Weekly Eye-catchers – Horse Racing

horse racing

Morning all,

As I mentioned last week I thought I would share with you an interesting micro angle to get you prepared for the start of the 2017 horse racing flat season at Doncaster this Saturday. Whilst on the subject of the start of the flat turf season I will at the end of this, shorter than normal, column take a brief look at the first big handicap of the season the Lincoln Handicap.

As I ever I will start with a quick look back at Saturday’s action.

Sean Bowen Doubles Up At Newbury

The highlight for me was the big race double by jockey Sean Bowen who showed why he will one day be champion jockey. He gave Warriors Tale and Deauville Crystal contrasting rides, the former was always racing prominently and Bowen got the horse in a great jumping rhythm from the off. Meanwhile his other winner was given a confident hold up ride and was produced with a well timed run to take the lead on the run in. I can’t pay a jockey a higher compliment than to say that I always check to see what he is riding each day.

Before I look at this week’s eyecatchers, here is the trainer micro angle that I promised.

Ralph Beckett: “King of The April Maidens”

Ralph Beckett is a trainer whose runners need to be kept on side at the start of the flat season. In the past 5 years his record with all his runners in March & April is:

22 winners from 130 runners 17% +39.98 A/E 0.97 59 places 45%

A perfectly respectable set of results but if we dig a little deeper we can see that it’s his runners in maidens that we should be concentrating on, in particular his three year old fillies. Here is his record with such runners:

11 winners from 32 runners 34% +63.75 A/E 1.89 16 places 50% +73.97 – with a profit of 83.76 if betting to Betfair SP.

If you like these sorts of stats then have a look at the April issue of Smarsigger magazine where I have looked at a number of early season trainer Micro angles

Last Weeks Eyecatchers:

It’s the time of year when the number of eyecatchers I am looking for drops. This week I have just the two for you; one for the jumps and one for the flat.

Friday 24th March


Optimus Prime – Dan Skelton – The five year old was only having his 3rd start for the trainer, since moving from France and unlike his first two runs was given a patient ride at the back of the field in this handicap hurdle by jockey Noel Fehilly. The hold up tactics utilised were having the desired effect as he was in the process of putting up an improved performance when badly hampered by the fall of Minella Charmer two out. He lost all momentum after that and any chance he had was gone. The first time tongue tie and the different riding tactics clearly had the desired effect and on the evidence of this run can win a handicap hurdle for connections.

Saturday 25th March


Iseemist – John Gallagher – The mare has never won on the all weather and was returning from a 155 day break in this Class 2 handicap. Unfancied at 33/1, this was her best run on the all weather and has set her up nicely for the start of the flat season. Given all her career wins have come when racing 8 to 30 days since her last run she was entitled to need the run on this occasion.

Lincoln Handicap Thoughts

Here is a brief look at the weekend’s big handicap.

Looking at some of the key trends for the race:

9 out of the last 9 winners were rated 104 or less;
9 out of 9 winners carried 9-4 or less;
9 out of 9 winners had their last run in Britain 121+ days ago;
9 out of 9 winners raced in Class 2 or 3 company in their last race;
4 out of 9 winners won their last race in Britain.

Trainer David O’Meara has yet to win the Lincoln but he has had 9 runners in the race and 4 of them have placed. This year he looks set to saddle Bravery who has joined the stable from Aidan O’Brien. The four year old ran in the Irish 2000 Guineas and French Derby last year and looks an interesting addition to the stable. Best form has come on a sound surface and over further than a mile but the drop in trip might not be an inconvenience for this son of Galileo. Ladbrokes odds compilers have him as low as 12/1 for the race but he can still be backed at 20/1 with Bet365. Bravery is a definite for my shortlist!

All that’s left is to wish you an enjoyable and profitable weeks punting.


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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