Back Pravalaguna EW at 50/1

The Mullins mare Pravalaguna won at Punchestown on Wednesday in the style of an improving horse and she turns out again on Saturday in the 3.50. She has much more on her plate here with the likes of Apple’s Jade and Cheltenham festival winner Benie des Dieux dominating the betting, but 50/1 is a huge underestimate of her chance. I’d have her no bigger than 16/1 making her well worth an each way bet.

Pravalaguna is a “strongly recommended” (see here) bet each way at 50/1 in the 3.50 Punchestown – Bet365, Hills and a handful of others.

Enjoy the racing and don’t bet more than you can afford to lose with a smile.

Joe

 

TV Tips Saturday 28th April 2018

Post-race update: well, rather a tame end to the season. Winnerless today, but the blog has finished £11.12 in profit on calendar year 2018 for TV tips. Current profit on recommended tips for 2018 is £24.70. All figures to a £1 stake.

I might tip the occasional runner on the flat via the ‘recommended’ tips page, and I hope to see you back for the new jumps season.

We’ve reached the final day of the NH season, which makes it the final day too for TV tips on this blog. I’ll review things over the summer; despite managing a profit on both the TV tips and on recommended bets, the blog gets comparatively few visitors these days compared to two or three years ago. Our best figure was close to almost 4,000 visitors one Grand National day.  We see nothing like that these days although attention spans grow ever shorter and reading opportunities ever greater.

Anyway, we bring a profit of £17.12 into today. Let’s see if we can add to it.

Sandown

1.50

I like Act of Valour in this. He showed a good attitude last time at Fakenham and I got the impression the longer straight here and the uphill run-in would suit him well.

Act Of Valour 8/1 (Ladbrokes)


2.25

I suspect Double Shuffle needs a flat track, and I’ve never been a big fan of Top Notch. He’s a nice horse but I believe he has always been a bit overrated and therefore overbet. Art Mauresque has fair form and was arguably made too much use of last time when not seeing out the trip. A more conservative ride here could help, but he still has the stiff finish to deal with.

The value in the race to my eye is O O Seven who goes well right handed and also on this better ground. He’s run two solid races in his only Sandown outings, winning one and finishing second to Yorkhill in the other.

O O Seven 16/1 (general)


3.00

It’s great to see a champion on the last day of the season. Altior ought to win this but he is unbackable at the price. One for watching.


3.35

Regal Encore has been something of a problem horse. In his last 13 outings he’s been pulled up 7 times. Most people avoid him these days but I wonder if Richie McLernon might have found the key in riding him much more prominently this season. He’s usually held up and can race keenly. Perhaps he gets disappointed being so far back or having to fight his rider (Geraghty has ridden him for most of the horse’s chasing career).

He ran a fine race, initially from mid division to finish third under McLernon in the Hennessy (as was). Geraghty was back on board next time at Ascot, dropped him out in his usual fashion, and the horse was pulled up. Back at Ascot next time and reunited with McLernon he was ridden much more prominently and battled on well to beat Minella Daddy (who was tipped that day by this blog).

I think he could surprise a few tomorrow and nominate him as one of my bets here.  The other is a horse who has not run for more than a year because of a tendon injury, Domesday Book. Last time out he won the Kim Muir at the Cheltenham festival on just his second run for his new trainer Stuart Edmunds, whose first decision was to fit the horse with blinkers for his yard debut; he ran his best race for some time in them and they were retained for that Cheltenham victory. He wears them again here and the same jockey, the talented 3lb claimer Gina Andrews is in the saddle.

Edmunds is not a big name trainer, but that helps keep the price long at no cost in the skills department. Edmunds is a very good trainer. Domesday Book is much too big a price and I’ll be backing him.

Regal Encore 18/1 (general)

Domesday Book 50/1 (Boylesports)


I’ll be having £1 on each of the above selections (except Altior) and two £1EW doubles coupling Act Of Valour with Regal Encore and Domesday Book. I suggest you do the same for total stakes of £6.

Enjoy the racing and don’t bet more than you can afford to lose with a smile.

Joe

Back Min EW at 20/1

Update: Min is now a non-runner

Most of the noise today surrounds Samcro who’s favourite to win the Punchestown Champion Hurdle (5.30). This is his first proper test and he might well be up to it. But so far, although his form looks solid, he has not posted a speed figure that would entitle him to go off favourite here.  Speed figures are a useful cross check against form ratings. It might be that the races he’s contested have been run in such a fashion that they haven’t lent themselves to a high speed rating for the winner. Also, he has just 4 hurdling runs to his name so it can be rightly argued that he has plenty more races – certainly in comparison with his rivals here – in which he’ll have the chance to show how fast he is. Today might not be that day, though, unless connections decide to jump him off and try to make all; this is unlikely on the evidence of his past runs, but it’s far from impossible as there is no confirmed pace in the race.

A fast run race would bring Samcro’s proven stamina into play, and the same could be said for Supasundae. It would suit Melon too as he has proved difficult to settle in the past. But where is this pace to come from? The only one who makes a habit of front running/ racing prominently is Melon’s stablemate, Coquin Mans. Although this one is an outsider in the betting, his form is probably smart enough for the others not to let him get too far in front. I am assuming he will set the pace.

Min is pretty much being ignored in the betting, probably due to having been beaten in a steeplechase here on Tuesday by stablemate Un De Sceaux. This followed a defeat by Politologue at Aintree on April 13th. Min ran a fine race that day and was just outbattled. I think he had a hard race too, and his trainer said on Tuesday that he believed Min had had a tough race at Aintree.

So why run him not only on Tuesday but again today? Who knows? The only thing we can be fairly sure about is that Min is sound and in good enough shape to run. The other thing we can be sure of is that on his best hurdling form he should be nowhere near the price he is today.  The last time he ran over hurdles he finished second in what has become recognised as the best modern-day running of the Supreme Novices. He finished 2nd to Altior that day. Third was dual champion hurdler Buveur D’Air.

Min is two from two over hurdles at Punchestown. He has never looked a natural steeplechaser to my eye, seeming leggy and awkward sometimes at his fences (although he jumped well at Aintree). There’s a fair chance, I think, that Min will appreciate a return to hurdles. Despite the perceived drawbacks, I think he is far too big at 20/1 in this eight-runner race. I’d have him as about an 8/1 chance, so he must be backed each way.

Min is a “strongly recommended” bet (see here) each way at 20/1 (several bookies) in the 5.30 Punchestown.

Enjoy the racing and don’t bet more than you can afford to lose with a smile.

Joe

 

Back Un De Sceaux EW at 11/2

The Punchestown festival starts tomorrow and I fancy Un De Sceaux to upset his stablemates Douvan and Min in the Champion Chase (5.30). He looks a solid bet each way at 11/2. The ground should be fine for him and he ought to settle better over this shorter trip than he did at Cheltenham where he raced much too freely to do himself justice.

I’ve always thought Douvan’s jumping susceptible to the type of massive blunder he made at Cheltenham. Although he can throw some breathtaking jumps, he seems to me leggy and awkward at times and unable to organise himself. That goes for Min as well, although to a lesser extent. Min’s Aintree run was probably the best I’ve seen him jump but I think he had a hard race there. And I think he was outbattled rather than outstayed so there could be a character weakness too.

Anyway, Un De Sceaux is a top notch horse in his own right and might not need defects to show in others for him to win this.

Un De Sceaux is a strongly recommended (see here) bet each way at 11/2, which is widely available.

Enjoy the racing and don’t bet more than you can afford to lose with a smile.

Joe

Bet Cracksman for the King George at 4/1

I seldom bet on flat racing but sometimes a horse catches my eye as a potential champ; Cracksman is one of those. Last season I was convinced that such was his rate of progress after July, he’d turn up in the Arc. But his trainer John Gosden also had Enable and, although Cracksman was with a different owner, Gosden persuaded the owner, Anthony Oppenheimer, that Cracksman was too immature mentally to take on Enable in the Arc.  When I watched Enable win the big one in style, I didn’t feel quite so bad tearing up my Cracksman antepost tickets, but when the colt turned up at Ascot for the Champion Stakes, it made me wonder again what might have been.

He pulverised a decent field that day, drawing away in such a manner that it seemed the real race was going on behind him. Racing Post Ratings judged him to have run 2lbs better than Enable did in winning her Arc, and jockey Dettori reported that there was a lot more to come from the colt.

So why can he be backed right now at 4/1 for the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth stakes at Ascot in July? It’s a race that rarely pulls in double figure fields. Nine opposed Enable last year, but that was the first time in five years the field had reached double figures. Given the likely presence this year of Enable and, hopefully Cracksman, I suspect we’ll see the smallest field for many years. I believe too that Cracksman will go off favourite if he lines up. The ‘if’ is the reason for his current price. Last season Cracksman’s connections said that it was unlikely he would meet Enable until October this year in the Arc. But it seems that the owner (perhaps not the trainer) is having second thoughts.  Cracksman had a racecourse gallop at Newmarket last week. It went well. Oppenheimer was there and was quoted thus: ‘I’d like to see him run in the King George’.  Gosden also made a point of mentioning the King George as the first potential public meeting of his two stable stars. So, I’m assuming there has been a rethink.

But the bookies know this too and 4/1 is still available. The other potential barrier to Cracksman’s Ascot participation will be the ground. Although he has run three times on good ground (and won on it), his best form by some way is on easy ground. It was soft at Ascot for his Champion Stakes. The King George is in July and the race has been run on good to firm ground three times in the past ten years. I’m far from sure Cracksman would take his chance on fast ground and I believe this ground doubt is playing a part in the current 4/1. Also, as antepost betting has other risks attached – a horse getting an injury or not working well at a critical time – why bet Cracksman now? Why not wait until he is due to run next? Well, by that time, the yard will probably know for sure what his programme is and if the King George is in it, he’ll be 5/2, rather than 4/1 in my opinion.

I’m laying out the argument in this detail to give you as much information as possible so that you can make your own decision. I have backed him this morning and I am making him a ‘recommended’ bet now for readers. If I were sure he was running, he’d be a ‘strongly recommended’ bet as I’m confident he can beat Enable, even with her mare’s allowance. But, as ever, bear in mind the antepost pitfalls.

Cracksman at 4/1 to win the King George VI with Paddy Power is a ‘recommended’ bet (see here).

Enjoy the racing and don’t bet more than you can afford to lose with a smile.

Joe

 

TV Tips Saturday 21st April

Post racing update: We carried a deficit for the year of £5.12 into today. Thanks to Crosshue Boy at 22/1 and Bigmartre at 4/1 we go into the final weekend of the season (Sandown) with a profit of £17.12 on TV Tips to £1 stakes.


I was intending to hold off on further TV Tips until the last weekend of the jumps season, but it’s a strong jumping card at Ayr, so let’s see if we can get in front.


1.45

Forest Bihan is a classy horse who’s at his best on good ground. I also think this track and ground will suit Foxtail Hill who will probably try to make all but might just get collared by Forest Bihan.  A bet on each is recommended.

Forest Bihan  9/1

Foxtail Hill  20/1


2.20

The Irish horse Crosshue Boy has been in fine form of late and although he’s raced only on easy ground, his action suggests he’ll go well enough on good. He might also prefer going left-handed as he will be today.

Crosshue Boy 20/1


2.55

There are some tough competitors here and I’m expecting good runs from Chesterfield and Claimantakinforgan, but I’m going to side with the unexposed I’m A Game Changer. His trainer Philip Hobbs has had a lousy season by his standards, but this horse won well at Ludlow recently. I was taken both by the way he travelled and his looks. I suspect they’ll try to land this after being very patient with the horse and then send him chasing next season.

I’m A Game Changer 12/1


3.30

Reading between the lines of what his trainer has said, I suspect the hitherto progressive Bigmartre went to Cheltenham last time at the behest of his owner. Trainer Whittington has always talked of him as a flat-track horse.

He hasn’t won over this far, but I think the fastish ground will be a major help.

Bigmartre 4/1


4.05

Blog subscribers will know I’ve tipped Regal Flow at 25/1 here and I’m happy to stick with him on the TV tips too.

I fear The Young Master; more because he has long been a ‘cliff horse’ for me and has just 10 stones in this. If a recent wind op has fixed his major problem (I suspect he has more than one big problem – not the best of jumpers either at times), he’ll go close.

Another old favourite of mine is Silsol, but he too can hit a fence hard at a critical time.

Regal Flow 25/1


 

Enjoy the racing and don’t bet more than you can afford to lose with a smile.

Joe

Back Regal Flow at 25/1 for the Scottish Grand National

A maximum field of 30 has been declared for Saturday’s Scottish Grand National, and the one who catches my eye right away is Regal Flow. At first glance, this 11-y-o is far from a typical winning prospect for this race, but horses his age have won 3 of the past 9 runnings. It’s his improving profile that most interests me. Many assume that a horse this old simply doesn’t improve, but occasionally one pops up and a little digging can sometimes find a potential reason for the improvement. In Regal Flow’s case this could well be the recent marked step up in trip.

He’d been campaigned at around the 3 miles mark until March 12th when he was put into an extended 3m 4f race. He won that by 3 lengths in the best performance of his career (on Racing Post Ratings), then bettered it by 7lbs when reappearing five days’ later in the Midlands National over 4 miles 2 furlongs: he won by ten lengths. The runner up, Milansbar, went on to finish 5th in the Grand National.

Both of Regal Flow’s victories were in heavy ground, but he has run well on good ground more than once (has won on it). An assumption will be made by some bookmakers that he needs it heavy (it’s likely to be good to soft at Ayr on Saturday), and that has helped keep his price up. At 25/1 with Ladbrokes, I think he’s twice the price he should be and he’s very much worth backing EW at 1/4 odds first four.

Regal Flow is a ‘strongly recommended’ (see here) bet EW at 25/1 with Ladbrokes (also Betfair and Paddy Power) for the Scottish Grand National.

Enjoy the racing and don’t bet more than you can afford to lose with a smile.

Joe