Weekly Eye-Catchers – Horse Racing

horse racing

Tudhope Takes Brave Route For Lincoln Win

Bravery, an Aiden O’Brien cast off, won first big handicap of the new flat horse racing season to give trainer David O’Meara a first win in this historic handicap. Jockey Danny Tudhope had realised that there was a draw bias at Doncaster and switched the horse from stand side draw over to the far side at the start of the race. It was race winning decision as the main action was centred middle to low. Clearly the best horse in the race but if he has stayed nearer to the stand side I doubt he would have won.

In last week column I tipped up Bravery and I hope plenty of you followed me in. This is what I wrote;

“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”.

I only wish I done a Spring Double with him and Highland Lodge for the Grand National but I didn’t. Still a 20/1 winner will do for me!

Whilst on the subject of the Grand National, at the end of this article, I will put up my Grand National shortlist and an interesting set of Aintree Festival stats.. Before all that, let’s have a look at this notebook horses.

This Weeks Eyecatchers

This week I have four eyecatchers for you to get the new turf flat season off to a flyer…


Saturday 1st April

Candelisa – Jedd O’Keeffe – Is only 1 win from 11 runs but on ability should have won for races than he has. A winner of 6f, he showed he has stamina for a mile with a keeping on 3rd in the Spring Mile. This was his first run for 206 so he can come on a bit more for it. Indeed his best form has come when racing 16 to 30 days since his last run, for which he is 1 win from 7 runs 4 places. The four year old has yet to race on good to firm but he handles good or good to soft very effectively. The handicapper will no doubt put him up a few pounds for this effort but he can remain competitive in these sort of handicaps over 7f and 1m during the season.

Dubawi Prince – Roger Varian – The trainer seems to have his horses well forward and Dubawi Prince was a good winner of a Doncaster maiden over an extended 1m 2f. The son of Dubawi had shown promise on his two starts as a two year old late last season. Clearly he has trained on over the winter and was well suited by the step up in trip from a mile. Trainer indicated that he will go for one of the Derby Trial’s which shows he is held in some regard by connections and he looks the sort to improve with a step up 1m 4f. Early days but he looks a useful three year old. I think the form of this race should work out well and it may also pay to keep an eye on the 3rd (Wasatch Range) and 4th (Joshua Reynolds) home both trained by John Gosden.


Mont Kiara – Kevin Ryan – The four year old was having his first start for 161 days and no surprisingly he was fairly fresh, after being slowly away. He was never really put in to the race but was staying on nicely when the race was over to be beaten less than five lengths into 8th. This should have set the gelding, up for the turf season, who is just 1lb higher than when winning at Newmarket last July. Both his career wins have come over 6f but the way he was staying on at Newmarket suggest he should get an extra furlong. Might well be aimed at an early season Newmarket handicap so is one to if he turns up there. On the sort of mark he can win off this season.

Sunday 2nd April


Naggers – Paul Midgley – Trainer will have been encouraged by the performance of the gelding here. The six year old was returning from a 178 day break in this 6f handicap. The 6 year old did well to finish as close as he did in 4th, considering he was slowly away and didn’t get the best of runs when making his effort. Has no great record fresh so should come on for this first run of the season. Indeed he 4 wins from 5 runs 5 places when racing 16 to 30 days since his last start and it’s also worth mentioning he is 4 wins from 12 runs 8 places when racing on good, good to soft or soft ground. He can add to his 4 career wins this season the evidence of this performance when hen he gets his optimum conditions!

Aintree Grand National Festival

As promised here are those Aintree Festival stats to keep onside this week more of which can be found in the Race Advisor Aintree Grand National Guide!

Follow Cheltenham Handicap Form

Cheltenham Festival form can be followed at this week’s Aintree Festival. Looking at the last 5 years results of those Aintree runners in handicaps, who had finished in the first 4 in a handicap at that years Cheltenham Festival – 9 winners from 56 runners 16% +74.5 A/E 1.5 23 placed 41% +107.50. Some good value bets to be had there and for those who like to back each way.

All Eyecatcher Pro subscribers will be getting my Aintree Festival handicap selections this week.

Grand National Shortlist

I backed tipped up two horses ante post for the Grand National, one is now a non runner (Carole’s Destrier) but the other Highland Lodge runs and goes there with a good chance and can still be backed at 25s for those of you not already on at 50s or 33s.

The Grand National is the sort of race you can easily have three or four on your side and still not find the winner. Others that I am interested in at this stage, although haven’t backed yet are, in no particular order, One For Arthur, Vicente, Thunder and Roses and Rogue Angel. You can read my esclusive profiles on each of those runners in the Race Advisor Aintree Festival guide.

All that’s left is to wish you an enjoyable weeks punting and hopefully a few winners at Aintree.

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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