Month: January 2019

Baz’s Bets for Cheltenham and Doncaster. #Cheltenhamraces and #Doncasterraces

1535 Cheltenham The Cleeve Hurdle

I have seen a few races involving PAISLEY PARK this season and all too often the horse comes through and wins, I cannot see any obvious reasons why it shouldn’t win this time other than a niggling concern over whether the horse likes Cheltenham. The heavily tipped Black Op could be almost anything and Wholestone would need a career best effort.

Although form at Cheltenham remains a concern for West Approach based on recent efforts a double figure price high enough in the teens might warrant e/w consideration based on form with PAISLEY PARK.

1500 Cheltenham The Cotswold Chase

As mentioned in my previous post I’m going for a TERREFORT Frodon one two.

1515 Doncaster Skybet Handicap Chase

With winning CD form and a third in a £147K race at Newbury DINGO DOLLAR cannot be opposed considering OO seven is up five pounds.

Bob likes the going at #Cheltenhamraces and #Doncasterraces

The going looks as though it is a little more traditional than last week so I am tempted back to the stats once again.

2:25 Cheltenham – Cotswold Chase

This looks to be a two horse race between Frodon and Elegant Escape. However, it does go against some of the historical stats. The majority of winners have been 9 or 10 year olds but looking at those in the race today I don’t think they will be too much of a threat.

Frodon is a course winner and Elegant Escape a going winner but neither have won at this distance before which should be the defining point. There is only one distance winner in the race and that is Terrefort but the stats do not rate this horse.

So the question is does Frodon have enough to overcome the fact that favourites have not won this race in the last 10 outings. I think in this case he does and coupled with the fact that Elegant Escape had one helluva race in the Welsh National which must have left its mark, FRODON is the one I am going for.

1pt Win FRODON

3:35 Cleeve Hurdle – Cheltenham

The betting looks as though there is much indecision on who will win this race.

Paisley Park has definitely impressed lately but is not a course or going winner which the historical stats suggest the winner needs to be.

Black Op which seems to be heavily tipped does not fit the historical stats at all well.

I am going to plump for Aux Ptits Soins, a course, distance and going winner, won last time out in December and is French to boot.


3:15 Doncaster – Sky Bet Chase (Great Yorkshire)

There are a lot of good horses here and the betting guide goes some way to separating them out.

The historical stats point towards 3 horses at the top of the field, Dingo Dollar, O O Seven and Federici. All of the are distance and going winners, ran in December and ithin the weight range for a smallish field (about 7lbs off top weight from my graph).

There is not much to choose between them but DINGO DOLLAR just has the edge I reckon by dint of the fact he didn’t win last time but looks like an improver. Federici might be worth an e/w punt for the same reasons.


0.5pt e/w – Federici

Frodon going strong but Baz reckons a fully fit Terrefort can chase them down in the Cotswold.

The race I had a very detailed look at was the Cotswold. Its very hard to look past Frodon who has been an absolute revelation this season and must go close again with Bryony Frost on board. However the Nicholls yard is lagging currently and although I haven’t had a chance to look up the breeding, all of Frodon’s wins have been over 2m4f; this race is over 3m and there is some very good form on offer from well priced competitors.

Welsh National winner Elegant Escape technically ticks all the boxes and we know he stays all day long. Valtor has big form from France and smashed Jammin Masters at Ascot. Minnela Rocco finished second to Sizing John in the big one a couple of seasons back and has now had a wind op which makes it intriguing considering the way Frodon responded to his.
My conclusion is based on assumptions and form lines.

TERREFORT is the class act of the race, the form line at Aintree where TERREFORT beats Elegant Escape by 13L is the key one. This form was reversed after that where Elegant Escape beat the selection by 40L but the selection was lame and as long as all is now well that form is void.

Baz unpicks today’s TV races

Hope everyone is ok and thoroughly enjoying the winter coldness and illness! I’m currently annoying the wife by both being ill and watching horse racing so I’ve hidden myself away and tried to unpick todays tv races. Best of luck everyone.

1:50 Ascot
19 JAN 2019
2m7½f (2m7f118y) Mares’ Hurdle (Grade 2) (Registered As The Warfield) (Class 1) (4yo+)

The franked form and widespread pundit backing of Culture De Sivola edges preference for me over Magic of Light with If You Say Run’s jumping questionable as he tends to hang left. However I’m backing JESTER JET as the selection had Culture de Sivola back in a 21 length 7th when winning at Plumpton a year ago and re-opposes today on the same terms.

2:25 Ascot
19 JAN 2019
2m3½f (2m3f58y) Matchbook Holloway’s Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) (Class 1) (4yo+)

Not paid too much attention to this but the two recent thirds from SEDDON have been well franked and the time is right for this impressive horse to push through and start winning big race. Better Getalong and Kelpie’s Myth are well handicapped outsiders.

3:00 Ascot
19 JAN 2019
2m5f (2m5f8y) bet365 Handicap Chase (Class 2) (5yo+)

This race is very tough with Mr Medic, HAPPY DIVA and Benetar all having good recent form. The pick for me is HAPPY DIVA as the second on Aso on New Years Day is as solid a form as you will see. The unknown quantity possibly worth an outside bet is Belami des Pictons who finished a close second to Waiting Patiently but hasn’t been seen for 400 days since and is well treated.

3:35 Ascot
19 JAN 2019
2m1f (2m167y) Matchbook Clarence House Chase (Grade 1) (Class 1) (5yo+)

The betting might be about whether ALTIOR wins by a certain margin. He may well do but as a sporting event this is largely pointless and I can only hope the champion chase winner loses so he won’t be as shorter price at the festival this year.

2:05 Haydock
19 JAN 2019
1m7½f (1m7f144y) Sky Bet Supreme Trial Rossington Main Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2) (Class 1) (4yo+)

MISTER FISHER was a landed gamble boxing day and is taken to continue his superiority in a non descript field.

2:40 Haydock
19 JAN 2019
1m7½f (1m7f144y) The New One Unibet Hurdle (Registered As The Champion Hurdle Trial Hurdle) (Grade 2) (Class 1) (4yo+)

OTAGO TRAIL is well handicapped here and can get the better of Daklondike and Red Infantry. Captain Redbeard has very good course form and must be considered e/w.

3:15 Haydock
19 JAN 2019
3m1½f (3m1f125y) Peter Marsh Handicap Chase (A Limited Handicap) (Grade 2) (Class 1) (5yo+)

SILVER STREAK taken to repeat recent form in a weak trial.

Bob reflects on how the unseasonable going is affecting historical stats

Hey, look everyone needs some excuses but even so, the unseasonably good weather is playing havoc with the historical stats and I imagine even more so with trainers as it did in the early part of the season.

The thing is this, at this time of year you would expect the ground to be soft to heavy and to back this up I will throw a few stats out.

Lets take yesterday’s races as a starting point where the going was Good.

  • 90% of the Leamington Novices Hurdle Races and the Classic Chase were on Soft or Heavy over the last 10 years.
  • 70% of the Lanzarote Hurdle was on Soft going, the rest on Good to Soft.

Now I am not a horsey person, but I imagine as a trainer you train horses to run in normal seasonal conditions, ie Soft to Heavy at this time of year. So come the race you either pull them out (as many do) or let the horse run knowing it will affect its chances.

The historical betting which I use as a basis to choose horses is very badly affected by this as using the last 10 years stats means I have nothing to go on if the going is Good. I can only imagine that I might have to go back further and look at the few instances when it is good.

Just a few musings from me on a dreary Sunday morning.

Bob cops a gander at #warwickraces and #kempton races

Well I really need something to get back against Baz this weekend, but I am not sure the historical stats are going to do it. Anyway, I will give it a go.

2:25 Warwick Leamington Novices

I always remember Leamington fondly having lived there in my second year of University. Great pub crawls up the high street!

The Betting Guide works quite well here but cannot break the deadlock between Tidal Flow and Stoney Mountain. Both are in the right age range, are distance and going winners, ran last in December and won and have a good pedigree. I am going to go with the runner that Baz hasn’t and pick STONEY MOUNTAIN as my choice.

Finawn Bawn must also be worth an each way bet here.


0.5pt e/w Finawan Bawn

2:40 Lanzarote Hurdle

Never been to Lanzarote.

The Betting Guide is not great for this race so I don’t have great faith in my choices here. We are looking for a horse around 6 years old, probably a non-favourite, must have been ridden in the last 2 months and placed on a similar distance and going before. Winner is going to be close to the top weight.

Although N Henderson has done me no favours lately I am going to stick with him in this race. If Geraghty was the jockey I might have left this one! Anyway DOUX PRETENDER looks good for this one with Darling Maltaix and Lord Napier not far behind. Canyon City looks to be a good each way bet candidate.


0.5pt e/w Canyon City

3:00 Classic Chase

Again the Betting Guide is not great for this, the patterns all appear to be fairly negative in their approach but hey ho.

We are definitely not looking for the favourite, an Irish horse would be good, that has last run in January or December but should not have won or placed in this race. However, previous form they should have won or at least placed on the same going. Sadler’s Wells pedigree is good here. Ideally what we are looking for is a horse that is going to bounce back to winning form in this race.

Now this proves to be a bit of a dilemma, as this all points towards the top two horses, either of which could end up being the favourite. The stats are telling me that DUEL AT DAWN is the more likely candidate to win so I am hoping the trend will be bucked if he comes in favourite for this race. Step Back doesn’t ping on many of the indicators which is a bit worrying as it is so highly regarded so I am concerned I may be missing something here.

1pt win DUEL AT DAWN

Baz looks at Kempton and Warwick

14:05 Kempton 12 Jan 2019 32Red Casino Chase (Listed) (5YO plus)

Looking at this one it seems to me the form of Top Notch just doesn’t quite match that of CHARBEL. The latter has a win over God’s Own and a second against Politilogue and this has to be solid form against Top Notch who’s second to Yorkhill at the festival last year cannot reasonably be considered franked in any way. Charbel likes to front run which always puts me off but the inclusion of Speredek in the field I’m hoping will allow the selection to settle in just off the lead.

Also with this race Black Corton was a major festival fancy of mine last year but flopped with a 15L defeat to potential 2019 Gold Cup winner Presenting Percy. Some questioned Black Corton dropping back in trip to 2M4F but with Bryony Frost booked this Nicholls runner offers value if you want to oppose the front two.


0.5Pt Win Black Corton

14:40 Kempton 2m5f (Winter) Unibet Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle (Listed Race) (Class 1) (4yo+)

This is a tricky race with Kloud Gate seeking a hat trick and the Nicholls charge Darling Maltaix up 12lb for the Ascot win. I’m siding with LORD NAPIER, the son of Galileo has 14lb on the Nicholls charger and a couple of lb against some of the others which could see him come through.


And of course Warwick…

13:50 Warwick 12 Jan 2019

McCoy Contractors 2019 Construction News Awards Finalist Hampton Novices’ Chase (Listed) (Class 1) (5YO plus)


14:25 Warwick 12 Jan 2019

Ballymore Leamington Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2) (Class 1) (5YO plus)


Bonus back to work 2019 Race: The Sussex National. Baz sifts through the runners.

I remember the astounded look on Bob’s face a couple of years back when we discovered Sussex even had its own Grand National! Last year it was a classic with Vinnie Lewis pulling through to take the honours.

This year it is a tricky encounter. The big form horse who definitely stays is The Two Amigo’s and he is rightfully favourite. However he is carrying 12lb more than last time winning at Exeter and this potentially opens up possibilities.

The two i’m focusing on are Big Meadow and Cailin du Brizais. Big Meadow has chased home the Two Amigo’s over this distance and reopposes a 17L defeat carrying almost a whole stone less weight.

While Calin du Brizais has a string of consistent seconds and thirds over long distances and is certainly the unknown quantity of the race.

With Richard johnson booked I think Big Meadow can make the most of the weights swing and beat Cailin du Brizais and The Two Amigo’s.