Sunday, 17 August 2008

Champion Tipster Day 1 Selections!

Bet 1 – Jake The Snake 4.30 Lingfield
Bet 2 – Wadnagin 4.45 Wolverhampton

Right, my two bets for the first day of the tipster comp are outlined above. Just so you all know how I arrived at these bets, I’ll take you through my process.

I spent 3 hours on Saturday night (very late!) looking at each of the races. I basically selected 9 races (all competitive handicaps) where I thought I could pick the winner. As I’ve said before on here, I think that 80% of races can be analysed to select the winner using my knowledge. The other 20% of races will be random results.

Obviously, I don’t expect a strike rate of 80% as I won’t select the correct horse who can win every time but if I can get it right 25% of the time, I’ll end up with selecting one winner every 5 races. This is what I am aiming for…..

I spent roughly 20 minutes on each race and came up with a selection or two in each race. I then went to bed.

Tonight, after a busy day getting things for my holiday, I settled down with the laptop and did this write up (about 2 hours!). When I started the write up, I was going to select Wadnagin and Adage as my selections but after writing up my findings in the Adage race, I’ve changed this second selection to Jake The Snake. Here’s hoping it won’t come back to haunt me……

Incidentally, there were no Spotlight comments or Racing Tissue (odds) last night when I selected my horses. I’ve commented a few times below about Spotlight and the odds, so you need to bear this in mind when reading the analysis.

My analysis of each race I looked at is below in chronological order:

2.15 Wolverhampton

A bit disappointed here as I selected Piccolo Diamante here as a potential dark horse and I’m annoyed to see it put up by Spotlight in the Racing Post. That guy really gets on my nerves at times!!!

I expected this to be an outsider to be honest and the fact it’s priced up in the tissue at 9/2 makes my hard work on the race worthless. If it gets above 14/1, it’s worth a punt!

3.00 Lingfield

I liked the look of two horses here. These were Jalon’s Bridewell and Spic N Span. Most of the horses are running poorly and dropping down the handicap. The Peter Grayson horses may make it a very good test and it may pay to be with a horse which stays the 5f well.

After close inspection, I ruled out Spic N Span as a potential bet as it may be ungenuine. It has not ‘run on’ twice after travelling well in races, so I get the feeling it holds something back. It is also a maiden after 20 starts, so I couldn’t back this with confidence.

Jalon’s Bridewell is interesting for me. Annoyingly, I’m not convinced it is in top form at the moment though. Been beaten a combined total of 43 lengths in last two runs, so difficult to know what form it is really in. Last time, it had a near impossible task in a maiden, so not surprising it was well beaten. Previous time, something was clearly amiss as it finished tailed off last, so we can exclude this run from our calculations. It was only a 5/1 chance, so it didn’t run to form.

The horse will attempt to make all or be prominent and due to the fact it stays 6f, I think it may be able to hold on. Its last run at Lingfield saw it finish 3rd beaten ½ length in a 0-70 handicap when it was rated 68.

Today, it runs off 59 in a 0-60 and this the first time it has ever run in a 0-60 race. The combination of the drop in rating with the drop in class means it could well bounce back today.

The only doubt is the fact it has been beaten out of sight on the last two runs. This should be factored into the price though, so it may be worth a small wager.

3.15 Wolverhampton

I narrowed this down to 2 very quickly and I’ll be amazed if one of the two doesn’t win. Most of the horses are out of form and badly treated, so I was keen to find the winner.

Even though I selected two, I’m really sweet on one in the race. I’ll deal with the other one first.

Natural Action was the one I spotted first. A blind man could spot this to be honest as it’s much better treated on the AW than on the turf. It also takes a significant drop in class and has a very eye-catching jockey booking in Jimmy Fortune, so as I first said, it was easy to spot!

After writing this, I’m not really sure why I dismissed it to be honest. I’ve talked myself into believing it’s a fucking cert! lol

My other one was Adage. It's record at Wolverhampton reads 6 races, 3 wins off marks of 50, 54 and 57. Today, it runs off a mark 54.

As you can see, it loves it here and is very well handicapped today. It ran very well last time to be third and it finished in front of another of today’s runners Swords. Interestingly, Swords has won twice since and Adage is handicapped to destroy that horse today if we take that run literally.

Adage was going to be my bet of the day but I’m now seriously worried about Natural Action after looking at it again today!

3.30 Lingfield

The interesting horse here is without a doubt Acquiffer. Had 3 runs on turf (6f) to get a handicap mark and was awarded a mark of 75 which looked harsh on paper. However, on it’s AW handicap debut (6f Ling), it was backed from 6/1 to 11/4 and ran really well to be 3rd. It was then stepped up to 7f on its next run here again and ran very well to be 4th beaten just over a length. It didn’t appear to stay the 7f trip.

On its 4 runs this season, it has been campaigned over 7f every run. It has improved with each start and has been running in some very competitive handicaps where it has been a massive outsider. Last time, it ran in a maiden race against some nice unexposed types. It finished on the tails of the leaders in 6th place.

Today, it returns to Lingfield’s 6f track and is running off a rating of 65. It is 10lb lower than when it made it AW debut and it was 11/4 fav there having been well backed.

Again, this bet would have to go down as speculative due to the fact it has been well beaten each start this season but again, this should be factored into the price.

4.30 Lingfield

I narrowed this down to two quite easily and I’m very sweet on one of them. I’ll deal with Wavertree Warrior first as it’s a much more speculative bet.

Wavertree has been slipping down the handicap this season after running poorly for the most part. However, it appeared to return to some sort of form on its last run at Lingfield but it followed it up by finishing tailed off on heavy ground at York, so I can dismiss this run easily enough.

If we look at its record over today’s course and distance, it has run 5 times and has never been beaten further than 3 lengths. These runs have been off ratings of 78,84,92,88 and 75. Today, it runs off a mark of 76 which is 2lbs lower than its last run and therefore, it may be worth a speculative punt. The fact it finished tailed off last time should be factored into the price…..

However, the one I’m really sweet on is Jake The Snake. There is actually a great story to go with this horse. It made its debut in 2003 and was thought of as a possible derby winner. It won at today’s track over 8f. It then got a bad injury and was off for 30 months. It was heavily backed on its return and it disappointed. It was then found to have failed a dope test and got a year’s ban.

It returned in April at Kempton on the AW and was backed on course from 14/1 to 11/2 before hosing up. Clearly, the horse had retained plenty of ability. It hasn’t run to this form since but importantly, it’s been tried over 6f the last twice and last time, it appeared to stay on very well and is crying out for 7f.

Today, it returns to the scene of its debut win over its favoured distance and it must be assumed that the horse could be a fair bit better than its current mark. Importantly, it has Kirsty back on board who won on it at Kempton and she rides Lingfield very well. It had Seb Sanders on board last time which tells me they expected it to run well and it did.

Today’s race is very competitive but its record now reads 2 wins from 3 AW runs and therefore, it must be worth a bet today.

4.45 Wolverhampton

This is a bit speculative in nature but I’m really, really keen on one here. The horse in question is Wadnagin.

Below is a view of all its runs at Wolverhampton (exc 2 maiden runs as a 2 year old):

The key theme about the horse is the fact that it appears to run a near identical race every time. It is held up and stays on late. It never makes it to the front in time and is clearly crying out for a step up in trip now.

The other key theme about the horse is the fact is usually runs in 0-70 handicaps and the last twice, it had run in 2 very competitive handicaps where it has stayed on late and finished midfield twice.

Today, it runs in a fairly uncompetitive 0-55 handicap over 1m and half a furlong and it only needs to run like it did the last couple of times and it should win this.

I see it’s priced up at 10/1 in the Racing Post tissue and at that sort of price; this must be the bet of the day. The only speculative point is the fact it has never run over a trip this far but its last 4 runs have shaped as if it will get it no problems.

One of the points I’ve made on the blog in the past is the fact that hold up horses tend to have many more secrets from the handicapped than front-running horses. A hold-up horse usually needs lots more things to fall right for it to win and it is usually much easier for a hold up horse to get well handicapped. A front runner usually tries its best every time and therefore, it’s much more difficult to get a front-runner well handicapped.

5.00 Lingfield

I narrowed this down to 3 but I couldn’t really separate them and after seeing the tissue in the Racing Post, I’ll pass on this race. The market appears to have got it about right.

My 3 were Stark Contrast, Magpie and King’s Topic.

6.50 Yarmouth

The one I liked here is Bartercard. My issue though would be the draw and the good to soft ground. However, the big plus is the 0-65 race which represents quite a big drop in class and it hasn’t been running badly on softish ground the last few times.

It’s also clear the horse hasn’t been settling in its races and yet, it has still been finishing off its races very well.

I’m sure it’s now handicapped to win and if it settles in this race, it should run very well but any potential bet would depend too much on the price if I’m honest. If it reached about the 20/1 mark, it may be worth a tickle each way…..

8.00 Windsor

The two obvious ones here are the top two in the handicap. Both are tumbling in the weights but I’d bet that they bounce back at some point soon.

The Tatling actually ran really well last time when staying on to be 4th and if it repeats that, it could easily win this. The problem I have with a horse like this is the fact it has a clear preference for good to firm ground. The ground is obviously drying out at Windsor and if there is any description of firm in the official going, it would be worth a small wager.

The other horse is Golden Dixie. I’ve backed this a few times this season and it actually ran well. I think this has a preference for genuine good ground and I’m sure it will go on the ground.

It has run shockingly bad the last twice but these runs were in very competitive races and if you go back to its runs before this, it should get competitive tonight. Obviously, it’s difficult to get too excited about a horse who has barely beaten a horse in the last two races and been beaten a combined total of 25 lengths but this should be factored into the price.

I can’t be 100% confident about backing either of these but if I could get odds of greater than 6/1 combined (e.g. both 14/1), I would have a decent dutch bet each-way at these odds.

Be keen to hear views from any form students out there......


Mark Iverson said...

Hi Graeme,

I'm a bit confused mate - if you've priced up Piccolo Diamante as a 14/1 shot and it's 9/2 on the exhanges then why don't you lay it?

This is surely making your knowledge pay both ways and in turn potentially double your profits?


Graeme Dand said...


I agree with you mate.

I've attempted to answer your question in my post tonight.

In the future, I need to spend more time 'pricing' as this will be the missing piece of the jigsaw. At the moment though, I'm happy to just pass on the horses that are not value bets.