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Wednesday 27 September 2017

4.20 Newmarket, Thursday, September 28

Arch Villain makes his belated debut in Listed company in the Jockey Club Rose Bowl Stakes (4.20) at Newmarket on Thursday but, having made a highly promising seasonal debut in the Betfred Ebor Handicap at York last month, Amanda Perrett’s 8-year-old looks well worth his place in the field. Lightly raced in recent seasons, the Arch gelding returned from a lengthy layoff to win three times in 2016, including the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup over 2 miles at Ascot last August. In so doing, he gave 10lb and a neck beating to subsequent Cesarewitch third, Sea Of Heaven, so the form looks reliable enough. He probably doesn’t want the ground too soft, but stepping back up to 2 miles should do his chances no harm. Nor should the fact that’s he’s reunited with Jim Crowley, who’s ridden him to seven of his ten career victories.

Selection: Newmarket 4.20 Arch Villain to win  12/1

Monday 25 September 2017

Key things to consider when picking your horses on course

A horse race is not the most thrilling of sporting contests to watch, but that all changes if you have money riding on one of the runners. It is suddenly transformed into a giddy, exhilarating, nail-biting couple of minutes where you could be forgiven for growing increasingly animated. Having a flutter on the gee-gees is becoming an increasingly popular pastime, but for newcomers it can be a complex and potentially alienating world to move into, what with the jargon that flies around and the detailed form guides. As a result, many newbies simply back the favourite or choose a horse they like the name of or whose number they find lucky. But there is more of an art to it than that and some punters make a living from understanding the finer nuances of the industry. You do not need to become a professional to have fun and make a bit of cash, but there are some things you should consider before placing a bet.
Key Considerations
There are several factors you need to consider before placing a wager on a race: the course, the ground, the distance, the weight, the class, the jockey and the trainer. The track the race is taking place on has a huge impact, as every course has different characteristics and horses have favourite courses. The ground is key because some horses respond well to firm, dry ground whereas others perform well in the sloppy mud that follows heavy rain. The distance is a crucial consideration because some horses excel over short distances like five or six furlongs, while others are better over long-distance races, like a mile and four furlongs and above. Sometimes stall numbers can play a part, because the horses coming out of the low numbers will have a shorter distance to run and those in the outside stalls will have to travel further around the bend. Trainers place horses in various classes depending on their ability. The highest is Class 1 and the lowest is Class 7, and the quality varies accordingly, as do the prize purses. Many races are handicaps, which means most horses have to carry additional weight to even the playing field. The weight of a horse can greatly impact upon its ability to win. Jockeys also have a preference for certain courses, while some trainers specialise in getting their horses ready for specific races, and it is worth paying heed to all these considerations.
The Form
Once you have armed yourself with all the information listed above, you then need to see how well each of the runners fits into the picture. If the horse has won on that track, or the trainer or jockey has enjoyed great success there, that is a good sign. However, you need to be careful: if all the horse’s wins have come when the going is firm but the going is soft that day then you might want to avoid it. Likewise, if it is a big step up or step down in distance compared to what the horse usually runs that might set alarm bells ringing. A step up in class is also something to consider: the horse may have secured several wins in low-profile races, but if it is thrust into a prestigious Group 1 or Group 2 race it will have far sterner competition to deal with. If a horse is making a step down in class, that is also a consideration as it may have a better chance of winning, but the odds might be less attractive. It is advisable to examine how well each horse in the contest has fared in previous races of a similar calibre and distance, when the going has been similar, and compare them against one another, before making your selection, while also bearing in mind any additional weight they may be carrying and the how well the trainer and jockey have been performing.
General Tips
Favourites only win 30% of the time, so it often pays to oppose the horse with the shortest price and go against the general betting public.

When you turn to and look for who to bet on, there are several indicators that a horse will perform well in an upcoming race that you should keep in mind. For example, if it has finished in the top three at the same approximate distance (within a furlong) in its last three races, providing the surface and going was similar, give it a tick. If the horse has finished in the top three in each of its last three races at a similar class that is a reason to shortlist it. If it raced at a higher class in the past month or two and is dropping down, that is a reason to consider it. If the horse has won 20% or more of its last five starts, or if its jockey or trainer has won 20% of their races that year, give it a tick. If it has posted a resounding win in the past six weeks, give it another tick. If the horse lost in the past six weeks but had a valid excuse – such as being impeded – it is worth considering as it may well fare better and get you a decent price. If the horse had a long layoff and lost on its return, you can consider it as it will be likely to improve this time around. The more of these factors you can tick off, the better, so the horse with the most ticks next to its name could be your selection, providing the odds are not too low and it is not too heavily backed. Ultimately, make sure you enjoy it and do not wager more than you can afford, and you can grow a great appreciation for this exciting and engaging sport.

Author bio
Martin Green is an experienced horseracing correspondent and tipster.

What are the Chances?

Sometimes, despite the time and effort put in to analysing form, it can seem like a real uphill struggle to pick a winner. That applies to all sports I'd say. This is especially the case when your whole angle is in picking outsiders, because even in a good year you'll be picking far more losers than winners, it's the nature of the beast. So it's more about mentally getting yourself attuned to the idea that not everything you bet on will come romping home in first place, and that you're going to have the odd dry spell of bad results - it's inevitable.

Of course it pays to remember that the opposite will sometimes be true too. There will be moments in betting, no matter your area of expertise, where you feel that you just can't put a foot wrong - a temporary midus touch - and so in the long run it all balances out really.

While specialising in an area or having various other advantages over the average punter can give you the edge you need in the long run, it's of course also true that outside of that expertise, any punter, casual or professional, can be on the receiving end of unfathomable good or bad luck.

Both the ups and down of fortune are perhaps never more apparent than with poor Cynthia Jay-Brennan, who won $35million on the slots, but was tragically left paralysed just 6 weeks later due to a car crash. On the more positive side, take the retired Las Vegas flight attendant who only intended to bet $100 on the slots, but got carried and and ended up spending $300. Her reward? A $27.5 million win on the megaslots machine. Or 74 year old Johanna Heundl who also decided to give the megaslots machine a swirl while on the way to breakfast. She thought she'd struck it rich with a $2million win, but she'd misread and it was actually $22million. Not a bad win to rack up before your breaksfast!

A friend of mine is moving to Las Vegas this year and so - who knows - I might have my own rags to riches story before long. In the meantime though, if you're interested in some slots machine fun, EmotiCoins Slot is a good option. With free spins and a welcome bonus it's a nice way to kill some time and if your luck's in, who knows how much you might pocket.

Monday 18 September 2017

3.25 Redcar, Tuesday, September 19

The Racing UK Straight Mile Series Handicap (3.25) is the best race of the day at Redcar on Tuesday and, although roundly thrashed in 0-90 company at Newmarket and Thirsk on his two most recent starts, Showboating can take advantage of this slight drop in class. John Balding’s 9-year-old has shown his best form on turf with plenty of cut in the ground and, although still 5lb higher in the weights than when winning the Carlisle Bell Consolation Race Handicap in June, promising apprentice Lewis Edmunds takes off a useful 3lb.

Obviously, the Shamardal gelding isn’t getting any younger, but he’s been given a short break since finishing out with the washing, at 50/1, at Thirsk in August and demonstrated earlier in the year that he’s still a force to be reckoned with at this level. His trainer has a paltry 5-140 (4%) career strike rate at the North Yorkshire course, but that shouldn’t necessarily be held against Showboating, who has his favoured conditions and is by no means impossibly handicapped on his best form.

Of course, Showboating is fully exposed but, with the possible exceptions of the 3-year-old Kynren, who’s had just three career starts, and the 4-year-old Poet’s Beauty, who returns from an absence of 431 days and must have fitness doubts, the same can be said of the opposition. John Balding has used Lewis Edmunds to good effect this season, so Showboating should hopefully go well at a decent price.

Selection: Redcar 3.25 Showboating to win  - 25/1

Monday 4 September 2017

Pie in the Sky!

When you're down on your luck, even betting on an odds-on favourite can feel like you're climbing a mountain. In that mindset it can be easy to totyally write off long shots. Let's hear it then for those not dissuaded by dizzying odds selections who reaped rewards for sticking to their guns, whether they were just putting a few quid on, or laying much more on the line!

1) In 2003 Mike Futter, Dublin bingo hall owner, clearly knew he was onto something special with his horse Monte's Pass. Both he and all four of his co-owners had a 'put your money where your mouth is' moment placing numerous bets in the £5,000 - £10,000 range e/w at odds of between 20 and 33-1 on the horse. The result? A cool £1,000,000 + profit. Not a bad day at the office!

2) In 1989 a 40 year old man from Newport, Wales managed to win big by making a number of predictions about events he was sure would come to pass by the year 2000. Namely that: U2 would remain together  (4-1), Cliff Richard would be knighted (4-1), Eastenders would still be a weekly soap (5-1), Neighbours (5-1) and Home and Away (8-1) would still be televised in the UK. The man, who placed a fairly modest bet for this combo of events, won £200,000 for his troubles. It remains the biggest 'novelty' bet win to date!

3) The first betting shop millionaire became so as result of a meager 50 pence bet. Fred Craggs from Thirk landed an accumulator with mind boggling odds of 2,000,000-1 on his 60th birthday of all days! His 8 selections had a prophetic aspect to them too, with the first winner called 'Isn't That Lucky' and the last 'A Dream Come True'!

4) At Royal Ascot in 1996, a Frankie Detorri follower decided to back the man to the nth degree, which on the day meant doing an acca on all 7 of Detorri's rides that day. For his troubles the punter saw his £59 bet turn into a cool £550,000

5) The sad death of the aptly named Nick Newlife would be no obstacle to a big outsider win. When his 2003 bet for tennis star Roger Federer to win Wimbledon 9 nines by 2019 came up, the winnings were left to Oxfam. They had retained the ticket since Mr Newlife's death in 2009, and no doubt many benefited from the 66-1 windfall of £101,840