Archive for the ‘ Betfair ’ Category

30 Sep
2016

No Need To ‘Er’ On The Side Of Caution

Superb racing is the order of the day wherever you look this weekend, one which encompasses the Arc at its temporary home at Chantilly, plus valuable domestic cards at Ascot and Newmarket.

The latter of those features the highly enticing Group 1 Sun Chariot Stakes, the £250,000 fillies and mares mile contest, set to be run at 4.00pm on Saturday.

A field of nine includes visitors from France and South Africa, with the three strong Gallic contingent headed by Jean-Claude Rouget’s three-time Group 1 scorer, Ervedya.

Aided by the fitting of a first-time pair of sheepskin cheekpieces, she returns to racing against her own sex for the first time this season, looking to build on solid efforts at Royal Ascot and Deauville.

Rouget has been successful with three of his last five runners at home, and British and Irish punters are also familiar with his skills, as the Sun Chariot falls just three weeks after his Almanzor turned on the style to win Leopardstown’s Irish Champion Stakes.

Ervedya is overdue a win this season, and she can see off her compatriots as well as Aidan O’Brien’s talented but inconsistent Alice Springs.

Meanwhile, they go over the sticks at Fontwell, where the ultra-consistent, front-runner, Gowanauthat, might be able to bag another win for the Charlie Mann/Harry Bannister combination.

Top weight won’t make it easy for the horse who saw his five race winning spree ended at Worcester eight days ago, but even then he ran a gallant race to be second, and he continues to thrive on his racing.

His winning run might not have too much juice left in it, but this small field looks ideal for a horse who likes to try and boss affairs, and coming up against three rivals returning from a layoff this might be a shrewd choice of race (3.30pm).

Former course and distance winner, Gowanauthat, is 9/4 with the Betfair Sportsbook.

Lastly, Fontwell’s 2m 5f conditional jockeys’ handicap chase (4.40pm) looks a great opportunity for a young rider to achieve a career milestone, with in-form trainer Neil Mulholland giving young Jordan Canavan a fine chance aboard Highbury High.

Up six pounds for his win at Warwick 11 days ago, this gives him a solid chance to record back-to-back wins, and in doing so get his novice rider up and running.

Chief market rival Unify looks worth taking on, appearing under a penalty just four days after winning.

Good luck!

Saturday’s best bets:

3.30 Fontwell – Southern Water Handicap Chase – 1 Gowanauthat (win) @ 9/4 (Betfair Sportsbook)

4.00 Newmarket – Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes – 3 Ervedya (win) @ 4/1 (bet365, BetVictor, Betway, Hills or Ladbrokes)

4.40 Fontwell – Cappagh Utilities Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Chase – 1 Highbury High (win) @ 2/1 (BetVictor)

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Posted 4 months, 3 weeks ago

02 Sep
2016

Sprint Cup Highlights Competitive Haydock Card

No Tom I’m afraid this week folks so you’ve got me, Russell Palmer from the Betting Directory as I bid to ably deputise as Tom tops up his tan on holiday.

It’s a pretty competitive day looking across the cards, with the highlight the 32Red Sprint Cup at Haydock (4.30pm). Limato is the short priced favourite and with good reason following his win in the July Cup earlier in the Summer and the second place last time out behind Mecca’s Angel in the Nunthorpe.

There was no disgrace in finishing second that day and his form is better than any in Saturday’s field. However, with forecast rain on its way to Haydock the four year old’s participation could be up in the air, so I’ve picked out a couple of each -way chances as insurance.

The form of the July Cup is key here as I like the second and third home that day to go well again on Saturday.

The filly Quiet Reflection has been hugely impressive this season, winning the Group 2 Sandy Lane here in May by three and three quarter lengths. A win in the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot followed and she was third at Newmarket last time. She gets a fillies allowance here, goes on any ground if there is to be a change in the going and arrives fresh. The Henry Candy trained filly can be backed each-way at 11/2 with Coral.

The horse who finished between Limato and Quiet Reflection in second at Newmarket was Suedois who represents real value here at 14/1.

If we’re backing Quiet Reflection then Suedois should also be considered. The David O’Meara trained five year old has four pounds in hand on Quiet Reflection from that July Cup run due to the weight for age allowance and I can’t for the life of me see why he’d be a double figure price amongst this field.

Earlier in the card I like the look of Hathal trained by William Haggas in the Superior Mile (3.00pm). I backed Yorker trained by Haggas in the Strensall Stakes a few weeks ago at York, a horse that had come back following a long lay off and the trainer has a knack with horses such as these with Hathal running for the first time in a year.

The four year old was improving last year winning a Listed race at Newbury before the lay-off. The Haggas yard is in absolutely scorching form with his last 38 runners yielding 20 who have finished either first or second. At 7/1 with Paddy Power and Betfair it looks a cracking each-way bet.

Tom will be back next week, good luck with Saturday’s bets!

Saturday’s Best Bets:

3.00pm Haydock – Superior Mile – Hathal (each-way) 7/1 (Paddy Power and Betfair)

4.30pm Haydock – 32Red Sprint Cup – Quiet Reflection (each-way) 11/2 (Coral) and Suedois (each-way)  14/1 (Various)

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Posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago

11 Apr
2015

2015 Grand National Preview

1. Lord Windermere
Top rated on 161, the 2014 Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup winner looked on his way back to that level of form when finishing a creditable third in the Irish Hennessy at Leopardstown in February. However, he was dismal in the Gold Cup 29 days ago, and is therefore impossible to recommend under top weight.

2. Many Clouds
One of the stories of the season, his progress has been a pleasure to watch. A win at Carlisle was followed by a fluent success in the Hennessy, before heading to Cheltenham in January where he bagged the BetBright Cup. Deep down though, I would love to know if trainer Oliver Sherwood would like to run here, or save him for the 2015/16 campaign? Either way, this is a race his owner Trevor Hemmings quite understandably loves to target, and he’s a confirmed starter. Certainly has the class to have a say, but faster ground than ideal may be his undoing. Has the assistance of last year’s winning rider Leighton Aspell in the saddle.

3. Unioniste
Third in Newbury’s Denman Chase behind subsequent Gold Cup hero Coneygree last time we saw him, this seven-year-old is really tough, and operates on any ground. His season has consisted of a sixth behind Many Clouds in the Hennessy, a win at Sandown Park, and that aforementioned run at Newbury. Has plenty of experience despite being just seven years of age.

4. Rocky Creek
Like Unioniste is trained by bang in form Paul Nicholls, and brings very strong credentials to the table. Fifth in this race off a 2lbs higher mark in 2014, he comes here fresh off the back of a 49-day break since his win in the old Racing Post Chase at Kempton Park. Also second in a Grade 1 at Down Royal this season. Major form contender.

5. First Lieutenant
Ridden by the excellent Nina Carberry, fresh from her Foxhunter win on On The Fringe, this horse has been second or third 13 times in his 23 chase starts. A Cheltenham Festival winner in 2011, he is without a victory since taking the Betfred Bowl in 2013. This will be a very different examination to the single figure fields he normally finds himself in.

6. Balthazar King
Hard not to be excited by this horse’s chances. The sunny weather and decent ground seem to bring out the best in him, he’s ultra-consistent and stays all day long. Had a sighter when 15th in 2013, but came of age in this race 12 months ago, following up his Cross Country win at the Festival with a fine second off a mark of 146. Trainer Philip Hobbs couldn’t be certain it wasn’t those same Cheltenham exploits that took the edge off him and ultimately cost him victory that day, so this time around he has swerved the Cotswolds to be cherry ripe for the big day in Liverpool. He’ll need to be sharp as he’s three pounds higher (153), but granted luck in running he looks a major player.

7. Shutthefrontdoor
The Champ AP McCoy’s final ride in the race (and possibly his last ever if he wins!), and a last chance to add to his 2010 win on Don’t Push It. On an identical mark to Balthazar King, he is going to be the falsest of false prices due to the hysteria regarding his rider’s retirement, but the horse doesn’t know his price! Terrible value aside, he’s a stout stayer who powered home to win the Irish National at Fairyhouse 12 months ago. Only seen out once this season, when scoring easily at Carlisle pre-Christmas. Goes on any ground.

8. Pineau De Re
Catapulted his genius trainer Dr Richard Newland into the spotlight 12 months ago, when taking this at 25/1 under Leighton Aspell. It’s Daryl Jacob in the saddle this time around and he’s racing off a mark 151 instead of 143. Down the field in his prep run – the Pertemps at the Festival – as opposed to third in 2014. May have had his day in the sun.

9. Ballycasey
Demands plenty of respect, if only because he’s the sole representative from the all-conquering Willie Mullis stable, and has Ruby Walsh on board. A winner at Gowran Park in November, he was pulled up in the Ryanair Chase last time out.

10. Spring Heeled
Stablemate of top weight Lord Windermere, like him he also won at the 2014 Cheltenham Festival, taking the Kim Muir. Tough stayer who handles quicker ground, since his last win he’s been fifth in the 3m 5f bet365 Gold Cup, fourth in the Galway Plate, plus fourth in Fairyhouse’s Grade 2 Bobbyjo Chase. Stable having a tough time.

11. Rebel Rebellion
A third string to Paul Nicholls’ bow, Ryan Mahon takes the ride. Huge question mark about his stamina as he has been mainly campaigned at two and a half miles, but handled these fences okay when fifth in December’s Grand Sefton. Arrives in form after winning at Newbury last time out.

12. Dolatulo
Ex-Paul Nicholls horse, now with rising star Warren Greatrex. Sent off favourite for the Grand Sefton over these fences in December, but could finish only eighth. Better when taking Wetherby’s Rowland Meyrick at Christmas time. Campaigned over hurdles since.

13. Mon Parrain
A fourth string to Paul Nicholls’ bow, top conditional Sean Bowen takes the mount (but cannot use his claim). Second in the Topham of 2011, he perhaps hasn’t fulfilled his early promise. Well beaten off this mark of 148 when last seen in Doncaster’s Grimthorpe Chase, but did pop up in first time blinkers to win at Cheltenham on January 1st under this rider. Unsurprisingly the blinkers are retained.

14. Carlito Brigante – NON RUNNER
A 16/1 winner of the Coral Cup for Gordon Elliott back in 2011, this lad finds himself rated 147 nowadays after a 12 months which has yielded an excellent second in Uttoxeter’s Summer Cup, plus a wide margin win at Kelso in October.

15. Night In Milan
A first taste of the big fences for a horse who loves Doncaster, as his third place finishes this season in both the SkyBet and Grimthorpe Chases suggests.

16. Rubi Light
Third in the Ryanair of 2011 and fifth in the same race in 2012, his only previous UK starts. A field of 16 is the biggest he’s ever experienced in Ireland, so an new assignment. Comes here bang in form though, and on a hat-trick after Soft ground wins at Thurles and Wexford.

17. The Druids Nephew
At only 34, trainer Neil Mulholland is creating massive impression in his field, and a win with this horse at last month’s Cheltenham Festival only re-enforced that notion. A strong traveller who jumps well in the main and handles decent ground, he can certainly play a part with Aidan Coleman booked to ride.

18. Cause Of Causes
It was Silver Birch back in 2007 that announced trainer Gordon Elliott’s arrival into the big time, and he hasn’t looked back since, including when winning the four miler with Cause Of Causes at last month’s Cheltenham Festival. An extremely tough horse who has also previously been second in both a Leopardstown Paddy Power Chase and a Kim Muir, my one abiding concern would be his jumping. Top amateur Jamie Codd had to survive a few hairy moments early on at Cheltenham, and over these fences Paul Carberry will have to be at his best. If he is then expect a mighty run.

19. Godsmejudge
A thorough stayer, this horse has bags of marathon chase form on his cv, including a second in Warwick’s Classic Chase, a third in the Cheltenham four miler, a win and a second in the last two runnings of the Scottish Grand National, plus a third in the bet365 Gold Cup. Has had a very quiet season and was never sighted over hurdles at Bangor last time (worse than expected), but could bounce back. Has long had this race as his aim, and the better ground will be a bonus.

20. Al Co
Popped up at 40/1 off a mark of 140 under the sidelined Jamie Moore to take last April’s Scottish National. It’s Denis O’Regan who’ll be on board this time, as this talented but unpredictable horse tries to cope with a mark of 145 on his first spin over the big obstacles.

21. Monbeg Dude
A raft of big race experience, including a creditable seventh in this race 12 months ago when he might have got closer but for a couple of blunders. Has to be a negative that Paul Carberry prefers Cause Of Causes, but even so this horse has been there and done it, with a cv that boasts a win and a fourth in the Welsh National, two thirds in the Haydock Grand National Trial, plus a fourth in the Hennessy. Lively outsider for an excellent stable.

22. Corrin Wood
Three from seven over fences but very disappointing when last seen in Haydock’s Peter Marsh Chase back in January. Never run in a field bigger than 17, and that was in his bumper days.

23. The Rainbow Hunter
Season to date has yielded 57 winners for The Rainbow Hunter’s trainer Kim Bailey, and he’ll be hoping for a big run from the 2014 Sky Bet Chase winner. However, he blundered and unseated at the first Valentines a year ago, and a clear round will be the first priority. Pulled up tamely in the BetBright Chase on his only subsequent appearance.

24. Saint Are
Obvious stamina doubt about a horse who was ninth in this two years ago. Albeit on Soft ground, he faded into a distant third over 3m 3f at Cheltenham pre-Christmas, but goes well over these fences as his third to the old boy Oscar Time in December’s Becher Chase suggests. Arrives here off the back of an authoritative win at Catterick in February.

25. Across The Bay
Trained, like Corrin Wood, by Donald McCain, this horse has met all sorts of trouble in running when finishing 14th two years on the bounce. Has some good form in the book but tough to fancy on his most recent efforts.

26. Tranquil Sea
Ex-Edward O’Grady inmate, now in the care of Warren Greatrex (also runs Dolatulo). Is 13 years young now and didn’t shape as if he was a National winner waiting to happen on sole appearance this season.

27. Oscar Time
At 14 the oldest horse in the field. Coming into this season the vibes were that he wouldn’t be asked to attempt this race again, but after he gamely fended off 24 rivals to win the Betfred Becher Chase back over the big fences back in December that was hastily re-assessed. Second off a 3lb higher mark in 2011, fourth off a 3lb higher mark in 2013, his amateur rider Sam Waley-Cohen riders these fences as well as anyone. Despite his advancing years he could be a live contender to pick up more place money.

28. Bob Ford
Powered through the mud at Ffos Las to win the West Wales National in attritional conditions at the end of January, but either side of that run was pulled up Chepstow and Uttoxeter. On the plus side top Irish jockey Paul Townend has struck up a great partnership with trainer Rebecca Curtis.

29. Super Duty
Outstanding novice over hurdles and fences for Donald McCain, but injuries affected his progress and is now with Ian Williams, for whom he hasn’t sparked yet in two starts over fences. Got within a whisker of winning the 2013 Kim Muir, but difficult to recommend based on more recent evidence.

30. Wyck Hill
Has completed over these fences, finishing ninth in the 2013 Becher Chase. Also has stamina to burn, as proven by his win in the 4m 1f Betfred Eider Chase in February 2014 (on Heavy ground). Fell when trying to win the same race for a second time last time out, but not too many miles on the clock and Tom Cannon a good booking in the saddle for this lightly weighted contender.

31. Gas Line Boy
A second runner for Philip Hobbs, and a horse who was in blistering form before Christmas, winning races at Exeter and Haydock. Pulled up in the Welsh National though, and a well beaten fourth in the Grand National Trial at Haydock Park latest. Jumping has to be a concern.

32. Chance Du Roy
A third runner for Philip Hobbs, and a horse who loves the unique test posed by this course. Won the Becher Chase in December 2013, sixth in the National off a 2lb lower mark 12 months ago, and then fifth off this mark in the most recent renewal of the Becher. Each way claims for this streetwise 11-year-old.

33. Portrait King
Thorough stayer and effective on a range of ground. Won the 2012 Eider Chase at Newcastle (4m 1f), and was ninth in this year’s renewal. Prior to that run was second in Punchestown’s Grand National Trial, and has since opened the pipes with a spin over hurdles at Down Royal. Not without a squeak each way.

34. Owega Star
No win since October 2013 but no stranger to big field staying chases, having found only Balbriggan too hot to handle in Navan’s Troytown Chase back in November. Since then fifth in the valuable Paddy Power Handicap Chase at Leopardstown, and sixth in the Leinster National at Naas.

35. River Choice
The sole French-trained representative in this year’s field, he represents owner Fergus Wilson and trainer Richard Chotard, who is based in Picardie in northern France. Won a 2m 3f claimer at Enghien back in November, and warmed up with a run over hurdles at Fontainebleau. Rarely runs on anything other than Soft or Heavy going.

36. Court By Surprise
A first trip to Aintree for this hat-trick seeking son of Beneficial. Thorough stayer who was second in the 2013 London National at Sandown Park, and started off this season on a high note with a comprehensive win at Exeter. Scored an unusual victory at Wincanton in November, being promoted to first after the disqualification of The Young Master, who had finished seven lengths ahead of Emma Lavelle’s runner. Still a creditable run, and put away to protect his handicap mark in readiness for this test.

37. Alvarado
Jockey Paul Moloney rides these fences better than most, and got a great ride on this horse 12 months ago when finishing fourth. He’s a pound higher this time, but comes here a fresh horse having been seen out only once this time around. Stays all day and could improve on last year’s fantastic effort.

38. Soll
Has completed on both occasions he’s tackled these fences, firstly when finishing seventh behind Auroras Encore in this race in 2013, and then when managing 11th in the Topham a year ago. Comes into this race in a rich vein of form after victories at Exeter and Newbury.

39. Ely Brown
Quality hurdler a couple of years ago, but lacks experience over fences, with only four career starts to date. Two of those have yielded wins, but in small fields at Leicester and Wetherby. Out of sorts last time we saw him in January.

40. Royale Knight
As well as last year’s winner Pineau De Re there could be another big contender for a repeat win for the Worcestershire stable of Dr Richard Newland, with Royale Knight sneaking into the race by the width of a fine coat of paint. He isn’t without a shout either, having been campaigned over hurdles since his easy win in Sedgefield’s Durham National back in October.

Good luck!

4.15 Aintree – Crabbie’s Grand National – 6 Balthazar King (each way) @ 10/1 Betfair

4.15 Aintree – Crabbie’s Grand National – 30 Wyck Hill (each way) @ 66/1 (BetVictor n.b. 6 places)

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Posted 1 year, 10 months ago

03 Apr
2014

A Day In Lieu At Aintree‏

The three-day Grand National meeting whirrs into life this afternoon, with a top heavy card laden with four Grade 1’s guaranteed to pull in the crowds.

They may be only three weeks apart, but there’s a knowledgeable, earthy, working man’s feel to large elements of the boisterous Aintree crowd, in distinct contrast to the corduroy-clad masses that populate Cheltenham in mid-March.

Both love their racing and are treated to sport of the very highest standard, but definitely it’s tan-tastic as opposed to tweed-tastic where the locals are concerned.

As for the equine population, the big question is whether a healthy glow will be emanating from those horses that took part at Cheltenham, or will the Festival have left a stain?

That’s the teaser for punters, and in today’s 3m 1f Betfred Bowl at 2.30pm it could pay to side with last year’s winner First Lieutenant to get the job done once again.

Placed in 14 of his last 15 outings, he doesn’t win very often, but that’s a reflection of his connections’ determination to dine at the top table.

Aside from seeing off the re-opposing duo of Menorah and Silviniaco Conti on this day in 2013, he’s been second in the last two runnings of the Lexus Chase, second in a Ryanair at the Cheltenham Festival, third in a Punchestown Gold Cup, as well as third in an Irish Hennessy.

Lying in wait this afternoon are King George winner Silviniaco Conti, plus Ryanair winner Dynaste, but both are shorter than First Lieutenant in the market, and both had hard races at Cheltenham.

He’s a top, top horse when he puts it all together, and his freshness could be the edge.

Favourites have a poor record in the Betferd Bowl (five successful since 1984), and allied to that I like the idea of history repeating itself – First Lieutenant is 100/30 with any of bet365, Ladbrokes or William Hill to win this race for the second time.

At significantly bigger odds the Rebecca Curtis-trained Agreement could be worth a nibble each way in the opening Grade 1 Four-Year-Old Hurdle (2.00pm).

Triumph Hurdle third, fourth and eighth Guitar Pete, Calipto and Broughton turn out again just 20 days after their Prestbury Park exertions, but the market has spoken in favour of the fresher horses in Activial (who scored in Kempton’s Adonis Hurdle in taking fashion), plus the 146-rated Nick Williams inmate Fox Norton.

Activial has been saved for this target, but it’s worth noting that Agreement was making his stable and hurdling debut for Rebecca Curtis when running down the field behind him in the Adonis (chance faded after hitting three out), and showed the benefit of that run when scoring easily at Stratford last time.

Formerly with Aidan O’Brien (for whom he won at Galway on the Flat), it’s interesting to see Rebecca Curtis let him take his chance here, and although he’s got to progress again it’s not impossible to envisage him making the frame at 66/1 with any of BetVictor, Betfair Fixed Odds or Stan James.

Finally on day one, there’s a chance that Emma Lavelle’s Fox Appeal may have been completely overlooked in the 2m 4f Manifesto Novices’ Chase at 4.50pm.

Today’s jolly Western Warhorse was an unconsidered 33/1 shot when popping up in the Arkle under an inspired ride from Tom Scudamore, but he had to battle very hard to see off Champagne Fever, and it’s impossible to say whether that race will have left its mark.

Oscar Whisky is a dual Aintree Hurdle winner and must be a massive danger if he can return to the form of his novice chase wins at Cheltenham twice and Sandown, especially as he may well be fresh after falling at the first in the JLT at Cheltenham.

The question mark for him is whether he’s good enough in the air, and that could let in the talented Fox Appeal at double figure odds.

His trainer still has her team in good form – won with Water Wagtail at Wincanton yesterday – in a season which has yielded a much improved 40 winners and a 21% strike rate with her chasers.

Fox Appeal has gained solid experience in five chase starts to date, winning at Ascot alongside a second in the Grade 2 Rising Stars Novices’ Chase at Wincanton, a third in the Lightning Novice at Doncaster, plus a narrow third in the Pendil at Kempton.

There’s no way he deserves to dismissed as the outsider of five, especially as he’s had a nice 40 day break, totally in contrast to his four rivals – all of whom lined up at Cheltenham.

Fox Appeal is a 10/1 poke with either Ladbrokes or Betfair Fixed Odds.

Good luck!

Thursday’s best bets at Aintree:

2.00 – IJF 50th Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle – 2 Agreement (each way) @ 66/1 (BetVictor, Betfair Sportsbook or Stan James)

2.30 – Betfred Bowl – 3 First Lieutenant (win) @ 100/30 (bet365, Ladbrokes or William Hill)

4.50 – Pinsent Masons Manifesto Novices’ Chase – 2 Fox Appeal (win) @ 10/1 (Ladbrokes or Betfair Sports book)

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Posted 2 years, 10 months ago

29 Mar
2014

Prince Could Be King On Dubai World Cup Night – Saturday’s Best Bets

We may be slap-bang in the middle of Cheltenham and Aintree, with the build up to next Saturday’s Grand National intensifying by the hour, but it’s a weekend with a twist as the National Hunt finds itself playing second fiddle to the Flat, with the small matter of the Lincoln at Doncaster welcoming in the start of the domestic campaign on the level, while further afield mega-bucks Meydan plays host the 27 million dollar Dubai World Cup card.

Something for everyone?

For sure, if like me you enjoy nothing better than trying to unravel some lower grade jump racing, made easier by the stars of that code staying in their stables to recuperate after the Festival, or conserve energy for forthcoming examinations at Ainree, Ayr, Fairyhouse and Punchestown.

Over £3.6m goes to the winner of the Dubai World Cup, while just hours earlier a somewhat more pedestrian £2,599 is on offer to the connections of the horse able to put his head in front in Stratford’s 2m 3f Selling Hurdle at 3.05pm.

One horse who has proved highly adept at doing exactly that at this lowly level in recent times is Michael Blake’s Stow, a nine-year-old chestnut who has been around the houses in terms of trainers – Hughie Morrison, Venetia Williams, Rebecca Curtis (twice) and Claire Dyson have all counted Stow within their ranks at one point or another – but seems to have found a happy resting place at his current handler’s Trowbridge, Wiltshire HQ.

Blake picked him up just over a year ago, and after three runs in higher level handicaps (mixing hurdles and fences), chose to aim his sights at the bottom rung of the ladder, a move which has borne fruit and then some…

Running exclusively in sellers and partnered by Josh Wall on all six occasions, Stow’s form figures since that switch read 2,1,1,2,1,1.

They might not be the greatest contests in the world, but try telling that to his current owners, who’ve seen him carry their colours to victory at Leicester, Fakenham, and twice at Taunton.

The most recent came on Monday of this week, but he’s a horse who proved over Christmas and the New Year, when posting form figures of 1,1,2 in the space of 11 days that he can endure a couple of quick races.

He’s effective on a range of tracks and ground, and looks very much the one to beat in another weak contest.

It’s easy to forget these things, but Stow was considered good enough to run in the Triumph Hurdle back in 2009!

Sticking with Stratford, 35 minutes there’s a decent looking handicap hurdle to dissect, and the one I like is Jonjo O’Neill’s runner Get Back In Line.

This lightly-raced Milan six-year-old has only seen the racecourse four times to date, winning handily at Catterick back in February 2013, before making a big impression on his return to the track in November, when moving into contention menacingly in the red-hot listed Gerry Feilden Hurdle at Newbury, only to blunder and unseat Richie McLernon two from home when coming to deliver his challenge.

He couldn’t land a blow on Heavy ground at Ascot in January, but is open to plenty of progress and could well bounce back here.

A little further from home, the fourth running of the Dubai World Cup (6.05pm, live on Ch4) on Meydan’s controversial Tapeta surface could go the way of Saeed bin Suroor, Kieren Fallon and Prince Bishop.

A dual recent course and distance winner, most notably from stall one in the Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge three weeks ago, he looks a value play.

The likes of Ruler Of The World and Mukhadram have to try and overcome a stat which says all of the 10 most recent winners of this race had a prep run in the same calendar year, but Prince Bishop has had a perfect run in to this race and is in the form of his life.

The Al Maktoum Challenge is a key trial for this race, and it’s heartening to recall he overcame stall one that day.

Lastly, while we’re concentrating on events beyond the UK, keep an eye out for one of the most exciting young hurdlers out there, with the Willie Mullins’ inmate Un De Sceaux off to Auteuil to contest the Grade 3 Prix Hypothese.

They opted not to go down the Champion Hurdle route with him this year, but a return to his native France could yield a valuable pot (£50,000 to the winner), as Barry Geraghty steps in for the injured Ruby Walsh.

Good luck!

Saturday’s best bets:

3.05 Stratford – Bordeaux Undiscovered For A Good Tipple Selling Hurdle – 1 Stow (win) @ 7/4 with Bet365

3.40 Stratford – Bordeaux Undiscovered Claret Handicap Hurdle – 3 Get Back In Line (win) @ 3/1 with Paddy Power

6.05 Meydan – Dubai World Cup – 1 Prince Bishop (each way) @ 11/1 with Betfair

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Posted 2 years, 11 months ago

15 Mar
2011

2011 Cheltenham Festival Tips – Day One

After months of excitement and anticipation, the waiting is finally over, day one of the 2011 Cheltenham Festival is upon us and it’s time to get stuck in to finding a few winners. Throughout the week, Tom’s main daily column, which will preview each day’s racing together with his tips will feature on Betting Directory’s Cheltenham Festival sister site whilst a summary of his selections will appear on this site.

Read the full Day One Cheltenham Festival tips here.

Supreme Novices Hurdle

Spirit Son (each way) @ 5/1 with Paddy Power

Irish Independent Arkle Chase

Medermit to win at 3/1 with either Sportingbet or Betfair

Stewart Family Spinal Research Handicap Chase

Sunnyhill Boy (each way) @ 13/2 with Coral or 11/2 with Boylesports who will refund the win part of the bet if the selection finishes second. Bet365 and Paddy Power are 6/1 and are paying the first 5 places in their each way markets (Coral are only 4 places).

Stan James Champion Hurdle

Tom has been supremely confident about the chances of Peddlers Cross since November and even if you missed the 16/1 back then, he’s still advising a win bet on the Donald McCain horse at 4/1 with Paddy Power, Bet365 or William Hill. Victor Chandler have gone 9/2 stand out price on Tuesday morning.

David Nicholson Mares’s Hurdle

Quevega to win at Even money with William Hill.

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Posted 5 years, 11 months ago

17 Aug
2010

Tuesday’s York Tips

It’s a minefield of a card for the opening day of the Ebor meeting here in York, and with overnight rain further clouding the picture it may pay to tread carefully.

Let’s hope it’s fair to say good things come to those who wait, as Richard Fahey’s unexposed Honeymead lines up in the 6f Nursery at 4.05pm. There’s a big tip around for this Pivotal filly, and the word is she can score here having not been seen since Royal Ascot.

In the concluding Patrington Haven Leisure Park Handicap at 4.40pm I like one at a big price (each way), with Kevin Ryan’s Hanson’d the one to be on on ground, with this race a more realistic target.

He too is by Pivotal, and can make the frame in an open looking contest. Keiren Fallon was desperate to ride him, and he can reward his enthusiasm at generous odds.

Good luck!

Tuesday’s York tips:

4.05 – Sportingbet.com Nursery – 4 Honeymead (each way) @ 11/2 with Betfair

4.40 – Patrington Haven Leisure Park Handicap – 15 Hanson’d (each way) @ 20/1 with Ladbrokes

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Posted 6 years, 6 months ago

11 Jun
2010

A lay the way to play it as the World Cup gets underway

Mexico could well put a dampener on the hosts’ party as they take on South Africa in Johannesburg in the opening match of the 2010 World Cup later today (3pm ITV).

What concerns me though is the South Africans desperate will not to lose, and that could mean we see the Mexicans superior creativity stifled by a stout rearguard action, and for that reason I won’t be backing a Mexican victory at 13/8 (which I nonetheless rate as the most likely outcome).

Latest World Cup News, odds and scores

So often these opening matches can turn out to be a bit of a damp squib (and a bore draw), and with the Bafana Bafana likely to be well pleased with a point in front of a raucous crowd the safe way to try and kick things off is with a lay of the ‘home’ team at 2.98 on Betfair.

Mexico ought to find a way through – on paper they’re way better than the opposition, but in case it’s a shutout have the draw running for you as well and simply lay South Africa.

Scorecasts aren’t normally something that appeal to me, but I’ve had a cheeky throw away fiver on prolific Mexico frontman Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez to score first in a 1-1 draw at huge odds (40/1 with Bet365).

In the mouthwatering second game of the day I’ll be hitting the lay button once again as France take on an exciting looking Uruguay outfit.

The French have become such a big price some punters have begun backing them on the outright markets, but I’m happy to continue to oppose les Bleus, who may well prove to be exposed at the back in the face of some rapier speed attacks this evening.

Uruguay were excellent value at 100/30 for this match when the firms priced up initially, and although you can only generally take 11/4 now the money has arrived for them, they may well have what it takes to write tomorrow’s headlines.

This being the opening day though they too may have to settle for a point, and with that in mind I’m laying Raymond Domenech’s French outfit at 2.28 on the machines.   

It’s going to be a fantastic month!

Good luck!

Friday’s Group A bets:

Lay South Africa v Mexico @ 2.98 on Betfair

Lay France v Uurguay @ 2.26 on Betfair

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Posted 6 years, 8 months ago

24 Apr
2010

Pack a ‘Punch’ with tips aplenty on an end of season super Saturday?

One of the great days of the racing calendar is upon us as a thrilling Punchestown Festival reaches its fifth and final day, Sandown’s brilliant mixed Bet365 meeting waves off the National Hunt campaign in style, and a stack of other decent racing provides punting opportunities aplenty.

The despicable Lord Culcheth has been vigorously polishing his trumpet in preparation for saluting the winner of the Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown, but more of that later.

At Punchestown the bet of the day has to be Gordon Elliot’s Carlito Brigante now his trainer chooses to pop on the blinkers which worked so well for him on the Flat as he contests the Champion Four Year Old Hurdle (4.25pm).

Very useful over hurdles connections will be hoping they put a bit of water on the quickening ground overnight, but after a decent show in the Triumph Hurdle when he picked up place money in fourth I’m very hopeful he can bounce back to winning ways here.

He’s got a real engine this horse, hails from an in form team and can net this at around 9/4 with Betfair.

Switching codes we’ll head to Leicester where Frankie Dettori will be sure to add a few to the gate by turning up with a busy book of rides.

I’m not convinced the joy of landing a 56-70 rated handicap worth two and a half grand to the winner will produce a flying dismount from ‘the sardine’ as my Channel 4 colleague Jim McGrath likes to call him, but I reckon Frankie will have at least one winner on the card courtesy of Tribal Myth in the 5.15pm race.

Up 4lbs for his recent Beverley win connections are very sweet on his chances of a follow up and is a best price 11/4 with Bet365.

There’ll be a monster crowd at Sandown for Bet365 day including that wretched specimen Lord Culcheth.

Fresh from celebrating the capture of a ’55 plate’ black cab to add to his burgeoning business empire, he’s been sporting a smug grin recently after signing up to a variety of cougar websites, and is counting on at least one of his 1,500 invites turning up at the Esher track today. 

I love these mixed cards, why can’t we have more of them instead of race planning leaving day after day blank with no jumps meetings, then scheduling five on one day as happened this week?

Once I’ve stopped frothing at the mouth about that oversight I’ll take a deep breath and back Michael Jarvis’s brilliant four year old Laaheb in the Group 3 Gordon Richards Stakes at 4.15pm.

The lads at his stable rave about this horse, sadly so much so that his price on Betfair overnight was obliterated by some greedy night owls.

Crowded House is fancied against him, but Laaheb can prove to be a potent force in 2010. He can win at around 2/1, available with most bookmakers.

To make up a nice win yankee you’d do worse than have a look at Nick Williams’ Sangfroid  in the bet365 Handicap Hurdle at 2.00pm.

Chalked up at 8/1 by some of the firms (including Ladbrokes) he won this race a year ago, he won’t have any issues with conditions and has been running consistently well.

He hasn’t won for a while but that can change today.

If there is to be a shock in the race I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Alison Thorpe’s Nortonthorpe Lad make the frame at a big price.

Another who hasn’t won for a long time he’s re-united with Dickie Johnson today and could recapture some of his old zest.

In the big race at 3.05pm a mixed bunch go to post for the bet365 Gold Cup, and I just cannot have the front three in the market.

For me Fairoak Lad doesn’t jump well enough, Just Amazing was really pretty ordinary when I watched him win at Cheltenham last week, and certainly lacks experience, plus has questions to answer up in trip.

Next in is The Package who will have earned a rest after today, running a cracker at the Festival to be second in the William Hill, unseating on the second circuit at Aintree in the Grand National, and now attempting to wrest this big pot.

I couldn’t have him after his hard race at Cheltenham, even if he hadn’t then turned up at Liverpool, so for me it’s got to be a thumbs down for his chances aujord’hui.

The one for me in the race is Nigel Twiston-Davies’ veteran Hello Bud, a smashing type who takes his racing very well (also ran at Cheltenham and Aintree but not in such gruelling fashion and is an older hardier type), comes to hand at this type of year, stays longer than Lord Culcheth in the ‘romantic’ dvd shop, and jumps like a buck.

The winner of the Scottish Grand National a year ago, he’s back off a near identical mark now (134 as opposed to 133) after a good effort in the National when fifth, and pleasingly has Twiston’s mad son Sam on his back, now turned pro and claiming 7lb to make the task easier.

Perhaps he’ll get done for toe, but it wouldn’t be a shock if his brilliant stable land this last big prize of the campaign after a spellbinding 2009/10.

Back Hello Bud each way at 16/1 with Coral or Totesport and enjoy the ride.

Good luck!


Today’s best bets:

2.00 Sandown – bet365 Handicap Hurdle – 8 Sangfroid (win) @ 8/1 with Ladbrokes 

3.05 Sandown – bet365 Gold Cup Chase Handicap – 18 Hello Bud (each way) @ 16/1 with Coral or Totesport

4.15 Sandown – bet365 Gordon Richards Stakes – 5 Laaheb (win) @ 2/1 with Bet365 or Victor Chandler

4.25 Punchestown – Airshow 100 Champion Four Year Old Hurdle – 2 Carlito Brigante (win) @ 9/4 Betfair

5.15 Leicester – totesportcasino.com Handicap – 6 Tribal Myth (win) @ 11/4 with  Bet365

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Posted 6 years, 10 months ago

10 Apr
2010

Saturday’s Betting Directory Grand National tip?

It feels like a year in racing can pass in the blink of an eye, and although it doesn’t seem like 10 minutes ago it really is 12 months since Mon Mome carried 11 stone to victory in the John Smith’s Grand National, earning himself a place in racing’s hall of fame and propelling jockey Liam Treadwell into the headlines after Clare Balding’s comments about his teeth.

At 4.15pm on Saturday Mon Mome will be back at Aintree to defend his crown under 11st 7lb, although Aidan Coleman takes over in the saddle after recovering from a heavy fall at the track on Thursday afternoon.

Click here for the 2010 Grand National Racecard and Latest Odds

Tom Lee’s selection for the 2010 John Smith’s Grand National
Number 24, Character Building (each way) @ 20/1 (Betfair).

Tom’s Grand National Lowdown

Here’s the lowdown on the market principals, and Tom Lee’s Betting Directory take on who’ll be picking up the £521,053 first prize:

Grand NationalBig Fella Thanks – 3lb lower (now off a mark of 146) than when sixth in the 2009 National. Represents leading trainer/jockey combo of Paul Nicholls and Ruby Walsh, nicely weighted and has good experience of these big fences. Won his warm up race at Newbury but is prone to making the blunder, as seen at Becher’s first time around last season. Other reservations would be his age (he’s only eight and all bar one recent winner have been nine or more) and his win record – two of his 10 starts over fences. Nonetheless he looks certain to go off favourite. Back Big Fella Thanks and get a £10 Free Bet
 

Grand NationalMon Mome – 100/1 rag when winning this a year ago, he now has the assistance of the excellent Aidan Coleman up top and will be a popular each way selection. Hasn’t managed to win since, but ran a magnificent prep race when charging up the hill to nab third in the Gold Cup. This will be his third spin in the race and although it’ll be harder under his big weight he’s impossible to rule out. Back Mon Mome and get a £10 Free Bet

Grand NationalThe Package – The subject of sustained support in recent days he looks to hold a cracking chance despite the stats speaking loudly against the younger horses. Timmy Murphy felt unable to desert 2008 winner Comply Or Die so Graham Lee takes this plum mount. Only a seven year old this will be just his ninth run over fences, but he jumps and stays and might be running on through beaten horses. Ran a superb race in defeat when narrowly touched off by Chief Dan George in the William Hill Trophy at the Cheltenham Festival, although how much that took out of him would be the worry. Back The Package and get a £10 Free Bet

Grand NationalBlack Apalachi – One of two decent chances for trainer Dessie Hughes this 11-year-old will be looking to improve on two previous tries in the National; in 2008 he fell at the second, while in ’09 he unshipped Denis O’Regan at Becher’s the second time around. Does though have fond memories of these fences after landing the 2008 Becher Chase. Stays longer than the mother-in-law, but might want some rain to be seen to full effect. Back Black Apalachi and get a £10 Free Bet

Grand NationalSnowy Morning – 10 years of age now he’s the sole representative for number one Irish trainer Willie Mullins (n.b. age is certainly no barrier – 15 of the last 16 winners were aged 9 or above). Third in Denman’s Sun Alliance back in 2007 he has completed on both tries in the National to date, finishing third off a mark of 145 in 2008, then running ninth a year ago. A versatile performer, he’s effective at a range of trips and has won over both fences and hurdles since his last visit to Liverpool. Is off a feasible mark, and the Irish have won five of the last 10 runnings. Back Snowy Morning and get a £10 Free Bet

Grand NationalTricky Trickster – One of four chances for champion trainer Paul Nicholls I’m far from keen on his chances. A lovely looking type he changed hands for huge money after winning the 2009 National Hunt Chase with a view to winning this race. Had he come here off the back of his win in the Aon Chase I’d give him a squeak, but in retrospect it may have been a big mistake running him in the Gold Cup (in which he ran miserably, beaten over 100 lengths by Imperial Commander). What’s more he’s got to defy the stats as a seven-year-old – as mentioned above 15 of the last 16 winners were aged 9 or more. If I were a bookmaker I’d be very happy to lay him at 16/1. Back Tricky Trickster and get a £10 Free Bet

Grand NationalArbor Supreme – Not without a chance for JP McManus (who has four runners in the race). Won’t mind better ground than he often encounters in his native Ireland on this his first ever run on English soil. Ran a sound prep race at Leopardstown and looks a thorough stayer based on his wins over marathon trips at Punhcestown and Fairyhouse in 2008. Benefits from the assistance of the brilliant young Paul Townend on his back, but I do wonder if he’s good enough to take this off a stiff enough looking mark of 142. Back Arbor Supreme and get a £10 Free Bet

Grand NationalNiche Market – Thoroughly likeable type who has been a great success story his underrated stable. Winner of the Irish Grand National in April 2009, he’s never run at Aintree before but has plenty of experience of big fences, is a thorough stayer and ran a belter to be third to Denman in this season’s Hennessy. Was only just denied by Tricky Trickster in the Aon, and although he finished down the field in the William Hill latest he’d certainly have an each way squeak. Horses who ran in the previous season’s Irish National do have a good record – Bobbyjo, Papillon, Red Marauder and Numbersixvalverde are recent winners who did exactly that. Back Niche Market and get a £10 Free Bet

Grand NationalState Of Play – 2008 Charlie Hall Chase winner has had his injury problems but comes here a fresh horse having only run once (pulled up in the Hennssy) since finishing fourth to Mon Mome a year ago. Evidence of more recent well being would be encouraging, but took to the National fences with relish last season, bravely rallying three furlongs out and mounting a challenge after having lost his place. Represents a shrewd outfit and is 5lb lower now. Chance. Back State of Play and get a £10 Free Bet

Grand NationalCharacter Building – Yet to totally fulfil the enormous promise he has always shown, the booking of Nina Carberry could prove to be a masterstroke. Stays all day, is a bit careful, a bit lazy, but might well be able to weave his way through the inevitable chaos and put in a challenge at the business end of this wonderful race. Back Character Building and get a £10 Free Bet

The brilliant Nina could be just what he needs to kid him through the early stages and if she can get him to put it in then he’s very nicely weighted, will go on the ground and has just about the perfect level of experience. Hasn’t troubled the judge yet this season but this is a race in which recent form is somewhat less important. Generally makes the frame. Won 2009 Kim Muir Chase. My each way selection at 20/1 with Coral and Sportingbet.

Grand NationalComply Or Die – Timmy Murphy has remained loyal to the 2008 winner, although he is a stone higher in the weights nowadays. Simply loves this race. Not only has he won it, but also returned to be a brave second to Mon Mome in 2009. No eye-catching form to speak of this term, but don’t let that put you off since the same was true in the run up to last year’s contest. No prizes for guessing which race has been his target all year.  Back Comply or Die and get a £10 Free Bet

Good luck!

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Posted 6 years, 10 months ago