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Sunday 26 November 2017

2.05 Kempton, Monday, November 27

In the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle (2.05) at Kempton on Monday, Colin’s Sister carries a 6lb penalty for winning the West Yorkshire Hurdle at Wetherby earlier this month, but the form of that race looks increasingly strong. The runner-up, Wholestone, had previously finished just a length behind Saturday’s wide margin winner, Sam Spinner, who was receiving 9lb, in the Totesport Silver Trophy at Chepstow and the third, Lil Rockerfeller, won the Ascot Hurdle on Saturday.

Fergal O’Brien’s 6-year-old won four times at distances between 2 miles 3 furlongs and 2 miles 5 furlongs last season, but looked better than ever when stepped up to 3 miles for the first time at Wetherby and is entitled to improve again on just her second run since February. The Central Park mare has recorded four of her five career wins on soft going so, with the going at Kempton already good to soft and rain forecast for Sunbury-on-Thames on Sunday and Monday, she could well have her perfect conditions. She’s also won on good going, in any case, so she should run her race whatever the weather in South East England between now and Monday afternoon.

Selection: Kempton 2.05 Colin’s Sister to win
Update: There was a mix up on the Sporting Life site which led to them leaving up all early declarations, as such Colin's Sister isn't actually running. Sorry about that!

Friday 10 November 2017

Big Events, Big Odds

Sometimes it can feel like selecting a big priced winner is akin to finding a needle in a haystack. It's definitely a harder road compared to picking favourites, if you're looking to have a semi regular stream of winners. It takes a certain mentality to adopt picking outsiders as a strategy, and potentially a lot of patience while you bide your time and hold out for that win big!

To stay motivated it can be useful to think back to some of the huge odds selections that have won and rewarded punters in the process. Of course some selections may fall into a 'who could've seen that coming' category, but in other cases there may have well been signs that these unlikely winners had more about them than was first thought by most.

On a national level, the Grand National held yearly at Aintree must be one of, if not, the biggest UK sporting event and gets most of us watching each and every year. I'm sure most of us have been dragged into an office sweepstake or have a competition between family and friends when the National comes around. With such a large field and 16 fences there are so many variables to consider. and let's face it, often a decent element of luck / chance to the outcome. That's a two way street though and unknowns can work for you just as easily as it can work against.
Going back through the years there are of course a number of decent priced Grand National winners, but also one or two huge odds selections. Going back to 2013 we have Auroras Encore, ridden by Ryan Mania, winning at very attractive odds of 66-1. The biggest odds in recent memory belong to Mon Mome in 2009 though. Ridden by Liam Treadwell and trained by Venetia Williams it won (well romped home with a 12 length lead!) at staggering odds of 100-1.

Other top tier racing events, such as the Cheltenham Festival offer opportunities to win big too. Focusing in on the Cheltenham Gold Cup, in 2014 Lord Windermere was triumphant at decent odds of 20-1. We have to go back to 1990 to find a 100-1 winner though (Norton's Coin in an impressive time of 6:30).
Of course all of these odds are the official SP. On the exchanges, a 100-1 can commonly be twice those odds or more. It's important to use everything in your favour when you're 'panning for gold' with seriously big odds selections, so that when you do land a big win you get the maximum benefit from it.

Of course beyond horse racing we could get into the mind boggling odds of other major events, such as Leicester City winning the Premier League, but that's for another post, and beside I'm pretty sure even Mystic Meg didn't see that one coming!

Saturday 4 November 2017

2.00 Carlisle, Sunday, November 5

Lightly-raced Irish import Chozen has yet to win a race of any kind, but makes the 300-mile trek north to Carlisle from Aberthin in the Vale of Glamorgan and may be able to make more of an impact in the Watch Racing UK on BT TV Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (2.00). Trainer Tim Vaughan has only had 11 runners at the Cumbrian course over the last five seasons, but four of them have won, three have finished second and two have finished third, so a prominent showing by the son of good jumps sire Well Chosen would be no great surprise. Chozen ran respectably on both point starts – albeit falling two out when holding every chance on his debut at Borris Hill last February – over 3 miles for Thomas Mullins, so the combination of soft going and a galloping, testing track may well show him in better light on just his fourth attempt over hurdles. The stable has been a little quiet in the last fortnight, with just two winners from 34 runners, but a 36% strike rate at Carlisle is persuasive and Chozen must have a decent chance in a race where winning form is thin on the ground. It's worth a punt on it at NetBet Sport . Enjoy the race!

Selection: Carlisle 2.00 Chozen to win

Wednesday 1 November 2017

Racing Post Trophy Review

Champion trainer Aiden O’Brien made history on Saturday when he earned his 26th Group 1 victory of the season in the Racing Post Trophy. It broke a world record set by American Bobby Frankel in 2003 for the most top-level wins in a flat racing season. He equalled the record last weekend, when Hydrangea won at Ascot, and then Saxon Warrior romped to victory at Doncaster on Saturday to seal it. The win capped a glorious season for the Ballydoyle maestro, who has enjoyed an unprecedented level of success in 2017.

The Racing Post Trophy was a thriller thanks to a remarkable showing from third favourite Roaring Lion. Saxon Warrior, the 13/8 favourite, led the frontrunners for much of the race, but then 10/1 shot Roaring Lion lived up to his name, thundering through the crowd to seize the lead with a furlong to go. He looked unstoppable, but Saxon Warrior battled back in sensational style and nicked it by a neck

The Doncaster crowd erupted and O’Brien wheeled away in triumph. Another O’Brien-trained colt, The Pentagon, was third, and the Irish trainer will have plenty more chances to build on his 26 wins this season as we still have more than 20 G1 races to go before it draws to a close. If you click here for the latest spread betting markets, you will see O’Brien’s charges dominating several top races.

Saxon Warrior is emerging as the real star juvenile in an outrageously successful stable and is the outright favourite to win next year’s Derby, some four points ahead of the rest of the field. The two-year-old, a son of the great Japanese runner Deep Impact, has won all three career starts thus far and keeps improving with every race. He dominated his rivals on his debut in late August and then seized the Beresford Stakes in imposing fashion. When John Gosden’s Roaring Lion surged past him in the £200,000 Racing Post Trophy on Saturday he looked destined for minor honours at best, but he found reserves and claimed a pulsating victory.

We could see him again before the Derby as he is the 6/1 favourite for the 2000 Guineas. After Saturday’s win, jockey Ryan Moore said he would have no problem being a Guineas horse, while O’Brien noted that there is plenty of stamina in his pedigree. “He’s obviously a very good horse and what he did today was battle, he fought back,” said O’Brien. “He’s a very special horse, we think. He’s done everything we've asked of him and he's only been a baby. I’d say there's no doubt he'll be better on better ground.”

O’Brien first broke the world record in 2001, when he had 21 winners, but he was usurped by Frankel in the US two years later. He came close to breaking Frankel’s world record in 2008, but could only get to 23 – two short of equalling it. He may have given up hope of ever achieving the feat, but he has enjoyed a sensational 2017 season. It is certainly worth keeping an eye on his other runners in G1 races between now and the end of the season as he seeks to post an unbeatable world record.

But another one to look out for is Gosden’s Roaring Lion, who came so close to spoiling O’Brien’s day. He was unbeaten going into the race, having claimed the Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket last month by a neck from O’Brien’s Nelson, and he came within a whisker of winning the Racing Post Trophy. He displayed great pace and power and will surely trouble plenty more G1 races throughout his career. Gosden has enjoyed a fantastic resurgence this season and Roaring Lodge could well develop into one of the stars of his exciting stable.

Author bio

Martin Green is an experienced horse racing correspondent and tipster and has been covering the industry for many years.