Weekly Eye-Catchers


Frost Returns To Wincanton

I waxed lyrical about jockey Bryony Frost on a couple of occasions last year. The first time was when she won last year’s Badger Ales Trophy Handicap Chase on Present Man.

It was a case of déjà vu as the combination returned to win the race again this year. Once again Bryony got the 8-year-old into a good jumping rhythm from the start. The gelding wasn’t able to get an uncontested lead, but he just jumped much better than his rivals when it mattered.

It was Present Man’s jumping that allowed him to hold-off the more patiently ridden Sumkindofking over the final two fences. The pair pulled 13 lengths clear of the rest, which was a stronger field than last year’s renewal.

The words “natural horseman” tend to be overused when it comes to jockeys. But in the case of Bryony Frost they are true. Despite her age, I don’t think there is jockey who presents a chaser at a fence as she does. In particular, chasers seem to run and jump for her.

Her record coming into yesterday on chasers, racing over 3m+ was an excellent:

18 winners from 78 runners

Strike Rate 23%

SP Profit +25.23

A/E 1.28

37% placed

Place Strike Rate 47%

She is also a jockey for the big race, having had:

7 winners from 26 runners

Strike Rate 27%

SP Profit +28.41

A/E 1.75

11 placed

Place Strike Rate 42%. 

Clearly, punters are underestimating her mounts in the better class of race, given that she’s performing 75% better than market expectations. Let’s hope they continue to do so for a bit longer.

Add in Forst’s evident enthusiasm for the sport, and you have the right mix to promote the sport of National Hunt racing. I fully expect to be singing her praises again this season, if she stays injury free.

Melbourne Cup Comes To Britain

Last week it was “The Race That Stops A Nation” with the latest running of the Melbourne Cup. The prize came to Britain for the first-time, courtesy of Cross Counter trained by Charlie Appleby.

In last week’s blog post I highlighted the claims each way of Finche, and he ran a huge race to finish 4th landing the each-way money at a generous 25/1. He did best of those ridden-up with the pace, beaten just 3 ÂĽ lengths, and if the rain hadn’t have fallen before the race, he might well have gone onto win.

A Royal Finale At Doncaster

Royal Line overcame a 199 day lay-off to win the November Handicap. The lightly raced 4-year-old made it 4 wins from 7 runs with this decisive win. The colt, if he stays sound, can surely pay his way in soft-ground Group races next year.

His trainer, John Gosden, has now won the November Handicap on four occasions since 1997. His record with runners sent-off at 10/1 & under is now:

4 wins from 10 runners

Strike Rate 40%

SP Profit +28

5 placed

Place Strike Rate 50%. 

A stat definitely worth keeping in mind for next year’s race.

Trend Continues To Be Your Friend

Trend was once again your friend in another big handicap. Last week I gave you four traits required by the winner of the November Handicap:

Odds SP: 20/1 & under

Best In Three Runs: 1st or 2nd

Stall: Not First Quarter

Weight: Top weight or within 13lb

They had produced 90% of the winners from just 20% of the total number of runners, and Royal Line would have to have been on shortlist for the race based on those trends.

Next weekend it’s Cheltenham’s Open Meeting, with not just one but two, high class handicaps. The BetVictor Gold Cup Handicap Chase on Saturday, and the Unibet Greatwood Handicap Hurdle on Sunday. It’s the latter race that provides us with this week’s trends preview.

Sunday 18th November


Unibet Greatwood Handicap Hurdle

The results below contain – 10 winners from 164 runners 36 placed. Looking at the trends the following traits are highlighted:

Odds SP: 12/1 & under


Wins At Track: 0 to 1

Wins In Handicap Hurdles: 0 to 1

9 winners from 38 runners, strike rate 24%, sp profit +49, 20 placed and place strike rate 53%. 

Some 90% of the winners from 23% of the total runners.

Last Week’s Eyecatcher – Sire Du Berlais

Trained by Gordon Elliott. The 6-year-old was having his first run since running poorly at the Punchestown Festival, sent-off just 7/4. This was a promising return to action from the gelding at Naas on Saturday. He ran well two out and, although he eventually finished 8th of 13, this was a decent run with the rest of the season in mind.

A winner when trained in France. He’s yet to win since joining Gordon Elliott, but he ran well in handicap hurdles last season, including when finishing 4th of 23 in the Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

There are surely races in him over hurdles or fences given his pedigree.

Monday Stat:

Last week I highlighted the claims of the Jonathan Portman trained Golden Iris. Sadly, the filly wasn’t able to add to the previous week’s winner, as he finished Âľ length second at Kempton.

Trainer Harry Fry has:

6 winners from 16 runners

Strike Rate 38%

SP Profit +3.63

A/E 1.67

10 placed

Place Strike Rate 63%

with his runners in Kempton handicap hurdles since 2014.

He could run Dashing Oscar in the Pertemps Series Qualifier on today’s card, and if he does, the 8-year-old should go well for his in-form trainer who has a 24% win strike rate in the past 14-days.

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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