Weekly Eyecatchers – Horse Racing

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Not many runners last week but one of my recent eyecatchers Rich Again ran at Wolverhampton on Saturday evening and shaped well again when finishing 4th. The six year old is becoming a very well handicapped horse in horse racing and must be backed next time out in my opinion! Another eyecatcher to run last week was Compton Bird. The mare had a plenty in her favour but could only finish 8th at Wolverhampton. It didn’t totally surprise me as she is 0/5 on the all weather away from Kempton where she is 4/19. Not really sure what the trainer was up to but if he is hoping that she will eventually get into a 0-75 handicap then he might get his wish soon. Not one I would back anywhere else but Kempton!

If you’re with the Eyecatcher Pro Software then you will notice from Friday that I will be adding a note to the tracker horses to let you know if I am backing the horse on the day its running!

I will start with a slightly different type of eyecatcher for you. I am a big fan of trainer micro systems and one I was monitoring last season looks to have started this season in really excellent form. I shared this micro system with SmartSigger subscribers in the November issue of that magazine and today I thought I would share it with you and hopefully you can use it to profit with over the coming months of the jumps season.

You can see all of my other micro systems for horse racing here – Click Here For Your Free Guide On How To Create Your Own Oddslines

Four National Hunt trainers have excellent win strike rates with their Class 4 & 5 handicap hurdlers, 16/1 and under in the betting:

• Trainers – Kevin Bishop, Anthony Honeyball, Henry Oliver and Suzy Smith;
• Handicap Hurdles – Class 4 & 5 only;
• November to April;
• 16/1 & under in the betting.

Here are the results for this select group of trainers since 2010:

Year Wins Bets % Profit/Loss (ISP) Profit/Loss (BFSP) A/E (ISP)
Total 68 214 31.78 +206.63 +245.83 1.76
2015 20 49 40.82 +63.99 +75.17 1.94
2014 17 66 25.76 +17.47 +11.95 1.33
2013 10 40 25.00 +39.75 +50.30 1.81
2012 11 26 42.31 +35.42 +39.96 2.49
2011 8 25 32.00 +32.00 +49.48 1.75
2010 2 8 25.00 +25.00 +18.97 1.74

Some impressive profits there and there is a decent sample of data to work with. It also looks like this micro system is still progressing and the market hasn’t yet caught up with it, as these trainers horses continue to be underbet. As ever it won’t last but there still looks to be juice in it for now.

This month has started very well 6 wins/ 13 bets 46.15% +22.63 A/E 2.22 with a ROI to SP 174.08

Anyway back to this week’s column. Here are six that caught my eye last week and should be winning in the coming weeks. I have added another five eyecatchers for those of you subscribed to the Eycatcher Pro software, including a weekend handicap chase winner who could be aimed at the Cheltenham Festival. This week there is a mixture of horses from the all weather and jumps.

Wednesday 18th November


King Calypso – Dennis Coakley – The four year old loves the synthetic surfaces – 4/8 on the all weather with 3 wins at Kempton and 1 at Lingfield. On his 8 starts on the surface this was the first time that he had finished out of the first three. He came with what looked like a winning run two furlongs out but didn’t seem to quite stay the two mile trip and had to settle for 4th at the finish. Still 17lb higher than for his last win in October 2014 but he has shown that he can be competitive of this sort of mark. Considering that this was his first run for two months it was an encouraging performance, all his wins have come when running within 30 days off his last run. A drop in trip now looks likely.

Spiritoftomintoul – Tony Carroll – The six year old is still lightly raced for his age as this was only the gelding’s 18th career start so clearly he hasn’t been the easiest to train. On the bare form he was a well beaten 8 lengths at the finish but did make some late headway at the end of the race. One mile four furlongs is to short a trip for him on the all weather, his only win came over 2m at Kempton back in 2013 and his best performances last winter both came over that sort of trip. With a shrewd trainer who can surely get a win out of him this winter and he looks on a potentially winning mark when stepped up in distance. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some sort of headgear used on the evidence of this run.

Thursday 19th November


Varsovian – Dean Ivory – Was having his second start after a summer break when making decent late headway inside the final furlong, to finish 3rd, despite losing a shoe during the race, and looks to be finding his form. The five year old sprinter has been shrewdly placed by his trainer and has a great winning strike rate being 6/14 on the all weather. When he won back in April his trainer described him as “an improving horse….. He might be one for the all-weather championships next year”. Clearly highly regarded all this wins have come over 6f but he did place once over 7f. All his wins have also come when running within 60 days and interestingly he is 4-4 when running between 31 & 60 days since his last run.

Friday 20th November


Achille – Venetia Williams – A winner over hurdles and fences when trained in France and was having his first start for his new trainer. Very weak in the market before the race which suggests that the run was needed by this son of Dom Alco and he ran well for a long way in this 3m handicap chase. He was still in contention three out but faded after the second last. Given his sire is a good source of stamina and his trainer had suggested before the race that she thought the five year old was a stayer in the making then his weakening in the closing stages of the race was probably due more to a lack of fitness rather than stamina. After the race it was noted that he had lost a shoe during the contest. Not one to give up on yet as he clearly is thought of better and has time on his side.

Saturday 21st November


King Of The Wolds – Malcolm Jefferson – The eight year old was having his first run over this marathon trip and for much of the race looked like he would win. The gelding took up the running at the 5th fence and then travelled and jumped superbly well until headed two out. I think it was a case of stamina just giving out on the testing ground. I wouldn’t say he couldn’t get this sort of trip on better ground but for now I would expect his trainer to drop him in trip. (Furthest win so far was over 3m 1f at Ayr in the spring). A likeable front running handicap chaser who has a 5/24 career record and there should be more races in him this winter.

Indian Castle – Ian Williams – Joined his present trainer last year and had five starts with the best of those coming when finishing a staying on 4th to the Druids Nephew in a valuable handicap at the Cheltenham Festival, could well have finished 2nd if he hadn’t been hampered on the run in. The seven year old has plenty of ability but isn’t the most consistent of horses and also doesn’t look the easiest of rides. Made his seasonal reappearance here over three miles and once again had to be stoked along in the middle of the race before making some modest late headway to take 4th at the finish. He was in need of the run and clearly needs further, the Cheltenham run was over 3m 1f. Can he build on this promising return? Certainly not one to take a short price about but as he showed at Cheltenham there is a decent staying handicap chase in him when he’s on a going day! He is entered in the Coral Welsh Grand National at the end of the year.

If you want me to share anymore micro systems with you in this column then let me know or even better subscribe to Smartsigger Magazine where you will see them first!

Look out next week for an Irish trained mare that has caught my eye recently and is expected to be aimed at the Mares Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

Good luck with your betting this week and as ever if you have any questions or comments about the eyecatcher horses leave a message and I will reply to them when time allows.

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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