No luck with Brando in the Clipper Stakes. He travelled powerfully in the first half of the race before going out like a light. He’s much better than that and you’d think something may have been amiss. ITV showed a good angle of Tom Eaves looking down at the horse after he knew the race was over, and he looked as equally bemused as we were by his run. Anyway, onto Day 2 of the Dante meeting. The soft ground is a real issue as it does make it a lot more unpredictable, so I’ll just be having the one bet again. 

3.30 – Betfred Dante Stakes (Group 2) – 1m 2f 56y

The Derby market is just waiting for something to come and establish itself, and we may get that here in what is traditionally the top trial for the Epsom Classic, the Guineas aside. Heading the market is the Frankel colt, Cracksman. Now he’s going to be popular with punters, and despite being a big fan of the Frankels, there’s just something about Cracksman I don’t really like. I think he’s only the price he is for the Derby because of the fact he’s got the same connections as Golden Horn. I think the general 7/1 is a bit ridiculous. I’ll lay anyone 10/1, simply DM me if you want it. His owner even said earlier in the week that he has doubts over whether he’s good enough to even win this Dante. Never mind the Derby! Second in the betting has been subject to a “massive gamble” in the past week for both this race and the Derby, Sir Michael Stoute’s Crystal Ocean. I can’t have him at all. This supposed massive gamble is all bookie PR spin with mugs still jumping on him at his current joke of a price at 14/1 for the Derby. I can understand people throwing a speculative dart at him at 50s or 33s, but 14/1 is ridiculous. Whilst I don’t doubt there has been money around for him, I’m certain that it is not of the seismic proportions that the bookies are telling us. There seems to be one of these gambles on a SMS horse for the Oaks or Derby every year, and this is just the latest in a long line. If you’re backing him at 14/1, you deserve to lose the lot. And his price for this race is just as bad. Now of course, he might win, but how he can he half the price of Rekindling, the Ballysax winner who beat the 3 Ballydoyle horses that were 1-2-3 in the Derrinstown I just have no idea. He’s very easily passed over, and the one I like is the aforementioned Rekindling. Now his 2yo form was nothing special when with David Wachman, but he won that Ballysax well, beating 3 decent horses in Capri, Yucatan and Douglas Macarthur. That was on good to yielding which is basically soft in Ireland, so the underfoot conditions should be no problem, and I think he’ll go well here. 

Selection: Rekindling 7/1 EW (Bet365)



No luck with Buzz the other day. He stumbled coming round the top bend and its game over after that. We can put a line straight through that run and he should still be a decent price next time. He remains one to follow. One for me on Day 1 of the Dante meeting. It looks a tricky day in all honesty so I’m not going in hard. Hopefully the other 2 days might prove to be a bit more punter friendly. 


3.30 – Duke Of York Clipper Logistics Stakes (Group 2) – 6f

It’s a good field we’ve got for this year’s renewal, with the 1-2-3 in last year’s Champion Sprint all reapposing. The winner of that, The Tin Man, is the top rated in the field, but carries a penalty for that win on Champions Day at Ascot. Whilst it’s not impossible to win under a G1 penalty, like Marsha proved in the Palace House, it’s a big ask when he only has 1lb in hand on ORs, with a few more not far behind. Growl was 2nd in that Champions Sprint, and whilst I don’t want to go as far to say it was a fluke, there’s no way he was the 2nd best horse in that race, or even this race for that matter. Instead, I like the horse that was a short head behind him in 3rd, Brando. He won the Ayr Gold Cup last year off 9st10 (beat Growl 1 1/4 lengths conceding 9lb), and you’ve got to be a serious horse to do that. Since finishing 2nd at this meeting last year off a mark of 97, he’s finished 2nd in the Wokingham, won the Coral Charge, finished 2nd in the Sapphire Stakes, won the Ayr Gold Cup off top weight before the aforementioned 3rd in the Champion Sprint. That rapid progression saw him end the season rated 116, which is a huge amount to find in just one season. That rating puts him clear of this field once The Tin Man’s penalty is factored in. He’s also had the benefit of having already ran this season too, unlike most of the other main contenders. That was when running down Ornate in the Abernant on ground that was plenty quick enough for him. So he comes into this fit, is highly progressive, is top rated on weight adjusted ratings and with the ground expected to suit (rain due). What’s not to like? I expect him to win this before lining up in all the major Group 1 sprints this season. And if he keeps improving, then I think he may win one of those. 

Selection: Brando 10/3 (Coral)



I’ve had a few days or so off the blog now, as I just fancied a little break from writing. But I did put up Tisbutadream (won at 11/1) and Sobetsu (won at 20/1) on twitter so I hope some of you followed me in on those. They won’t count towards monthly P/L though as they weren’t on the blog. One bet for me on what is actually a half decent days racing by Monday standards. 


5.50 – Sky Bet Top Price Promise Handicap – 1m 2f

One straight out of the tracker here in the shape of Buzz, who makes his handicap debut from a mark of 78. He was twice raced as a 2yo, first finishing 5th on debut in what looked a decent enough race won by Big Challenge. He travelled well enough in the first half of the race, but was outpaced before staying on. That was a decent enough debut, but he stepped up on that to score on his next start, in a mile maiden at Kempton. He again stayed on well that day and recorded a fairly taking 2 3/4 length victory. Judging by his pedigree, this extra 2 furlongs here is sure to suit, and that was certainly the impression he gave on both starts as a 2yo. His mark of 78 seems fair enough and I think he’ll go well here. 

Selection: Buzz 14/1 EW (Bet365)



Sunday was another decent day, with Frontiersman winning easily at 6/1. Intricately was disappointed in the Guineas though. Joseph O’Brien said he’s not even sure why she ran so badly, but it’s still been a good start to the month so it’s not the end of the world. It’s the start of Chester’s 3 day May Festival, and with it being my local track I’ll be there every day. Will be doing most of my punting on course which will be posted on twitter, but my main fancies will be on here the night before. Just the one on the first day. 


3.35 – Chester Cup Handicap – 2m 2f 140y

I did a little bit of research into the impact of the draw bias in the recent history of this race, and whilst 8 of the last 10 winners were drawn 11 or lower, going by that stat it not game over if drawn high. That means those drawn 12 and upwards have accounted for 20% of the winners from 35.2% of the runners. So whilst you’d prefer to be drawn low, it is not impossible to win from a wide draw. Now it is a bit of a minefield and if it wasn’t the Chester Cup, I’d leave the race alone, but the one I like is Who Dares Wins. Of the last 10 winners, 5 had their most recent start over hurdles. Who Dares Wins last ran in the Coral Cup, where he ran a cracker to finish 3rd. 5 of the last 10 winners had also been to Chester before. Who Dares Wins pissed up here last summer, so we know the tight track is no issue. He’s drawn well in 7 (effectively 5 as the reserves don’t run), and with the cheekpieces going back on, I’m expecting a big run. 

Selection: Who Dares Wins 7/1 EW (General)


7/4/17 – 1000 Guineas Day

Very pleased with how yesterday went, so it’s been a good start to the month. Goldream ran a big a race to finish 3rd at 20/1 (small R4), but I’m delighted with Churchill. All I saw and heard all day was negative after negative about him. I was very boisterous about him on here so could have ended up with my pants down, but thankfully all went to plan. Doubt Aidan O’Brien at your peril. Son Of The Stars could have made it a great day, but somehow got beat in the last by a head. I’m in no doubt he was the best horse in that race. Anyway, hopefully we can have another good day with 2 at HQ. 


1.50 – Qatar Racing Handicap – 1m 4f

Big Country of course deserves to he fav after his romp at Kempton last time and even his 10lb rise looks slightly lenient. The 2nd that day, Wild Hacked, has come out and won a good pot since so there’s a good case to he made for him, but I like the chances of Frontiersman for Charlie Appleby. He made a mockery of his mark of 90 when winning here in September, scoring by 4 1/2 lengths, so we know he at least handles the track. His comeback run in a conditions race at Doncaster was a big eye catcher. On the face of it, being beat 5 1/4 lengths is hardly a good effort, but he and Muntahaa slit each other’s throats a long way from home and left themselves with absolutely no chance. He only finished around 1 1/2 lengths behind Muntahaa, who has since boosted that form by winning the John Porter a couple of weeks ago, and is now rated 113. With Frontiersman only rated 101 and having only had the 6 runs, I think he’s got 6-7lb in hand off that mark and I think he’s a cracking EW bet. 

Selection: Frontiersman 6/1 EW (Stan James)

3.35 – QIPCO 1000 Guineas Stakes (Group 1) – 1m

This looks a little more open than the 2000, but not a whole lot. Rhododendron is clearly the standout, and has the best form in the race by a fair way on account of her Fillies’ Mile win here in October. She comes into this with similar credentials to Churchill did in the colts’ equivalent; no prep run and clear superior form after a win here at the back end of last season. I wonder why those who doubted Churchill for having not had a prep have suddenly gone quiet? The market has not missed that though, and after Churchill’s win she has shortened into 6/4. Now given her credentials are almost ideal to Churchill’s, and that she arguably has more in hand on form than he did, you could argue that 6/4 is value. And I’d tend to agree. But I put up a 24/1 treble of Seventh Heaven, Churchill and Rhododendron on Wednesday night, so I might as well back something else here. I don’t think Hydrangea will be too far away, but I can’t see how she can beat Rhododendron in this. Whilst Winter has been heavily backed, and will run well, I’d be surprised if she’s better than Rhododendron. I do like Daban, but I don’t think the Nell Gwyn was all that good. It’d obviously be some story if Fair Eva provided Frankel with his first Classic winner, but that won’t be happening here. Talaayeb looks a lovely prospect, but she’d have to be exceptional to win this having only ran the once. So I ended up with Intricately. Now her form ties in with that of Rhododendron and Hydrangea, having beaten the pair of them in the Moyglare. Rhododendron wasn’t at her best that day, but that’s still a very good piece of form. She was poor at the Breeders Cup, but that can easily be forgiven. Plenty over the years haven’t enjoyed the trip over the Atlantic, and plenty more will be the same in the future. Her comeback in the trial Hydrangea won (Winter 2nd) was a really nice reappearance. She was nowhere near fully fit there, wasn’t knocked about at all by Donnacha, carried a 3lb penalty for her Moyglare win and was still only beaten around 2 lengths into 4th. The form of that is good too, with Rehana having pissed up in a Group 3 on Monday. So whilst I think Rhododendron will more than likely win, I think Intricately is most certainly the EW play, having beaten her last year. I’ll probably also have a small combo tricast on the 4 O’Brien horses (Rhododendron, Hydrangea, Winter and Intricately) for a bit of fun. 

Selection: Intricately 14/1 EW (Bet365)


6/4/17 – 2000 Guineas Day

Had a few days off after Rehana absolutely pissed in for us on Monday. I did promise I’d post April’s P/L on the next blog but I’ve been busy so will post on Twitter instead at some point over the weekend. This is probably my favourite weekend of the flat season, and I’ll have a fair few bets for it as well. 


2.20 – Longholes Palace House Stakes (Group 3) – 5f

The one I like at a big price in here is Goldream. He loves it at Newmarket, having won at this very meeting twice (including this race in 2015). He also goes well fresh, and whilst he was disappointing last season, it took him a long time to get over his trip to Dubai. He stayed at home this winter so that isn’t an issue this year. The faster the ground, the better, so he’ll relish the rattling quick ground and I think he’s a huge price. Robert Cowell has started the season quite well and I think with him getting his ideal conditions, he can run a huge race. 

Selection: Goldream 20/1 EW (SkyBet/Hills)

3.35 – QIPCO 2000 Guineas Stakes (Group 1) – 1m

Well we’ve got a small but select field this year, but it’s still an incredibly fascinating race. It should really be between the top 4 in the market, so I’ll focus on those. We have 3 major trial winners in Barney Roy, Eminent and Al Wukair. Barney Roy won the Greenham well in the end, but despite backing him that day, I’m not overly convinced by that win. To me, 3f out he was in major trouble with the reopposing Dream Castle absolutely cruising along out in front, before Barney Roy really turned it on late on. But Dream Castle was a non-stayer in my eye, and was very keen in the first half of the race. If he’d have settled better, I think he’d have had every chance of beating Barney Roy. Now there’s no doubting this step back up to 1m will suit Barney Roy, but you could say all he’s beaten is a clear non-stayer, although a very good one at that. I am a bit surprised Dream Castle has turned up here though. Surely a Commonwealth Cup campaign is the logical option? Al Wukair was rather impressive in the Djebel when swooping from back to front to beat National Defense. Fabre speaks of him like he’s the second coming, and whilst it’s usually wise to listen to him, I’m going to do the exact opposite. Now I could be very, very wrong, but I think he’s been incredibly overhyped. Yes he’s beaten a Group 1 winner in National Defense, but it was a poor Group 1 he won, and National Defense’s trainer, Head-Maarek, had said beforehand that he’d significantly improve for the run. So in effect he’s beaten an unfit horse who won a poor Group 1. He also seeemed to get a bit outpaced that day too, which he certainly can’t afford to do here. Not to mention the fast ground. As a son of Dream Ahead, the chances are he won’t like it. Now of course he could be anything, but from what I’ve seen I can’t have him. Of the 3 trial winners, I prefer Eminent, the Craven winner. Now he’s definitely going to need further in time. If he wins this he’s going to be a superstar because I don’t think he’s hitting top gear even at the line over a mile. But with a couple of pacemakers in here, there’s a chance they may just go quick enough for him to come with a late run. Obviously a small field doesn’t guarantee that, but if they do go a pace from the off, I don’t think he’ll be too far away. But you just get the feeling he’s going to get outpaced coming down the dip, and just not quite having enough time to recover. He’s a serious horse though, as being a Frankel I’d have loved him to win…had I not backed something else. Anyway, enough with those lot, let’s get onto the winner, Sir Winston. Now there’s nothing not to like about Churchill. He’s done everything asked of him. He never wins by far they say. That’s just the way he is, he’s never going to win by far, but he still gets the job done. He’s not beaten anything they say. Well let’s take the Dewhurst. The 2nd, Lancaster Bomber, has since finished 2nd in the Breeders Cup Juvenile and 4th in the UAE Derby (on dirt). The 3rd, Blue Point, was impressive in beating Harry Angel in the Pavilion the other day, and only Caravaggio is seen as a more likely winner of the Commonwealth Cup by the layers. The 4th, Thunder Snow, has since won the Group 1 Criterium International at Saint Cloud by 5 lengths, the UAE 2000 Guineas and the UAE Derby, and has been sent Stateside for the Kentucky Derby. The 5th, Rivet, went on to win the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy. So all those saying the his form isn’t up to much are chatting utter shite. That Dewhurst form is bombproof. They also say he won’t win because he hasn’t ran this season, which again is chatting shit. Of course, there is the possibility that he may not win. But not running in a trial will not be the reason for that. Aidan O’Brien does this time and time again. He doesn’t often run his best horses in Guineas trials. Well I say that, Churchill has actually ran in the best trial there is, the Ballydoyle 2000 Guineas Trial. So he has ran in a trial, we just haven’t seen it. They also claim he’s the next Air Force Blue, which is utter bollocks. Air Force Blue is a War Front, they don’t train on. Churchill is by Galileo, they do train on. So that’s the end of that one. In short, I can’t see how Churchill gets beat. He’s got the pace, the trip is absolutely fine and a pacemaker will give him a lead into the race. He’s a machine and he wins this. 

Selection: Churchill 13/8 (Advised on Wednesday) 

5.20 – QIPCO Racing Welfare Handicap – 1m

Now this is probably one of the worst write ups I’ll ever do, but I just think Son Of The Stars is a good thing in this. His win at Chelmsford left a huge impression on me and he’s only been given a mark of 89. I’m in no doubt he’s a Group class colt and I’d be surprised if he can’t win this. 

Selection: Son Of The Stars 7/4 (BetVictor)



Another month over, so I’ll post the P/L for April in the next blog once I’ve had the chance to work it out. Just the one for today over in Ireland. 


4.30 – Canford Cliffs Irish EBF Athasi Stakes (Group 3) – 7f

Not a bad little race, but the one I like is Rehana. She was a good 2yo, having beaten Rhododendron before not being beaten far in both the Moyglare and the Debutante. She made a decent reappearance a few weeks ago when finishing a length 3rd to Hydrangea. She just seemed to tire in the last 1/2 furlong that day, and that should have blown away the cobwebs. Her trainer Mick Halford says she’ll relish the fast ground, so a big run is expected. She’s still entered in Classics on both sides of the Irish Sea, so if she’s going to be taking up engagements there she needs to be winning this, which I expect her to do. 

Selection: Rehana 9/4 (Betfair/Bet365)