Weekly EyeCatchers – Horse Racing

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Plenty of winners flowed out of the horse racing notebook last week with wins by Keppols Queen 14/1, Boomerang Bob 3/1, and One Track Mind 11/8. Some of you might also have been on previous winning eyecatchers: Aristo du Plessis 5/2 and Buckland Beau 5/1 over the weekend.

As we enter 2016, lets hope the winning run can continue!

Thanks to all those who messaged me. Sadly my partner’s father never recovered from the injuries that he received in his recent accident and passed away peacefully on New Years Day.

Like last week I have to apologise, in advance, for the shortness of this article and also for the lack of a weekend racing review this week.

There are only three notebook horses for you this week but for Eyecatcher Pro subscribers I have added a horse that was well backed last week but had a luckless run and can win a low grade handicap on the all weather.

However, I will begin with a look at some horses that ran over the Christmas period and I have put in my notebook for the upcoming Cheltenham Festival.

Cheltenham Festival Pointers

Four horses caught my eye over the Festive period with the Festival in mind, three from Leopardstown and one from Cheltenham.


With a lot of these Pertemps series races it usually pays to look at those who finish out of the places and Leave At Dawn ran the most interesting trial for the final. He had looked an improving staying handicap hurdler when coming over from Ireland to win at Cheltenham back in November. Put up 8lb for that win it wasn’t the weight rise that beat him but more case of the really heavy going. The six year old would preferred better ground, given we know he handles Cheltenham this was a decent run with the final in mind and is one to watch out for given his shrewd connections.

Alpha Des Obeaux ran a very respectable race in the Grade 1 Christmas Hurdle over three miles. The World Hurdle at the Festival looks a fairly wide open race at the moment despite the shortness of Thistlecrack in the betting for the race. The six year old put himself right in the picture for that race, should connections go down that route. Handles heavy but would probably prefer better going. Remember he was in the process of running a very big race at Aintree in the spring behind Thistlecrack when coming down at the last. Was given a best priced 33/1 quote for the World Hurdle, after Leopardstown, that was soon taken and he is now a best priced 20/1 which still looks a bit of value to me.

On the final day of the Leopardstown Christmas meeting we saw arguably the best performance of the festive period either side of The Irish Sea as No More Heroes advertised his RSA Novice Chase claims with an authoritative win in the three mile Grade 1 novices chase. He travelled and jumped well throughout the race and showed why some pundits think that the seven year old is a future Gold Cup winner. A best priced 4/1 for the RSA that could look value come the day.

As I mentioned in last weeks article it looks like he Champion Hurdle is at the mercy of Faugheen but Identity Thief continued his progressive hurdling form with a two length second to Nichols Canyon in the Grade 1 Ryanair Hurdle, had looked like he would beat he eventual winner two out but just found that one to good on the day. If the six year old keeps progressing and take up his place in the line up come March then he has definite each way claims in the race.

On New Years Day the improving staying novice chaser Seeyouatmidnight won the Grade 1 Dipper Novice Chase at Cheltenham over three miles. A useful novice hurdler last season the eight year old has always been seen as a future chaser by trainer Sandy Thomson. This was only his 9th start over rules so there should be more improvement in the horse over fences. Another who looks set to go for the RSA Novice Chase and he will be worth his place in the line up given he showed that he handled track well enough. The ground in March will be a lot different to what he faced here and given he is 5/7 on soft or heavy going then his chances would be enhanced if it was a soft ground festival. He would be shorter in the ante post betting for the RSA if he came from a more fashionable stable so there is sill plenty of juice in his price.

This Weeks Eyecatchers

Monday December 28th

Blair Perrone – Tony Martin – The six year old was a fair novice hurdler last season with wins at Leopardstown and Gowran Park. Tailed off on his chase debut he showed that running to be all wrong when finishing 3rd to Douvan on his next start. He improved again here to finish a strong finishing 2nd in this decent looking beginners chase on paper and seemed to be suited by the step up to 2m 3f. There was a lot to like about how he finished his race off. Always seen as a future chaser he could well be aimed a one of the Cheltenham handicaps by a trainer who likes to prepare one for a big race.

Tuesday December 29th

Kerisper – Nigel Twiston-Davies – The seven year old was making his handicap hurdle debut here and continued his steady progress over hurdles. The step up to three miles also seemed to suit the son of Robin des Champs as he was staying on well at the finish. A winner of a point to point in Ireland, he acts on soft going and looks capable of improving further. Can take a handicap hurdle over this sort of trip in the coming weeks!

Amidon – Lucy Wadham – A winner on his chase debut at Fontwell over 2m 5f he improved on that run when stepping up to 3m 2f in this Class 3 handicap chase. Ran a cracker considering this was only his second start over fences and given he is only a six year old there should be more to come from him. Staying on well at the finish of the race, the step up in distance clearly suited and he can win more races over fences.

Good luck with your betting this week and as ever if you have any questions or comments about the notebook 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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