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Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Five Things You Should Always Consider Before Placing a Horse Racing Bet


There is nothing quite like the buzz of watching a horse race when you have money riding on the outcome. Placing a bet has the ability to transform the race into a thrilling event, but actually selecting a horse from the field can be a daunting prospect for newcomers. You really should study the form of each runner before laying down your hard-earned cash, ensuring that you are making an educated guess from a position of knowledge. These are the five key things that you should always look at before placing a horse racing bet:

The Going

This describes the condition of the ground at the racecourse on a particular day. In summer the going is often firm due to a lack of rain. A dry surface allows the horses to run faster and this is generally when you will see the quickest race times. If a course has been battered by rain over a considerable period of time you will find the going to be heavy. This provides a real test of each horse’s stamina, as the wet ground is much harder to run on. Heavy going is alternatively referred to as a bog or as sloppy. In between firm and heavy, you will find good to firm, good, good to soft and soft.

The going matters because different horses thrive on different surfaces. Some hate heavy going and they will often be withdrawn from a race if there has been too much rain. Others positively relish it: Bristol De Mai loves running in the slop and has secured some impressive victories after rainy spells. First you need to check what the ground is like at a racecourse on the day you want to place your bet, and then you must investigate how well each runner has fared in similar conditions. Tipsters will often help you out, but it is good to arm yourself with as much information as possible before placing a wager.



Form of the Runners



You can pore over a form guide of the runners before placing a bet on a particular race. A horse’s form relates to the results it has secured. You should study current form and overall form. Check out how well a horse has fared in his or her last few races, noting the quality of the race, the calibre of rivals faced, the distance and of course the going in each run.

If a horse has won its last three races then it is likely to be an appealing choice. However, it is not that simple. It might have won those three races at Group 3 level, and it is now stepping up to a more challenging Group 1 race and taking on more dangerous rivals. It might have won those three races over a particular distance and now it is stepping up in trip to run over a longer distance. It might have won when the going was soft, but now it is firm.

Ideally you want to find evidence of a horse flourishing over a similar distance and in similar conditions. You will often note that runners in a particular race have locked horns before, so you should bear in mind who prevailed.

You should also compare current form to overall form. If a horse has run poorly over its last few races, but it has a strong overall record, it could simply be a glitch. You can often enjoy your greatest successes as a punter by identifying horses that are in poor form but have the potential to rediscover past magic. Bristol De Mai was struggling for form and went off at 13/2 to win the 2018 Betfair Chase, but ended up surging to victory.

You should also check to see how long it is since the horse’s last race, as you need to bear in mind fatigue and rustiness. If it is a big race, you will also be able to access a wealth of statistical information about the type of horse that generally secures victory, including age and form.

Course Record of the Runners

It is worth noting that some horses thrive at particular courses and struggle at others. In fact, it is common to see horses consistently running well at some courses but flopping elsewhere. If a runner has secured a victory over a similar distance at that course before then it becomes an appealing choice.

Most horses have a preferred distance, so you should always pay close attention to runners that are stepping up or down in distance. It is also advisable to take a close look at horses that are stepping up or down in class, but course record is an equally important consideration. You should also check out the form of the jockey and the trainer, as some have a great record at particular courses or meeting.



Best Odds on Offer



You should always shop around for the best odds before betting on a particular horse. Rival bookmakers often price up a race differently and you can net yourself a much higher potential profit by hunting out the most attractive odds. For example, you might see a horse priced at 3/1 by one bookmaker, 10/3 by another, 7/2 by a third bookie and 4/1 by another. If you are placing a £50 bet, you will stand to earn a £200 profit as opposed to £150 by going to the bookmaker offering 4/1 instead of the bookmaker offering 3/1. This can ultimately be the difference between generating an overall profit or a loss as on a given day.

You can use odds comparison sites in order to see which bookies offer the best prices on a race. You will eventually notice a pattern whereby two or three sites typically offer market-leading odds. Some bookmakers, such as Marathonbet.co.uk, consistently offer generous odds, so it is advisable to sign up for an online account with them. This will allow you to earn an extra profit on successful bet, and that can really add up over time.



Place Terms



Many punters simply stick to betting on which horse will win a particular race, but there are alternative options at your disposal. You can look at forecasts and tricasts, for example. A great option is the each-way bet. This essentially sees your stake divided in half. If you bet £10 each-way on a horse, £10 will go on it winning the race and £10 will go on it placing, resulting in an overall stake of £20. Placing means finishing in either the top two, three or four places, depending on how many runners there are in the race. You will be informed of the place terms before putting on a bet.

If it is a small field of runners, only the top two finishers will count for an each-way bet. If it is a huge field you might be paid out if your horse finishes third or fourth. Some bookmakers even pay out on the top five finishers at the Grand National due to the size of the field. The place terms will also indicate the fraction of the odds you will be paid if the horse places.

Let’s say you fancy a horse Dutch Delight to win the Champion Hurdle at odds of 10/1, and the place terms are a fifth of the odds on the top three places. If he you bet £10 each-way and he finishes third, you will make a £10 profit. This is because the win part of your bet would fail, but the place part of your bet would pay off. You would gain a fifth of the odds, and a fifth of 10/1 is 10/5, or 2/1. A £10 bet at 2/1 would winnings of £20. You would get your £10 stake back too, resulting in a return of £30 and a profit of £10.

If Dutch Delight won the race, both the win and the place parts of your bet would pay off. You would have £10 at 10/1, which results in a £100 profit, and £10 at 10/5 on the place, resulting in a £20 profit. That would leave a total profit of £120 and a return of £140, as you get both parts of your stake back.

You should always check the place terms before putting on an each-way bet. Sometimes you will see a quarter of the odds on the top four, and at other times it is a fifth of the odds on the top three, or a quarter of the odds on the top four. If bookmakers are paying a quarter of the odds, you will earn a profit if the odds assigned to your horse are greater than 4/1 and it places. If bookmakers are paying a fifth of the odds, you will earn a profit if the odds assigned to your horse are greater than 5/1 and it places.


Equinoctial


Horse racing, especially National Hunt racing, is notoriously unpredictable. The Grand National, of which there have been five winners at 100/1, is the most notorious of all, but other prestigious races, such as the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Champion Hurdle, have also featured winners at 33/1, 50/1 and 100/1.


However, the longest-priced winner in British horse racing history came not in a high-profile, ‘championship’ race, but rather in the Grants Whisky Novices’ Handicap Hurdle, an otherwise non-descript event run over 2 miles 6 furlongs at Kelso on November 21, 1990. The winner that day was Equinoctial, who was returned at a starting price of 250/1.

Equinoctial had won a maiden point-to-point at Askeaton in Co. Limerick in February, 1990, when trained by Eric McNamara, but had already passed through the hands of Michael Hourigan and Michael Dods before making his debut, as a five-year-old, for Norman Miller in a novices’ chase at Perth the following September. Sent off 10/1 third choice of the seven runners, he was tailed off as early as the fourth of the eighteen fences and pulled up well before halfway.


On his next start, in another novices’ chase at Southwell a month later, he fell at the first and jumped badly when again tailed off and pulled up at Catterick two weeks later. So, after three starts, and three non-completions, over regulation fences, Equinoctial was put back over hurdles – a sphere in which he had previously finished last of fourteen on his only previous attempt at Ballinrobe two years earlier – at Hexham two weeks later. Ridden for the first time by conditional jockey Andrew Heywood, who claimed 7lb, he did at least complete the course, albeit a respectful 62 lengths behind the winner, Tranquil Waters.


Two weeks later, Equinoctial and Heywood tried again, at Kelso, but with no worthwhile form under Rules and racing from 15lb out of the handicap proper, the gelding was, justifiably, given no earthly chance by the bookmakers. Nevertheless, under 9st 7lb, Equinoctial chased the leaders from the fourth-last flight of hurdles and stayed on under pressure to lead on the run-in and win by 3½ lengths. Aside from a place in the history books, his prize for doing so was just £2,385.


Monday, 21 October 2019

John Francome


John Francome was christened “Greatest Jockey” by erstwhile Channel 4 colleague John McCririck and, while he wasn’t, numerically, the greatest jockey of all time, he was the third most successful in the history of National Hunt racing in Britain. His career total of 1,138 winners, which was a record at the time of his retirement in April, 1985, pales by modern standards, by the fact remains that Francome won the jockeys’ championship seven times; only Peter Scudamore and Sir Anthony McCoy have won more.


Certainly one of the finest jockeys this country has ever produced, Francome also became known for his frankness and relaxed, irreverent sense of a humour. He was never one to take anyone, including himself, too seriously. At a press lunch, he once dubbed Jockey Club stewards ‘Cabbage Patch Kids’ and variously claimed that he rode mainly for the money and that one of the reasons for his sudden retirement, at the age of 32, was that he was fed up with always being hungry.


Francome has the dubious honour of being ‘the best jockey never to win the Grand National’, but he did win the Cheltenham Gold Cup, once, on Midnight Court, in 1978. Trained at Uplands Stables in Upper Lambourn, Berkshire by Fred Winter – whom Francome joined, straight from school, as a 16-year-old apprentice and remained with throughout his career – Midnight Court was a well-fancied 5/2 chance by the time the ‘Blue Riband’ event was run, in April, after being postponed due to snow. Nevertheless, his easy 7-length win over Brown Lad came over something of a relief to Francome, after tabloid allegations of wrongdoing as a result of his friendship with bookmaker John Banks.


Another vintage Francome moment came in the Champion Hurdle in 1981. On that occasion, Francome rode Sea Pigeon, trained by Peter Easterby, who was sent off 7/4 favourite after winning the race the previous year. Although Sea Pigeon was an 11-year-old, in an act of derring do, rode him for a turn of foot, delaying his challenge until halfway up the run-in, before sprinting away to win cosily under hands and heels.

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Looking ahead to Champions Day at Ascot

With the smell of autumn in the air and the days rapidly getting shorter, you could be forgiven for thinking that the high days of the horse racing season are behind us. True, the Cheltenham Festival, Royal Ascot and the Grand National are distant memories. But there is still one important event to come, and it’s at the most famous horse racing venue of them all.


A Royal Event


Champions Day is a relatively new meeting, having been created in 2011 to bring the British flat racing season to a dramatic conclusion. However, it is nevertheless steeped in history, as it brings together several historic races that were previously run at Ascot and Newmarket. 


The showpiece event is the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, a race that has been won by some of the most iconic names in the sport, and has always been the season-closer at Ascot. However, it would be reasonable to say that Champions Day really has two headline races, as the Champion Stakes has just as high a profile, and prior to 2011 was the main event at Newmarket. 


What’s happening this year?


This year, Ascot racecourse will be hosting Champions Day on 19 October. Gates open at 10:30AM, and then it is all action, with the following six races run between 1:30 and 5:00:


  • 1:30PM: British Champions Long Distance Cup


  • 2:10PM: British Champions Sprint


  • 2:45PM: British Champions Fillies and Mares Stakes


  • 3:20PM: Queen Elizabeth II Stakes


  • 4:00PM: Champion Stakes


  • 4:45PM: Balmoral Handicap


There is always a festival atmosphere on Champions Day, and this year will be no exception. If you decide to attend, stay around for the after party, which this year, will be headlined by the inimitable Basement Jaxx.


Past winners


The most famous winner in the eight year history of Champions Day is Frankel. The legendary gelding was a favourite in every sense of the word among horse race betting enthusiasts, with a career that saw him unbeaten in his 14-race career. That included winning the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at the first ever Champions Day in 2011 and coming back the following year to win the Champion Stakes and officially retire undefeated. 


Last year, Roaring Lion was a popular winner in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, winning his fourth Group One race of the season before retiring to stud at the end of the year. Tragically, it was not to be a long retirement and he died of colic in August of this year. 


The Champion Stakes has been won the past two years in succession by Frankie Dettori and Cracksman. Like Finkel before him, Cracksman bade a fond farewell to thousands of fans at the end of the race and retired a winner. 


The stuff of legends


In its eight year history, Champions Day has already been the scene of some of flat racing’s most memorable moments. A record 32,000 people turned out to see Frankel’s crowning glory, and the event has been well attended ever since. If you love flat racing, Champions Day is something you just can’t afford to miss. 

Monday, 16 September 2019

Nijinsky


Nijinsky, in 1970, was first horse since Bahram in 1935, and the last, to complete the so-called ‘Triple Crown’ by winning the 2,000 Guineas, Derby and St. Leger and is considered, in some quarters, to have been the greatest racehorse of the twentieth century. Lester Piggott, who rode him throughout his three-year-old campaign, said that, on his day, Nijinsky was the ‘most brilliant’ horse that he’d ever ridden. However, Timeform, the respected ratings organisation, awarded Nijinsky a rating of ‘just’ 138, 7lb inferior to the 1965 Derby winner Sea-Bird.


Owned by American industrialist Charles Engelhard, who bought him on the recommendation of the original ‘Master of Ballydoyle’, Vincent O’Brien, Nijinsky was unbeaten as a juvenile, rounding off his two-year-old campaign with an easy win, for the first time under Piggott, in the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket. He reappeared in the Gladness Stakes, over 7 furlongs, at the Curragh the following April, which he won as a prelude to impressive victories over his own age group in the 2,000 Guineas, Derby and Irish Derby, before taking on his elders in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. In the latter race, Nijinsky was the only three-year-old among the six runners but, sent off at 40/85, never remotely looked in danger of defeat, eventually cruising to an effortless, 2-length victory over the four-year-old Blakeney, who’d won the Derby the year before.


However, preparation for his Triple Crown attempt was interrupted by ringworm, such that, for a time, he could not be saddled, or worked properly. He did make it to Doncaster for the St. Leger but, according to Piggott, “the gleam in his eye was a little dimmed”, a fact that was reflected by his performance in the race. Nijinsky recorded his eleventh consecutive success, but was ultimately all out to hold runner-up Meadowville by half a length, and never won again. He was controversially beaten in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and again in the Champion Stakes at Newmarket, two weeks later, before being retired to stud.




Tuesday, 20 August 2019

All-Weather Courses - Fibresand, Polytrack & Tapeta


All-weather horse racing or, in other words, horse racing on synthetic surfaces, has been a fact of life in Britain since 1989. The pioneering racecourse was Lingfield Park, which raced for the first time on Equitrack – silica sand, oil and a chemical binder mixed together to form a very firm, hard surface – in October that year. Fast forward nearly three decades and the all-weather programme has expanded to six racecourses. Three of them, namely Chelmsford City, Kempton Park and Lingfield Park, race on Polytrack, Southwell, alone, races on Fibresand and the remaining two, Newcastle and Wolverhampton, race on Tapeta.


Fibresand

Fibresand is the oldest of the synthetic surfaces still used in Britain, having been raced on at Southwell since nine days after the opening of the Equitrack course at Lingfield. Like Polytrack and Tapeta, Fibresand is based on silica sand, reinforced with polypropylene fibres but, unlike its competitors, contains no wax or chemical binder. The firmness of the surface can be adjusted by maintenance procedures, such as rolling or harrowing, but Fibresand is typically deeper, and looser, than Polytrack. Consequently, the surface places more emphasis on stamina, resulting in slower race times, wider margins between horses and less trouble in running.


Polytrack


Polytrack, too, is a mixture of silica sand and polypropylene fibres, together with recycled rubber, coated with wax. Appropriately weighed and blended, Polytrack creates a racing surface renowned for its uniformity and longevity. The brainchild of farmer and builder Martin Collins, Polytrack first rose to prominence as a surface for training gallops, such as that installed for Richard Hannon Snr. in 1987, but was not used as a racing surface until 2001. That year it become the surface of choice at Lingfield Park and Wolverhampton replaced both its Fibresand and turf courses with a single Polytrack course three years later.


Tapeta

Tapeta was designed and developed by Michael Dickinson – the same Michael Dickinson who saddled the first five home in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 1983 – and was first laid at his Tapeta Farm training centre in Maryland, USA in 1997. Essentially an improved version of Polytrack, Tapeta has the same basic composition, but mimics the root structure of turf. Like Fibresand, the firmness of the surface can be dictated by the Clerk of the Course and, again like Fibresand, Tapeta sheds water extremely well. Tapeta replaced Polytrack as the surface of choice at Wolverhampton in 2014 and replaced the turf course at Newcastle as part of a £12 million redevelopment of the racecourse in 2016.

Friday, 19 July 2019

Horse Humour: Part 2


Did you hear about the man who was hospitalized with six plastic horses inside him?
The doctor described his condition as stable.



A young jockey and his stable lass girlfriend make the decision to get married. Everything is planned and the couple intend to honeymoon in Italy for a week. The marriage goes without a hitch and the couple set off on their honeymoon. While checking in the lady behind the desk asks 'We have two suites available for you, would you like the bridal?' 'No thanks says the jockey I'll just hold her ears till she gets the hang of it!' -


A horse walks into a bar. The barman says "hey". The horse says "sure, thanks
Where do horses go when they’re sick? The horsepital.


How do you make a small fortune out of horses?
Start with a large fortune


Q. What does it mean if you find a horseshoe?
A. Some poor horse is walking around in his socks.


A: I put £10 on a horse yesterday who was running against applesB: 
B: What happened?
A: I lost, he got pipped at the post

What do you call a horse that can’t lose a race? Sherbet.


What’s black and white and eats like a horse? A zebra.


Which side of a horse has more hair?
The outside


"Bob, I can't understand how Bill can have so much luck at cards and be so unlucky with horses."
"That's easy," said Bob. "You can't shuffle the horses."

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Gold Cup Preview


The Gold Cup, run over 2 miles 4 furlongs, is the oldest surviving race at Royal Ascot and remains the showpiece event of the five-day meeting. This year’s renewal, due off at 4.20pm on Thursday, June 20, potentially features a maximum of eleven runners, headed by last year’s winner, Stradivarius, who is chasing a seven-timer. However, while John Gosden’s five-year-old is likely to prove a tough nut to crack once again, that fact is reflected by prohibitive odds of 6/5, in a place, and shorter elsewhere.

At the other end of the market, rank outsiders Cypress Creek (40/1), Raymond Tusk (33/1) and Master Of Reality (33/1) look to have plenty to find if they’re to be involved at the business end of such as prestigious contest. However, Thomas Hobson has just 1½ lengths to find with Stradivarius on their running in the Long Distance Cup, over 2 miles, at Ascot last October and, having previously won over course and distance – when sauntering home by 6 lengths in the Ascot Stakes tow seasons ago – looks to have a sporting chance of reversing the form at odds around the 20/1 mark.

Willie Mullins’ nine-year-old was surprisingly turned over, at odds-on, in the Group Two Oleander-Rennen at Hoppengarten on his seasonal debut in May, but still ran respectably on his first start since October. Officially, the son of Halling has 8lb to find with Stradivarius but, with Met Office weather warnings of thunderstorms in place for Tuesday and Wednesday, some easing of the going at Ascot seems highly likely. Soft, or even heavy, going holds no terrors for Thomas Hobson and, while he has yet to win at the highest level, the return to further should do him no harm, either. Win or lose, Thomas Hobson looks outstanding value at the odds on offer and could be ripe for an each-way ‘burgle’.


Selection: Ascot 4.20 Thomas Hobson each-way at 20/1

Royal Ascot


Three centuries of tradition are held to this very day at Royal Ascot. From the top hats and tails dress code to the Royal procession, nothing has been lost throughout the years. Away from all the glitz and glamour is five days racing of the highest standard. The best equine talent from all sides of the globe meets up to do battle over theses mouth-watering five days of top class horse racing action.

With 8 Group ones alone this to many is the best racing meeting of the year.

Betopin.com give you all of the latest betting advice for Royal Ascot.


Royal Ascot Highlights



The Queen Anne Stakes (1 mile) - Group 1

We kick off the Royal Ascot meeting with the first Grade 1 of the week in the Queen Anne Stakes over 1 mile. The betting on The Queen Anne is usually very tight at the top of the market because you have the battle-hardened and talented 4-year-olds going up against last season top 2-year-old's. Who will come out on top this year?



St James Palace (1mile) - Group 1

Solely open to 3-year-old colts, The St James Palace draws in the best 3-year-old colts over 1 mile to establish themselves as a force to be reckoned with for the season ahead. Notable horses that won this race and went on to further glory are the mighty Frankel, Mastercraftsman, Rock Of Gibraltar and many more. This year's renewal is shaping up to be one of the best in recent seasons.



Diamond Jubliee Stakes ( 6 furlong) - Group 1

Run over 6 furlongs, the Diamond Jubilee stakes bring some of the best established 6-furlong specialists from 3 years old and up. Each year you can expect to see some of you old favourites go head to head and some of the new kids on the block trying to make a name for themselves. Some of the winners are household names like Starsbangledbanner, The Tin Man, Australian wonder mare Black Caviar and old favourite Kingsgate Native.



The King Stand (5 furlongs) - Group 1

The King Stand is our first chance to witness all the top sprinters in the world go flat out from the drop of the flag to the finishing line. The race is open to 3 years old and up. So, this is a chance for us to see if the good 2-year-old sprinters of last season have trained on and how they will fare against the big boys of sprinting.



The Coronation Stakes (1 mile) - Group 1

The Group 1 Coronation Stakes is the chance for the top 3-year-old Fillies to come head to head over one mile.

The Coronation Stakes betting is usually a competitive heat due to the size and quality of the field and is often a platform for those who ran in the 1,000 or Irish 1,000 Guineas a chance to progress and lay claim to being named champion three-year-old filly of the season.



Conclusion

Royal Ascot is everything you expect from a social; and betting side of things. At Betopin we have upped our game when it comes to horse racing betting when acquiring the expert services of YouTubes “The Finishing Line”. With both Betopin and The Finishing Line working close together you can be sure that every tip you read is of the highest standard.

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Horse Profile: Brown Jack

Introduction

Suitable named for its stunning brown coat, this Irish racehorse was one of the most impressive of its era. In a 3-year spell, it won its most important trophies and maintained a strong career path to become a horse known for having incredible stamina and an indefatigable approach to any race that it took part in. As both a hurdle and a flat racer, this beast managed to win many major races over its career, taking part in a whole host of major events and experiences that most would merely dream of.
A brown gelding, it was taken over by Sir Harrold Wernher and then trained by Aubrey Hastings. Hastings died, though, in 1923, and it was trained by Ivor Anthony instead. As a 4-year-old heading into its first ever race season, Brown Jack won seven of its first ten races, including an impressive win at the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham.

Career Summary

Eventually, it moved onto flat racing and won several major trophies moving forward. From the Ascot Stakes in 1928 to the Roseberry Memorial Plate in 1931, it managed a long run of successful trophy-laden seasons.

However, it also won an incredible six Queen Alexandria Stakes from 1929-1934. With 18 races won from 55 starts on the flat, it managed to maintain a high level of performance right up to its retirement. While it began to come second in races such as the Goodwood Cup and the Doncaster Cup, it eventually came out of the limelight. 
 
If you head down to Ascot, you can see a bronzed statue waiting in memory of its multiple QA Stakes wins in a row. 
 
Achievements & Highlights

Wins – Champion Hurdle (1928), Queen Alexandra Stakes (1929, 1930, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1934), Goodwood Cup (1930), Doncaster Cup (1930), Chester Cup (1931), Ebor Handicap (1931)

Associations – G.S. Webb, Sir Harold Werhner.




Tuesday, 16 April 2019

From $100 to $532,000 - The amusing story of Rob Tidy




A bit of a blast from the past here, which explains the video quality, but interesting none the less. I certainly wouldn't say no to some of this kids luck. I wonder if his run of luck continued?

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Grand National Outsiders


The Grand National is often billed as the most unpredictable race in the world. However, for all the vagaries of a race typically contested by a huge field and run over 4¼+ miles and 30 idiosyncratic fences, the Grand National winner has been returned at a treble-figure price just five times in 180 years.


The first 100/1 winner of the National, Tipperary Tim, didn’t come along until 1928, 89 years after the first ‘official’ running of the race. Trained by Joseph Dodd and ridden the amateur William Parker “Bill” Dutton, Tipperary Tim won by virtue of all the other 41 starters, bar one, failing to complete the course. The eventual second, Billy Barton, parted company with jockey Tommy Cullinan at the final fence, but was remounted, at the second attempt to finish a distance behind the winner.



Lo and behold, having waited nearly a century for a 100/1 winner of the National, the next one arrived the very next year, in 1929. That year, the ditch at the Canal Turn was filled in, but the winner, Gregalach, nonetheless faced 65 rivals in the largest field ever assembled for the Grand National. Trained by Thomas Leader and ridden by Robert Everett, made stealthy headway to tackle Cheltenham Gold Cup winner, and favourite, Easter Hero at the second-last fence and win by 6 lengths.


The 1947 Grand National was shrouded in tangibly thick fog and won by another 100/1 outsider, Caughoo, trained in Ireland by Herbert McDowell and ridden by little-known jockey Edward Dempsey. Caughoo came home 20 lengths ahead of his nearest rival, Lough Conn, ridden by Daniel McCann, who subsequently accused Dempsey of concealing his mount in the fog near the Melling Road on the first circuit and rejoining on the second. After a fracas, and a court case, photographic evidence eventually revealed that Caughoo had, in fact, jumped Becher’s Brook twice, so must have completed two full circuits of the course.


The seventh fence on the Grand National Course – also, of course, the twenty-third fence – has, since 1984, been officially called ‘Foinavon’. Foinavon won the 1967 Grand National at 100/1 and is commemorated for being the only horse to avoid a melee caused by a loose horse, the aptly-named Popham Down, at the fence which now bears his name. With all the remaining runners falling, being brought down or refusing, Foinavon was left well clear, eventually winning by 15 lengths.


The fifth, and final, 100/1 outsider to win the National, Mon Mome in 2009, won fair and square, by 12 lengths, on a sunny day and was one of seventeen finishers. His performance appeared no fluke, but he was settling an old score for his trainer, Venetia Williams, who had been knocked unconscious when her mount, Marcolo, a 200/1 outsider, fell at Becher’s Brook on her only attempt in the National as an amateur rider, 21 years previously.

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Your Luck is In!

It always helps to have answers to questions where betting is concerned. In the long run, having discipline and a deliberate approach goes a long way. You see it in horse racing, you see it in casino skills games like poker, everywhere really. A calm head and balanced approach to betting, as opposed to getting caught up in the highs and lows, brings success your way. There is of course the flip side to that though, the wild card. The 'what are the odds of that happening' events that always turn up from time to time. Regardless of what you know in life, it definitely helps to have a bit of luck on your side.

This is perhaps best illustrated with the likes of Frankie Dettori's legendary Magnificent Seven win, where Dettori won in every single race on the September 1996 race card. A feat that had mind boggling cumulative odds of 25,051-1. It could be said that what's really surprising about this event above all else though, is the loyal little group of punters that decided to bet on all seven of his rides that day, despite it looking distinctly unlikely that he'd actually perform a clean sweep. It would've surely seemed like a foolhardy endeavour prior to the races, but despite that some were laughing all the way to the bank. On course Bookmaker Gary Wiltshire alone lost over a million of a day. Mary and John Bolton, up from Somerset to celebrate their wedding anniversary, pocketed £500,000 from their Ladbrokes bet (The max payout, they were actually due £900,000!). Some were not so lucky, betting on the selections individually. The difference between daring to dream and playing it safe.

So there can be an element of 'you've got to be in it to win it' even if the odds look almost insurmountable. This can often be true of extreme Outsiders in racing, especially with the 125-1 or 200-1 odds that are not especially uncommon on the exchanges. Even if you feel the odds are up against you, consider how few you actually need to come through for you to make it the right bet to make. The value bet to make. And this is where there is an element of skill involved, so why not go with it, especially when you see that even with pure luck examples of good fortune, some are now sitting pretty. The odds of lottery and scratch cards wins for instance can be significant, but for those who actually raked in winnings due to a big win for a tiny outlay it's entirely academic. We're talking significant life changing sums of money here. Of course again this is where it's solely luck at play, but it's useful to put odds in perspective, and what you can miss out of if you hold back even when you do have knowledge and insight on your side.

It can be hard to see the big picture sometimes, and often people read 100-1 or 200-1 and see 'impossible', which in part frequently explains the drift on the exchanges due to the 'it'll never happen' crew. Well, quite often it does happen, and if you're considered in your approach and also have that little sprinkle of luck that we all need in life, the odds may very well be on your side.

Saturday, 9 February 2019

Grand National Winners with the Longest Odds


We're now a little under two months until the 2019 Grand National (Saturday 6th April) and we'll once again get to witness the most popular event of the UK National Hunt season. Who amongst us doesn't enjoy a well earned flutter on what is nothing short of a national institution at this point, and has roots going back a century and a half. The National is a sporting spectacle each and every one of us has grown up with and is a source of fond memories for most racing fans. Whether it's the office sweepstake, following form of tipsters or just a name you like the sound of, we all have our own systems and stories surrounding the race and we all enjoy feeling part of the excitement and action.

It's still very much early days but current Grand National front runners for the 2019 race include Tiger Roll and Vintage Clouds. For those looking for a bit more bang for their buck, outsider options extend to several selections of 100-1 + such as Jarob, Morney Wing and Lieutenant Colonel (the latter of which is available at 200-1). We'll be taking a closer look at the betting as the race approaches.


Of course having a huge priced winner at the Grand National is one of those 'tell the grandchildren' moments that we'd all love to have. I've taken a look through the archives to find the biggest odds winners since the very beginning of The Grand National in 1836. Here they all are:

Date       Winner              Age      Odds (SP)
1866       Salamander         7        40/1
1888       Playfair               7        40/1
1896       The Soarer          7        40/1
1908       Rubio                 10       66/1
1928       Tipperary Tim    10      100/1
1929       Gregalach           7        100/1
1932       Forbra                 7        50/1
1938       Battleship          11        40/1
1947      Caughoo              8        100/1
1948      Sheila's Cottage   9         50/1
1949      Russian Hero       9         66/1
1951      Nickel Coin         9         40/1
1963      Ayala                   9         66/1
1966      Anglo                  8         50/1
1967     Foinavon              9        100/1
1980     Ben Nevis            12       40/1
1985     Last Suspect        11        50/1
1995     Royal Athlete      12        40/1
2009     Mon Mome          9        100/1
2013    Auroras Encore    11        66/1

The above accounts for all 40-1 and above Grand National winners in the race's history, so true outsider winners are rather 'few and far between' in the big picture, but with the 1940's and 1960's being real hotspots for outsider wins. At six years since the last 40-1+ winner some would argue that we're 'due one', so it might be worth a punt on a longshot if you spot something specific that you like about it. It's worth adding that these are all SP odds too, so often they may have been bigger and/or will certainly have been on betting exchanges since the advent of those.

Of note is that the bigger priced winners over more recent decades are typically older, and so that might be something that could factor into your thinking and decision making too. Winning times have been fairly consistent over recent years,. That might shock some since there are so many vairables at play and hurdles are a challenge to traverse at the best of times, especially when horses start to tire over the arduous 4 miles 514 yards distance . If you have your eye on an outsider for the Grand National already, which one and why?

Sunday, 3 February 2019

The Biggest Priced Grand National Winners


We're now a little under two months until the 2019 Grand National (Saturday 6th April) and we'll once again get to witness the most popular event of the UK National Hunt season. Who amongst us doesn't enjoy a well earned flutter on what is nothing short of a national institution at this point, and has roots going back some 150 years. The National is a sporting spectacle each and every one of us has grown up with and is wealth of fund memories for most racing fans. Whether it's the office sweepstake, following form of tipsters or just a name you like, we all have our own systems and stories surrounding the race and we all enjoy feeling part of the action.

It's still very much early days but early front runners for the 2019 Grand National include Tiger Roll and Vintage Clouds. For those looking for a bit more bang for their buck, outsider options include several selections of 100-1 + such as Jarob, Morney Wing and Lieutenant Colonel (the latter of which is available at 200-1). We'll be taking a closer look at the betting as the race approaches.


Of course getting a huge priced winner at the Grand National is one of those 'tell the grandchildren' moments that we'd all love to be part of. I've taken a look through the archives to find the biggest odds winners since the very beginning of The Grand National in 1836:

Date       Winner              Age      Odds (SP)
1866       Salamander         7        40/1
1888       Playfair               7        40/1
1896       The Soarer          7        40/1
1908       Rubio                 10       66/1
1928       Tipperary Tim    10      100/1
1929       Gregalach           7        100/1
1932       Forbra                 7        50/1
1938       Battleship          11        40/1
1947      Caughoo              8        100/1
1948      Sheila's Cottage   9         50/1
1949      Russian Hero       9         66/1
1951      Nickel Coin         9         40/1
1963      Ayala                   9         66/1
1966      Anglo                  8         50/1
1967     Foinavon              9        100/1
1980     Ben Nevis            12       40/1
1985     Last Suspect        11        50/1
1995     Royal Athlete      12        40/1
2009     Mon Mome          9        100/1
2013    Auroras Encore    11        66/1

The above account for all 40-1 and above Grand National winners in the race's history, so big winners are rather 'few and far  between' in the big picture, with the 1940's and 1960's being real hotspots for outsider wins. At six years since the last 40-1+ winner some would argue that we're 'due one', so it might be worth a punt on a longshot if you spot something specific that you like about it. It's worth adding that these are all SP odds too, so often they may have been bigger and/or will certainly have been on betting exchanges since the advent of those.

Of note is that the bigger priced winners over more recent decades are typically older, and so that might be something that could factor into your thinking and decision making too. Winning times have been fairly consistent over recent years, that may shock some since there are so many vairables at play and hurdles are a challenge to traverse at the best of times, especially when horses start to tire over  the 4 miles 514 yards distance . If you have your eye on an outsider for the Grand National already, which one and why?

Sunday, 20 January 2019

5.45 Newcastle, Tuesday, January 22


Suffolk trainer Jane Chapple-Hyam has only ever had four runners on the Tapeta surface at Newcastle, but two of them have won, which makes the entry of Suzi’s Connoisseur, who has just his start for the yard, in the Betway Conditions Stakes (5.45) on Tuesday evening all the more interesting. The eight-year-old hacked up in a 0-80 handicap, over 6 furlongs, at Lingfield on his stable debut in December – earning himself a 10lb rise in the weights – but, unsurprisingly, finished well beaten in a similar conditions race to this one, again over 6 furlongs, on Boxing Day; unsurprisingly because he met all five of his rivals that day on at least 13lb worse terms than he would have done in a handicap and, in the case of the easy winner, Kachy, 20lb worse.



The son of Art Connoisseur has subsequently been dropped 1lb to a handicap mark of 86 and, once again, meets all his rivals on disadvantageous terms, so the thinking behind his entry is hard to fathom. Suzi’s Connoisseur hasn’t raced over the minimum trip since his two-year-old days, so surely Jane Chapple-Hyam doesn’t think he can beat five-furlong specialist Encore D’Or – to name but one of the more likely winners – on 23lb disadvantageous terms? Or maybe she does?



Either way, aside from the possibility of collecting fourth or fifth money, Suzi’s Connoisseur also runs the risk of ruining his handicap mark forever, if he runs above expectations. Unless connections know something we don’t and plan an almighty gamble, Suzi’s Connoisseur seems certain to be sent off at long odds – on the grounds that the handicapper doesn’t make mistakes of the magnitude required for him to win – and looks worth a small wager, if only to find out what on earth they’re playing at.



Selection: Newcastle 5.45 Suzi’s Connoisseur to win 25-1