Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Plenty of effort on show but no reward

Two selections today and lots of effort from both of them, but sadly neither able to do the business.

We had:

TIME COURSE SELECTION 0.5pt/1pt/2pt win Bookmaker(s) / Price(s)
3.20 Catterick Just Maddie 1pt 7/1+generally inc. 8/1 Lads/Coral
4.50 Catterick Finbar Flynn 1pt 6/1+generally inc. 7/1 Lads/Hills&others 8/1 Coral

Just Maddie ran her heart out, under pressure from some way out but she kept right up there, and was staying on again at the end. A couple of poor jumps didn't help her cause, she finished just out of the frame in fourth, after going off at 7/1.

Finbar Flynn was well backed and also couldn't be faulted for effort. Off and on the bridle for quite a way he kept finding and was still bang there, trading at just above evens for a time, but finally ran out of steam after the last, finishing fourth beaten a couple of lengths by the winner. He started at 5/1.

Summary of results with prices (advised --- SP):

Just Maddie, 4th/8, 8/1 --- 7/1
Finbar Flynn, 4th/9, 8/1 --- 5/1

So the last day of a weather-effected month tomorrow, February's flown by really. It'd be nice to use the leap year day well with a couple of cracking winners, we'll see!

Monday, 27 February 2012

Slow Monday

Just the one selection today:

TIME COURSE SELECTION 0.5pt1pt/2pt win Bookmaker(s) / Price(s)
4.45 Plumpton Quipe Me Posted 1pt 9/1+generally inc. 10/1 Lads/Hills/Bet365/Totesport&others

There was no shortage of effort from Suzy Smith's nicely backed 8yo, but he just couldn't go with the front two as much as he tried, and he ended up finishing a well beaten third.

Confirmation of result with prices (advised --- SP):

Quipe Me Posted, 3rd/6, 10/1 --- 7/1

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Weekend Round-up

A poor weekend, and frustrating to reflect on yet another couple of second placed finishes for us win-only backers.

Yesterday we had:

TIME COURSE SELECTION 0.5pt1pt/2pt win Bookmaker(s) / Price(s)
2.30 Kempton Cool Friend 0.5pt 6/1+generally inc. 13/2 Totesport&others 7/1 Hills/Bet365
3.10 Chepstow Hit The Switch 1pt 7/1+ generally inc. 8/1 Lads/Bet365/Totesport&others
3.45 Chepstow Dinarius 0.5pt 10/1+generally inc. 12/1 Lads/Hills/Coral&others
4.20 Chepstow Lamps 0.5pt 5/1+generally inc. 11/2 Hills&others
4.45 Kempton Ultravox 2pt 10/1+generally inc. 12/1 Lads/Hills/Totesport&others

It was a busy Saturday and our best effort came from the very first to run, Cool Friend, who held every chance against the improver of the year Hunt Ball as they turned for home, only for the surely Cheltenham-bound winner to quicken clear smoothly in the closing stages. Jeremy Scott's 9yo went off at 5/1.

Hit The Switch had been nicely backed in the morning but ran an absolute shocker, never in it at all, after going off at 10/1.

Equally poor from Dinarius who went off at 22/1.

At least we got the price with Lamps in the next, going off at 9/2, but he couldn't get any closer than 4th.

Ultravox was our first 2pt pick for a while, and it was frustrating to see him make a mistake at the very first and struggling all too early, after going off at 12/1.

Not a good day!

On to today and we had:

TIME COURSE SELECTION 1pt/2pt win Bookmaker(s) / Price(s)
3.50 Towcester Cool Operator 1pt 7/2+generally inc. 4/1 Coral/Stan James

Plenty of support about for this one today early on today, and a good gutsy performance, but again we ran into a well handicapped sort. Philip Kirby's 9yo (SP 9/2) was on and off the bridle throughout, but kept finding for pressure and was bang there approaching the last, if not marginally in front. But a slightly guessy jump at the last didn't help and we went down by a couple of lengths.

Summary of results with prices (advised --- SP):

Saturday 25th February 2012:

Cool Friend, 2nd/8, 7/1 --- 5/1
Hit The Switch, 7th/8, 8/1 --- 10/1
Dinarius, PU/9, 12/1 --- 22/1
Lamps, 4th/9, 11/2 --- 9/2
Ultravox, 11th/15, 12/1 --- 12/1

Sunday 26th February 2012:

Cool Operator, 2nd/10, 4/1 --- 9/2

So here we are, 26th February 2012 and we have 24 second placed finishes this year already, from 93 selections. That's 25.8% of all selections finding one too good, with the 24 having an average price of 7.6/1.

To put this run into context, in 2011 it wasn't until April 1st that we hit 24 seconds (from 188 selections (12.7%)). In 2010, we didn't hit 24 seconds until April 27th (from 228 selections (10.53%)).

Historically, until the turn of this year, 12.04% of our selections finished second, from 1328 picks. To be hitting at more than double this figure is quite something, more than one in four, and nothing other than a quirk in variance.

This doesn't make it any less annoying of course, but at least it's possible to put these results into some sort of context and realise that before too long these that go close will start to get their heads in front more often than they have been.

Roll on tomorrow!

Friday, 24 February 2012

Friday update

Another close but no cigar sort of day, with Sporting Boy almost giving us a nice return at Warwick.

We had:

TIME COURSE SELECTION 0.5pt/1pt/2pt win Bookmaker(s) / Price(s)
1.50 Sandown General Ting 0.5pt 7/1+generally inc. 8/1 Lads/Bet365&others
2.05 Warwick Acapulco Bay 0.5pt 4/1+ generally inc. 9/2 Coral/Boyles
2.05 Warwick Sporting Boy 0.5pt 12/1 + generally inc. 14/1 Bet365
4.50 Warwick Mon Chevalier 1pt 4/1 + generally inc. 9/2 Lads/Hills/Totesport/Coral&others
General Ting was ridden fairly prominently, just off the leading pack, but couldn't really quicken when required to lay down a challenge. A mistake three out didn't help too. He started at 6/1.

Then we had the fairly unusual prospect of two selections in the same race. Acapulco Bay went off at 9/2 and stayed on into fourth. Better was from Sporting Boy, who despite pulling really hard during the early stages of the race was bang there at the last, but just couldn't see off the eventual winner, to go down by just over a length, after starting at 9/1.

Mon Chevalier was disappointing, weak on course, he started at 6/1 and while, in the end, he stayed on well and wasn't beaten that far, he never really had the pace to get into the contest.

Confirmation of results with prices (advised --- SP):

General Ting, 4th/13, 8/1 --- 6/1
Acapulco Bay, 4th/14, 9/2 --- 9/2
Sporting Boy, 2nd/14, 14/1 --- 9/1
Mon Chevalier, 3rd/5, 9/2 --- 6/1

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Big runs at big prices but..

A couple of good efforts today at big prices from our two selections, in particular Phardessa who went down by just a over a length.

We had:

TIME COURSE SELECTION 0.5pt/1p/2pt win Bookmaker(s) / Price(s)

2.50 Lingfield Just Playfull 0.5pt 20/1+generally inc. 22/1BetV/Skybet 25/1 Boylesports
4.20 Lingfield Phardessa 1pt 12/1+generally inc. 14/1 Hills/Bet365&others 16/1 Totesport/Boylesports/Betfred

Despite running from well out of the handicap, Just Playfull was nicely supported this morning and went off a 16/1 shot. He was always up there throughout, ridden prominently, without ever really looking likely to grab the race by the scruff of its neck. In the end he couldn't go with the front pair, but stayed on well for third.

Phardessa ran a cracker. Held up to begin with, she crept into contention travelling well and went with the eventual winner two out, fighting out the finish all the way to the line. Sadly Richard Phillips' 11yo couldn't quite get past the big improver in the field Dream Again Boys, going down by just over a length, after starting at 10/1. She finished more than fifteen lengths clear of third.

Confirmation of results with prices (advised --- SP)

Just Playfull, 3rd/13, 16/1 --- 16/1
Phardessa, 2nd/11, 14/1 --- 10/1

Yesterday, 22nd February, we had:

TIME COURSE SELECTION 0.5pt1pt/2pt win Bookmaker(s) / Price(s)
4.15 Ludlow Babysitter 1pt 5/1+generally inc. 11/2 Hills/Totesport/Coral&others 6/1 BetVictor

Who was very well backed down to around 3/1 but was then pulled out as a non-runner.


Babsitter, NR

Back to today, and aside from the fact that we're running at 23.45% of selections finishing second this year, the prices of them have been quite something, with 9/1 (twice), 11/1, 12/1, 14/1 and 16/1 shots all finding one too good. 2012 is nicely in profit but we feel a bit like a Premier League team 1 nil up at home to a League one side, in an FA Cup tie at 55 minutes, dominating, and pushing for the second. Once that second goal goes in the floodgates will open!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Not today

No return today, but we went close with Kap West who ran well at Taunton but just ran into one well handicapped rival.

We had:

TIME COURSE SELECTION 0.5/1pt/2pt win Bookmaker(s) / Price(s)

3.05 Taunton Kap West 1pt 9/2+ generally inc. 11/2 Coral, Tote, Betfred; 5/1 Lads, PP, BetV
3.40 Taunton Ski Sunday 0.5pt 10-1+generally inc. 11/1 Boyle, Coral, S James, 10/1 B365, Lads, W Hill

Kap West raced prominently and looked to hold every chance for a good while, but in the closing stages it began to become clear that he was likely going to be battling it out for second as the leader skipped clear. So it proved, with Laura Young's 7yo finishing runner-up, beaten just short of ten lengths. A good run but not to be, after he started at 4/1.

Not so good from Ski Sunday, who drifted to 16/1 and ran accordingly, well beaten from a long way out.

Confirmation of results with prices (advised --- SP):

Kap West, 2nd/14, 5/1 --- 4/1
Ski Sunday, 10th/11, 11/1 --- 16/1

It's been a good February so far and we look forward to doing our best to get back to the winners' enclosure tomorrow.

Monday, 20 February 2012

One selection one winner

Things beginning to motor now with a cracking 10/1 (SP) winner to follow up our two winners yesterday.

We just had the one selection:

TIME COURSE SELECTION 1pt/2pt win Bookmaker(s) / Price(s)
4.10 Carlisle Teenando 1pt 7/1+generally inc. 15/2 Totesport/Skybet 8/1 Lads/Bluesq/StanJames

Sue Smith's veteran was heavily backed this morning but was surprisingly allowed to drift to 10/1 at SP, and won really well. Given a terrific ride by ten pound claimer Jonathan England, he was allowed to bowl along at the head of affairs for much of the contest and as others began to struggle in behind him, the 12yo found himself nicely clear and never looked in danger of being caught. The horse has a brilliant record at Carlisle and is a credit to connections.

Confirmation of result with prices (advised --- SP):

Teenando, 1st/11, 7/1 --- 10/1

So, on to tomorrow, where we'll be doing our best to make it three winning days in a row and build on this good run.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Good Sunday

A good Sunday, with two winners and another second thrown in for good measure.

TIME COURSE SELECTION 0.5pt/1pt/2pt win Bookmaker(s) / Price(s)
2.10 Market Rasen Touch Of Irish 0.5pt 8/1+generally inc. 9/1 Totesport/Betfred
3.00 Ffos Las Victors Serenade 1pt 5/1+generally inc. 11/2 Bet365/SportingBet
3.50 Market Rasen Rich Lord 0.5pt 4/1 generally
4.20 Market Rasen Vin De Roy 1pt 5/1+generally inc. 11/2 Lads/Hills/Totesport&others

Touch Of Irish went off a nicely backed 6/1 and made good ground approaching three out, and looked to hold a decent chance, but he was just a bit one paced and finished just out of the frame in fifth, beaten by the winner just over three lengths.

It was a great run by Victors Serenade, who jumped really well after going off at 4/1 on his first start for about three months. He always had enough up his sleeve from the eventual runner-up and could be called the likely winner from some way out, very nice.

Rich Lord was the only one of ours today to go off a longer price, starting at 7/1 for Ferdy Murphy. He was held up and perhaps a bit outpaced in the early part of the race, but stayed on strongly near the finish to get second, albeit well behind the comfortable winner.

Then came our second winner of the day, Vin De Roy, who always travelled nicely through his race and looked to just about have the better of Royaume Bleu as they came to the last, and was left in the lead when Alex Hales' gelding fell. He ended up winning eased down by seven lengths after starting at 4/1.

Summary of Results with Prices (advised --- SP):

Touch Of Irish, 5th/17, 8/1 --- 6/1
Victors Serenade, 1st/10, 5/1 --- 4/1
Rich Lord, 2nd/10, 4/1 --- 7/1
Vin De Roy, 1st/10, 11/2 --- 4/1

So a very nice 9.5pt profit on the day and we'll look to keep it going tomorrow at Carlisle.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

No way Jayjay

Since the weather warmed up we've had a bit of a frustrating time of it, not least when Jayjay Valentine rooted himself to the spot at the start of the 4.20 at Wincanton today. More on that in a moment.

Let's start yesterday where we had:

TIME COURSE SELECTION 1pt/2pt win Bookmaker(s) / Price(s)
2.10 Sandown Martys Mission 1pt 5/1+generally inc. 11/2 Totesport/VC/Betfred
4.25 Sandown Parsnip Pete 1pt 9/2+generally inc. 5/1 Totesport/Betfred/SportingBet

Martys Misson was nicely supported into 3/1f and ran well, touching 1.5 in running at one point as he came to mount his challenge, but he couldn't quite see it out on his first run for more than a year, finishing second, beaten five lengths. He looks well handicapped at the moment for Paul Nicholls and surely is a winner in waiting.

Parsnip Pete's jumping let him down really. He made a couple of mistakes that knocked him off his stride, in particular as he was beginning to mount a bit of a challenge as the pace quickened. He soon weakened and was pulled up, after going off 6/1.

Today we had three go for us (or we were meant to have three go for us):

TIME COURSE SELECTION 1pt/2pt win Bookmaker(s) / Price(s)
2.25 Ascot Viking Blond 1pt 7/1+ generally inc. 15/2 Lads&others 8/1 Hills/Bet365/PaddyPower
3.10 Wincanton Coup Royale 1pt 10/1+generally inc. 11/1 Totesport/SkyBet/Betfred/SportingBet
4.20 Wincanton Jayjay Valentine 1pt 8/1+generally inc. 9/1 Coral/Totesport&others 10/1 SportingBet

It's rare that a Pricewise pick is also a selection for us, but today Viking Blond ticked the boxes and we got the price as he went off at 6/1. He raced prominently for a good while, not getting the lead as he would perhaps have wanted, and he dropped away some way from home.

Coup Royale was also disappointing. Going off at 12/1 he never really showed up and ending up getting pulled up.

So then we turned to Jayjay Valentine to give us a late afternoon boost. Up from Cornwall with trainer Jackie De Plessis, who's had some good results down the years and just turned "professional", he had been extremely well supported It was fairly clear that we had problems though when he started to plant himself at the start, refusing to even walk around with the field. The exchange layers got stuck in massively, so much so that he went off at 69.19BSP! (Normal SP was 11/2). When the flag went up there was James Best doing his best to get him going but it wasn't to be and our race was over before it began. It's not losing a point that's annoying with this really, that happens, it's just the feeling that we perhaps lost out on a nice return. There was lots of support for this 9yo and it will be interesting to see what price he's put up by the layers next time. Whether he'll be backed like he was today however is of course pretty doubtful given what happened today!

Friday 17th February 2012

Martys Mission, 2nd/13, 5/1 --- 3/1
Parsnip Pete, PU/16, 9/2 --- 6/1

Saturday 18th February 2012

Viking Blond, 5th/12, 8/1 --- 6/1
Coup Royale, PU/10, 11/1 --- 12/1
Jayjay Valentine, RR/11, 9/1 --- 11/2

So a frustrating couple of days and we'll be looking for better tomorrow.

Every now and then we make tweaks to our staking, ours is and and always will be an evolving service. So with that in mind, from tomorrow, we will be introducing 0.5pt win singles to our armoury. Going forward, this will slightly increase our bet volume, although the majority of our selections will still be 1pt picks, with, as is currently the case, some 2pt selections aimed at our strongest bigger priced runners.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Going close

No return today, although Civil Unrest went close at Musselburgh.

We had:

TIME COURSE SELECTION 1pt/2pt win Bookmaker(s) / Price(s)
2.30 Leicester Sum Laff 1pt 6/1+ generally inc. 13/2 Hills&others 7/1 Totesport/Coral 8/1 Bet365
3.15 Musselburgh Civil Unrest 1pt 11/2+generally inc. 6/1 Lads/Totesport&others

Sum Laff was quite strong on course after opening at 8/1, going off at 6/1, and clearly more was expected than transpired, with Charlie Mann's gelding pulling up after struggling from an early stage. It really didn't look like his true running.

Then came Civil Unrest who ran very well from the front on his handicap bow, but was headed after the last hurdle and finished second, beaten just short of four lengths, well clear of third. He went off 5/1 favourite.

Confirmation of results with prices (advised --- SP):

Sum Laff, PU/12, 7/1 --- 6/1
Civil Unrest, 2nd/12, 6/1 --- 5/1

A cracking day's racing to look forward to tomorrow and it's great that it's free entry for Newbury. Wish we could be there!

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

One Swallow doesn't make our Wednesday

We had one, early, selection today running at Kelso:

TIME COURSE SELECTION 1pt/2pt win Bookmaker(s) / Price(s)

2.40 Kelso Swallow 1pt 6/1+generally inc. 7/1 Lads/Totesport

There was a good bit of support about for Swallow, with James Ewart's 6yo going off at 9/2 on his handicap debut. He tracked the leaders well and was looking dangerous for a while, but it wasn't quite to be today and he dropped away to finish a fairly well beaten sixth.

Summary of result with prices (advised --- SP):

Swallow, 6th/14, 7/1 --- 9/2

On to tomorrow!

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Green for go again

It was great to have our first selections today in more than a week. It's great also that the forecast looks much milder and hopefully we've seen the last of NH abandonments.

What wasn't so great was how both our selections flattered to deceive in their respective efforts today. Both travelled kindly for a long while, but didn't follow through with their efforts.

We had:

TIME COURSE SELECTION 1pt/2pt win Bookmaker(s) / Price(s)
1.20 Ayr Top Brass 1pt 12/1+generally inc. 14/1 Hills/Totesport/VC/SportingBet
4.00 Ayr Quinder Spring 1pt 15/2+generally inc. 8/1 Lads/Hills/VC&others

Top Brass, coming over from Ireland, went off at 12/1 and made smooth progress after being held up in the early stages, going as well as any at one stage and trading just over 3/1 in running. But sadly the run couldn't be followed through and he ended up finishing seventh.

Similarly, Quinder Spring came with looked a promising effort after starting at 10/1, but it wasn't to be and Lucinda Russell's 8yo finished well behind. It was intriguing to see the way the layers had got stuck into this one on Betfair before opening show on course (14/1) and how he was backed in again to 10/1. There was plenty of optimism about this gelding and it ultimately has to go down as a disappointing effort.

Summary of results with prices (advised --- SP):

Top Brass, 7th/10, 12/1 --- 12/1
Quinder Spring, 7th/13, 8/1 --- 10/1

So a frustrating return to action for us but at least we're back in the game and we look forward to the coming days and gaining compensation!

Monday, 6 February 2012

Battling win

Our first selection for a few days thanks to the frustrating cold snap, and it was a winning return with See The Legend holding on by a short-head at Ayr this afternoon.

We had:

TIME COURSE SELECTION 1pt/2pt win Bookmaker(s) / Price(s)
4.15 Ayr See The Legend 1pt 9/2+ generally inc. 5/1 Bet365/VC/Stan James

It was the second time this year we've selected Sandy Forster's seven year-old mare, and again she was a little weak on course, going off at 6/1. But this time the morning money proved spot on as she battled to a gutsy success, narrowly holding Ancient Times as the second came right at her in the closing stages. She had to survive a stewards' inquiry, after giving the runner-up a little bump on the run-in but quite rightly (in our opinion!) she held onto the win. We were also helped a little by a poor jump by Ancient Times three out. That's four winners from our last eight selections (+19pts) so maybe the spin of fate is turning in our favour again. If so, layers beware!

Summary of Result:

See The Legend, 1st/14, 9/2 --- 6/1

No NH racing tomorrow, so no selections for us and the two meetings that remain on at present on Wednesday face inspsections in the morning. Just to remind you of our policy, all days of turf racing lost to the weather are added to members' subscriptions.

Friday, 3 February 2012

January Analysis

With a twist of fate or two through January we could have been sitting with good profits to kick off 2012. Of course, there's no real point dwelling on coulda woulda shouldas in this game, but still pretty annoying!

We broke our record for the number of horses placed in a month (34/62 - 54.8%), and had 16 second placed finishes (another record), at an average advised price of 7.7/1, including two two point selections at 11/1 and 12/1.

So with so many of our selections running well, it's frustrating to finish the month with a slight loss of 3.5pts when betting to win-only.

Anyway let's have a look at the numbers:

Bets: 62
Wins: 10 (16.13%)
2nds: 16 (25.81%%)
3rds: 8 (12.9%)
Placed total: 34 (54.8%)
Average odds taken: 7.18/1
Average SP: 6.54/1
Average win odds: 5.65/1
Profit/Loss: -3.5pts
Return On Investment: -5%

As we wrote on the blog recently, it's unusual to have winners outperformed by either 2nds or 3rds. Up until Dec 31st 2011, the breakdown was this:

Of all placed selections, they finished:

1st - 38.43% of the time
2nd - 32.19%
3rd/4th - 29.38%

But for January just gone it ended like this (from all placed selections)

1sts - 29.41%
2nds - 47.06%
3rds - 23.5%

To delve a little deeper, (please forgive us if we're getting boring now) 38.43% (our usual win rate of our placed selections) of 34 (all placed selections this month)) is just above 13.

So perhaps we could have reasonably expected 13 winners this month given our number of placed efforts, rather than 10.

Extending this further, 7.35/1 was the average price of our seconds and thirds this month, so if we times 7.35 by 3 (the additional winners we may have reasonably expected to have), that's 21.54 - or in other words 24.54pts of extra profits (3 pts of stakes being returned).

So instead of -3.5pts, a much more tasty 21pts of profit (and that doesn't include the chance of one of our three placed big priced 2pt selections coming in)!

I'm sure many readers by now will be thinking yes yes yes but the results were -3.5pts. And of course that's right, all this is completely immaterial! But it does show we weren't far away from a decent month (be that reassuring, or frustrating, whichever your frame of mind!).

Enough statistical waffle, let's just hope for a return to warmer weather and a nice profitable February ahead. We're certainly due a very good month, let's hope it's just around the corner.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Slow couple of days

Just a couple of selections these last couple of days.

Yesterday, to end the month, we had:

TIME COURSE SELECTION 1pt/2pt win Bookmaker(s) / Price(s)
3.40 Taunton Onefourfun 1pt 4/1 +generally 9/2 Hills/Totesport/PaddyPower/VC&others

Onefourfun had been nicely backed but drifted to 7/1 at the off and after making a short-lived effort around three out he faded to be well beaten.

Then today on a day with two NH meetings abandoned, we had one selection at Newcastle:

TIME COURSE SELECTION 1pt/2pt win Bookmaker(s) / Price(s)
1.50 Newcastle Strathaird 1pt 9/2+generally inc. 5/1 Hills/Bet365/PP&others

Strathaird seemed a little outpaced early on and was staying on strongly at the end, but was just never going to get there, finishing third, beaten about five lengths.

Confirmation of results with prices (advised --- SP):

Tuesday 31st January 2012

Onefourfun, 9th/14, 9/2 --- 7/1

Wednesday 1st February 2012

Strathaird, 3rd/8, 9/2 --- 4/1

Tomorrow's meeting at Towcester has already been abandoned while Wincanton will have a check in the morning, so fingers crossed that gets the green light.

In the next couple of days we'll release our January review.

In the meantime, in case you've missed it so far, there's an interesting interview with Hugh Taylor over at http://www.fulltimebettingblog.com/. Well worth a read! In the next few weeks we'll be profiled on there too, so maybe look out for that if you're interested!