Weekly EyeCatchers – Horse Racing

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Well the winners keep flowing out of the notebook and this is why we love horse racing! Aristo Du Plessies won twice at 5/1 and evens and on Saturday there was a fantastic 25/1 second at Doncaster courtesy of Jamaican Bolt and for a few strides in the final furlong I thought it was going to be another Chill The Kite but it wasn’t to be and the seven year old had to settle for 2nd. But there were a couple of winners on Saturday with Jack Dexter getting his optimum conditions at Doncaster to win at 6/1. Meanwhile at Wincanton Junction Fourteen put up an excellent jumping performance to win at a generous 9/4. This is what I wrote after the horses debut win over fences:

The six year old made a very promising chase debut for connections in this 2m 6f novices handicap chase. A winner of two hurdles in 2013, last season was a bit of a disappointment for the horse as he was unable to add to his win record in handicap hurdles. Chasing has always been the “name of the game” though for this son of King’s Theatre and he jumped really well to make all in this contest. He has the size to make a chaser and this was a great start. His trainer also felt he would improve for his seasonal reappearance and to win on good going shows he isn’t ground dependent either. I am sure he can win more races this winter.

After the race trainer Emma Lavelle said that the horse is much better on a flatter track and interestingly she thinks he is better on good ground. He is now being aimed at Aintree’s Grand National Meeting rather than Cheltenham which seems a good idea to me.

It’s great to be back but a break away from watching the racing and of course betting is a necessity at least three or four times a year. Well I am now refreshed and looking forward to some great National Hunt horse racing in the coming months. Cheltenham’s Paddy Power meeting is looming this weekend but there has already been some cracking action over the jumps in the past week or so.

Some weeks it can be hard to find too many eyecatchers for the tracker but that can’t be said today as there have been plenty of horses that have caught my eye recently. Here are six that should provide you with some winning opportunities in the coming weeks.

For those of you with the Eyecatcher Pro I have added another six horses, including a well handicapped horse running on the all weather that should land another handicap in the coming weeks…

Wednesday 29th October


Woodford County – Philip Hobbs – The market expected the 8 year old to make a winning seasonal reappearance in the Durham National with the ground coming in his favour and his trainer in winning form. Sadly for his backers he made a mistake at the first and according to his jockey “was never travelling thereafter” A thorough stayer who appreciates testing going, all his 4 career wins have come on soft going or worse. He is running off the same mark as when winning at Newbury last November so there should be a race in the horse when he gets his optimum conditions.

Saturday 31st October


Ned Stark – Alan King – Was well fancied to win a Handicap at the Cheltenham Festival but his inexperience showed as he could only finish 8th on that occasion. Making his seasonal debut in this valuable three mile handicap chase, he could only finish 6th but this was a race full of promise for the season to come. He has only had 8 career starts under rules, with only 6 starts over fences. He is 3-4 on soft going so the ground would have been quick enough for the seven year old. There are mores races in him!

Sunday 1st November


Cultram Abbey – Nicky Richards – The eight year old was only having his 8th career start and he was making his debut in this novices handicap chase. Trainer has been very patient with the horse who this time last year he described as “big weak baby”. A winner twice over hurdles at around 2m 4f, last season, both on more testing ground than he faced on this occasion. This was a very promising run in the circumstances and he should get three miles over fences as he was staying on nicely to take 2nd at the finish. There will be a handicap or two in the horse who has always been seen as a chaser in the making.

Tuesday 3rd November


Sun Wild Life – Robert Walford – Made an encouraging reappearance even though the five year old was a well beaten in 4th. A winner last season over 2m 2f at Taunton over fences he still has time on his side to win more races in the sphere. Weak in the market before the race and looking like the run would do him good, He was held up on his first start over three miles but showed the trip is within his reach by keeping on well at the end of the race. Suited by soft ground, he maybe a better horse on a sharper flatter track but I wouldn’t be too definitive about. Can win races over 2m 6f plus!

Wednesday 4th November


Rydan – Gary Moore – The four year old who won at Kempton last year was back on the all weather for the first time since a fair 5th in hot handicap at the track last December. The form of this run looks solid and the gelding was only beaten 1 ½ lengths into 3rd.

A winner here over 1m 3f in September 2014, this was only his 5th start on the synthetics so he is unexposed on the all weather and I would be surprised if he wasn’t able to add to his win tally over the winter despite being 9lb higher than his last winning mark.

Saturday 7th November


Join The Clan – Jonjo O’Neill – Ran well on his seasonal reappearance but the six year old tends to need a couple of runs to find his form and so should come on for the run. The son of Milan won a couple of decent staying handicap hurdles in January over 3m+ and he also travelled well for a long way in the Pertemps Final at the Cheltenham Festival when still holding every chance two out. All his wins have come on rain softened ground and he is 3-6 on such going. Despite being 4lb higher than his last winning mark I think there could be a decent 3m+ handicap hurdle in the son of Milan when he gets his favoured ground.

For those of you with Eyecatcher Pro you will notice that I have had a major “cull” of the flat turf horses as I move into winter mode which will last until the start April.

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


  1. Hi George, Sadly I don’t cover the Australian racing its hard enough to keep up with racing in this part of the world. Hopefully you have been backing some of the eyecatchers with the bookmakers over there. I have noticed some, albeit from a small sample, of the prices available with your online bookmakers are better than here Thanks John

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