Powered by Blogger.

Thursday 15 February 2018

Big Odds Betting on the Cheltenham Festival

The highly anticipated four day Cheltenham Festival is now just around the corner (march 13th - 16th 2018). Earlier today I was looking over some of the previous results of the Cheltenham Gold Cup over the years imagining how I'd have felt if I'd had the guts to place bets on the bigger odds selections. Of course often such selections go nowhere with the markets correctly pricing their chance of winning, but on occasion they do come good and what a story to pass on (and big win to smuggly collect) should you land a big odds winner in the ballpark of 25-1 + instead of betting on short odds favourites with a 'playing it safe' mindset, which can often backfire anyway.

One of the most noteworthy wins of previous wins that falls along these lines has to be 9 year old Gelding Norton's Coin, who managed to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup at dizzying betting odds of 100-1. Bred  owned and trained by Sirrell Griffiths, who viewed training as a hobby, Norton's Coin disappointed in previous runs before stepping up in class so was seen as something of a no hoper by the betting markets. At these odds though, some did elect to take the punt, and it more than paid dividends for them. When placing a bet a certain degree of bravery (or some would say foolhardiness) is often needed. For Norton's Coin 100-1 had looked about right with everything else factored in, but imagine having £20 on that, or perhaps even a bet via a bookmaker's free bet offer. You'd certainly be thanking your betting bank afterwards! Often bookmakers have free bet offers running alongside the big events like the Grand National, Royal Ascot and the Cheltenham Festival and so it certainly makes sense to keep an eye on those to get more bang for your betting buck!

This year's Gold Cup, or Cheltenham Festival in general could of course also throw up Outsider surprises, though they're unlikely to scale the heights of this 100-1 winner (hopefully I've not just tempted fate by stating that!). Often elements of luck and skill combine when betting on Cheltenham or the Grand National and so whether you bet on a short odds favourite or a long shot, there can be aspects of flying blind with any selection and are both plus points and drawbacks whichever odds bracket you find yourself drawn towards. Current favourite in the betting markets for the Gold Cup is 3-1 Might Bite with many a glowing write-up in the racing press. Sizing John, Coney Island and the like also factor is, while Cloudy Dram has been pulled out of the race and entered into the RyanAir Chase Instead, which was a surprise to many.

Ruth Jefferson stated: “He’s come out of the race at Newbury fine. We took him out of the Gold Cup and he’ll go for the Ryanair, that’s the plan” As always there will likely be a few more changes across this and other races before the Festival begins, but as per usual the event as a whole is bound to be once again be one of the real highlights of the British racing calendar.

Wednesday 14 February 2018

Horse and Jockey Profile

Sadler’s Wells: His Legacy Lives On

Sadler’s Wells, who retired from breeding in 2008 and died at home at Coolmore Stud, County Tipperary in 2011, is now best known for his prolific stud career. He was champion sire in Britain and Ireland 14 times, in France three times and North America once and his progeny won all the British Classics.

However, it’s worth remembering that, prior to taking up stallion duties in 1984, Sadler’s Wells was a top-class racehorse. By Northern Dancer, the most influential sire of the 20th century, out of Fairy Bridge, a half-sister to Nureyev, Sadler’s Wells was bred by the late Robert Sangster in America and trained by the late Vincent O’Brien at Ballydoyle, County Tipperary. Having won the Beresford Stakes at the Curragh in the September of his two-year-old campaign, he went on to win the Irish 2,000 Guineas, the Eclipse Stakes, by a neck from Time Charter, and the Phoenix Champion Stakes. He also ran creditably in defeat, finishing second to Darshaan in the Prix du Jockey Club and Teenoso in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes.

A small, sturdy, dark bay colt, not unlike his sire, he demonstrated courage and durability on the racecourse, characteristics he passed on to his notable progeny, which included Montjeu, Galileo, High Chaparral and, of course, Frankel who remained unbeaten in a fourteen-race career . Following his death, Ben Sangster, son of the late Robert, said, “His legacy will live on through his sons and daughters and their sons and daughters.”

The Rise and Rise of James Bowen

Welsh jockey James Bowen has had a remarkable twelve months. Fresh from setting a record total of 30 winners in his debut point-to-point season – all the more noteworthy for the fact that he had his first ride on his 16th birthday, March 12, several months into the season – Bowen turned professional in May.

He rode his first winner as a professional, Curious Carlos, for his father, Pembrokeshire trainer Peter, at Cartmel on May 27 and joined Nicky Henderson as conditional jockey on October 1. He rode out his seven-pound allowance aboard Thomas Campbell, trained by Henderson, at the Cheltenham November meeting and has since become the youngest jockey to win the Welsh Grand National, steering the veteran Raz De Maree to victory at Chepstow in January.

At the time of writing, according to Bowen Jnr. has ridden 39 winners, 13 more than any other conditional jockey in the country and just one short of riding out his five-pound allowance. He has already been touted as a future champion jockey and, if fate decrees, that should be just a matter of time.

For a lad of 16 he has a wise approach to the sport looking to the long term. Asked about what winning the likes of the Grand National would mean to him compared to winning the jockey's title he said “Being champion would mean more. I’d love to do that. Obviously the big days are special but for me the aim is to ride winners every day and try to be champion jockey.” I have a feeling he might not have to decide between the two.

Thursday 1 February 2018

Bets Win Prizes! (Pick a big priced winner and win big!)

Yes, the title of this post IS a terrible play on words of the long forgotten, failed BBC gameshow from the early 90s Pets Win Prizes, but don't let that stop you reading on!!

Here at we're eager to encourage reader involvement and so what better way to get people piping up than to make it worth their while. With that in mind I intend to offer a selection of prizes for the winner of our first 'Bets Win Prizes' competiton. The longer it takes someone to win, the more prizes will be added.

'How do I get my hands on these prizes?' I hear you cry! Well that's pretty straight forward thankfully. Simply follow these steps:

1) Pick an outsider that you've got your eye on. Any race, any time, though at least the day before the race (it must win at 25-1  SP or more)

2) Write up a justification of why you think your horse is in with a shot of winning the race in question (at least 150 words).

3) Email the write up to us at latest the day prior to the race

4) Cross your fingers!

If your horse wins you'll be entitled to what ever prizes are currently in the prize fund at the time. The longer no-one wins, the more prizes will be added to the pile. Simples!

I figured that this would be a fun way of mixing things up, and to let those with a bit of racing knowledge come to the fore. So if you fancy yourself as someone able to spot value then get sending your picks to us .You've got nothing to lose and something to gain! We'll be adding the prizes in a day or two, but feel free to drop us an email expressing interest in the meantime!