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Thursday, 25 August 2016

3.20 Goodwood Revival Stakes, August 27th

The Goodwood Revival Stakes (3.20) on Saturday has produced four winning favourites, including one joint favourite, in the last 10 years, and no winner at odds longer than 7/1 in the same period. As such, it wouldn’t typically be a race for us, but any 20-runner handicap is always likely to throw up an unconsidered winner and, as usual, it’s our job to find it. Withernsea remains 7lb higher in the weights than when winning at Doncaster last November, but has been running creditably in defeat this season and doesn’t look impossibly handicapped. The Dark Angel gelding was never beyond mid-division in the Stewards’ Cup, over an inadequate 6 furlongs, at Goodwood four weeks ago, but his previous form over 7 furlongs was solid enough. His three wins have come on good to soft, soft and heavy going, but he’s equally effective on the prevailing good going. In fact, he was beaten just a length in a similar race at Haydock at April, on good going, off 1lb lower mark, so must have a decent chance if putting his best foot forward. Musley Bank trainer Richard Fahey also saddles Farlow, who is 1lb lower in the weights than when winning at Doncaster last August and consequently 12lb better off for 1¼ lengths he finished behind Withernsea in the aforementioned race on Town Moor last November. The Exceed And Excel has yet to trouble the judge in six starts this season, but was only beaten 1¾ lengths in a similar race at Newmarket in July, off a mark of 100, so looks well handicapped off a mark of 96. He needs everything to go right for him, but is clearly not without a chance if it does. That Is The Spirit was quite highly tried after making all to beat subsequent winner Dusky Queen by 1¾ lengths in a Listed race at Haydock last May and, while his handicap form this season is nothing to write home about, he has tumbled down the weights as a result. In fact, a 10lb drop since the start of the season means that David O’Meara’s 5-year-old is just 3lb higher in the weights than when winning a competitive handicap at York as a 3-year-old, so he has a definite squeak if retaining his old ability. He requires a leap of faith, but that should be factored into his price and he could go well at silly odds. Selections: 3.20 Goodwood Withernsea, Farlow, That Is The Spirit

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

1.55 York, Wednesday, August 17

The Symphony Group Stakes (1.55) at York on Wednesday is a hugely competitive contest in which the bookmakers 10/1 the field and, with exactly half the runners trading at 20/1, or longer, odds in the ante post betting, it looks just the race for us.

Meadway (40/1) has an absence of 54 days to overcome, but won the consolation race for the Scottish Sprint Cup, over 5 furlongs, at Musselburgh on his penultimate start and can be forgiven a lesser effort on the Tapeta at Newcastle last month. The Captain Gerrard gelding remains 6lb higher in the weights than at Musselburgh and has been beaten on all five attempts at this level over the years, but the Musselburgh race has thrown up several winners and he’s not badly drawn in stall 9, so he must have a squeak over a course and distance where he won as a three-year-old.

Soapy Aitken (33/1) made a promising start to his career last season, winning his first two starts and finishing fourth of 27, beaten 2½ lengths, behind Washington DC in the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot. However, the Pastoral Pursuits colt has failed to trouble the judge in six subsequent starts, including when dropping back into handicap company at Ascot eleven days ago. He went off like the proverbial scalded cat on that occasion – his first attempt at 6 furlongs – so the dropping back to the minimum trip on a less testing course is definitely in his favour and he, too, has a single-figure draw.

Baraweez (25/1) has never raced at a distance short of 7 furlongs and has been fighting a losing battle with the handicapper since winning over that distance, off a 4lb lower mark, at Galway last August. The Cape Cross gelding has run creditably in defeat on the same course on his last two starts but, for a horse that was tried over a mile and a half as a three-year-old, when with Freddie Head, the decision to run him over the minimum trip is either a stroke of genius or a last resort.

Selections: York 1.55 Meadway (40/1), Soapy Aitken (33/1), Baraweez (25/1)

Big Outsider Wins

Here at Outsider.co.uk we regularly highlight what we deem to be any given week's 'outsiders to watch'. As you'd expect with outsider bets, sometimes we're on the money and at other times our selections fall slightly (or completely!) short. It's inevitable with big priced horses really (or big odds events in any sport) that you're more often than not up against it from the off. That's part of the fun of betting on seemingly unlikely events though, the act of spotting something that others manage to miss and the feeling of beating the odds. A big win for a tiny outlay doesn't hurt either!

Where horse racing is concerned, there have of course been a good few 'meltdown moment' on betfair, where layers are convinced that they're picking up a few pounds here and there by laying a 'no hoper', only for it to storm home, defeating expectations and the layers betting bank in the process. With the big racing events, such as the festivals, a couple of memorable wins include Mon Mome in the 2009 Grand National, ridden by Liam Treadwell and coming it at an impressive 100-1 with bookmakers, the biggest priced winner National winner in many a decade. There was also a 100-1 winner, Norton's Coin , in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 1990.

Of course those going even further out on a limb, will instead often go for a multiple bet. In a way these types of bets, even though they often contain short priced selections too, are the ultimate outsider bet. They're often a combination of gut feeling, knowledge of a sport and pure pot luck and result in sometimes mind boggling odds. As I always say though, accumulators make more sense than doing the lottery - it's at least odds to chance. A well known horse racing accumulator win of recent years is the bet Darren Yeats placed on Frankie Dettori's 'magnificent seven'. Essentially all seven of Dettori's rides won that day resulting in Yeats winning a staggering £550,000 from a £59 bet.

Football is no strangers to huge outsider wins too. It was only last season that Leicester City did the (apparently not so) impossible and won the Premier League at a staggering 5000-1. Few punters bet on that, but what a windfall for those who did! As for other outsider / unlikely type wins, there are numerous stories from outside of sports betting at casinos and the like. One that comes to mind is the huge win by US cocktail waitress Cynthia Jay, who was celebrating her Mother-in-law's birthday at the Monte Carlo casino in Las Vegas in 2000. On her 9th spin she won the staggering $34,959,458.56 megsbucks jackpot. I've been playing a few of the pokies machines at M88Asia of late. No mega bucks style win for me so far I'm afraid :-D, but it's good fun none the less. My time will come I'm sure!

What's your biggest win?

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Great St Wilfrid Stakes 3:55, Ripon, August 13th

The Great St. Wilfrid Stakes, run over 6 furlongs at Ripon, is the highlight of the season at the North Yorkshire track. Four favourites, including the last three, have won the race in the last 10 years, but were accompanied by winners at 20/1, 18/1, 11/1 and 10/1 (twice), so we at least have a fighting chance of unearthing some value for money.

The ante post favourite, Orion’s Bow (5/1) is one of the most progressive horses in training, having risen 37lb in the weights since May, but his presence does, at least, introduce the potential for rich pickings at the other end of the market.

Go Far (33/1) finished second, beaten a head, in a 0-105 handicap over 6 furlongs at Goodwood on his seasonal reappearance in May, only to be awarded the race in the stewards’ room, and races off an identical handicap mark. He finished last of ten from a wide draw at Chester next time but, although never beyond mid-division, wasn’t entirely disgraced in the Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood two weeks ago. He won the Ayr Bronze Cup last September off a 7lb lower mark so, while he needs to improve on recent efforts, he won’t be a totally forlorn hope if he does.

Mythmaker (25/1) is only 2lb higher in the weights than when beaten a neck by See The Sun in a highly competitive 0-105 handicap over 6 furlongs at York on his penultimate start and would have an obvious chance if able to reproduce that form. His subsequent effort on the Tapeta at Newcastle was tame by comparison, but he wouldn’t be the first horse to be unsuited by that surface. He’s been campaigned almost exclusively on artificial surfaces since last October, but the York run represented arguably a career-best effort and he deserves a chance to confirm that promise.

Selections: Ripon 3.55 Go Far (33/1), Mythmaker (25/1)

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

8.05 Newcastle, Thursday, August 4

The ROA/Racing Post Owners’ Jackpot Handicap (8.05) at Newcastle on Thursday is a lowly 0-65 handicap that has attracted 14 runners, but only a few in any recognisable form and only a few with any form on the Tapeta surface. In such circumstances, a ‘shock’ result is always a possibility, so we’ve selected a few that we think could go well at rewarding odds.

For Shia And Lula is on a losing run of seventeen and his recent form, including on Tapeta at Wolverhampton, is nothing special, but it’s worth noting that his last three wins came in better races than this over 7 furlongs at Wolverhampton off handicap marks of 75, 71 and 69 respectively. He races here off a mark of 61 so, with apprentice Toby Eley taking off a further 7lb, he is undeniably well handicapped if anywhere near his best.

Alans Pride is on an even longer losing run, of nineteen, stretching back to his juvenile days, but his two runs on Tapeta at Wolverhampton earlier this season weren’t without promise, so he must have a squeak, especially as the second of his wins as a two-year-old came over 7 furlongs off a handicap mark of 70. Off a handicap mark of 54, he warrants close attention back on Tapeta, for all that his last two starts on turf were less than awe-inspiring.

Last, but hopefully not least in this week’s game of ifs, buts and maybes, Just Paul is another professional loser who hasn’t won for twenty-three starts and has never raced on an artificial surface of any kind. On the upside, that does mean that, at least, he’s unexposed on Tapeta and is 21lb lower in the weights than when winning a much better race over 7 furlongs at Musselburgh as a year-old. If a first-time hood rekindles his old enthusiasm, and he takes to the surface, he may exceed expectations.

Selections: 8.05 Newcastle, For Shia And Lula, Alans Pride, Just Paul