Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Balding Hoping To Land The Spoils (18:00 Kempton 30th Sep 2020)

It was a great week for me last week personally betting wise and you know as soon as I say that it will go pear shaped. In my last post I mentioned two horses, the first was the Michael Dodds trained BURSCOUGH who was having his second run at Pontefract, the Garswood colt was 11/2 on last Wednesday night, so I took the gamble on the early price, by race time Burscough was a 5/1 shot. I actually watched the race at work on my phone and if you have read any of my past posts you know It's a pain as we aren't allowed phones but that doesn't stop me from watching this great sport. The race started and Burscough was quickly away this time and led but just as the race was beginning to hot up and the final furlong came my phone froze, I could see the favourite catching up but was hoping Burscough had held on, finally I got the result and no loss in the end as Burscough finished second to Strike Red who by the way had pretty good form. 

No problems with my signal as my next selection ROYAL CHAMPION was ready for the off, as with Burscough I took an early price off 9/2 the night before and it looked like the right decision again as the Roger Varian colt was sent off a 100/30 shot. I was slightly worried as Royal Champion was slowly away but wow I needn't have worried as jockey Andrea Atzeni moved up through the field and I could see Royal Champion had a bit of class as the derby entry went clear and won a shade cosily in the end. 


I’m trying not to have as many bets and it paid off as I had a cracking day on Friday, as always I put my horses I like on Twitter(my Twitter feed is on the right). My first bet was on another Roger Varian horse called MASHKOORAH at Newcastle, If you check the stats on Varian 2-year-olds at Newcastle you will see he has a great record plus a couple of other reasons made me think Mashkoorah could sneak a place. The 16/1 the night before was good enough for me and my each way bet was on, I did start to worry the next morning when she went 25s but by later support came and I felt a bit more confident as she went off 7/1. This time Jack Mitchell rode a beauty as Mashkoorah stayed on and again won a little cosily. One more bet and again like a few weeks back I didn't do the double so it was odds on my next horse would win ha. I ventured into the Irish scene with the Frankel filly MEHNAH for Kevin Prendergast and Mr Hamdan Al Maktoum. I took 7/2 the night before but thank god for best odds as Mehnah looked like a class act and won well at 17/2. In the end a great few days and hopefully it can continue but as we all know a bad spell could be round the corner. 

18:00 Kempton 30 Sep 2020 

This looks a little cracker with a few nice looking 2-year-olds entered, I will make a quick shortlist of a few. 

Siam Fox sets a decent standard here after finishing second on both starts. The 260,000 gns purchase runs in the familiar colours of the King Power Racing team and a half-brother to Fox Champion. Siam Fox put in a decent effort last time out despite looking a bit green and awkward , the step up in trip should see more improvement and if he can keep straight could be hard to beat. 

Expect To Succeed is a £120,000 purchase for Roger Varian, ran a decent enough debut last week and Varian does well here so as not to be ignored. 

Barn Owl is really interesting. The homebred colt has a lovely pedigree and a half-brother to the talented Bullfinch also trained by Roger Charlton who won a few races here at Kempton. Barn Owl made his debut back in July at Newbury in what was a half decent race with a few winners coming out of it, the Frankel colt has not been seen since which would be a bit of a worry for me but l do hope I’m wrong as I would love to see this well-bred colt put in a decent show here. Barn Owl was well-supported from 9s to 5/1 at Newbury so interested to see how it goes for him here. 

SISKANY ran a decent enough debut despite running green at the start and pulling like a train, the Dubawi colt was short of room a furlong out and the winner Just Fine had already flown, could be any amount of improvement here and Appleby has a great record with second timeout runners at Kempton. If drifting over 9/2 it would be a negative. 

LANDING SYSTEM ran in the same race as the above. Bought by Armando Duarte for Andrew Balding and owners M M Stables for 75,000 gns at the 2020 Craven Breeze Up Sales. Armando Duarte is definitely going places after buying some lovely horses for M M Stables including Night On Earth, Jacinth, Alenquer and of course Round Six. The Bernardini colt was never really involved on debut but showed promise without being given a hard time. In one of my earlier posts Armando Duarte said he likes Landing System and he is one for next season but anything he does this year is a bonus. Tough call this one and one I should just watch really, I’m going to have an each way bet on Landing System but Siskany is worrying me. Odds not available at the time of writing. 


Only in the early decs but BOLTAWAY could be worth checking out in the 12.20 at Salisbury on Thursday for the Roger Charlton team. Roger doesn't have the best record with 2yos at Salisbury so that's worth keeping in mind first timeout. 

Thanks for reading and stay safe

Monday, 28 September 2020

It's a Weighting Game for Isabella Swan

Isabella Swan wins at Bath racecourse for Adam Kirby and trainer Clive Cox
Horse racing - there's always something to learn. 

I can't say I'm a fan of betting two-year-old nursery races. In fact, I've become so frustrated by the challenge of trying to assess low-class horses at varied weights that I've given up. 

If you can't make money betting on maidens, logically a nursery race [handicap, for those who don't know what they are] will be even more of a puzzle than a Rubik's Cube. 

Sadly, I wasn't very good at that either. 

However, that doesn't mean we can't gain some insight from this race type as I learned something of interest today. 

Let's take a look at the 2:20 Bath - the Nursery Handicap over 5 1/2f. 

A Class 6 race for two-year-olds raced by the official handicapper from 0-65. Pretty average horses at best, and that may be complimentary.

Isabella Swan, trained by Clive Cox, won at odds of 14/1. 

This bay daughter of Twilight son had blinkers for the first time and Adam Kirby back in the saddle. He has ridden this juvenile on three of her five starts and the handicapper had given her a helping hand by dropping her 2lb in the weights so racing off 58. 

For those with an eagle eye, you may have noticed something of interest about today's jockey booking!

I hadn't noticed until Clive Cox was good enough to explain to Racing Post's Dave Toft. 

He said: ''The blinkers have been helpful. Adam [Kirby] rode ISABELLA SWAN last time and felt she needed a bit more concentration. She preferred to have a bit more space which we weren't getting on the all-weather. I'm pleased she got the job done. It's hard work for Adam to do nine stone on a Monday so I'm glad it's paid off!''

If you click on the jockey's name on the Racing Post, you will notice under their name it says: ''Lowest riding weight in the last 12 months.''

Surprise surprise it was 9 stone, exactly the weight carried by Isabella Swan.

Now, no one is saying that every jockey riding at their lowest riding weight is going to be sitting on a winner. But it makes sense to consider if a jockey is riding at their lowest weight or lost a pound or two for a ride that they have a little more than a passing interest.

It may be a sign worth following or add to your confidence.

Guest post: Jason Coote 

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

A Day for Champions (23rd September)

Act Of Wisdom wins at Goodwood
Looking back at last Friday’s post It should have been called Gosden firing blanks(no sexual pun intended) as the hot favourite I mentioned Mithras disappointed. It wasn’t a betting opportunity at the price but surely the Gosden colt is better than he showed at Newbury. I always bang on about stats and form lines well the lot was torn apart as we had another big priced winner in the name of Oo De Lally for Andrew Balding, any regular readers will know I love a Balding second timeout 2-year-old but I wouldn’t of gone near this one at 125/1. It’s been a funny season with big priced winners popping up also I have seen plenty of odds on shots stuffed. I did have a small each way on Rifleman who I should have left alone after taking a bit drift from the overnight price and it showed as slowly away and ran green. On a positive note my tracker DECISIVE EDGE won well at Chelmsford under a great ride from William Buick, sent off 4/1 the Brian Meehan colt who had a group 1 entry made all and stuck on gamely to give me a nice winner. Another nice winner from my blog was ACT OF WISDOM who won at Goodwood today who was one of my Godolphin 2-year-olds to follow. 

13:00 Pontefract 24 Sep 2020 

BURSCOUGH was well-backed on debut for the Michael Dodds team at Redcar at the end of August. The Garswood colt was backed from 11/1 to 7/1 at the off and looked pretty professional for the first time at a racecourse. Burscough was in midfield and going pretty well but behind a wall of horses and was then taken back to try to find a path through but the leaders had well-flown by then, I know it wasn't the strongest race but this isn't either. Burscough is a full-brother to Edgewood who has done well since joining Julie Camacho. Owner David Armstrong and Dodds teamed up with a couple of nice 2yo winners back in 2018 in the names of Bartle Hall and Heath Charnock and hopefully Burscough could be in the mix to make it another. 11/2 at the time of writing, so I will be having a small each way but if drifting it will be a negative. 

13:15 Newmarket 24 Sep 2020 

What a race we have in prospect here. I have two trackers here first is ROYAL CHAMPION for Roger Varian who is a half-brother to the 106 rated Simon Crisford runner Outbox who has been consistent throughout his career and won first timeout then we have the Roger Charlton Frankel colt *KEEPER who is related to plenty of nice types including 13 rated Peril and 112 rated Set Piece who finished third in the Craven Stakes last year for Hugo Palmer. Plenty of other dangers lurk but I’m going with two win bets on my trackers.  

* NR

Another tracker to note: 

12:30 Pontefract 24 Sep 2020 

*BAKERSBOY for Tom Dascombe. (NR) 

Thanks for reading and stay safe.

Professional Gambler: Alan Potts - The Key to Successful Gambling

Professional Gambler: Alan Potts - The Key to Successful Gambling
Not to be confused with his late namesake, a Yorkshire-born engineer who was, for a dozen seasons, one of the leading owners in Ireland and Britain, Alan Potts is, by his own admission, a 'semi-retired' professional punter. A mathematics prodigy, Potts enjoyed betting, informally, from an early age. The introduction of the Betting and Gaming Act and legalisation of betting shops on May 1, 1961 proved just right for the 14-year-old Potts, who attended his first race meeting at the now-defunct Alexandra Park Racecourse, near Muswell Hill, North London later that year. 

However, despite an early introduction to horse racing, it was not until 1987, following the abolition of on-course betting duty in March that year, that Potts starting planning to make a living from betting on the sport. Even then, despite generating a profit from betting four years running, he had no intention of 'taking the plunge' until he was 50 years old. However, in late 1991, Potts lost his job in computer operations with Swindon-based firm Hambro Life; armed with his redundancy payment, his profits for the year and an additional £20,000 made by cashing in shares, he established a betting bank and embarked on a new career as a professional punter. Potts has admitted that, in recent years, motivation is an issue, but he still considered himself to be a full-time professional punter until 2015. 

Potts' methodology when analysing form is to highlight the negative characteristics of the horses that are unlikely to win for one reason or another and, in so doing, eliminate them from the list of possible winners. His shortlist typically consists of between one and four, but not more than four, contenders, whose form he reviews, on film and on paper, before finalising a selection. Any probable bet ultimately relies on the availability of a 'value' price. For Potts, odds of 2/1 are an absolute minimum, but he exercises caution about any selection offered at odds of less than 4/1. He agrees with conventional wisdom insofar that 'value is in the eye of the beholder' and is unafraid to back an outsider, provided he can make a persuasive case for doing so. Obviously, he recognises that the case for an outsider may not be as 'cut and dried' as that for a horse within the usual favourites' range, but that fact is more than amply offset by the odds of reward. 

All told, Potts has written three books, 'Against The Crowd' and 'The Inside Track', published by Aesculus Press Limited in 1995 and 1998, respectively, and 'A Wasted Life', an ebook made available free-of-charge, exclusively online, in 2019. In his first book which, he admits, was a distraction from his day-to-day betting activity, Potts reveals the beliefs, methods and strategies, many of which are at odds with conventional wisdom, that allowed him to establish, and maintain, an edge over the bookmakers. His second book continues in similar vein, focusing on the nuts-and-bolts of betting 'professionally' and Potts argues, convincingly, that less successful punters make any number of entirely avoidable mistakes. His third book, though, is more 'autobiographical' and traces Potts' life and times from his childhood in North London, through twenty five years, or more, as a professional punter, to the point where he could live more than adequately from his pensions and savings, if he so desired. 

Indeed, in 'Against The Crowd', Potts espoused the virtues of the so-called Four 'C's – namely: 
  • Confidence
  • Capital
  • Calculation
  • Cynicism
Which he considers the cornerstones of successful punting. 

Capital and calculation speak for themselves, more or less, but self-belief, bordering on arrogance, and scepticism, with regard to the views of other 'respected' racing professionals, including jockeys, trainers and journalists, are prerequisites of the professional punter, according to Potts. 

In fact, Potts' own self-belief is reflected by the fact that, in his heyday in the Nineties, he placed between 300 and 400 bets a year, mainly in the form of high-stakes single win bets, mostly on-course at smaller, midweek meetings. 

Later in his career, he focussed on betting online at major weekend and meetings, where there were fewer 'non-triers', a smaller pool of horses and high turnover, making it more likely that bookmakers would accept sizeable bets.

Related post: Star Sports: Interview Alan Potts

Friday, 18 September 2020

Gosden Hoping To Fire Some Bullets At Newbury (September 19th)

Arousing wins for William Haggas at Great Yarmouth Eastern Festival

What a great ride jockey Tom Marquand gave Arousing at Yarmouth yesterday, alright it was because I wrote about the William Haggas trained Kodiac filly in my last post that I mention it, but serious Tom is at the top of his game and even though Arousing was slowly away and behind a wall of horses Tom managed to battle his way through and get Arousing up to win nicely. 

My other selection was Elland Road Boy for Kevin Ryan, now I did mention if drifting would be a negative so hopefully anybody who actually bets on my fancies left the Dandy Man colt alone as he took a huge drift to 28/1 at the off. I do add these little pointers for a reason and I know i’m no Hugh Taylor but as part pf my selection process I like to take into account the stats of trainer for instance Kevin Ryan second timeout winners in Novice and Maiden 2-year-old races over 10/1 are very poor, in fact he’s never had a 28/1 winner over the 4-year study, after writing this you just know it’s going to happen ha but on a serious note it’s worth checking these things out if you want to get a better angle on horse racing. Right lecture over, as always Saturdays are very competitive especially first timeout 2-year-olds at Newbury and Newmarket. I did say to myself I wouldn’t bother with these big races but yes I still can’t stop myself so here we go but be warned tough races to be honest. 

13:05 Newbury 19 Sep 2020

MITHRAS could start the day off nicely for trainer John Gosden. Owners Haras De Saint Pair could have a nice one here after an eye-catching debut at Sandown last month. I’m pretty sure the Dubawi colt went into a few notebooks as it looked like a hot little race with the winner finishing third in a Listed race at Doncaster and the second, third, fifth and sixth all winning. Mithras looked a bit clueless in that race but powered home when the penny dropped. Dam Irish Rookie was no slouch herself for Martyn Meade winning her first two races as a 2-year-old including the Montrose fillies Listed Stakes and contesting group races throughout her career. It’s by no means a given that Mithras will win here as Aerion Power also looks a future winner and a few unraced nice looking types in the field but hopefully even though Mithras will be short in the betting he can take a step forward here. 

16:00 Newbury 19 Sep 2020 

The division 2 also looks a nice race and another Gosden runner turns up here this time for owners Mrs J Magnier, Mr M Tabor & Mr D Smith. The Gurkha colt RIFLEMAN is related to plenty of winners including the useful Aloft. John Gosden does pretty well with his first timeout 2-year-olds at Newbury and last year won this race with Cherokee Trail who is owned by the same owners as Rifleman. As always betting could be the key and any big drift would be a big negative. Plenty of unknowns here but hopefully Rifleman can make it a nice day for Mr Gosden at Newbury. 

Other tracker to note: 

13:00 Chelmsford City 20 Sep 2020 


Good luck and stay safe

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Haggas Hoping For An Arousing Debut At Yarmouth (17th September)

My last selection definitely needed a bit of Fergie time at Kempton the other day. The Andrew Balding trained Florence Street ran a decent race to be honest and looked to be getting the hang of things late on but the first two had flown well by then. Interested to see if she can finally get her head in front next timeout. 

Tracker Wise Judgment ran a promising debut at Beverley today when looking professional, I actually thought she was going to win until the hot favourite came from a mile away to win easily in the end but a promising second on debut. 

Hot favourite Ready To Venture despite being slow away won like a favourite should at Yarmouth today and will be contesting pattern races soon. 

16:10 Yarmouth 17 Sep 2020 

The Sir Michael Stoute trained Ville De Grace looks a worthy favourite here after a winning debut at Kempton back in June. The second that day Glesca Girl ran a decent race next timeout in a class 2 but apart from her it didn't look the strongest race but you can only beat what's in front of you hey. It will be a tough ask with a win penalty, so I will be putting forward a William Haggas' unraced filly called AROUSING and hoping I can get a run for my money at least. Ideally an each way bet but I would be very surprised to get that. The Kodiac filly has a lovely pedigree and is a half-sister to the brilliant One Master who is also trained by William Haggas and owned by Lael Stable. I always keep an eye out for William Haggas 2-year-olds at Yarmouth because he has a pretty good strike rate and hopefully Arousing can add to that but as always debut races can be frustrating at times. 100/30 at the time of writing. 

13:15 Pontefract 17 Sep 2020 

My next one is a bit of a speculative one and hopefully I can get an each way price. ELLAND ROAD BOY is a pretty cheap purchase for Kevin Ryan, the Dandy Man colt was purchased for £26,000 and owned by Mr Roger Peel & Clipper Logistics. Queen Jo Jo was an excellent purchase by the same owner and trainer at the 2018 Craven Breeze Up Sales who has got better with age and this season won the Group 3 Summer Fillies Stakes at York. Another from the same owner and trainer combo is Romantic Vision who won twice last season. Elland Road Boy was easy to back on debut at Chester and finished last of six, hopefully the wind op will bring some improvement and make the frame against the hot favourite Sir Maxi. 11/1 at the time of writing but any drift will be a negative with this Dandy Man colt. 


14:50 Sandown 16 Sep 2020

This looked a pretty nice race and the Queens horse Just Fine won well for Sir Michael Stoute but one who was a big price who will be worth keeping an eye out for is the Andrew Balding trained LANDING SYSTEM who was a 40/1 shot today. Landing System was never really involved but kept on steadily and will have learnt a lot from his first taste of the racecourse. Thanks for reading and stay safe.

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

15:55 Kempton 15 Sep 2020, Fergie Time?

You Know your luck is in when you book a week off work and you get a mini heatwave, well I say my luck is in but then I got told I was painting the house ffs, anyway I was planning a few posts on my days off but for reasons known I haven't had much time. As always a little look back in what hasn't been the best week. In my last post I mentioned Conquering Eagle but the Andrew Balding colt couldn't hold on for a place, I guess I was a little disappointed but it happens. I had a small bet on the William Haggas trained Shamardalah which I got totally wrong as the Richard Hannon trained Little Rollright won well. Another bet I made was Master Of The Seas in the Goffs Vincent O'Brien National Stakes but another who couldn't make the winners enclosure. All in all, a pretty disappointing week. 


Ralph Beckett has enjoyed a nice couple of winners lately, first was Fablis for Mr K. Abdullah who won second timeout at Chepstow recently and looks like a nice prospect, next was New Mandate who won the Listed Flying Scotsman Stakes at Doncaster with the great man himself Frankie Dettori on board so it seems fitting to mention a few Ralph Beckett trained horses that I think will be winning in the near future. 

CASUARINA is a Sea The Moon filly who is owned and bred by Miss K. Rausing. Casuarina has a lovely pedigree and is a full-sister to 100 rated Durston and a half-sister to the Ralph Beckett trained Cubanita who won some great races including the Group 3 John Porter Stakes at Newbury in 2014 and had an official rating of 111. Casuarina made her debut at Leicester in a nice looking novice stakes race, well-supported from 10s into 5/1 Casuarina was slowly away and ran green before staying on and finishing third but couldn’t reach leaders. One for next time but I’m sure she will be well-supported again. 

Quantum Leap Racing have had a few nice horses with Ralph Beckett including Nivaldo who won his first two races as a 2-year-old and looked a great talent before sadly dying as a three-year-old. Wyclif is another who finished second in the Silver Tankard Stakes at Pontefract last season so it’s no surprise to see another on the eye-catchers list. ORGETORIX was a 40,000 gns purchase at the 2019 October Yearling Sales and made his debut at Newbury last month. The Archipenko gelding wasn’t well-fancied for debut but still ran a promising race to finish third and is another to look out for. 

15:55 Kempton 15 Sep 2020 

Things didn’t go to plan with my last Andrew Balding runner Conquering Eagle but another has hit the radar in the name of FLORENCE STREET and has the champ Oisin Murphy on board. Owned by Sir Alex Ferguson the Iffraaj filly made her debut at the beginning of the month at Salisbury and was up with the pace until weakening to finish seventh in a nice class 2 race. I’m hoping she will strip fitter tomorrow and the Balding and Murphy combination at Kempton can bring the money home. Florence Street is 4/1 at the time of writing(00.33) if drifts to double figures would be a negative. 

Couple of trackers that could be worth keeping an eye on in the next few days. 

14:25 Beverley 16 Sep 2020 WISE JUDGEMENT, Mark Johnston 

14:35 Yarmouth 16 Sep 2020 READY TO VENTURE, William Haggas 

Thanks for reading and stay safe.

Friday, 11 September 2020

Frankel Watch 2020: John Leeper (Dunlop)

Frankel Watch: John Leeper Dunlop
It's interesting to consider the origin of horse names. 

Today, I noted a Frankel offspring racing in the 4:15 Doncaster, trained by Ed Dunlop. 

You may have noticed it too - John Leeper

This bay colt born on the 28th April, is a son of Frankel, out of a very impressive mare Snow Fairy who was similarly owned and trained. She was a truly amazing racehorse who raced 21 times and achieved 8 wins, 4 seconds and 4 thirds. In fact, she won no less than 6 Group 1 or Grade 1 races in a four-year career. Very few horses win top-class races across the globe and come close to total earnings of almost £4M. 

Snow Fairy was bred by Anamoine Ltd, who are no stranger to gifted horses. You may have noticed one of Ed Dunlops better horses is Virgin Snow who is similarly owned and trained and going full stream ahead. 

Her mother is Snow Fairy, although sired by Gleneagles. 

It's funny, but I had my eye on Virgin Snow making her debut last year in July because I was pretty confident she would be the best juvenile in the stable. 

That's my thought about John Leeper. I know the stable rate this colt, which is hardly surprising because if this colt went through the sales ring would fetch a huge sum of money. 

Anyway, I was intrigued to find out who is or was John Leeper. 

I typed the name into Google, and who should pop up?

John Dunlop, the late father of Ed Dunlop, and exceptional trainer John Leeper Dunlop, who sadly passed away on 8th July 2018. 

John Dunlop OBE was based in Arundel, Sussex, and trained 74 Group 1 race victories, including 10 Classics with over 3,000 winners in total. In addition, he was British Flat Champion Trainer in 1995. 

Noted winners include:
  • Shirley Heights (1978), Erhaab (1994) Epsom Derby 
  • Habibti (1983) Nunthorpe Stakes, July Cup,  Haydock Sprint Cup, Kings Stand Cup (1984), 
  • Salsabil (1990) 1000 Guineas, Oaks, 
  • Awaasif  (1982), Circus Plume (1984), Yorkshire Oaks 
Ed Dunlop has been in good form with his two-year-olds this season with Lenny's Spirit a recent winner at York.

So will John Leeper be winning on debut?

In general, the stable debutantes struggle to win on their racecourse bow although I am very interested in seeing how this son of Frankel goes today. 

Unless backed to 9/2 and less SP, I would consider this colt to run a very sound race but be primed to win on his second start. 

However, we are talking about a Frankel sired colt from a mare who won millions in prize money and achieved an official rating of 124. 

When your mother and father won 16 Group 1 races between them, anything is possible. 

Good luck to connections.

Guest post: Jason Coote

Thursday, 10 September 2020

2:00 Sandown Racing (11th September)

As always I have been so busy lately, in my last post I gave a couple of unraced 2-year-olds that could be worth checking on debut, first off was the Roger Varian trained Batraan who ran at York last Sunday, I did mention anything over 9/2 would be seen as a negative and despite a bit of late support Batraan started 5/1. I did have a small each way bet but I really hate doing win bets and of course it went down straight away as Batraan finished out the places. If you read the race report it said slowly away, behind, ran green, some late headway, so I will definitely be keeping a close eye on the 85.000 gns purchase next timeout. 

Next was Reams Of Love for Mark Johnston who could only manage third but another who will come and plenty. 

I went a bit mad on my other fancy which was the Aidan O’ Brien horse LIPIZZANER who I had noted as being entered in a host of nice group races this year including the Dewhurst and Middle Park Stakes. The market didn’t really know what to do and when I saw 6/4 about Lipizzaner I went straight in and in the end it was the right decision as Lipizzaner stayed on gamely to win by half a length. 

I had no time to do a post this week but mentioned a few on Twitter I liked, first up was Midnight Poppy at Musselburgh, I took 18s the night before and had a speculative each way bet, I always like to watch the market through the day and noticed Midnight was getting well-supported so went in again at 10s little did I know that Hugh Taylor was the reason for the support. Midnight Poppy ran a great race to finish second, so I was pretty happy with that. Next up was Windsor and I liked two in the race that I thought could improve for their debut race so had a split stake on the two. 

I didn't expect OPERATIC to win by seven lengths but the Simon and Ed Crisford filly didn't break sweat in an impressive display, my other horse was Typical Man who actually ran well to finish third but was no match for Operatic. Party Rebel was my next bet but as I mentioned on Twitter I am trying to knock betting on first time out 2yos on the head even though I have had a few nice winners this season its something I need to look into at the end of the season but anyway Party Rebel was slowly away but kept on to finish fourth and one I will look out for next timeout. Considering I always go on about how I hate doing win bets instead of each way sometimes with prices you after go for broke and it paid off with my next two winners. 

LATEST GENERATION actually opened up 3/1, but I was in two minds so by the time I decided to bet I could only manage to get 2/1 but after an impressive display and a starting price of 8/11 I was pretty happy with my 2/1. 

It’s been a good week to be honest as my next bet was the well-bred FABILIS who is trained by Ralph Beckett and a full-brother to Monarchs Glens. I did get a bit worried at one stage as he was hard ridden but Fabilis came again and won going away in the end. Fabilis looks a nice prospect and should be even better when upped in trip. 

14:00 Sandown 11 Sep 2020 

An intriguing little contest here and no doubt Maximal will be a short price favourite to get his first win on the board for Sir Michael Stoute after finishing third to One Ruler at Sandown in August, the form has been franked with Latest Generation hosing up in the Class 2 race at Donny the other day but I could be totally wrong here but I’m willing to have a speculative each way bet on the Andrew Balding trained CONQUERING EAGLE (14/1 at the time of writing) who I noted as a eye-catcher in the same race as Maximal when making his debut. I don’t know if I need to go back to specsavers to change my glasses but to me Conquering Eagle was given an easy time by Rob Hornby that day. The step up in trip should suit the 120,000 euros Lope De Vega bay colt. As I said I won’t be going mad but sometimes you have to go take on the favourites. 

Thanks for reading and stay safe.

Saturday, 5 September 2020

Weekend Post (5th September)

Well, of course I’m disappointed in not getting a winner with the horses I mentioned in Friday's post but I always like to look at the positives and not get too down about it. MUAY THAI was up first and I don’t know why but when Pat Dobbs is in the saddle I never seem to win and as you may have seen it happened again. The Richard Hannon newcomer looked professional from the start and cruised along nicely on the rail before Dobbs had to go between horses to challenge but by then the two in front got first run and Muay Thai finished third but it was definitely a promising debut. Must go close next time out so one for the trackers. 

ACT OF WISDOM is definitely better than seen today and the drift told the story that it wasn’t going to be his day. All his family needed a little time to get fully tuned so it didn’t surprise me too much and sometimes a bad first run could be a good thing for a punter as I might get a half decent price next timeout. It’s alright saying after the event but I did have my eye on the Richard Hughes winner Lightening Shore after a great debut when third to the Round Six here a few weeks back but these things happen. PURE BUBBLES was a non runner but I thought it was Gary Moore's day when his other runner CHAMPAGNE PIAFF had every chance the last furlong until tiring and finishing fourth at 66/1. 

DECISIVE EDGE was well-backed in the later race at Kempton and I thought my 33/1 bet was looking good for a place until being swamped inside the last furlong but hopefully another who will be entered in a smaller easier race in the next few weeks or so. 

Saturday looks like another nightmare for punting with some nice 2 yos making their debut, so I will be leaving it alone and just watching I think. 

One tracker who will be a short price who I expect to definitely be in the mix is LIPIZZANER who runs in the 15.30 at Naven. The well-thought of Aidan O’Brien runner ran a blinder last timeout in the Norfolk Stakes at Ascot despite being slowly away.  

13:00 York 06 Sep 2020 

We have a few here that have run to a decent level including Mamba Wamba and McManaman plus the Queens runner Inveigle but I will take a chance with the Roger Varian colt BATRAAN to make a winning debut for a team in great form. Batraan is an 85,000 gns purchase for owner Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum and is out of unraced Dam Testimony. Roger has a great record at York with Molatham, Sardinia Sunset and the winner of this race last year Clan Royale all recent winners. The only negative would be if drifting to over 9/2. 

14:30 York 06 Sep 2020

Roger Varian has the favourite here Athers who could be hard to beat but them favourites are there to be taken on, so I will hopefully have a small each way on the Mark Johnston newcomer REAMS OF LOVE who was a 80,000 euro purchase at the 2019 Orby sale for owners Crone Stud Farm who had a winner with Love Is Golden the other day. Sire Frankel and Dam Night Of Light both enjoyed a bit of cut in the ground so hopefully Reams Of Love will too. 

Thanks for reading and stay safe.

Friday, 4 September 2020

Friday's Horse Racing + Updates & Eye Catchers

It’s been a while since my last post because I’m just far too busy at the minute but I know you are missing me so here we go. Jason Coote wrote a post for the blog this week about should we bet with all this rain making the ground soft or heavy and I have to say I’ve had a nightmare with my bets this week but I’m not making the ground an excuse I think it’s just been one of them weeks that discipline should have been on my mind but a year on I’m still struggling with that one. 

UPDATES:  A few I mentioned on twitter finished nearer last than first, I did mention a horse called Ziggy who was running at Kempton on Tuesday for trainer James Eustace, I noticed the champion jockey Oisin Murphy was in the saddle instead of riding Scampi for Andrew Balding and threw a speculative each way bet on at 40s, fast-forward to race time and the gamble had took place and Ziggy was 13/2, surely it would place at least but yeah wishful thinking hey as Ziggy crawled out the stalls and was outpaced and ran green, I will still keep an eye out for the son of Sixties Icon next timeout. Next was Cottam Lane for Kevin Ryan who ran a decent enough race to finish second behind the Karl Burke runner Bickerstaffe who is owned by David Armstrong. Next was Amal who was another who was well-supported but didn’t turn up. I thought one of my eye-catchers from last week would win easily yesterday at Newcastle and go onto better things, Bellissime was a short price favourite to take the class 5 event but winner Montassib had different ideas and got up in the dying strides to deny the Ryan filly. 

Onto a few positive notes it was nice to see one of my Mark Johnston 2-year-olds to follow finally winning when the well-bred LOVE IS GOLDEN put in a much improved performance to win with a bit in hand at Ripon on Monday at 9/1, did I back him? Of course not!!. Another of Eve Johnson Houghtons 2-year-olds to follow won on Wednesday at Bath, Soldier Lions won impressively and can hopefully step up a level and win again before the seasons out. It was nice to see M M Stables Night On Earth win again after my post with Armando Duarte last week. Really pleased for him as he’s a lovely fella and I wish him the best for the future.


I haven’t really had much time to go through the replays just yet but one I’m pretty confident will be winning sooner rather than later is Zinc White for the Ralph Beckett team who was seriously backed for his debut at Salisbury yesterday from 12s into 4/1. The 50,000 euro purchase definitely looked in need of the race when running green but hopefully he will settle next timeout. 


My last venture into the Irish racing saw Moon Daisy finish fifth in a nice looking maiden. My next tracker Is the Joseph O’Brien trained Ulster Blackwater who is owned by Sun Bloodstock and should be up to getting off the mark before the season ends. As I mentioned earlier the 2-year-old races are coming thick and fast so I will mention a few trackers and a speculative bet. 

14:30 Ascot 04 Sep 2020 

The favourite Lockdown has ran well despite not winning for Hugo Palmer but I will take a chance with my tracker MUAY THAI who is a Richard Hannon newcomer by Acclamation and owned by Mr Saeed Bin Mohammed Al Qassimi. The £42,000 2yo has a nice pedigree and will hopefully be tuned up first timeout. 

17:50 Kempton 04 Sep 2020 

I won’t be backing this short priced tracker but really looking forward to the well-bred Godolphin runner ACT OF WISDOM, the 1,100,000 gns yearling is a brother to the very smart Line Of Duty and comes with a big reputation but plenty of dangers first time out here. 

18:20 Kempton 04 Sep 2020 

Favourite MEGALLAN is one of my John Gosden 2yos to follow and hacked up on debut, could easily win this doing handstands but Brian Meehan has a nice filly in the name of DECISIVE EDGE who cost £52,000 as a yearling, I will have a small each way on this No Nay Never colt but whatever she does here I’m sure this well-thought of colt will improve and not one to discard if disappointing. 

15:05 Ascot 04 Sep 2020 

I could be off my rocker for even mentioning this next one. *PURE BUBBLES is a 50/1 shot at the time of writing(00.52 and yes I should be well away) but you may or may not know trainer Gary Moore once popped up with a 100/1 winning 2-year-old back in August 2017 called The Children’s Trust, now Hector Crouch was on that day but is on the other Moore runner CHAMPAGNE PIAFF here, anyway whatever Bubbles does here another who will be worth keeping an eye out for further on down the line. 


Thanks for reading and stay safe.

Sunday, 30 August 2020

Soft Going: Should I Bet or Not?

Each to their own.

I don't know about you, but I always feel a touch uneasy about betting on horses on testing ground. 

Perhaps a touch of soft in good ground isn't too much of a problem but when it's soft or heavy what do you think?

Betting on the two-year-olds, you can be at the mercy of the ground because even if your horse has breeding to cope it doesn't mean that will be the case. 

I noticed a couple of two-year-old horse races at Newmarket and the field was strung out like it was a two-mile chase. 

Winners pulling clear by five or six lengths, while those at the back of the field were in a different county. 

I had a distinctly uneasy feeling and it wasn't just from the sodden ground under my size nines.

Perhaps you don't think about the ground or just chance your luck the horse you backed will be favoured rather than literally stuck in the mud. 

With limited form to know for sure whether your horse will be at home on testing ground you have to take a double gambler. Not only does it have enough ability to win but it will enjoy the ground. Or, at least, it won't be falling out the back of the telly. 

So what do we do?

I must admit, I am very careful. It is one of those things that makes you feel you can only lose. You don't bet and the horse wins. You do bet, and it comes home last eating a potato it found in the mud. 

Sometime, if you get a price, you just have to go with the flow and hope it is your lucky day. 

It doesn't inspire confidence. 

What do you think?

Guest post: Jason Coote 

Saturday, 29 August 2020

Trackers And Eye-Catchers (August 29th)

I will start with State Patrol who after three runs still hasn’t put his best foot forward. The Richard Fahey colt turned up at Nass last Sunday hoping to take away some of the 80.000 euro prize money, I did have my doubts that the trip was too short and so it proved as he ran on late again. It’s definitely frustrating as I’m sure he can win over further but I can’t wait forever. Royal Musketeer is a Charlie Hills colt owned by Mr Ziad A. Galadari who is a tracker I mentioned for a race at Haydock at the beginning of August but was a non runner. I wasn’t expecting him to be 17/2 at Chelmsford on Saturday but hey I was well-happy as Royal Musketeer held on to win by a nose from the nice Richard Hannon colt Dewey Road. 

I was really pleased with HICKORY who I noted down as a potential bet on Monday night after looking through my notes and statistics. The James Fanshawe Free Eagle colt was a 125,000 gns purchase at the Tattersalls 2019 October Yearling Sale out of Book 3 and was a 20/1 shot which was to good of a price to leave, fast-forward to race time on Tuesday the 20/1 had evaporated, and he was as short as 7/1. I really hope someone actually saw my Twitter post and threw a few quid on as Hickory despite being slow out the stalls quickened up nicely to win by over a length with the impressive Tom Marquand in the hot seat. Things didn't quite go to plan with my next fancy as I really needed some support for H Bomb to stand any chance, It really does help to check that stats out when betting as pretty much most of the time the stats don’t lie. H Bomb was a 33/1 shot at race time and according to the stats in maiden and novice 2-year-old races Karl Burkes last winner over 33/1 was back in 2017 when Capla Dancer won at Ripon and was a huge 66/1, I really should have waited till closer to the race but that’s the gamble I took and H Bomb trailed in towards the back. IL Bandito was one I thought I had in the bag but was collared close home by the nice looking Michael Dods colt Northern Express. Last but not least a short priced winner for one of my eye-catchers when the Ralph Beckett trained Patient Dream won at Lingfield.  


CONQUERING EAGLE is a Lope De Vega bay colt for the Andrew Balding yard. Purchased by owners PDR Properties & Apollo Racing at the 2019 Orby Sale for 120,000 euros. Conquering Eagle was a 66/1 shot on debut in a pretty nice looking maiden at Sandown last Sunday, he wasn't the best away by far but looked professional and knew his job. Rob Hornby crept up on the rail but Conquering Eagle was never really put in the race and stayed on steadily without threatening. I really hope the champion jockey is booked for his next outing and it would be even better at Kempton but that could be wishful thinking on my part.

BELLISSIME is a No Nay Never filly trained by Kevin Ryan and owned by Mrs R G Hillen and Partner who was purchased at the 2020 Goffs Arqana & Breeze Up Sale for £150,000. Kevin Ryan seriously knows the time of day and wouldn't have stuck Bellissime in the Group 2 Lowther Stakes at York for her debut if he didn't think she was a nice type. Bellissime was slowly into stride and outpaced before making headway towards the end of the race. Really looking forward to her next run and hopefully she can progress after that promising debut. 

Thanks for reading and stay safe.

Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Fred Archer Racing: Hickory Smokes the Boots of Rivals at Great Yarmouth

Fred Archer Racing: Hickory Smokes the Boots of Rivals at Great Yarmouth As the saying goes: ''All good things come to those who wait.''

At times, I feel as though I have been waiting all my life. I wonder if James Fanshawe has ever thought the same about training gifted two-year-old horses. 

Fanshawe, based at Newmarket, has always been an exceptional trainer of what may seem a small string of thoroughbreds. In fact, yesterday on a windswept Norfolk coast, saw him send out his first two-year-old of the season. 

It was worth the wait as victory came in the form of a potentially smart colt called Hickory. 

Taking part in the 3:20 Great Yarmouth - EBF Future Stayers Novice Stakes (Sire And Dam Restricted Race) (Plus 10 Race) (Class 4) (2yo) (7f 3yds) 7f Good to Soft. 

In an eight-strong field, Hickory was well backed from 11/1 - 7/1 (available at 20/1 with bookmakers the evening before), Tom Marquand gave his son of Free Eagle out of a four-time winning mare a beautiful ride after a slow start. 

Racing in the familiar silks of Fred Archer Racing (Galliard), this May colt was purchased for 125,000g at the yearling sales. 

Hickory finished the race with real gusto winning readily under a hands-and-heels ride, with a little tap behind the saddle to keep him concentrating. 

It was a beautiful introduction and the team must have been pleased with this debut with thoughts of what may come. 

See the full result here. 

Sometimes, the best thing in life, horses and bets are worth the wait. 

Well done to connections.
Guest post: Jason Coote 

Monday, 24 August 2020

M M Stables Pulling Clear of the Field with Armando Duarte

Owners M M Stables have done some astute business this year and even though it has been a challenging year with the coronavirus causing havoc everywhere racing manager Armando Duarte has been busy finding talented 2-year-olds to give owners M M Stables something to shout about, well from their own home for most of the time anyway. 

NIGHT ON EARTH was out first in a Windsor maiden when showing inexperience coming out the stalls and never involved. The Kodiac bay colt was purchased for 56,000 euros at the 2019 September Yearling Sales by M M Stables and is trained by Andrew Balding. Night On Earth's second run was totally different when champion jockey Oisan Murphy had Night On Earth out the stalls like a bat out of hell, and he never looked back, winning easily. 

Next was the Group 3 Molecomb Stakes at Goodwood when finishing down the field in a competitive race but I’m sure Night On Earth will be winning again this season. Next up is a horse I definitely don’t think we have seen the best of yet, JACINTH is a New Bay filly trained by William Haggas. M M Stables racing manager Armando Duarte purchased Jacinth at the 2020 Craven Breeze Up Sales for a cool 120,000 gns and started her career in a nice fillies maiden at Newbury when staying on into third place. Jacinth was again at Newbury for her next race when battling on well to again finish third against a nice Andrew Balding filly called Alcohol Free. I don’t think it will be long before we see Jacinth in the winners enclosure after two decent efforts so far this season. 

Another nice one for the Haggas yard is ALENQUER who was again purchased by Armando Duarte this time at the 2019 October Yearling Sales for 80,000 gns. The son of Adlerflug made his debut at Newbury and won in impressive fashion and in doing so won the £25,000 October Book 1 Bonus which was a great start for owners M M Stables. 

The next one will be a favourite of mine forever as I actually backed this Andrew Balding Buratino colt at 20/1. ROUND SIX was a £60,000 purchase by Armando Duarte and was given a nice introduction at Salisbury by David Probert when staying on without threatening the leaders that day. Round Six made no mistake next timeout at Kempton with Oisian Murphy taking over in the hot seat was quickly away and never looked back to win a shade cosily in the end. Interesting to see what Andrew Balding will do with Round Six next.
Armando Duarte says: 

I have been in this business for 20 years - a bloodstock agent and racing manager for M M Stables. I buy good horses for little money. In addition, I buy horses for Australia and HK. 

I bought this Unnamed Starspangledbanner colt Tattersalls Book 1 for £100.000 Sterling. 

He is a big strong horse but is taking time to come to hand. Mentally and physically he wasn't here. We gave him 2 weeks in the paddocks and he come back a different horse. 

Hopefully, he will go forward and run later in the year. However, he will see more next year. We like him enough at the moment.

He is in training with William Haggas. 

Also, I bought a Vadamos colt at Tattersalls book 1 for £120.000.  We like him a lot and he give him plenty of time to develop. 

He will be out in October if everything goes well. 

He is in training with Andrew Balding. 

Also, I bought this beautiful big well-bred colt Landing System at Tattersalls Craven breeze-up sales for £75.000. 

I like him a lot too. 

He is for next year but whatever he does this year will be a bonus. 

He is in training with Andrew Balding. 

M M STABLES are very nice people and successful operation. If the money is right, they sell horses too.

Follow Armando Duarte Twitter