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Monday, 5 April 2021

Who is the First Female Jockey to Complete the Grand National?

If you love the Grand National you may know the answer to this question. 

The Grand National is one of those races which unites the populous. The housewives favourite. That's what they say. Horse racing has been very much a man's world. However, it is no longer the domain of the few. 

As the saying goes: ''The female of the species is more deadly than the male.'' 

When it comes to riding skills you have only to look at the success of leading female jockeys from across the word to see not only are they equal they often surpass. 

Charlotte Brew paved the way in 1977 when she was the first female rider to compete in the Grand National on her own horse Barony Fort. In 1982, Geraldine Rees took up the baton and rode a horse named Cheers who finished in 8th place behind Grittar. Rees competed the following year when riding Midday Welcome who fell. 

The opportunity for female jockeys to compete in the Grand National has seen a steady stream of runners including Rachael Blackmore and Lizzie Kelly who competed in 2019. 

The 2020  Grand National didn't take place because of the Coronavirus but we can be sure that the ultimate prize of this year's race will be in the sights of those female riders who wish to tell a story which equals that of the legend Red Rum. 

Of all the female jockeys to take part, Katie Walsh has gone the closest to winning when finishing third on Seabass in 2012. 

Watch this video to learn more about the history of female jockeys who have changed the Grand National. 

Betway horse racing


Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Exciting Month of Racing: Cheltenham, Brocklesby & Grand National

So the Cheltenham Festival has come and gone. I looked at the results rather than watch the races but took an interest. I read the latest blog post written by Graham on as he knows a lot about the National Hunt and detailing that Irish-trained horses won 23 of the 28 races at the Cheltenham Festival. A pretty dire result for the English-trained (not forgetting Scotland and Wales). 

It looks like the English trainers and racing calendar have some work to do. It seems that it's too easy for the better English National Hunt horses to keep out of the way of each other and pick up price money but this leads to less competitive races and horses with some limitation compared to their opposition from the Emerald Isle. 

It's not a subject I have much idea about.

It is great to see the start of the Flat turf season take place at Doncaster's Lincoln meeting on the 27th March. 

My focus was on the first two-year-old race which saw Eve Johnson Houghton's Chipotle win well for owners The Wood 20, who have a number of horses with the stable. 

It was a relatively small field with just 9 runners, from an original 18 declarations. It is difficult to assess the merit of any race because you need the form to settle to appreciate the quality of the individuals or lack of it. In general, the bigger the field the higher the standard. We will have to see how those placed go next time out. 

The Grand National is on the horizon. It takes place on the 10th April, Aintree, Liverpool. Perhaps the biggest story is that Tiger Roll will not be contesting in an effort to equal the legendary Red Rum and his three wins. It is unfortunate that Coronavirus denied this talented horse his chance. As an alternative he is heading for the Irish Grand National which takes place on the 5th April. It would be a great performance for Tiger Roll to win over this reduced distance. It was a brilliant performance to win at Cheltenham but you have to have slight concerns that this may be a stiff challenge. 

It's interesting to consider the Randox Grand National handicap. Jonjo O'Neill's Cloth Cap is a very interesting horse simply by his starting odds which are 4/1. If Trevor Hemmings nine-year-old starts at odds of 7/2 and less sp, it would be one of the shortest priced in over 100 years. 

Whatever happens, it will be an exciting return of the Grand National after last year's which saw the Virtual Grand National take centre stage. It was an opportunity for virtual racing to gain promotion but, personally, it is was a real letdown and was meaningless. It really is a poor relation to the real thing which is hardly surprising. 

Monday, 15 March 2021

Cheltenham Festival 2021: England Vs Ireland

It's a rivalry which has lasted generations. 

Guess what? It's not going to stop until the dust has settled at the Cheltenham Festival.

This year, not only have we got to consider which horse may win the Gold Cup but learn a little bit about the Sport of Kings from the West Ham football team. Sounds different, well wait until you watch the video. Egged on by commentator Richard Hoiles, it's both informative and very humourous. Betway Horse Racing have asked the opinions of the English and Irish players in a racing-themed game show. 

It's time to get your teeth into the Betway Bumper. 

If you want to have a laugh and learn what famous footballers have to say then you've come to the right place. They've got some hidden talents!

Take a gander.

Thursday, 11 February 2021

5:45 Chelmsford City Racing Info (12th February)

A 1m 2f Novice Stakes on standard going. 

This looks a tricky race. 

If considering betting, I would wait until the betting settles because it is likely to help. 

Sometimes, as proverb says: ''Patience is a virtue, possess it if you can, always in a [fill in the blank] never in a man.

We know no man, apart from me, uttered those words. 

For a seven-runner race, we have a lot going on here and it may well be the case a few trainers fancy their chances. 

That's why it may pay to let the betting settle as it could weed out a few weak links and help clarify the situation. 

Gooner Boy is a well-bred colt, a son of Sea The Stars, out of a winning mare who raced at Group class. In the familiar silks of Amo Racing Limited, this March foal cost 260,000 gns at the yearling sales. John Gosden's debutantes can go well if starting favourite or short odds. Conversely, if weak in the betting it could indicate a few others hold claims. 

David Simcock does well with his horses on their second start and Shenu is interesting. This son of American Pharaoh is well bred and the four-time-winning mare raced at the highest level. Shenu was purchased as a 2yo Breeze-up for £175,000.  The owners, Never Say Die & Star Bloodstock, do well and Jamie Spencer is a decent jockey booking. He made his debut at Newcastle, over 1m, in a four-horse race, against a big odds-on. Shenu was impeded at the start on debut, which didn't help, going well enough at the back of the field, always in contention, rousted along at the 2-pole, then slightly outpaced and given a couple of decent back-handers, he was run off his feet, before making headway in the closing stages, doing his best work in the final half furlong. He was ridden by Callum Sheppard that day and things just didn't go quite right, mainly, I assume, because the trip was on the short side. I get the feeling a little more was expected, and this step up to 1m 2 could well see a marked improvement. From a statistical point of view, this colt has strong claims, although unless drifting a good deal in the betting may be price to chance. 

Mark Johnston is no stranger to sending out debut winners. Sea The Shells is a well-bred colt sired by Sea The Stars out of a four-time-winning mare who had a couple of attempts at Listed class although failed to shine at a higher level. It's surprising to see this colt fetched just 40,000gns at the yearling sales [considering the stallion fee is 150,000 Euros]. The betting is the best guide to this colt's chances. If weak in the market, it would be a negative. 

To add to the mix Charlie Fellowes fields the twice-raced Justicialism, who hasn't been seen for over 50 days. However, this colt has raced over this distance and showed some ability on both starts to date. This son of Vadamos was half fancied last time out at Lingfield and wasn't beaten far although finishing in fourth place. He led that day but was readily outpaced in the closing stages and may be better over a slightly lesser trip. Unless that was a decent race, he looked beaten far and square. The type of horse to run a professional race but may well be found out by one or two here if they have a bit of sparkle. 

The Guvnor is a son of Frankel who is out of a seven-time-winning mare [Eva's Request, trained by Mick Channon] who was a very talented individual winning at the highest grade and enjoying a test. She won over half a million in total earnings. Considering his breeding, The Guvnor was a pretty cheap yearling purchase at £75,000. I'm a fan of the owners The Rogues Gallery who have some decent horses and do well with Tom Clover. This colt was well backed on debut and I think connections fancied their chances. However, he faced a hard task over 1m at Kempton against a 2/7f. A slow start didn't help and an equal measure of inexperience on a turning course saw him on the back foot. Many times in that race I thought The Guvnor was getting himself organised to make a challenge but just couldn't get to the pack when the pace quickened in the closing three furlongs. I can imagine connections were a little disappointed as things just didn't quite fall into place. I think much of the problem was inexperience and insufficient trip. With a couple of weeks on the sidelines, and stepping up to ten furlongs, he should go much better. It would be encouraging if he was backed. Not without an each-way chance. 

Hugo Palmer's Countessa is the only filly in the field and at the time of writing is unfancied at 28/1. She didn't show a great deal when an 11/1 shot on debut at Kempton over this trip.There could be much better to come from this daughter of Camelot who cost $360,000 at the yearling sales. She needs to improve on that debut effort but may have needed the run. It would give some hope if backed as the stable do often go well second time out. A difficult horse to assess but may be better than looks and the jockey booking may be a sign of some hope. I would keep an eye on the betting. If seriously backed would be a horse with a chance. 

To add to the potential competitive nature of this race we have another outsider who may be better than seen. Roger Charlton's Rumi has been off course for almost 60 days and was fancied to go well last time out when dropping back to a mile from his debut effort over 1m 2f. He didn't show much at all that day. However, from a statistical perspective he went to Kempton with a live chance. It's possible Rumi disappointed that day and could hold claims if those hopes were true. I'd expect to see some money if he comes here with a fighting chance. 

Summary: I would definitely let the betting settle. This looks a very difficult race to assess without the market's help. Even then it may be a race you wish to watch rather than get too involved. It could be the case that the leading fancies offer little value especially if a few of these outsiders have been made to look worse than they are. I would keep an eye on the market. If there is money for the likes of The Guvnor, Rumi or Countessa it could well be a sign. If all are very weak, I would take it as a negative. On balance I would have to take a watching brief. I may well give an updated nearer the off time because I will have a much better idea.  

Tuesday, 9 February 2021

Converter Shows Class on Debut for Mick Channon

What I enjoy about two-year-old horse racing is that it is full of surprises, potential, hope and dreams. 

I'm not saying that other age groups of horses don't have a similar feel because horses will always surprise. The handicapper which goes from a 50-rating to 100. From plating races to listed class. 

However, those who love two-year-old racing know that it is a fleeting time. I, personally, only work within this niche. When then next Flat turf season arrives it is a blank slate for me to write the names of new stars of the future. I follow this subject matter to the highest of standards. I managed to achieve a 2:1 degree in reading Psychology at the Open University. This racing knowledge far exceeds any academic endeavour I have followed. It is a battle of wits: HCE Vs Bookmakers (layers). Sometimes they win - sometimes they lose. Long term I bet myself to beat anyone else who tries to lay horses against me. Why am I confident? Because I work harder than most people, have vast experience and appreciate what it takes to do exactly what I do. 

I run Group Horse Daily, which details the best unraced and lightly raced two-year-old colts & fillies in training. If you have never seen this website before, then take a look by clicking the link. 

Today was very busy. A hell of a lot of juvenile races - 14 to be precise. Far too many. However, there were some very interesting horses. A number well regarded. 

The 1:30 Nottingham (caught my eye). 

Charlie Hills favourite Qutob ran well on debut when narrowly beaten. 

The 8/13f ran a decent race but finished second to Mick Channon's Converter. This son of Swiss Spirit is held in high regard. I detailed this point before the race. With such a short-priced favourite it can slightly skew the betting. Few of Channon's debutants win on debut when priced over 8/1. It's a fact. If you have the software to check these things you will see the strike rate is terribly low. Converter drifted to 16/1. It is intriguing to consider what trainers think. I am sure connections hold this bay colt in very high order. But did they think beating the favourite was too much? Well, Converter was held up out the back. The reason why he touched big odds in-running on the exchanges. Racing up the rail, he coasted to the lead and won by a length or so in ready fashion. 

Interesting that I state that very few of his debutantes win at double-figure prices. There have been a few. What have I learnt about these winners? When they win a big odds on debut it details a very talented horse which is likely to contest pattern class.

This won't be Converter's last win. 

Thursday, 28 January 2021

New Queen Mother Champion Chase Contenders for 2021

New Queen Mother Champion Chase Contenders for 2021
The two-mile steeplechase division in British jumps horse racing has been dominated by Altior and a lesser extent Politologue in recent years, but neither are getting any younger. It may be time for new horses to emerge and grab the spotlight in the Queen Mother Champion Chase come the Cheltenham Festival. With that in mind, here are some of the contenders for this year’s big race. 

Chacun Pour Soi 

But for a last-minute injury that ruled him out of Cheltenham last year, Chacun Pour Soi would have been Champion Chase favourite despite the fact that trainer Willie Mullins hasn’t won the race just yet. If the Irish master handler can keep this horse fit and sound into the spring, then that is the prominent position he should occupy again. 

A three-time Grade 1 winner in the Emerald Isle, Chacun Pour Soi could improve on that record by making a successful defence of his Dublin Chase crown at Leopardstown en route to Cheltenham. He is very lightly-raced for a nine-year-old with just 10 career starts and six wins to date. 

The fact that Chacun Pour Soi is unraced in the UK and has no experience of Cheltenham are the only negatives. He looks a serious contender to established British rivals Politologue and Altior, who between them have won the last three renewals of the Champion Chase. 

Nube Negra

This might by a quiz question one day. After Cyrname, Dan Skelton’s Nube Negra became the second horse to beat Altior over obstacles with a sensational win in the Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton Park over the festive period. 

A rare Spanish-bred horse running in the National Hunt sphere, Nube Negra has never finished out of the first two in five chase starts. He was sent off favourite for the 2018 Fred Winter as a juvenile and ran third, but has clearly left that behind with massive improvement since switching to the larger obstacles. 

Despite being zero from three at the course over hurdles, Nube Negra is a different proposition as a steeplechaser. His sensational return to form over fences explains why he is among Cheltenham day two tips (ladies day), however, with the stable targeting more Festival runners. 

Put The Kettle On

If Nube Negra’s previous form at the track isn’t encouraging, then Henry De Bromhead mare Put The Kettle On could hardly have done better in that regard. She is three from three in graded races around Cheltenham. 

Those include a memorable triumph in the Arkle Challenge Trophy at last year’s Festival. Either side of that, Put The Kettle On won Grade 2 contests and then placed third at Leopardstown over Christmas. 

While that latest run leaves her with something to find on Chacun Pour Soi, regular jockey Aidan Coleman didn’t take the ride on her in Ireland and she has always put her best foot forward with him in the saddle. Put The Kettle On cannot be discounted on the back of one run which was not the original plan for her over the festive period that De Bromhead hand in mind.

Monday, 25 January 2021


Exeter will not be the only course getting some of that Tuesday action, as Fakenham is also set for some turf action with seven races on the cards. The crowd should be present for this one, including free tea, coffee, and hot drinks from one of the carts on the course. The weather is predicted to be sunny and clear skies, while new rules have come into force and all distances have been increased by at least 80 yards for all the races, with the fourth race of the day getting the biggest addition at +148 yards. Some qualifiers and GBB races in this one, and should make for an interesting watch with Cheltenham and the Grand National in mind as the early big names of the calendar. As the landscape of sports continues to change due to covid-19 and now the presence of vaccines, the hope is that the Grand National streaming and other big-name events will be only for the international audience. The race day at Fakenham will be a seven-race event, with four class races making the most headlines, followed by two class threes and a single class five at the end of the day. 

Fakenham comes to life with a midday kick-off, as a class 4 GBB race for horses aged 4+ years and rated 0-110 have a go at the 8,000 GBP prizemoney. The Pudding Norton Novices’ Handicap Hurdle Race also known as the Fakenham Double Up Bonus Race, gets us started, as 17 horses make their way through 2m 4ft and 85y. The second class 4 race of the day, the Shereford Novices’ Handicap Steeplechase will run for 2m 5ft and 167y, up 123y from its usual 2m 5ft and 44y. Meant for five-year-olds and above, a 9,000 GBP prize awaits at the finish line. The second-biggest race of the day comes up next as 15 geldings and three mares do battle over 2m 7ft 197y for the grand prize of 11,000 GBP. The race will be for horses four years and above and will be followed by the biggest taking of the day, another class 3 showdown for 12,000 GBP. The Brisley  Novices’ Limited Handicap Steeplechase will be well worth keeping an eye on, with horses going an exciting 3m 186y. Another GBB race, 13 jockeys will push themselves and their geldings to the limit, with two French horses in the mix. The last class 3 race of the day, the Brisley Steeplechase will be followed by two helpings of class 4, first, the Toftrees Mares’ Maiden Hurdle Race at 2m 71y for 8,000GBP, and then the Colkirk Handicap Steeplechase for 9,000 GBP, at 2m 157y. The curtain will be called with a class 5 2m 7ft 197y burner, the Coxford Mares’ Handicap Hurdle Race, for 6,000 GB. 16 mares will go the distance, with no foreign horses taking part in this one.


You can almost taste the Grand National and Aintree now with January rolling to an end. The year has already been very rich in races and excitement and Aintree drawing close will only be more of the same as everyone from the trainers, jockeys, to fans and punters will be looking to make adjustments with an eye on that early April meeting. Aintree is not the busiest racecourse of the year, opening its doors a few times over the course of the calendar, so it is always a special occasion to be had. This year’s event is still under the threat of the coronavirus and how unpredictable the spikes have been. In that light, the authorities will always have guidelines updated for fans to follow, while hoping the vaccine makes a difference and allows for the kind of presence and energy that comes from having fans on the racecourse. For punters, there will be more than enough horse racing to get the adrenaline going over what is sure to be a spectacular three days at Aintree. 

The first day kicks off with seven races, and is known as the Liverpool’s NHS day. Te first race of the day* is the Goffs UK Nickel Coin Mares' Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race, a class 1 GBB race for mares four-six years old. The Grade 2 run will go for a distance of about two miles and one furlong, witha pot of 34,000 GBP. Official times and cards still to be released, this is where the early calendar races will come into play as punters will need those notes and stats they have been tracking for the different horses. The Doom Bar Anniversary 4-y-o Juvenile Hurdle Race follows next, as four-year-olds take to the starting line for a 75,000 GBP run of two miles and one furlong. 

Two races for horses five and above will relay the fun, as the Manifesto Novies' Steeplechase promises a 75,000 GBP prize for who can make it across the line after two miles and four furlongs, and then the Betway Bowl Steeplechase  takes over, for three miles and one furlong, the longest run of the day. The prize money comes as the second-biggest of the day at $150,000. A class 2 race sandwiches sandwiches itself amongst the two biggest races of the day, as the Randox Foxhunter’ Open Hunters’ Steeplechase runs two miles and four furlongs, for 180,000 GBP. the biggest take of the day, however, will be the Betway Aintree Hurdle Race, for four-year-old horses and above. The race will run for two miles and four furlongs, attracting a nifty sum of 187,000 GBP as prize money.


January is now past us and the novelty of the new year is wearing out, and we are shifting into routine mode, which means looking forward to Cheltenham again for the festival. Only February stands between us and the excitement that is March in the horseracing world, as the Cheltenham festival comes into focus, the stakes become higher for punters who know what it takes to cash in at the big events. The notes are beginning to become relevant and horses that have been tracked since November are being reviewed and the final details are coming into play. Being a meticulous punter does not only demand that you pay attention to the horses, but also to the best deals out there on offer by bookmakers and sites, catching a freebie like bet365 free bets is just one of the ways a smart betting can win more for less. As the races keep come thick and fast, we take an overview look at what Cheltenham is serving en route to The Festival. 

The Festival Trials 

January still has an aura about it, one for The Festival, as the trial day comes as early as the end of the month of January, which marks the official kickoff to The Road to The Festival (but the smart ones know that started since the November Meeting). The Trial Day is a one-day event on Saturday, 30th of January 2021, which will feature a seven-race card and set the tone for what will be the road to Cheltenham in February. While the official entries and racecard are not yet available (only available a day before the trial), what we do know is that once again the feature race will be the Paddy Power Cotswold Chase. 

The event kicks off just around midday, with The JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial, a juvenile A Grade 2 hurdle race with a distance of 2m 1f. 

This is followed by a 1:15 pm run of 2m 5f with The Timeform Novices’ Handicap Steeplechase. 

Next up will be the first of the Paddy Power races, as The Paddy Power 45 Sleeps To Cheltenham Trophy Handicap Chase comes into the fray, a 2m 5f Grade 3 steeplechase. 

This tees up the feature race of the day perfectly, as the Paddy Power Cotswold Chase follows at 2:25 pm. The Paddy Power Cotswold chase is a 3m and just over 1f Grade 2 run, that historically has big implications for The Festival. 

The Ballymore Classic Novices’ Hurdle and the Steel Plate And Sections Handicap Hurdle sandwich the Cleeve Hurdlerace, where all eyes will be on Paisley Park and a possible third straight win in the Grade 2 race.

Sunday, 24 January 2021

Ex-Gambler Turns Software Ace

Like all successful businessmen, Yuchun Lee is passionate about his experience of making money. The 42-year-old Taiwanese-American gushes about "big players", "advanced techniques" and "ace tracking".

None of these exotic terms relate to Unica, the software house based in Waltham, Massachusetts, that he founded in 1992.

Mr Lee is reminiscing about gambling tactics and his time with the Amphibians, a gang of top-grade students and graduates from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The Amphibians took on casinos and other gambling dens using a disciplined mathematical model of card-counting to lower the odds in their favour.

Today, their exploits form the backdrop for 21, the Hollywood movie starring Kevin Spacey and based on the book Bringing Down The House by Ben Mezrich.

The card-counting technique works only in blackjack, where the player bets against the casino, hoping to be dealt cards that add up to 21.

Covert activity

Mathematically-savvy MIT students, working to strict-allocated rules and acting in rehearsed roles, racked up impressive earnings during Mr Lee's era. Hand signals indicated to the team's designated high-roller when to bet heavily on a table.

These tactics were not illegal, but casinos made every effort to blacklist the team members. The thrill of outwitting casino security appealed to Mr Lee.

"It was like being a spy," he recalls.

The future technology industry executive got an early taste of hard cash when travelling with up to $250,000 of winnings strapped to his body. Mr Lee's card-counting streak ran from 1995 to 2000, before post-9/11 metal detectors could pick up the metal strip in a $100 bill.

The David v Goliath feeling is the same, plus the gusto, the team spirit we felt when we beat the casinos

Yuchun Lee on his software firm

"There were maybe three times a year we got caught with cash at an airport, but we were very organised, we had a lawyer ready to take our call," he says.

He was caught once, and relied on the pre-arranged lawyer to convince the authorities he was not transporting drug-dealing profits.

The sums of money involved were astonishing, even by the standards of the computer industry, where Mr Lee's company employs 500 staff with annual revenues of $100m.

At the opening weekend of a casino in Connecticut, Mr Lee and his team made a killing. Driving back to MIT in Boston, they gathered in a meeting room to pile up gambling chips worth $500,000, all made in just 48 hours.

Mr Lee fizzes with tales of his blackjack adventures. In fact, he is perfectly equipped to play his allocated role among spotters and card-counters wearing disguises to deflect observant casino security staff. Mr Lee played the Crazy Asian Gambler, whose job title within the Amphibians was the Big Player.

The Crazy Asian Gambler was an act that Mr Lee embraced with gusto, convincing the casino staff that here was a man who would abandon all logic in his pursuit of a winning hand.

Rogues' gallery

Team members who were identified were photographed and barred from the casino, which would then share their faces via its security firm with other operators. Mr Lee's five-year streak ended when he was barred from the giant Bellagio casino in Las Vegas.

By this time, he was already running Unica and came home to open his e-mail, where a purchase order for marketing software was awaiting him. The customer was the Bellagio casino.

Unica now has offices in eight countries

How does it compare with running a marketing software company? "There are some parallels. The David v Goliath feeling is the same, plus the gusto, the team spirit we felt when we beat the casinos."

Four of Unica's staff are ex-counters who have been blacklisted by the casinos. What kind of mind does it take to follow all of this fast card action?

Mr Lee produces a laminated card from his wallet. There are tiny numbers covering the credit-card sized item. These represent 10,000 hours of simulated blackjack rules. He maintains that by memorising this card it is possible to lower the odds in a player's favour.

"Anyone can do it."

Mr Lee still carries the card about with him, a tangible reminder of a time when, as a Big Player cherished by casinos, he was showered with extraordinary incentives to keep on gambling. "You would never have experiences such as these anywhere else. I was given a helicopter ride through the Grand Canyon at sunset."

Changing roles

In the film 21, Laurence Fishburne plays a casino security chief fighting for his job, as face-recognition software threatens to render his generation of tough investigators extinct.

Now Mr Lee revels in the potential of sophisticated software. The program he sells helps his clients spot a potential future customer. But just as his card-counting alter ego, the Crazy Asian Gambler, relied on cold mathematical odds, this product works on precision.

He encourages his clients to use data generated by the program with care. "We don't want to spook people by appearing to know too much about them."

And like Laurence Fishburne's security man, Cole, Mr Lee has seen the world change.

Airport security is a serious impediment to shifting the sums needed to raise the stakes on a table and the winnings that can result from diligent team work. And the quicker the money is carried away from one city, the sooner it can be used to bet against a casino in another location.

If hundreds of thousands of dollars cannot be moved through airport scanners, then surely a rota of drivers could be organised to carry the cash to selected points? Mr Lee nods in agreement at this suggestion. He still seems like a man who is very familiar with the milieu of the Big Players.

Tuesday, 12 January 2021

6:50 Kempton - Sir Mark Prescott Playing it Cool (13th January)

A 7f Novice Stakes.

This post is more about Sir Mark Prescott than the rest of the field. In truth, it doesn't look the strongest of races. 

A 10-horse Novice on standard to slow going. 

I often think betting on any debutante is either the best or worst idea you ever had. In truth, it is much easier for any horse to win second start compared with first. I know a few of you will say well this trainer or that does exceptionally well. You're correct, they do. However, if you are looking at winning and losing in general terms you have your work cut out.

In fact, I could show many statistics that would most likely put you off betting on debutante for life. 

It wouldn't be a bad thing if I did. 

Sir Mark Prescott is one of many trainers who I would be hard pressed to bet when making their debut.

My data goes back to 2006 and I update every scrap of information for Prescott's two-year-olds covering the Flat turf season. 

You don't need to be Einstein to work out Polar Ice is a three-year-old and he is running outside the parameters of my data. 

Perhaps my findings are worthless here!

My data details that Sir Mark Prescott has a 4% strike rate with his debutantes (2yo) and that is from over 300 horses. 

The biggest winner was priced 33/1. 

However, he has had just three winners over 10/1. 

Polar Ice is an interesting debutante and caught my eye. That doesn't mean I think this gelding, a son of Dansili is a good bet. To be honest, I haven't even thought about the horse's chances, I'm just painting a picture, and will reveal the statistics and let you make up your own opinion. 

This March foal cost 120,000gns at the yearling sales. He is out of a talented race mare [Queen Of Ice] who won on debut (2013) and still in the ownership of Cheveley Park Stud. She was trained by William Haggas, where she remained for her ten-race career, covering three seasons.

She won four races achieving total earnings of £81,966. Two listed-class wins proved a very talented filly who raced at 1m 4f for her last six races. 

Queen Of Ice proved bitterly disappointing on her three starts at four, racing at pattern class, and retired thereafter. 

Polar Ice has a good deal of hope based on his breeding, yearling price tag and calibre of trainer.

Would I be betting on this horse to make a winning debut?


In general, the odds of Prescott's debutantes detail little value. In fact, the majority have terrible stats. The only exception is when his debutantes start at short-priced favourite. 

I would give this horse some hope if priced 5/1 and less sp. However, over those odds, the chance of winning would be greatly reduced. 

To be fair, I would rather lay this colt to lose than bet to win if outside the above-mentioned betting guide. 

What's interesting is that I would be half interested in betting on this gelding second start, especially if fancied in the betting on debut but disappointing. 

Time will tell.