over hurdles this season.  33/1 LADS / CORAL / HILLS 25/1 ELSEWHERE

Godsmejudge (14 – 3/3/2)
Won the Scottish National in 2013 and second behind Al Co last year so this test will hold no fears. Ran appallingly over hurdles last time out,  well beaten in two runs prior to that. Note was pulled up in two runs prior to Scottish National last year. Needs to return to form but big chance if he does. 20/1 GENERALLY AVAILABLE.

Monbeg Dude (17 – 4/1/3)

Former Welsh National winner and also won at Cheltenham over 3.5 miles, extreme trips in soft / heavy ground seem to bring out the best in him. Likely to be better ground next week. Finished seventh last year, towards the back and then made progress on the second circuit. On a similar mark this time round – similar result ? 33/1 GENERALLY AVAILABLE

Across The Bay (19 – 4/3/0)

This one was clear of the field last year when he was carried out by a loose horse after jumping the water and went from first to last. Was also taken wide by a loose horse at the same spot the year before but was able to recover and ran prominently until fading out of contention over the last few fences. Has won over 3.5 miles on heavy ground at Haydock. Likely will give a bold sight, wears blinkers. 50/1 BET 365 / VC BET / PADDY POWER, 40/1 ELSEWHERE

Chance Du Roy (24 – 6/2/2)

Won the Becher Chase in December 2013 before finishing 6th in last year’s National. Finished 5th in this season’s renewal of the Becher so clearly has a liking for these fences. 40/1 GENERALLY AVAILABLE.

Gas Line Boy (11 – 3/0/2)

Won on soft ground over 3m 5f at Haydock in November, although only 3 of the 8 runners completed the course. Has also won the same chase at Exeter for the last two seasons over 3 miles. Pulled up in the Welsh National over Christmas after making an early mistake and made a couple of bad mistakes when finishing fourth in the Haydock Grand National trial on his most recent start.  Interesting at a very big price but probably not good enough. 100/1 WITH PADDY POWER, 104 ON BETFAIR,66/1 GENERALLY

Wyck Hill (14 – 5/1/1)

Won the Eider Chase over 4m 1f in 2014 before finishing 6th in the Midlands National three weeks later. Ran in the 2013 Becher Chase where he was doing his best work at the end of the race so this test should suit. Fell last time out.

Portrait King (13 – 3/2/1)

Won the Eider Chase way back in 2012, also won over 3.5 miles that season. Then had 18 months off after running unplaced in the Scottish National. Won in January this year at Punchestown. Unplaced in the Eider in February and had a spin over hurdles last time out. 66/1 GENERALLY

Duke of Lucca (25 – 4/5/1)

Won the 3m 1f chase on the National day card last year which Don’t Push It won the year before his National win. Mainly been competing in Cross Country chases since then and was well fancied at the festival but could only finish 8th. The third horse on my list from the Hobbs stable having discarded his most fancied runner Balthazar King !
50/1 – 66/1 GENERALLY, 170 ON BETFAIR

Soll (15 – 4/1/0)

Winner of a veterans chase last time out at Newbury (3m 2.5 f)and also won his only other start this season at Exeter. Finished 7th in the 2013 National behind Auroras Encore, weakening in the home straight and beaten 44 lengths. Missed the cut last year and ran in the Topham instead where he was staying on towards the end. Wore blinkers for the first time last time out. 25/1 LADBROKES, 20/1 GENERALLY

Raz De Maree (13 – 3/2/1)

All three chase wins have been on soft or heavy ground. Won the Cork National over 3m 4f in November 2012 but hasn’t won a race since. 8th in last year’s National, keeping on past beaten horses at the end. Has worn a variety of head gear.

The Package (20 – 3/4/3)
Has been around forever, won at the Cheltenham Festival last time out over 3m 2f, blinkered for the first time, and his other two chase wins have been over more than three miles. Unseated rider in the 2010 National, didn’t run it again until finishing 12th last year beaten 63 lengths.

Finding The National Winner

I've been as mad busy as ever so apologies for the lack of posts in the last few weeks - don't worry you haven't missed much !

There's just over a week to go now until the Grand National at Aintree. I'll be there as I usually am - it's always a great day out and hopefully I'll be able to find one or  two winners.

It's been a while since Comply Or Die provided me with my last winning bet in the big race so with a bit of time on my hands today, for once, I thought I'd try and narrow down the possibilities for next week.

There are currently 74 horses still entered according to the Racing Post website – a maximum of 40 horses can take part. 

Home Farm, Double Ross, Teaforthree and Merry King seem to be out of the race for various reasons so that leaves 70.

Despite the changing nature of the race with the easing of the fences and the fact most of the horses now run from their allotted handicap mark, many of the long term trends seem to still hold good and I’ll use these to eliminate as many horses from consideration as I can.

No horse older than 12 has won the race since 1923 so I’m putting a line through Tranquil Sea (13) and Oscar Time (14).

No 7 year old has won since 1940 which isn’t good news for Unioniste, Cause of Causes and Broadway Buffalo.

The record of 8 year olds isn’t great either with only three winners since 1973 so I’ll take out Many Clouds, Sam Winner, Shutthefrontdoor, Hadrian’s Approach, Ballycasey, Spring Heeled, Dolatulo, The Druids Nephew, Benvolio, Corrin Wood, Bob Ford, Owega Star, Goonyella, Sydney Paget, Standing Ovation and Tales of Milan.

Every winner since 1991 has had an official handicap rating of between 136 and 157. 

I will eliminate all horses rated below 136 which takes out Mountainous, Alpha Victor, Mart Lane, Ikorodu Road, Rigadin De Beauchene, Harry The Viking, Any Currency, Ballyoliver, Glenquest, Lackamon, Rose Of The Moon, American Spin and Neptune Equester - although in fairness most of these will be too far down the order to make the final cut of 40 anyway. 

Former Gold Cup winner Lord Windermere is rated 161 and will carry top weight of 11st 10lbs. Although four of the last six winners have carried 11 stone or more, Red Rum is the only horse since 1950 to have shouldered as much weight to victory as Lord Windermere is set to carry so I’m crossing him out.

Every winner since 1970 has won over at least 3 miles. Rebel Rebellion, Rubi Light, Baileys Concerto, Renard and Maggio all fail that test.

20 of the last 21 winners had between 3 and 7 chase wins before they won the big one, the exception being Neptune Collonges (11 wins).

Those that fail this statistic are Balthazar King (13 wins – the 148 day absence is also a negative), Saint Are (2 wins), Super Duty (1), Ely Brown (2), Gallant Oscar (2) and Vintage Star (2).

23 of the last 25 winners had at least two runs between January 1st and the National, the two exceptions (Comply Or Die and Don’t Push It) both had one run in the same year and both ran in the previous December.

Rocky Creek, Carlito Brigante, The Rainbow Hunter, Alvarado, Court By Surprise, River Choice, Royale Knight and Guess Again don’t fit this profile.

Last year’s winner Pineau De Re has shown very little in 4 runs over hurdles this season and is passed over. Notwithstanding that no horse since Red Rum has won back to back nationals, no winner since Bindaree in 2002 has ever won another race !

So that has whittled the 74 entries down to a much more manageable list of 15, hopefully the winner is among this lot -

First Lieutenant, Mon Parrain, Night In Milan, Al Co, Godsmejudge, Monbeg Dude, Across The Bay, Chance Du Roy, Gas Line Boy, Wyck Hill, Portrait King, Duke Of Lucca, Soll, Raz De Maree, The Package.

Back later on with some further thoughts on my short list.

If anyone has any comments, if you’ve spotted any glaring errors in my analysis or you’ve got your own ideas about this year’s race – please let me know.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

A Spot(land) of bother

I've had a very busy week - with no time for any betting or trading until late last night when I had a losing trade on the tennis.

Laid YH Lu a service break up at 2-1 in the first set against Mannarino at Delray Beach. Lu is a poor server according to the stats I have and so the lay made sense at that stage of the set.

Unfortunately Mannarino was unable to break back - indeed he was broken again serving at 3-5 and so there was no pressure on Lu to serve out for the set.

I duly exited for a loss on the trade and decided to call it a night at that point and went to bed - I checked back this morning and Mannarino won the next two sets 6-1 6-1 !!

Still got a lot to learn on the tennis but I'm sure it will become a mainstay of what I'm trying to do on here.

Onto today and just had one bet on the football - same as last week, an accumulator on the over 1.5 goals market. Picked out five games for combined odds of 15/8.

Exactly same result as last week - 25 minutes waiting for one more goal which never came (at Rochdale this time). I managed to find the only one of the 12 games in league one which didn't have more than 1.5 goals !

Maybe third time lucky next Saturday...

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Caught on the Boundary

The title of this post has nothing to do with England's pathetic effort in the cricket World Cup this morning, rather it's a reference to the home ground of Oldham Athletic which is where today's football bet foundered.

It is reputed to be the coldest football ground in England, and that's certainly how I remember it from a couple of visits many years ago.

Anyway, the Oldham v Colchester game was one of six matches I selected for an over 1.5 goals acca - which would have returned 7/2 had it been successful.

Colchester scored in the second minute, the goals duly arrived in all my other games and left me to wait half an hour for one more goal at Boundary Park, and of course it never came.

I mentioned in my last post that I wanted to get back into tennis trading, and I've placed a few tentative trades over the last couple of days.

I'm happy to report that I have made a small profit, but that's incidental to the valuable experience I've gained from observing and venturing into the markets again.

There's no substitute for hard cash when it comes to learning how to trade, and even though the amounts involved have been small, I have already learnt a great deal just from taking a few positions in the market.

I'm pretty busy weekdays most of the time but looking at the schedules for the ATP and WTA for the next few weeks, there should be plenty of evening action for me to get my teeth into and hopefully start making some progress.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Well that was fun...

So just one, very late, goal in the two games I picked out tonight and the first losing bet I've had in this little bankroll challenge.

As I said before, just having a play around in the markets at the minute but I'll be looking for other opportunities in the football as I go along.

I also want to get back into the racing again - this is always an exciting time of the year with the Cheltenham Festival only a month away now.

It's been a while since I made the trip down there for a day out so I might well do that this year - however I won't using the same stakes as I used to in festivals gone by ! It's quite amazing what I used to do when I look back.

Tennis trading is another thing I've looked at in the last couple of years - I did get quite into it for a while. I certainly saw a lot of potential for trading tennis, and I'm looking forward to having another crack at it.

There's a load of other stuff I can take a look at - I used to love betting on the golf for example, but all in good time.

It's good to be back.