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Showing posts from December, 2016

Relkeel Hurdle preview

The hurdling highlight of the day and the last race on ITV's (modern) debut as FTA racing broadcaster is the Relkeel Hurdle. What state the Prestbury Park track will be by that stage is anyone's guess with plenty of rain forecast. Stepping in to analyse this race in detail is Richard from Bet Catalyst, @betcatalyst.

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Dornan Engineering Relkeel Hurdle
Grade 2, £40,000, 2m4f56yds
1510 local, 0210 AEDT




Ratings Key:
Form: Green = last time out finish is a positive trend
Horse: Green = C&D winner, Orange = Course winner
Age: Green = positive age trend
Trainer: Green = won the race before, Orange = placed in the race before
Adjusted OR: Green = positive, Red = negative
Master Rating: is the master speed rating, top three rated are in Yellow in descending order and is the main way they are rated for this race
A + B: is speed indicators, Green = one of the top three on each indicator
MySpeed Rating: is the secondary speed rating, top three rated are in Yellow
W + Y: is t…

Cheltenham 3.40 preview

Concluding the card at the home of National Hunt racing is the bumper, a race which often turns out a very good one. With only three runners having had more than one race start, there's a big sign saying POTENTIAL over all of them...

Casting a shrewd eye over the field is another blog debutant, Tony Amato, @mato66. Welcome aboard!

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EBF Stallions & Cheltenham Pony Club NHF
Listed, £20,000, approx 1m6f (1m5f209yds), New Course
1540 local, 0240 AEDT


Plenty of decent horses have won this race over the years; The New One, Modus and Wishful Dremaing to name just a few, so it's safe to say trainers know what they have when entering for this race. I'm going to concentrate on the ones I think will make the market (I write this Friday evening before markets are available) and the ones I think stand out.

COCKNEY WREN from the Harry Fry yard ran a fair second on debut at Taunton, beaten just a neck by a Henderson 4yr old. You can never discount one from thi…

Cheltenham 2.00 preview

New Year's Day hangovers are best treated with a bit of punting in the brisk, clean air of the Cotswolds - Cheltenham on January 1 means there are only about 10 weeks until the Festival!

And witrh the arrival of the next arbitrary group of 365 days, it's a warm welcome to some new contributors. Firest off the rank making his debut on the blog is Racing UK Tipstar winner, Harry Allwood, @H_Allwood1. And you can read more on his blog (actually he only started it today, but I'm sure there'll be plenty more!) here.

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BetBright Best For Festival Betting Handicap Chase£60,000, Grade 3, approx 2m5f (2m4f166yds), New Course 1400 local, 0100 AEDT

The races at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day look set to be highly competitive, none more so than the BetBright Best For Festival Betting Handicap Chase that comes up at 2.00. Won last year by the reappearing Village Vic who showed a game attitude to fend off another reappearing rival Tenor Nivernais to complete a f…

Premier League - the New Year fixtures

More great work from William Kedjanyi, keejayOV2, while his Wordpress site is out of action. Manwhile, I'll just chug along with my old Nokia, I mean Blogger, site...

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PREMIER LEAGUE previews 30/12 - 1/1

Hull (10/3) v Everton (Evs)
Everton are beginning to turn things around slightly. After a long winless run, they have finally begun to get some results together, taking advantage of a low intensity Arsenal performance to win here a couple of weeks ago and going down in the last seconds to rivals Liverpool. They took advantage again of weak opposition on Boxing Day when winning a poor game at Leicester in with both sides failed to inspire. Hull, however, look headed tor relegation although they were giving Manchester City a hard time until a Yay Tour penalty opened the floodgates, and this could be tight. That said, in Romelu Luaku and Kevin Mirallas they do have forward threats and they should be able to competitive competitively in the midfield. Hull looked good w…

Boxing Day cricket previews

Boxing Day for an Aussie, even an expat one, means just one thing - CRICKET! Stepping up for possibly the first-ever cricket preview on the blog (can't remember and can't be arsed going back through every post!) is esteemed, prolific and multi-pronged writer, William Kedjanyi. Follow him via @keejayOV2 or his blog... when it works again!

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Boxing Day Cricket

What will be the first sign that Christmas Day is over and the feast of sport that will clog our screens over the next week? The first ball bowled in New Zealand as their ODI series against Bangladesh kicks off. The Black Caps swill have their eyes set on yet another home victory but this is a Bangladesh side that is improving all the time and is leaner, fitter and better coached than they’ve ever been, and there should be a good contest.

An hour later, the first ball shall be bowled as Australia clash with Pakistan again, and if this test is anywhere near as exciting as the first – or towards …

Christmas Hurdle preview

For the hurdlers, they get their chance at Grade 1 glory in the Xmas Hurdle in another disappointingly small field. Still, four out of the five are pretty darn good horses...

Back to Jon da Silva, @creamontop, for the preview.

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32Red Christmas Hurdle
£100,000, Grade 1, Two Miles
Kempton Boxing Day, 1440 local, 0140 AEDT


We have a fair idea how good The New One is in small fields at park courses at two miles - both losses in this race to be fair. A blunder against My Tent or Yours causing a narrow loss and a mauling by Faugheen - Faugheen dominated him. If it's a crawl Ch'tibello can burn as he showed in the unnecessary Haydock race. My Tent or Yours appears best when finding himself in the lead after everything else has shot their bolt and I hope connections are considering the two mile handicap at Newbury again and off 155 I'd be interested.

Gray Wolf River gives lie to the idea that padding these races with more numbers would make them better race…

King George VI Chase

The highlight of Boxing Day sport in Britain is the King George Chase, the biggest jumps race outside the Cheltenham and Grant National Festivals. It's a clash of the old and the new, the defending champ against the rising upstart with just three chase starts to his name, but an absolutely dominant record in staying hurdles before taking on the sturdier obstacles. And then there's a two-time winner of the race going around as the bolter of the field. What a great event to behold while most of us are recovering from Christmas Day!

Taking on the preview for this small but tantalising content in his own inimitable style is regular contributor, Jon da Silva, @creamontop.

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32Red King George VI Chase
Grade 1, £209,000, Three Miles
Kempton, 1515 local, 0215 AEDT


Colin Tizzard, henceforth 'Big Col', knows his brass from his muck and I've noted his horses' habits of winning the most valuable races they contest at the expense of others. Now thrust i…

Premier League football 26-28/12/16

I don't often cover football on the blog but when you get an offer from esteemed tipster William Kedjanyi, @keejayOV2, desperate for an outlet because WordPress was playing up... well, you'd be mad not to use it. Welcome back to the blog William!

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PREMIER LEAGUE preview 26-28/12/16

Watford (5/4) v Crystal Palace (11/5)

This game doesn’t appeal a whole lot. Watford looked to be the better side in their defeat at Sunderland but they were toothless with the final ball for all of the chances they made that weren’t beaten away by Jordan Pickford; Crystal Place couldn’t lay a glove on league leaders Chelsea last week, although no side has been able to for 11 straight weeks. The hosts, at home should be favourites; Crystal Palace have won just twice in 19 league away games. This might be one where both get on the scoresheet – Palace have only been held at Tottenham and Sunderland but have conceded huge amounts including to three of the bottom five.
Ad…

Hong Kong Cup preview

Cup time at Sha Tin, courtesy of Davy Lane, @loscharruas.

LONGINES Hong Kong Cup
Group 1, 2000m, HK$25 million (£2.19m)
1430 local, 1730 AEDT, 0830 GMT


My Idea of the Winner

In a word: Maurice. Nothing original to say here. Every time I have played him, he’s won. He’s a beast. Noriyuki Huri is confident. Ryan Moore is confident. And all the Japanese cats on Twitter are confident. Nevertheless, I have a couple of reservations. As a rule, I tend not to play horses that are running in their last race. This ordinarily would rule out both Maurice and A Shin Hikari who both heading to stud. However, I have had to play both this year. Maurice because Maurice means Maurice and because it’s going to be a Yellow, Orange and Green Maurice. I have also included A Shin Hakari in a couple of minor across the card multiples. I had a 4 figure sum falling on to four Japanese horses in last year’s Hong Kong Cup. I thought I couldn’t lose. There were five Japanese horses in the race and I on…

Hong Kong Mile preview

Sprint time at Sha Tin, courtesy of Davy Lane, @loscharruas.

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LONGINES Hong Kong Mile
Group 1, 1600m, HK$23m (£2m)
1650 local, 1950 AEDT, 0750 GMT


My Idea of the Winner

I cannot divine the winner here. Despite the presence of Able Friend, there is no obvious horse to beat. I have played four horses in the Ante Post market, with a plurality of punts going on Helene Paragon when 16/1 on most books. The horse formerly known as Sir Andrew is by out of High Chaparral mare and remains popular in Spain, where he was purchased. Hugh Bowman was wise not to push Helene Paragon once the door closed in the mile trial. Bowman was clearly thinking ahead. The Australian retains the ride and both he and trainer John Moore have been effusive in their praise of the horse’s preparation. Moore rates the horse his best chance in the race (which is a serious assessment since Able Friend is also in the race). I have played Neorealism in a few lines but only because of Ry…

Hong Kong Sprint preview

Next up, it's the Hong Kong Sprint, from Davy Lane, @loscharruas.

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LONGINES Hong Kong SprintGroup 1, 1200m, HK$18.5 million (£1.62m) 1540 local, 0640 GMT, 1840 AEDT

My idea of the Winner

Rank outsider Growl is my idea of the winner. Growl is a 66/1 shot because he is perceived to be a humble handicapper from the North having a crack at a big pot because Dr Marwan Koukash loves to see his horses race in exotic places. Yet Growl is no ordinary Richard Fahey trained horse. Growl is by Oasis Dream out of a Storm Cat mare (the Secretariat line for the uninitiated). Growl was purchased from Lady Rothschild in April this year. Attempts to turn him a classic horse never materialized. Always too keen, or held back on inconvenient ground, he was subsquently gelded. Three of Growl’s four wins have come over 6 Furlongs on Good to Firm. He will get the firmest ground he’s ever encountered at Sha Tin on Sunday. Hold on tight! Graham Lee knows the drill. He partnered…

Hong Kong Vase preview

International Day at Sha Tin is one of the finest days of racing in the world. A swathe of foreign raiders, the best jockeys in the world on show and a capacity crowd at a fantastic racecourse. Put it on your bucket list, it really is something special.

Backing up once more for International Day is foreign racing aficionado Davy Lane, @loscharruas. He'll have previews for each of the international races.

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Longines Hong Kong Vase
Group 1, 2400m, HK$16.5 million (£1.444m)
1400 local, 1700 AEDT, 0600 GMT

My Idea of the Winner

I had pinned my Ante Post hopes on One Foot in Heaven. This race has been a long term plan for connections. (The dam Pride was the winner of the Hong Kong Cup in 2006.) Christophe Soumillon chose the colt over other French contenders. And the photo finish between Postponed, New Bay and One Foot in Heaven for fifth place in this year’s Arc was seared in my mind. Can win a major Group 1 race one day, I scribbled on my racecard. The O’B…

Caspian Caviar Gold Cup preview

Day 2 of the December meeting at Cheltenham features a trio of graded races, but the most intriguing is the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup, a name that just rolls off the tongue. Bookies had a field day on Friday with just one favourite winning (the only one to run a place!), tomorrow at least appears to be more punter-friendly.

Let's see what regular contributor Chris Day, @chrisday100, has to say about the toughest race on the card.

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Caspian Caviar Gold Cup Handicap Chase
Grade 3, £100,000, approx 2m5f
1350 GMT, 0050 AEDT


The Caspian Caviar Gold Cup is the second of the season’s big 2 ½ mile handicap chases which provide such a great spectacle throughout the year at the home of jump racing.

The form of the first in the series, the Bet Victor Gold Cup, has already been boosted with the success of eighth home As De Mee in last week’s Grand Sefton at Aintree and the placed horses plus the fifth and tenth all renew rivalry this weekend.

Village Vic put in a superb r…

Inter Dominion Final preview

Harness racing has taken a bit of a knock in recent years in Australia, but that doesn't stop the most prestigious championship race of them all - the Inter Dominion final. The WA industry has re-launched it, returned to the three heats and final series, and have been rewarded with a great championship. Who'll be the new champ to add their name to the honour roll alongside superstars such as Blacks A Fake, Imthemightyquinn and Our Sir Vancealot?

Making his debut on the blog to share his assessment of the final is Glen McWilliams, @grmc1902. Welcome aboard! He's started off with a big odds tip!

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Tabtouch Inter Dominion Final
Gloucester Park
Group 1, AU$1,100,000
2936m Mobile start, Nine across the front
2130 local, 0030 AEDT, 1330 GMT


What looked two weeks ago as a battle between two stablemates has now, due to the draw and the scratching of the reigning champion, become a very intriguing battle indeed. It will also be the focus of arguments …

Becher Chase preview

Highlight of the day's action at Aintree is the time-honoured Becher Chase, no doubt featuring a lot of Grand National hopefuls.

Resuming after a long spell to dissect the field for us is Sam Tribe, @samtribe87.

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The Betfair Becher Chase
£140,000, Grade 3, 3m2f
1335 local, 0235 AEDT


The Betfair Becher Chase is the first race of the season over the famous Grand National Hunt Fences. It is never an easy race to pick a winner and this year's renewal is no exception with 23 runners set to go to post. After a search on Google and picking up on a tweet from another racing enthusiast, I have picked three trends from the past ten years that I hope will help me narrow the field and give me the best chance of finding a winner.

9 out of 10 winners have been Irish-trained. The only French-bred horse to win the race was Chance Du Roy in 2013 who has only ever fell at a fence in his nine year career so it's safe to say you are looking for a sound jumper as well…

Grand Sefton Chase preview

A brilliant weekend of National Hunt racing includes a rare visit to the hallowed ground of Aintree. Two previews lined up for the card there, the first of which is the Grand Sefton Chase, as previewed by young writer Adam Webb, @adamwebb121. You can read more of his work at OnTheOtherHoof.

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Betfred Grand Sefton Handicap Chase
£70,000, Class 2, 2m5f19y
1515 local, 0215 AEDT


Although the Becher Chase takes centre stage, and rightly so, the Grand Sefton looks a more competitive renewal than it has done in recent seasons with a couple of these having had this as a long-term plan.

The best place to start is with last year’s hero Bennys Mist, who has a mixed profile over these fences. Apart from his Topham Trophy second to Ma Filleule in 2014, his best efforts over these fences have come in this very contest with success twelve month ago and him finishing third to Poole Master the year before. Rated 7lb higher than last season, he comes here on the back of a disappo…

Tingle Creek preview

A chilly start to December brings us to Sandown where racing is expected to go ahead. The Tingle Creek is a traditional early-season pointer towards the Champion Chase and a look through the honour roll highlights some stars of the sport, the horses listed below and special mention to Paul Nicholls with nine wins in the past 17 years. Handy record that...

Taking a magnifying glass to the small, but select, field is aspiring journo Adam Crooks, @acrooks95.

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Betfair Tingle Creek Chase
Grade 1, £150,000, approximately Two Miles (1m7f119y)
1500 local, 0200 AEDT


The Tingle Creek, one of the significant two mile races of the season, is here again. Won by legends of the past such as Desert Orchid, Master Minded and Kauto Star, it is one of the early season highlights. This season's renewal is a slightly disappointing one, due to circumstances beyond anyone's control. Firstly the legend Sprinter Sacre, a past winner and dual Champion Chase winner, was unfortunat…