Weekly Eye-Catchers

Well, I am back in the saddle so to speak, after a short break away.

Plenty to go at this week. Saturday it’s the Ladbroke Trophy Handicap Chase, formerly known as the Hennessey Gold Cup, at Newbury, which is one of my favourite handicap chases of the season. Also on Saturday it’s the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle. The Fighting Fifth hasn’t been the best of races in terms of quality in recent seasons, but this year’s renewal has the potential to be a really good one if Buveur D’Air, Samcro and Summerville Boy all turn up.

Politologue Advertises King George Claims

If you bought the Race Advisor Dark Horses Guide, you will know I am a big fan of the Paul Nicholls trained Politologue.

The 7-year-old returned to action with a decisive win at the 2m 5f Grade 2 Ascot on Saturday. He was a little fresh in the early part of the race, but was travelling so powerfully that he took-up the running coming to three out, which was plenty early enough, as he doesn’t do much when he hits the front. A slight mistake at the last, gave the race-fit Charbel a bit of a chance on the run-in but, in truth, he was always holding the runner-up and the first two pulled ten lengths clear of the third.

Hopefully he will now head for the King George VI. He’s yet to race beyond to 2m 5f, but looks capable of more improvement over further.

It’s worth noting he’s

2 wins from 2 runs 100% at Kempton

3 wins from 3 runs 100% in December

5 wins from 5 runs 100% + 7.57 when going right handed

2 wins from 3 runs

Strike Rate 67% and SP Profit +13.5 in Grade 1 races on flat/galloping tracks with form figures F11. He fell at the last at Aintree when still in the lead.

With soft in the going description over fences, he’s now:

8 wins from 11 runs

Strike Rate 73%

SP Profit + 20.33

8 placed

Place Strike rate 82%

Granted you have to take his stamina for 3m on trust, but if he’s to get 3m it will be on a flat track like Kempton.

I have backed him at 20/1 for the King George VI, but I wouldn’t put you off backing him at the 10/1 that’s still available for Kempton’s Boxing Day showpiece race.

Weekend Eyecatcher

Black Mischief was a Weekend Eyecatcher. He fell at the last at Market Rasen, when looking the most likely winner. As I said after that race, he’s still lightly raced over hurdles and can win again while good ground prevails. He repaid that faith by getting just up on the line to win at Haydock at a tasty 6/1.

This week’s EyeCatcher is the Henry Daly trained Spider’s Bite.

The 6-year-old had made a promising return to action when 5th of 16 at Aintree over hurdles. Connections have always seen the gelding as a future chaser, and he made a good start to his career over fences. Jumping well, he stayed-on nicely after the last. He found the 3m on good ground just a little bit on the sharp side, but he will win races over the larger obstacles.

Weekend Big Race Trends

Ladbrokes Trophy Chase (Handicap) (Grade 3) – 3m 2f

Will trend be our friend in Saturday’s Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury? It wasn’t the case in the Greatwood Hurdle, but I have a good feeling they will produce the goods in this weekend’s big betting race.

The Ladbroke is the second biggest handicap chase of the season, after the Grand National. In the last ten years there have been 10 winners from 183 runners. Horses with the following traits have been favoured:

Age: 6yo to 9yo

Odds SP: 10/1 & under

Official Rating: 145+

Highest Class Run: Grade 1

Runs In Last 90 Days: 0 to 1

8 winners from 31 runners +22.75
That’s 80% of the winners from just 17% of the total runners.

Whilst you can’t rule out a big-priced winner of the race, there have been winners at 20/1 & 25/1 in the past decade, it may well pay again to look at horses in the first five in the betting.

Higher rated horses have done well in the race in recent years with the last ten winners all being officially rated 145+.

This Weeks Key Stats

Here are some trainer stats that are worth noting should they have runners at certain tracks this week:



Ben Pauling with his non-handicap hurdle & chase runners at Kempton since 2015:
6 winners from 15 runners
Strike Rate 40%
SP Profit  +11.44
A/E 1.99 



Neil Mulholland with his runners in Sedgefield Class 3 & 4 handicaps since 2015 is:
7 winners from 12 runners
Striuke Rate 58%
SP Profit +17.92
8 placed
Place Striek rate 67%
A/E 2.05


Nicky Richards with his runners in Wetherby handicap hurdles since 2015 is:
5 winners from 10 runners
Striek Rate 50%
SP Profit +22.25
7 placed
Place Strike Rate 70%


Anthony Honeyball in handicap hurdles at Taunton since 2015 is:
7 winners from 17 runners
Strike Rate 41%
SP Profit +19.71
A/E 2.06
12 placed
Place Strike Rate 71% 



Rose Dobbin is an up and coming northern trainer who in Doncaster handicaps since 2015 is:
6 winners from 16 runners
Strike Rate 38%
A/E 2.64
8 placed
Place Strike Rate 50% 

Friday & Saturday


Colin Tizzard, in Class 1 & 2 races at the Newbury Winter Carnival since 2014, is:
6 winners from 12 runners
Striek Rate 50%
SP Profit +18.63
A/E 2.31
8 placed
Place Strike Rate 67% 

Good luck with this week’s punting.

Until next week.

All the best,
John Burke
for The Race Advisor

John Burke

I have a MA in International Politics and having spent a number of years working in political campaigning but I eventually I realised that politics was not the world where I wanted to work I had been interested in horse racing since the late 1980s but in the early years I was merely just betting and watching racing like most people as a bit of fun and a hobby, then the hobby becomes a passion and that’s what happened to me with horse racing. I soon realised that to make money from my hobby I had to learn as much as I could about the sport and betting in general. The whole process took time but after a number of successful years of betting, I decided in 2011 to take the plunge, gave up my full time day job and decided to bet on horse racing as a part time business and I haven’t looked back since. I like to specialise in the better class of races and I love to solve the puzzles posed by big field handicaps the latter races often provide punters with great value betting opportunities. Whilst most of my time is spent reviewing previous races I like to keep things as simple as possible as even the biggest field handicaps can usually be pruned down to half a dozen strong contenders with the right sort of approach.
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