4:05 Wolverhampton Racing Tips (24th November) 32RED CASINO NURSERY HANDICAP (TAPETA)

A 0-60 rated nursery handicap over 7f 32y on standard going. Twelve two-year-olds take part. P J McBride is a talented trainer who places his horses exceptionally well. Sky Steps has been knocking on the door but a costly loser for favourite backers starting 11/4 or less in his last four starts, although placed on three of those occasions. This chestnut gelding, a son of Strategic Prince out of a once-rate German mare, was fancied to go well last start but had to go round the houses when pushed wide which most likely cost him victory. The way Danny Brock rode this March foal suggested to me they didn't expect to lose because this youngster was given a number of strong slaps with the whip.Having gone up 2lb in the weights connections have opted for 7lb apprentice, Gary Mahon. I'm not convinced this step back up to 7f is ideal but I would imagine this horse will lead and try to keep out of trouble and hold on to any advantage in the home straight. This looks the type of horse that will be shorter odds in-running and that is the angle I would take if betting, laying your stake and hoping this juvenile hangs on in the closing stages for a profit. The tissue price looks about right and although no outstanding bet is the type of horse that will be expected to make a bold show. 


Saturday Tipping Competition

This month's competition is progressing nicely. Inittowinit played it safe with a big odds-on shot to hold his lead at the head of the table [free competition] in what was a poor-scoring week with 24.57pts. Tecbet found an easy winner and heads the pro competition with 23pts [5pts ahead of nearest pro rival, Rawnsley [18pts]. Others worthy of note include Racing Mama 20.666pts, Capt Heathcliffe 17pts, Uncle Keith/Paul 10pts, while Jodonovan & HCE have a handful of points. Still plenty to play for with this and next week bringing a conclusion to the month. Remember we have 3 x £10 prizes for the top trio so you know what to do - get a winner. Please get those tips in early (11:50AM) Deadline else I might have a panic attack and keel over.Good luck to all.     

Tipster selections:

12:10 Haydock         - Vasco Du Ronceray 2pt w (Tecbet) 1st (6pts)
12:45 Haydock         - Louhalder 2pt w (Jodonovan) Unp
12:55 Lingfield          - Rattling Jewell 2pt w (Betmanmike) Unp
1:15 Haydock           - Viva Colonia 1pt ew (Racing Mama) Unp
1:30 Ascot                 - Magic Money 2pt w (Uncle Keith/Paul) Unp
2:10 Gowan Park      - Dantes Firth 2pt w (OneEyeEnos) 2nd
2:25 Haydock            - Trustan Times 2pt w (Mark) Unp
2:25 Haydock            - Katkeau 2pt w (Clint) 5th
2:25 Haydock            - Vieux Lion Rouge2pt w (Shukman) Unp
2:40 Ascot                 - Hint Of Mint 1pt ew (Winter)  Unp      
2:40 Ascot                 - Faugheen 2pt w (Inittowinit) 1st (2.5pts)
2:40 Ascot                 - Ballyglasheen 1pt ew (Longbow)  Unp
3:15 Ascot                 - Ulck Du Lin 2pt w (Capt Heathcliffe) Unp
3:15 Ascot                 - Ulck Du Lin 2pt w (Danny) Unp
3:15 Ascot                 - Fair Dilemma 2pt w (Me Old Mum) Unp
3:15 Ascot                 - Lancetto 2pt w (Bird) 2nd
3:45 Lingfield             - Reginald Claude 2pt w (Rawnsley) Unp
3:45 Lingfield             - Reginald Claude 2pt w (Pam) Unp
5:45 Wolverhampton - Mount Hollow 2pt w (HCE) 
6:15 Wolverhampton - Gregori 2pt w (Eric) Unp
6:15 Wolverhampton - Desert Ace 2pt w (Stephenson) Unp
7:15 Wolverhampton - Vanishing 2pt w (Gareth) 3rd
7:15 Wolverhampton - Aabir 2pt w (Glueythepig) 1st (68pts)
7:15 Wolverhampton - Assagher 2pt w (Bobby Talk) Unp
7:15 Wolverhampton - Perceus 2pt w (Fred Pippage) UNP

Good luck to all

Table Toppers

68pts           - Glueythepig
29pts            - Tecbet 
27.07pts      - Inittowinit


20.666pts   - Racing Mama
18pts           - Rawnsley
17pts           - Capt Heathcliffe
10pts           - Uncle Keith/Paul
5.75 pts       - Jodonovan
5pts             - HCE 


      

My Adventure Into Lay Betting: Trying To Miss The Giraffe...

One of my favourite quotes is that even a broken watch is correct twice a day. As a gambler I think most of us would like to have a better strike rate! Damn Watch.

Rambling...


Nothing changes, hey. I'm either quiet or you suffer from unending prose. The blog timeline details: spam, nothing, more spam, broken watch and My Adventure Into Lay Betting: Trying To Miss The Giraffe. [written 2013]


That latter topic sounds much more interesting. This adventure related to my laying horses to lose. That's two-year-old horses. I don't  understand anything else. Now, I'm not going to talk too much about my approach or the philosophy behind my laying tactics because it is a work in progress and rather boring in its written form. 


I must admit I don't find any form of gambling particularly pleasurable. My reasoning is that I have the odds in my favour. As every speculator will appreciate, that betting slip (in mind if not in hand) often morphs into a stick of dynamite.  The fuse burning too damn quick. Lay betting can feel rather daunting. When you've laid the rag and it's travelling with the zeal of a six-to-four jolly it makes the eyes bulge, the heart race, and your pocket has a kind of lost empty feel. Not very jovial. Well, that's the nature of the beast. Equine. You know, those things the commentator keeps talking about. 


So how did the season go?


Well, I was amazed. I know what you are thinking? Is that a good or bad amazing? I just took a double-take to see if my hand had been blown off. 


For the most part it was amazingly good - with a slight disaster at the finish.


I started small laying juveniles to win five pounds a time. That may seem a pittance but it can be a costly affair if a 20/1 shot has an exceptionally long neck. I'm pretty sure I laid a couple of giraffe this year.Last time I go to the bloody zoo and say what lovely creatures. I'm not against laying a good few horses in the same field. Races would come and go. I'd be winning ten, twenty, fifty pound a race. Everything was going well. Amazingly so. After winning several hundred pounds I considered it was time to lay each horse for twenty pounds. I knew it was a risk but time is money and all that. It made me a little nervous. The  bets ranged from laying favourites to huge outsiders. It can be slightly unnerving to lay a horse which could cost a couple of thousand. I always hope they fall out of the stalls and as fat as a pig. In that moment my potential terror of what could be turns to joy. Righteousness. Being right rather than religious. Obviously, there is good reason why I lay such horses. There is understanding, reason, professionalism. I'm not pinning the tail on the donkey - just trying to find it. However, that doesn't mean any horse cannot win. They do. The beasts. Those chestnut giraffe can be killers. 


To be fair I laid an incredible run of losers. In a matter of months I had turned my five pounds to four thousand. In a sizable field of maidens I would win up to two hundred a race. However, this approach doesn't allow you to just take any old race and wave my stick of dynamite. For starters, on many days there would be a limited number of two-year-old races. Certain race types were ignored.


I had a feeling of confidence.


For a moment I considered however fast that fuse burned if I filled my lungs with joyous - winning - air I could blow away that hellish spark.


On occasions I got my fingers burned. You have to remember that although I follow a professional approach there is something very different about working in practice to paper trailing. Thankfully I wasn't hit by a 100/1 shot. That would have been hard to swallow. But if you lay a bet you should never be surprised if it wins. It is probably sensible to imagine it will blow your socks off. I laid a couple of horses which won at 20/1. Not good. Although from my understanding I wasn't wrong in my approach. Horses win, horses lose, that's how it works. I must admit that in those early months of laying what must have been a hundred plus losers on the trot it all seemed ''amazingly'' straight forward. At the back of my mind (often at the front...and certainly in my pocket) I didn't believe it would last. I didn't expect it to follow a scenic path. I've watched  The Wizard of Oz. You have to meet a scarecrow, tin man, lion and a couple of flying monkeys before you get a chance to melt a green-faced witch and steal her bloody shoes. Although - thinking about it -hadn't she already lost them? 


I hit another couple of winners. A few bets cost a good few hundred. Financially it wasn't a problem but psychologically it was tougher. The next few lay bets made me really need them to lose. With a few winning days under my belt I shrugged off the loss and by a week or two I was back to an all-time high. 


However, little by little I hit a plateau. The four thousand pound mark became a wall. Each time I would climb the ladder to look over the other side I would be beaten to it by a giraffe who stuck out an incredibly long tongue. Sure the thing blew a raspberry before it came into view. I went from four thousand. Three thousand. Back to four thousand. Kicked in the nuts by wilder beast. It was a struggle. I didn't feel the approach was wrong. A few of the decisions come down to a photo finish. Prolonged agony. I realised that I needed a tweak here and there. Knock a few trainers on the head because they had done my brain in. That learning curve felt as though it was tying me up in knots. I'm sure that watch stopped when I wasn't looking.


The end of the two-year-old season was on the horizon and I was looking forward to a rest. One of the last bets was a killer blow. It didn't finish me off but it dampened my spirits which were already low. Of all days. I had been to the funeral of my aunt and switched on the races to see a Luca Cumani debutant which I laid for twenty pounds. The favourite struggled. In turn I had an uneasy feeling...which continued to cause concern. The beast travelled like a gazelle. I gave up trying to work out whether its neck was long or short. Its legs moved fast. It hit the front, cruising Kempton's final bend and lengthened clear into the straight. The loss I had expected materialised costing nearly eight hundred pounds. It wasn't the best of feelings. 


I'll be back next year with my tranquilizer dart.



5 Ways How To Increase Your Betting Edge By 97%

So what's your favourite bet? In many respects one bet, wager, gamble, investment is very much like another. There is, of course, one big difference - value. That is the crux of how to win long term. Now value is a difficult concept to grasp. It is usually viewed when considering, let's say, a horse's chance of winning a given race. But there are many factors you should use even before you get to that stage - ways to increase value/profits. Whether you bet with bookmakers, exchanges or stocks and shares in my world it's a sin to miss out on ways to increase your profits when that winning bet comes in. This post will relate to horse racing but these pointers open the mind and bring insight to your favourite flutter.

Here are 5 simple ideas to help you win more money.  

1) Free bet, incentives, enhanced odds.

It is strange how these offers given by bookmakers and exchanges are often viewed so negatively. I had a conversation with someone at the races who said: ''Bookmakers don't give anything away!'' How wrong he is. The only reason he had something to lose was simply because he bet like an idiot. [For starters, not taking that free bet]. A couple of years back we ran a promotion for William Hill over the Cheltenham Festival. A free match bet up to £50 to all new customers. I opened that account specifically for that reason. And, as it happened, it was a good move. My first bet of £50 ran a blinder, beaten by a narrow margin in second place. That all important FREE BET came into play with big profits when Our Conor cruised to an effortless win in the JCB Triumph Hurdle (Grade 1) at 9/2. I won £225. The old bloke at the racecourse would have walked away losing [for no reason] on the day because that initial bet bit the dust. There are literally thousands of pounds of free bets to be grabbed. Click our banners and see what you can get. Recently readers secured 5/1 about Elm Park winning the Racing Post Trophy (Group 1) when it returned 13/8f. 

2) Exchanges

Don't neglect betting exchanges - they can make you bigger profits in given circumstances. If you bet big priced horses you simply cannot afford not to use them. When a horse with conventional bookmakers is priced 10/1 and 33/1 with exchanges it doesn't take Einstein to see the value. If you bet against odds-on favourites the win markets offer huge prices for the field. Also, they allow you to lay bets, which can be a great insurance policy. Take this example: You have £33 on a horse priced 33/1 to win about £999. It looks like an absolute certainty - clear of the field but amazingly it is caught on the post. You could have guaranteed a bumper return win or lose if you had laid a bet at 1/99 in-running. It often happens. I know there are many people who would question whether this is value long term.. As with all betting it is a matter of choice/opportunity.  However, if you could guarantee a £999 win [minus a commission of course]... Something tells me you would feel slightly irritated if you didn't win a bean. Exchanges give options - to make money. 

3) Psychology 

Psychology is a popular tool used within all areas of our life. It is a topic which interests bookmakers but don't forget psychology can be used in your armory against bookmakers and layers alike. Here is one theory which makes interesting reading and could well add a few points to your next winning bet. The Contrast Principle hypothesizes that people often over compensate when judging variables. Within racing this can be highlighted when two opposing form horses re-oppose. How often do you witness one horse turning the tables on another? Well, the contrast theory states that not only will the previously beaten horse be bigger odds but often they will be considerably bigger - to the point of extra value. Now I'm not saying every horse to re-oppose is a good bet but if you have a reason to think it could win then basic human psychology details a layer may offer a bigger price than truthfully deserved.

4) Know Your Niche

Do you know why I don't bet on every sport? I love horse racing, athletics, darts...the list goes on. It's not for a lack of enjoyment. It's a lack of time! Without doubt knowledge is power. If the bloke sitting next to you follows one sport then I can guarantee he knows something Billy Allsports doesn't. Fact. Don't spread yourself too thinly because you need to gain that illusive edge.It's not about being the best on earth - just that little better than most. Niche.

5) Data

We have never lived in an age where data is so easily available. Remember the day when you went to the library to get a book! But can you have enough data? How many hours do you have in your day? Let's face it you need to appreciate what data is good and what data is bad. That usually relates to how freely available the information is to find. If the world and his wife can retrieve that data with ease - there will be no value. Search for your own seam of gold because you may be surprised what it tells you. Often falling on a rich vein is as much luck as talent but make no mistake this will need to be substantiated by a big sample to garner statistical significance.  


12:40 Southwell Racing Tips (18th November) £20 RISK-FREE BET AT UNIBET NURSERY HANDICAP

A 0-60 Nursery Handicap over 6f on standard going. Nine two-year-old horses take part, the lowest rated 45. Not the most illuminating of contests. Richard Whitaker doesn't have many juveniles in his care but knows how to train a winner and they are often progressive types. At this grade it pays to identify a horse which is in form and one that is likely to finish its race with spirit. Sparkling Sapphire is a roan filly and daughter of Monsieur Bond out of a winning mare who was similarly houses at Hellwood Racing Stables. The Nice Day Out Partnership have done well with thoroughbreds running in their familiar silks. Tumblewind has proven a fair sprinter. 

In truth, Sparkling Sapphire is no great talent but a determined horse who deserves to win at some level. She showed a glimmer of hope when running at Newcastle and then ran a sound race at Southwell last time out when given a confident ride by Paul Quinn. She may have started astronomical prices on Betfair but that didn't stop backers from taking odds on in-running when she looked the winner with a furlong to go. Fading in the closing stages over seven furlongs, gave way to a fair third place. This drop back to six furlong should see he finish with verve and remains on the same official rating [45]. I'd be tempted to back in-running as bigger odds should be available as there is a chance this February foal could be a touch outpaced in the early stages. At this lowly level the greatest strength is running to the line. Has each-way claims if odds allow.   

Professional Gamblers: Jack Ramsden


OK. You go first!
Jack Ramsden quit his job as a stockbroker in 1980 and since then has had 13 consequtive winning years as a professional punter. His successful punting like so many other professional punters is based around speed figures and race times.

He recently stated I cannot stress too strongly the importance of race times. They bind my whole approach together. There are fewer good times recorded over jumps but everyone seems to know about those horses and they are too short to back.


Even cutting out the endless looking up of form books, I still spend two or three hours every day working out my bets. Jack continues, Im constantly on the look out for the 3/1 chance that starts at 8/1. There are 30 or 40 of them a year and they are there to be seen. At those prices you don't have to be right all the time! His premise is that while a good horse is capable of doing a bad time, no bad horse is capable of doing a good time.

He is unusual in that he has his own bookmaker, Colin Webster. There relationship is indeed unique, Colin pays Ramsden £5,000 a year for his advice and also has the job of getting his bets on with other bookmakers. Another unusual trait of Jack Ramsden is his liking for the multiple bet. His reasoning is that they are an extension of his policy to go for large prices and he reckons that on 4 occassions he has won over £200,000 on multiple bets.

The other piece of advice from Ramsden is regarding each-way bets. His advice is to ditch them. He states: I analysed my betting a couple of years ago and found that if I had doubled my win stakes instead of having each way bets, I would have been much better off. I think all punters would benefit by cutting out all each-way bets and sticking to singles.



Jack met his wife Lynda Ramsden when she worked at the Epsom yard of John Sutcliffe Snr, where Jack, one of Barry Hills's first owners, had horses. Ramsden was working in the City, but the City wasn't working for him. "I was a pretty useless stockbroker," he admitted. The Couple married in 1977 and then started training racehorses in the Isle of Man. I few years later moving over to England and North Yorkshire where they are still based to train.

More pro gambler tales:

Dave Nevison
Phill Bull
A Tale Of A Pro Gambler

Saturday Tipping Competition

The third week of the Saturday Tipping Competition. A long month with five tips but things are warming up nicely at the business end. The free entrants have an edge with Inittowinit, who holds a narrow lead with 22pts, while Racing Mama has 20.666pts in second. In third place [but leading the pro ranks] is Rawnsley with 18pts. Capt Heathcliffe holds fourth position, while pro tipster Tecbet is a fraction behind in fifth with 17pts. To see the leader board click here. Plenty of meetings on Saturday so please make sure tips are in by 11:30am. Good luck to all who take part. 

Tipster selections:

11:50 Lingfield           - Chemical Charge 2pt w (Inittowinit) 1st (2.57pts)
11:50 Lingfield           - Natural Nine 2pt w (Longbow) 2nd
12:40 Cheltenham     - Anteros 1pt ew (Winter) Unp
1:50 Cheltenham       - Lamb Or Cod 2pt w (Uncle Keith/Paul) Unp
1:50 Cheltenham       - Cape Tribulation 1pt ew 1pt ew (Shukman) Unp
1:50 Cheltenham       - Safran De Cote 1pt ew (Racing Mama) Unp
1:25 Lingfield             - God Willing 2pt w (Bobby Talk) 3rd
1:25 Lingfield             - God Willing 2pt w (Emanuel) 3rd
2:00 Lingfield             - Seeking Magic 2pt w (Me Old Mum) Unp
2:30 Cheltenham       - King Massini 2pt w (Bird) Unp
2:30 Cheltenham      - Buy Wise 2pt w (Mark) 5th
2:30 Cheltenham       - Jonh's Spirit 2pt w (Clint) 2nd
2:30 Cheltenham       - Indian Castle 2pt w (Betmanmike) Unp
2:35 Lingfield             - Whispering Warrior 1pt ew (Rawnsley) Unp
2:40 Wetherby           - Arythur's Secret 2pt w (Waterhouse) 2nd
3:00 Cheltenham       - Heronshaw 2pt w (Jodonovan) Unp
3:10 Lingfield             - Percybelle 2pt w (Fred Pippage) Unp
3:10 Lingfield             - Saturation Point 2pt w (Capt Heathcliffe) 3rd
3:15 Wetherby           - Forced Family Fun 2pt w (Tectbet) 1st (7pts)
3:15 Wetherby           - Pertuis 2pt w (Danny) 3rd
3:45 Lingfield             - Kirtling 2pt w (Gareth) Unp
5:45 Wolverhampton - Joyous 2pt w (Eric) Unp
7:45 Wolverhampton - Sands Chorus 2pt w (HCE) Unp
7:45 Wolverhampton - Sand Chorus 2pt w (Pam) Unp
9:15 Wolverhampton - Robin Hood 1pt ew (Glueythepig) Unp


Table Toppers

24.57pts      - Inittowinit
23pts            - Tecbet 
20.666pts   - Racing Mama
18pts           - Rawnsley
17pts           - Capt Heathcliffe
10pts           - Uncle Keith/Paul
5.75 pts       - Jodonovan
5pts             - HCE 

Saturday Tipping Competition

The second week of this month's tipping competition. Just a trio of point-scorers hit the board last Saturday. A couple of the free competitors could be enjoying the pro ranks next month with Inittowinit (22pts), Racing Mama (20.666pts) and biggest priced winner at 14/1, while Jodonovan heads the pro (5.75pts). Still plenty to play for so get those tips in with timely fashion. 12 O'Clock Deadline. Please, no late entries. Remember just like Ted Rogers we have 3 £10 monthly winners - 3-2-1. Happy Hunting!

Tipster selections:

Hennessy Gold Cup to provide Cheltenham clues

On November 29, one of the most competitive handicap races of the whole National Hunt season will be staged at Newbury as the Hennessy Gold Cup provides another thrilling spectacle with plenty of serious Cheltenham Festival contenders amongst what is sure to be a high-quality field of staying chasers.

Ahead of the big event betting firms are struggling to find a favourite and bet 10/1 the field. Take your pick from such as Fingal Bay [pictured], Djakadam, Smad Place, Many Clouds, Rocky Creek, and many, many more. The same horses can all be backed at 11.0 or bigger on Betfair.

It may well be the case that by the time the runners go down to the start at the Berkshire track a clear favourite will have emerged having either put up a notable performance in the interim or been the subject of a major off-course ante-post gamble. The Hennessy Gold Cup has a history of producing smart performances by horses that often go on to excel at the Cheltenham Festival four months later. In recent renewals Paul Nicholls’ superb Denman (winner in both 2007 & 2009) went on to land the Cheltenham Gold Cup, while Nicky Henderson’s Bobs Worth won the 2012 ‘Hennessy’ before following up in the blue riband event in the spring of 2013 in tremendous style.

It’s not only Gold Cup winners who come out of the Hennessy field. Plenty of horses have run well in the race before going on to land other big prizes, including the feature handicaps at the Cheltenham Festival and other major spring Festivals at Aintree and Punchestown. The Newbury contest is definitely one to keep a close eye as the cream of the staying handicap chasers, many of whom are graded class and often close to Grade 1 level, take each other on in what is always a tremendous spectacle.

With the Philip Hobbs team probably in better shape than any of the other major yards at this stage of the campaign it would be dangerous not to seriously consider the chance of his likeable Fingal Bay, formerly a very classy staying hurdler who has done well since making the transitions to the larger obstacles. His win last season in the listed Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle final at the Cheltenham Festival shows what a versatile horse the eight-year-old son of King’s Theatre is.

His gutsy nose defeat of Southfield Theatre was a tremendous effort following a pleasing reappearance win at Exeter a month earlier. That came on the back of a long absence as the result of sustaining a serious injury early on in what had already become a very useful novice chasing career in autumn 2012. After his win at Cheltenham, Fingal Bay headed to the Punchestown Festival and contested the Grade 1 Ladbrokes World Series Hurdle, but could only finish fifth behind Jetson, a performance that convinced Hobbs that his charge was just a little short of the top rung over timber and that he should concentrate on chasing this season. There’s every chance that the likeable stayer could well prove a star over fences this season.

Another interesting contender for the Hennessy Gold Cup is Alan King’s Smad Place, a really tough performer who rarely runs a bad race. Twice placed third in the World Hurdle, Smad Place took really well to fences last season winning nicely at Exeter and at Newbury before going down with all guns blazing in a terrific renewal of the Grade 1 RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. That race, often seen as a contest won by horses with future Gold Cup pretentions, eventually went the way of the Rebecca Curtis-trained O’Faolains Boy who wore down King’s game performer in the shadow of the post to score by a neck.

Like Fingal Bay, Smad Place will have his fair share of weight at Newbury but he looks a potential high-class chaser and could prove hard to beat if he is fully wound up on what is likely to be his first start of the campaign.

Oliver Sherwood’s Many Clouds has already thrown down his Hennessy Gold Cup marker in making an impressive winning reappearance in a listed chase at Carlisle in early-November, staying on in fine style to beat Nicky Richards’ Eduard and the Jonjo O’Neill-trained Holywell, favourite with some firms in the ante-post market for the Cheltenham Gold Cup itself.

Many Clouds was useful last term, and the Trevor Hemmings-owned stayer appears to have come to hand early this campaign and is on the upgrade. He looks just the right sort for the Newbury contest and is sure to prove popular on the big day in what is invariably a hot betting contest with so many horses being relatively unexposed and thought capable of better, not only by connections, but also by the betting public.



12:30 Redcar Racing Tips (4th November) IRISH STALLION FARMS EBF MAIDEN STAKES (Div I) (CLASS 5) (2yo)

An EBF maiden over 7f on soft ground. Division one of this two-year-old contest with eleven runners: fours colts, two geldings and five fillies. A trio of debutantes against a field of lightly-race juveniles from a mix of trainers. The betting could be particularly important so keep an eye on the market with Paddy Power.   

Weiner Valkyrie sets the standard after two runs. Unlike many home breds this bay filly was ready for action when making her debut over 7f at Salisbury. Ed Walker's charge is sired by Shamardal from a family which has sold well at public auction [Vienna Affair $380,000 4-y-o]. This American bred was fancied in the betting when starting at odds of 8/1 when a narrow loser to Jelly Monger who wasn't disgraced when competing in the Oh So Sharp Stakes (Group 3). Weiner Valkyrie wasn't disgraced when second behind Luca Cumani's Lady Of Dubai, although never posing a threat. Connections will be heading north for what should be a big run. Definitely the horse to beat if coping with the soft ground.

Bryan Smart is always a trainer to take seriously with his two-year-olds on their second start - they often go well. Lewis Valentine is an Irish bred son of Rip Van Winkle out of a dual-winning mare. This bay colt ran over 7f on debut when relatively weak in the market on good to firm ground. This step up in distance should be a positive. The ground is a slight unknown. The most important factor for this horse's chance is the betting. If priced 13/2 & less I would be confident this February foal would be placed. 

Of the debutantes one horse catches the eye - Brotherly Company. This Irish bred son of Fast Company out of an unraced mare is owned by Jaber Abdullah and trained by Richard Fahey. Few handlers feature a better strike rate with their debutantes. plus course and jockey statistics are decent. In fairness, this bay will need to be quite smart to beat the potential favourite who is likely to have an official rating in the 80s. I wouldn't bet on this horse unless decent odds.

Spinaminnie has been relatively fancied on both starts to date for Mark Johnston. This daughter of Moss Vale is stepping up in distance but needs to improve after being beaten by Pastoral Girl at Leicester, who was far from her best. 

Debutantes Bridget Gem & Dazzling Display are best watched.

Beatabout, Racing Spirit & Toboggan's Gift need to have a transformation and better suited at nursery class.

Ingleby Hollow was half fancied on debut and then ruined his chance at Newcastle by pulling when a distant third. Unless seriously backed - a watching brief.

David Simcock is represented by Intrude who wasn't fancied in the betting on debut at Windsor, beaten a good few lengths. This son of Intikhab is out of Richard Hannon's Don't Tell Mum who wasn't disgraced at Group class. This drop back in distance may be more suiting. Intrude cost 160,000GNS at the yearling sales when purchased by Happy Valley Racing. You can imagine connections will be expecting more. If substantially backed or priced 13/2 & less has fair win and place claims. 

Conclusion: An intriguing race where a few trainers may have considered this a prime opportunity to win. Testing ground could be the biggest opposition to a few of these who will need to handle the conditions. Weiner Valkyrie sets the standard with two sterling efforts. It will take a decent juvenile to beat her although the soft ground brings concerns. Richard Fahey's Brotherly Company should be respected but will need to be fit, well and talented to lower the colours of the favourite. I wouldn't bet on this horse unless it was priced 8/1+ [unlikely]. The betting is key for Lewis Valentine. Bryan Smart's juvenile has strong place claims if priced 13/2 & less. Intrude has something to prove after a routine debut. If well backed there may be more to come. I'd bet on Lewis Valentine to get a place if in best betting guide.   

Crystal Palace 4/1 To Win!!!!!!!!! (8PM Kick-Off)

Yes, that's right your eyes are not deceiving you - Crystal Palace 4/1 when industry prices are more like 11/10. Get ready for the action at Selhurst Park (8PM kick-off). I know what you are thinking -  opening new accounts but if you're having a bet then you may as well take the odds and make your money work. Take a look at Winner Sport by click this link. Crystal Palace V Sunderland. Make your betting pay. Good luck to all.