BDH Sunday Qualifier: Time for ‘Ball to Thunder home?

Pray for rain guys, pray for rain…

Hi guys, just a quick post from me as I’m a bit tied up with all things NTF at the moment.

BDH Sunday Qualifier: THUNDERBALL 4.45 Goodwood

6 furlong? Straight track? Race worth less than 20k to winner? Tick, tick and tick. But what about the 4th condition, the most important one; Soft ground. Well it is currently Good to Soft (Soft in places in the home straight) with rain forecast, some heavy rain as well by the looks of things. For me that is a 3/4 tick… so I’m on!

He drops down to Class 3 level today. His last 10 turf runs have seen him run at Class 2 level 9X & Class 3 level 1X. His run at Class 3 level was when we almost cashed in on him at Doncaster when he came a 1/2 length 3rd. Needless to say I’m happy with this step down in Grade.

There is pace coming from the stalls beside him – Stall 20 & 15 should go on and stall 18 may also be up there, we are in stall 19. There is pace at the other end as well so it isn’t a massive positive being where he is but it isn’t a negative and it is always handy to have pace round about Thunderball so that he doesn’t have to be making it himself.

We have never really been able to get properly stuck in to Thunderball since he has been in the squad (for 1 reason or another) but I’m willing to keep the faith with him today.

Now let us kneel down, fold our hands and pray for a bit of rain….

Ben (BDH)

p.s. The doors for the NTF Subscription service are now open….

>>>Join NTF for the 2013/14 National Hunt season

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BDH Arc De Triomphe Review + NTF Subscription News…

Treve. The new wonder-filly!

Wow! That was some performance from Treve wasn’t it? She blew the others away in scintillating fashion and is rightly receiving plaudits left, right and centre.

As always I like to give a run over my own figures once the dust has settled and despite not personally lumping on the winner I can’t complain with the performance of my shortlist…

BDH Arc Shortlist

(*TS=Trends Score)

TREVE – TS 17/19 – Winner at 48/10

LEADING LIGHT – TS 17/19 – 12th at 14-1

NOVELLIST – 17/19

INTELLO – TS 16/19 – 3rd at 10-1

RULER OF THE WORLD – TS 16/19 – 7th at 12-1

FLINTSHIRE – TS 16/19 – 8th at 20-1

That is a decent performance in my eyes and a fine example of how my Trends & Dosage combined figures work to create strong short-lists.

I personally only got a return on the Each-Way part of my Intello bet but the figures held up well and that is always a positive sign.

To be fair the figures have been spot on most of the summer, through from Address Unknown in the Chester Cup, to Talent in the Oaks and yesterday with Treve in the Arc. Those 3 were notable highlights for me in a different way. I personally didn’t back them but I know that a number of you did by using my own shortlist to form your own selections. I very much consider myself an analyst rather than a tipster so the fact you guys are able to use my in-depth work to come to your own conclusions makes me equally as happy as backing a winner myself.

Anyway, I digress, back to the Arc.

TREVE was simply outstanding. Hopefully she returns to defend her crown next year. It will take an almighty performance to win 2 Arc’s on the bounce but after that run it wouldn’t really be a surprise! She is very exciting if kept in training.

ORFEVRE ran a sound race to finish 2nd again and not much needs said about him to be fair; he ran like the horse we know he is. I would be surprised if he can go 1 better next year and it is more likely that he joins Youmzain as a triple Arc runner-up.

I thought INTELLO ran a fine race at his first try at the trip and I have no doubt he stays it. It may not be his best trip though as he is a strong traveler and may just be better coming off a strong pace over 1m2f. Word is he may well go off to stud now so, unfortunately, that may be it for him anyway.

AL KAZEEM ran a sound race in 6th and although not matching what he has done so far this season it was a decent effort under conditions that didn’t really suit.

RULER OF THE WORLD is the puzzler for me. He was in the thick of the action until turning for home when all of a sudden he found himself dropping almost to the back…then he picked up, flew home and finished 7th! Could it be he doesn’t like to be crowded in amongst horses? He doesn’t look the biggest of 3yo’s and things did get a bit rough turning for home with horses making challenges all around him. If we think back to when he landed the spoils for us in the Epsom Derby he made his move round the outside that day and had relative space to unleash his challenge. This was the largest field he has faced and after that I’m just inclined to think he maybe needs space to perform to his best and doesn’t thrive on being amongst runners. I guess his Prix Niel run would counteract that argument but it wasn’t quite as rough a race and there were less runners. Whatever the case he is a very interesting horse for next year (if kept in training) but I will be keeping an eye on that roughshod theory of mine!

I thought FLINTSHIRE did well enough in 8th on ground that really would not have suited and he is another that is of maximum interest next season, especially when racing on less testing ground. I have a feeling there is more to come from him as a 4yo.

All in all it was a thoroughly enjoyable race to watch and it was won by a filly who produced a performance right out of the top drawer. Can she land 2 Arc’s on the trot though? That is the million dollar question…

NTF National Hunt Service

I know plenty of you are itching to get on with the jumping stuff so here is the good news…

Doors to my 2013/14 National Hunt service will be opening this week!

Firstly to previous members (Wednesday). Then to members of my FREE NTF list (Friday). Then (if places remain) to everyone else (Monday 14th).

If you do want to join the full service then I seriously advise you to get your name on the FREE NTF list. Not only will this guarantee you a place on the service but you will also be able to join for the discounted rate.

On joining the FREE list you will also be able to download my free 90+ day October trainers guide (highlighted 3 winners yesterday!).

I will also be unleashing my ’20 to follow’ list tomorrow (Tuesday) which gives you a group of ‘under the radar’ horses I expect to win plenty of races this 2013/14 season.

*Spoiler Alert* There are NO Henderson, Nicholls or Mullins horses on this list!!

Make sure you don’t miss out on all this by joining the FREE list HERE >>> Join the FREE NTF list

Ben (BDH/NTF)

p.s. Want to know what is in the NTF 2013/14 service? Think of this summer here on BDH but think BIGGER, BETTER and MORE!

I’m really excited about this forthcoming National Hunt season…

BDH Prix De L´Arc De Triomphe – Full Analysis Guide

Sea The Stars bursts clear in the 2009 renewal. (Picture taken by Mrs NTF!)

The Arc De Triomphe. Arguably the greatest flat race in the world. It gets my vote anyway! With that in mind it would be rude of me not to put the race under full and unadulterated BDH scrutiny.

Before that, however, just a wee line on our BDH qualifier at Ascot, DINKUM DIAMOND…

BDH Saturday runner: DINKUM DIAMOND (Ascot)

He was a no bet anyway but I always like to keep a close eye on our squad even when the money isn’t down.

I thought he ran well in 5th without ever really threatening the places. The ground was upgraded to Good to Soft from Soft so conditions would not have been as bad for him as they were predicted to be. If we can get him on Good or better before the season is out (Good to Firm still the preferable option) then I will be happy.

As for the winner of the race (breath…5, 6, 7, 8…) I think the less said about him the better! He obviously felt the pressure of running with the BDH cash down in previous runs but once unleashed from our shackles he was free to get a photo-finish in his favour. Frustrating but racing has a habit of doing that sometimes…

2013 Arc De Triomphe Analysis…

Before I get onto the analysis of this years renewal I have a wee poll for you all…

.

Now onto the serious stuff…

From a personal perspective I was all set to pull the trigger on NOVELLIST. He ticked most of the boxes in my guide and had clearly been primed for this race since his King George romp at Ascot back in July. I was ready to put the money down and highlight him as the main selection in the BDH guide… Alas, it was not to be. Turns out he ate some dodgy snails, or some of that horrible Pâté they serve over there and has been declared unfit to race (fever/temperature is the official line).

For me then it was back to the drawing board to sift through the remainder of the field to look for the most likely winner and an alternative selection for a two-pronged BDH attack on France’s showpiece contest.

All the usual in-depth BDH analysis for the 2013 renewal of the Pric De L’Arc De Triomphe can be downloaded from the link below…

>>>Full BDH Arc De Triomphe Analysis Guide

Remember there is plenty of information in the guide so you don’t just have to follow my selections if you don’t want to.

Best of luck if you are getting involved and let’s hope for a cracking race!

FREE NTF Guides…

I am in the process of pulling together 2 new and FREE NTF guides for the forthcoming National Hunt season.

One is a Scottish themed micro-system (VERY easy to use) and the other is my own ‘to follow list’ for the forthcoming season. It will be slightly different to the ones that are already floating about out there and will include quite a few ‘dark horses’ that probably won’t appear on other lists.

These FREE guides will be EXCLUSIVE to members of my FREE NTF list so if you want them you need to join at the following link…

>>>Join the FREE NTF list and get yourself prepared for the 2013/14 NH season!

Happy Punting

Ben (BDH)

BDH Weekend Review: Refusing at Ripon…

Murtagh holds on to defy 1 of my Cambridgeshire picks! Bugger!

Poor show from our BDH qualifier on Saturday and another photo-finish defeat, this time for 1 of my Cambridgeshire selections.

Here are my thoughts on Saturday’s action…

Chooseday – 3.45 Ripon

Choose Life. Choose a family. Choose a f*ck*ng big television. Just choose to go in the f*ck*ng stalls you bloody monkey!!

The writing was on the wall (in the gutter would be better terminology!) before the race was off here as it took at least 5 minutes (AT LEAST!!) to get him in the stalls. They even had to load the jockey first before getting the horse in! It was clear he wasn’t in the mood for this run and he never got involved at any stage of the contest once the gates sprung open. He broke average at best and then just dossed about out the back.

Not much we can take from this run to be honest and one of them we just have to draw a line under.

The one possible ‘excuse’ (not a word I like using) is that it may have come a bit too soon after his run at Ayr last week. His record when running within 7 days of his last start now reads 470; it is certainly something to bear in mind going forward.

Thunderball – 3.45 Ripon

Was a no selection for us anyway and he ran as I expected. We really need to see him on some soft ground (at the very least on Good to Soft) before our money is down. He really doesn’t look like he enjoys the Good or better ground but at least he may drop a couple of lbs before he does the business for us on the soft stuff (that’s the plan anyway!).

Hopefully patience will pay dividends for us with this lad…

Cambridgeshire…

Apologies for not getting my Cambridgeshire analysis into the Blog post but hopefully some of you managed to pick it up from the comments section of the post when I dropped it in at around 10.45 (check comments section here if you want to give it a gander).

I went for a big price swipe with The Rectifier and a slightly less bigger priced swipe, although still a juicy 20-1-ish when I backed it, on Code Of Honour.

As you all know Code Of Honour failed by a whisker to get up on the line! Aaaaggghhhh! Why do these bloody photo finishes go against you… still the Each-Way portion softened the blow…slightly…

New BDH Squad Members…

There isn’t going to be any. I’m happy to let our squad roll until the end of the season. We have a few in there that will handle any juice in the ground that may appear (Jack Dexter, Tawhid & Thunderball I’m looking at you guys…) and hopefully a couple of them can roll into the winners enclosure before stumps are drawn on the 2013 Flat season.

I’ll be rolling out a few FREE National Hunt guides over on BDH’s big bro’ NTF in the coming days and weeks so as previously mentioned that will be where my main focus is starting to turn towards.

The NTF action can be found over here >>> Get ready for the 2013/14 National Hunt season with NTF 

Ben (BDH/NTF)

BDH Saturday Qualifiers: Choose Life. Choose Ripon. Chooseday…

We head to Ripon for our Saturday BDH runners.

Two qualifiers for us on Saturday at the Garden Racecourse, more commonly known as Ripon, with both our runners looking for glory in the same contest.

There is also a raft of former BDH runners hitting the track on Saturday, 3 of them being former winners for us and the other being one that had us tearing our hair out before we ceremoniously booted him out of the squad. If he should win the big one at Newmarket (Cambridgeshire) then his name shall never be spoken in these parts again!! I’m sure you all know who I am talking about…

Anyway let’s deal with our 2 runners from our current squad…

Saturday’s BDH runners…

BDH Runners:CHOOSEDAY & THUNDERBALL 3.45 Ripon

A 12 runner field here so there won’t be a great a pace or draw bias at play. It is a slight negative to be in the higher stalls in this sort of field size at the track but not a complete danger area and our 2 are drawn in 2 (Thunderball) & 8 (Chooseday) anyway so I see no problems there.

The pace will probably/possibly come from SPINATRIX in stall 5. THUNDERBALL did attempt to go from the front at Ayr last week but that was probably due to circumstance rather than by design and I would expect him to be behind the pace rather than on it here. CHOOSEDAY should also be sitting quite handy as well. It can be difficult to win from out the back over this trip at Ripon so having our 2 sitting behind the leader should be a positive for their chances.

Let’s now deal with them individually…

CHOOSEDAY

One of our recent additions to the squad and we get a quick opportunity to see him strut his stuff here. I only had 2 conditions for him and those were Good to Soft or better underfoot conditions and 6 furlongs. He meets both those conditions here and with Good ground forecast and no rain predicted (the opposite in fact) we are good to go.

To add a bit of meat to the bone I’ve also noted the following…

His Ripon form is solid (25244) with his 2nd best RPR figure of 91 (best is 93) being recorded at the track.

5lb claimer Shane Gray takes the mount for the first time and if we take his claim into account then CHOOSEDAY is actually running off a mark of 81. To put that in context that has him 4lbs lower than when he ran 3rd at Goodwood (3 runs ago) and 6lbs lower than when he ran a close 4th at Ripon (2 runs ago) – those 2 runs were his 1st & 2nd best on RPR figures as well as his 1st & 2nd best runs on the Proform speed figures.

I’m happy to have him on our side today and at the odds available (around 9-1 at time of writing) I’ll take him in an each-way capacity.

THUNDERBALL

I’m going to have to pass on him today. I’ve been looking for Soft ground since he made our list and yet again the rain gods have failed to deliver for us. His last win was on Soft (9 runs ago) and on that day he recorded an RPR of 99. Since then he has run 6 times on Good or better with his best 2 RPR figures being 89 & 83; essentially he has only managed to get within 10lbs of his last winning mark once on his ‘unfavourable’ ground. His other 2 runs were on Good to Soft where he recorded RPR’s of 96 & 50 (when he was drawn out of it in stall 1 at Ayr); more proof that he wants some sort of cut to run near or to his best these days.

Others aspects do look in his favour today but that ground worries me and is enough to put me off.

Best of luck if you are getting involved

Ben (BDH)

Join the FREE NTF/BDH updates list for free racing guides and a discount on your full subscription to my National Hunt service – Doors open middle of October.

BDH Weekend Review: Sifting through the wreckage…

Well Saturday was a tough day at the office!!

Jack Dexter ran a big race in 3rd under his welter burden and softened the hammers blows slightly (very slightly!!) but apart from his effort there was precious little else to shout about.

Let’s dissect the runs of our BDH squad and see if we should boot any of them into touch…

2.40 Ayr – Silver Cup

THUNDERBALL

Two things went markedly against Scott Dixon’s runner here. At the time of writing we were looking at Soft ground, which is the ideal conditions we want for him. By the time the gates went up it had dried to a tacky Good to Soft, OK for him but not perfect and in a race of this nature you probably want perfect conditions. It was also quite clear (by the time they crossed the line!) that it was the high stalls that held the upper hand here, he was isolated in stall 1 and that just left him high and dry with nowhere to go.

One thing that did surprise in this race was that the low group actually gunned it down the middle. Why not stay in a straight line and fire down the far rail? Most horses are better with a rail to run against, last time I looked there were no rails down the middle! Personally I thought it was a strange decision, it maybe made little to no difference but there was a rail down that side and I would have thought it would have been more beneficial to use it that float about down the middle of the track…

We learned nothing about T-Ball here and he stays on the list, hopefully we get PROPER soft ground for him next time out.

YEEOOW

I actually though he ran a sound enough race in 8th. He came there with a challenging run but as soon as he was pulled into the middle his run fizzled out. He was at least still well in the ball-park come the line and I’m happy to keep him in the squad for now.

3.30 Newbury – Group 3

STEPS

Didn’t even manage to engage 1st gear here! He was struggling after about 100 yards and never looked like landing even a glancing blow. Is he just feeling the effects of a long-ish season?

We have been unlucky not to collect with him recently (VERY unlucky!) but I fear he may be stuck in no-mans land now (above his handicap ceiling but not quite up to Group level). With that in mind it’s time to say goodbye to this squad member, he did us proud despite not winning but things are probably going to get tricky for him with regards where to place him and we now say au revoir to STEPS.

3.50 Ayr – Gold Cup

JACK DEXTER

Hard to crab a 3rd placed effort from a mark of 110 in one of the most competitive sprint handicaps known to man. He was an each-way bet and he delivered. For a brief moment it looked like he would unleash a barn-storming finishing kick but it wasn’t to be. Drying ground wouldn’t have been perfect for him but in no way could it be used as an excuse, I would have preferred soft but was more than happy to dive in on Good to Soft.

One thing that did spring to mind in the aftermath of the race was ‘Did he need the run?’

This was his first start for 84 days, his record after a break of 31 days or more now reads – 464312 – admittedly not that bad but now look at his record after a break of 30 days or less – 11100115371 – or even after 20 days or less – 1001111. Certainly edging towards him being better after a recent run and something for us to bear in mind going forward from here.

I’m more than happy to keep JD on the list after that run.

DUKE OF FIRENZE

No bet on DOF anyway and ran as I expected. To be honest I didn’t even hear the commentator mention him once! These would not have been his ideal conditions and I’m not judging him on this performance. He can still do damage when conditions suit him, just not sure there will be spots for him to strut his stuff before the season is out…

Additional selections…

I did put up 2 additional selections for the Gold Cup and they both ran OK without setting the world alight.

OUR JONATHON ran a sound race in 7th and I did briefly think he may sneak a place for us but he just couldn’t quite get there. He is on a decent mark and could pick something up before the season is out.

GABRIEL’S LAD was probably caught on the ‘wrong’ side of the high numbers and his 9th place was a decent enough run considering he had to do most of his work out in the middle.

Again I was surprised that there wasn’t a group trying to gun it down the far side rail. It was drying ground and what’s to say the far side wasn’t drying faster than the near side? Surely it was worth a punt instead of losing ground tracking over to the middle?

I’m going to review all the big sprints from Ayr later on today, there are a few I noted when watching the races ‘live’ as potentials for our BDH squad but as always I like to have a proper look once the dust has settled.

I’ll do my best to keep all things BDH updated in the coming weeks but my attention will be switching to NTF very shortly and I expect that to devour plenty of my time; I’m already doing some work on the Paddy Power Gold Cup!! I’m starting to think David Pipe has a fantastically strong hand (again!) to play in the race with a couple of his team (obvious and less obvious members) but there is also one from the Hobbs team that is potentially very interesting…

Anyway that’s for the National Hunt leg of my racing work (you can join NTF here and grab a bunch of FREE guides at the same time), I’ll hopefully have a new BDH squad member for you in the next couple of days on here.

Ben (BDH)

BDH Friday Qualifiers: Last chance saloon for WW & Taw?

Are 2 of our squad drinking in the last chance saloon today?

Two of our BDH squad take to the rain softened turf today with WAKING WARRIOR running up at Ayr and TAWHID running down at Newbury. Both horses potentially running in the last chance saloon as far as being fully paid up members of our BDH offensive line.

Before I give you my take on their chances here are my thoughts on our Wednesday runner MISSION APPROVED… ‘agggghhhhh not another bloody photo finish 2nd?!?!?’

Only kidding (kinda!!), here are my real thoughts…

MISSION APPROVED 8.45 Kempton (AW)

Whether it was Richard Kingscote stealing the race with an early move or it was in fact James Doyle ‘losing’ the race by getting his mount going too late is irrelevant now, the facts are the line came a yard or 2 too soon for our lad and we ending up going down by an ever diminishing head. It can be a game of fractions this racing malarkey and we just came out on the wrong side of it. There was nothing in this run to suggest we should take him off our list and for now he remains as part of the team. Hopefully we will see him back on turf next time out…

Now to tackle today’s runners…

BDH Runner: WAKING WARRIOR 2.20 Ayr

I’m possibly being a bit harsh on saying this is the last chance saloon for this guy. In fairness he hasn’t had the best of the draws on his last 2 runs, however, I don’t want to give him too many more chances as his flat record does give me a wee bit of concern (0 from 25). I am happy to wade in with him today though as there is plenty of juice in his price to warrant our involvement.

He actually ran a decent 5th in this contest last season off the same mark on heavy ground so we can be fairly confident the track and underfoot conditions will be fine for him.

From a pace angle he should be OK, there are pace horse close enough to him to give him a good tow into the contest. To be honest there is pace from a few sources right across the track so baring something unusual happening with the grouping splits he should have as good a chance as any. The one worry would be a large group far side (low numbers) and a small group near side (high numbers) and our boy stuck in the near side. In the big sprint on Thursday at the track they split into 3 groups and that situation here would be perfect for our lad.

In a race of this size and with the odds available on our BDH warrior I’m happy to pitch in with an each-way punt.

BDH Runner: TAWHID 4.50 Newbury

Soft ground; now we are talking! This is the real ground we have been waiting for. He has run 3 times for us since he was added to the squad, for the first & second of those runs he was a ‘no-bet’ as the ground was officially described as good. He ran well enough on both those runs without winning but from a punting angle it wasn’t for us anyway. Last time out (3rd run for us) he had Good to Soft ground, which was closer to what we are after, but it is safe to say that he was given an…um…interesting ride. Whether that was pilot error or riding to instruction isn’t clear but whatever it was it clearly didn’t play out well. Today we have Soft underfoot conditions; game on!

The Soft/Heavy ground form of Tawhid reads 113 (3rd in a Group 2) and Silvestre De Sousa back in the plate is a huge bonus (the pairing have a 1432 record together). Here he steps back down out of Group company for this first time since his maiden victory last October and the 3yo weight allowance he receives here sways things very much in his favour.

This is a golden opportunity for him and I’ll be backing him for the win. If he doesn’t convert then his place on the BDH squad is very much in jeopardy…

Ayr Gold & Silver Cups… 

At the minute we are double handed on the BDH front in both these contests, fingers crossed all line up on the day. Make sure you check back in either tonight or Saturday morning to see my full thoughts on these squad members. Needless to say the Ayr Gold Cup is very much a race I want us to nail…

Ben (BDH)

BDH Weekend Review: My boot scootin’ baby is drivin’ me crazy…

Not sure what is worse. This Steps photo or the Steps photo (finish) from Saturday!!

We had 3 BDH runners at Doncaster last week and all 3 placed. With a bit more luck it could have been even better but we can’t complain…well maybe a bit about STEPS!! I mean come on! The least we deserved was a dead-heat!! Even trainer Roger Varian demanded to see the print!

Anyway there is nothing we can do about that agonizing 2nd placed finish so here are my proper thoughts (as opposed to my “what the f@*k happened there” thoughts!) on our Saturday BDH runner…

STEPS – 2.40 Doncaster

At the end of the day I said there was enough juice in his price (at time of writing) to get on each-way and he duly delivered that part of the bargain. That was his 3rd 2nd placed finish in a row but to be fair to him I don’t think he is un-genuine or quirky or a dodge-pot, far from it in fact, when you get beat by a pixel in a 22 runner-handicap it’s just the roll of the dice going against you.

He once again fired in a career best on the figures (by 5lbs) and we have to expect another rise in the weights for him. At the moment I’m not going to drop him from our squad, there is every reason to think he is still improving, however, I wait with bated breath to see exactly what punishment Mr Handicapper deals out to him. There are no immediate entries for him so we can let the dust settle on this result and see what comes out in the wash.

New Squad Member(s)…

There are none! I had a look at last weeks action but to be honest nothing stood out at me. I again half thought about adding MONSIEUR CHEVALIER to the team after his run in the Portland but in the end I kept him on the reserve squad.

Once the gates opened he essentially had no chance. For starters he missed the break and was instantly on the back foot and secondly he was caught on the wrong side. Five of the field stayed on the far side and the best finisher was Prodigality in 13th; they were too far away from the pace to make any impact. MONSIEUR CHEVALIER had to work his way onto the back of this small group but as the race developed he somehow found himself in no-mans land in the middle of the track and basically had nothing to aim at. He actually did wonders to finish only 8 lengths back in 15th  (2nd in his group) and it was noticeable that his jockey considerably eased off in the final furlong.

He is a horse I will keep an eye on and may back, without him officially being in the BDH attack squad.

We have the Ayr Gold Cup festival at the end of this week and there is a chance we go into the big race itself mob-handed, there are a few BDH runners entered and, interestingly, a few of our previous squad members who have already done their work for us.

Hopefully we have runners in the Bronze, Silver AND Gold Cup so that we don’t have all our BDH eggs in one basket!

NTF National Hunt Service… 

As most of you will be aware I will be opening the doors to my full NTF subscription service next month. I will be implementing some of the BDH methods into the NTF service this season, the NTF Handicap Sleepers is a new addition I’m particularly excited about.

Most of you reading this will already be on my free list but if you are not and you are looking to join my NTF subscription service I would advise you to join the FREE list sooner rather than later. This is the ONLY place you can get a discount to the NTF subscription service for the 2013/14 National Hunt season. (You also get a bundle of FREE guides when you join the FREE list, with more in the pipeline soon to be released).

Join the NTF/BDH FREE list today >>> NTF FREE list – Discounts and Free Guides available

Ben (BDH)

 

Ladbrokes St Leger: Dosage & Trends Analysis

The final domestic Classic rumbles into action today at Town Moor on day 4 of the 2013 St Leger Festival with the lung bursting St Leger taking centre stage at 3.50.

I have a full Dosage & Trends guide available for you later on in the Blog for the big one but first I’ll give you my thoughts on yesterday’s BDH runner as well looking at today’s BDH qualifier and some Portland Handicap analysis.

Let’s start with yesterdays BDH runners…

YEEOOW – 4.25 Doncaster

Finished 3rd, each-way money secured, handled the ground, I’m happy. The field split into 2 groups which didn’t really help our lad but he gave plenty of indications that he is still improving and he very much stays on the list after this run.

I’m hopeful he can land something for us before the season is out.

Now onto today’s action…

BDH Runner: STEPS 2.40 Doncaster – Portland Handicap

Ahh Steps…Steps…Steps. He probably should have won last time out and he again finds himself climbing the weights without winning. He is now 11lbs higher than his highest ever winning mark and 17lbs higher than his last winning mark. It’s starting to concern me for sure.

I would also slightly prefer him over a bare 5f rather this 5 & 1/2f.

On the plus side he has ground with cut in it which is a huge positive and he has winning form at Doncaster.

His hold up style of running should also be a bonus in a race that looks to hold plenty of pace up front.

He has fired in 2 career best’s on the figures on his last 2 starts so there is reason to believe he can overcome this mark.

Despite a couple of small reservations I’m happy to pitch in with him here today. The Varian yard are in bouncing form and with enough juice in the price to get on each-way I’m happy to have our BDH warrior STEPS on our side.

As is usual the case in race of this stature I’m also looking for another runner to carry my money. Let’s start by looking at the pace chart to see how the race is likely to shape up…

Portland 2013

To be honest the pace map doesn’t give us a great deal of help. The signs are that there is pace from all over the track so from this angle I can see no clear advantage to top, middle or bottom.

I would expect the field to split into at least 2 groups, with each group having solid front-runners at the head of affairs.

My next stop would usually be a quick delve into the trends but personally I don’t think this is a great race for that approach. I could fire up some trends without any problem but from past experience it wouldn’t be the strongest from the trends angle.

Instead I’ve had a look at the field from a handicapping perspective and picked out a clutch of runners that I have marked up as ‘well-in’ on old form, whether that is old handicap form or indeed old graded form.

That gave me the following shortlist…

MONSIEUR CHEVALIER

OUR JONATHAN

ANGELS WILL FALL

ANGELS WILL FALL has never struck me as one to enjoy a large field and she has been really struggling of late so she gets punted from that list fairly readily.

The other 2 are much more interesting to me…

OUR JONATHAN finds himself slipping to a very handy mark indeed. 2 years ago he won the Ayr Gold Cup quite comfortably off a mark of 105, today he runs off  97. We know he handles ground with cut in it, we know he handles large fields and we know he is classy on his day. He has also run some decent races at Donny without actually winning so his 0 from 6 track figures are a lot better than they first seem. At the odds available he is worthy of consideration.

MONSIEUR CHEVALIER is one that is very much of interest to me. I’ll let you into a little secret; he almost made the BDH squad after his last start. That was last weekend at Ascot behind our boy Redvers in what was only his 3rd ever handicap start. That race was over 7f and he made a serious move to hit the front around 2f out, however, as soon as he got there he smashed into his stamina wall and back-peddled rapidly.

It’s easy to forget he was once rated as high as 116 after a close 2nd in the 2011 Golden Jubilee at Royal Ascot. This year he has been tried over 8f (x3) & 7f (x4) and only once over 6f. Admittedly he did run a sound race in 5th over 7f at Glorious Goodwood in the Lennox Stakes but apart from that every sinew of him looks like it has been crying out for a return to 6f, if not 5f.

I’m not put off by the fact he only ran 7 days ago as his form figures when returning within a week read -12- and his form figures when returning within 2 weeks read -121115050- he clearly has no problem with a quick return.

We know he has the speed for this trip, we know he handles the ground and with jockey Natasha Easton taking off 5lbs we can be pretty confident the mark of 91 (taking the claim into account) makes him an interesting proposition.

I’ll take STEPS (BDH Qualifier) and MONSIEUR CHEVALIER (BDH almost squad member) as my 2 bets in this valuable sprint and I’ll ponder over whether to include OUR JONATHAN in calculations as well.

Ladbrokes St Leger full Dosage & Trends Analysis

We move from the sprinting division to the staying division with one fell swoop and put the St Leger under the full ‘Trosage’ microscope.

It doesn’t look the strongest St Leger in recent memory but someone has to win it and with it generally proving to be a strong race for both Dosage and Trends it was a no-brainer to give it a full and thorough seeing to.

The full analysis guide can be downloaded from the following link…

>>>Full BDH St Leger Analysis Guide

As always you don’t have to side with my selections, there is plenty of analysis in the guide that you can utilize for your own thoughts and workings.

Best of luck if you are getting involved today.

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Ben (BDH)

BDH Weekend Review: Job Dun!

Well that was a pretty good weekend!

4 BDH qualifiers – 2 winners. For good measure the Haydock Sprint Cup winner was also thrown into the mix; good work GLB.

When reviewing the weekends action for my own records I also, naturally, kept my BDH brain in full recruitment mode as I look to replace and strengthen our squad. Unfortunately nothing instantly stood out at me and I won’t add new members just for the sake of it. That would be pointless and a sure way to eek into our profits.

I have a couple of potentials in mind but I want to review the action again with a fresh mind, possibly tonight or tomorrow, and do a bit more digging into their previous form.

For now, however, I’ll give you my thoughts on our 4 weekend runners and where we go from here with them…

Weekend BDH runners…

BDH Runner: REDVERS 1.55 Ascot – 1st at BFSP 10.37

He was drawn with pace round about him and jockey Richard Kingscote gave him a superb ride, hooking behind the pace on his side instead of right out the back and cruising into contention in style; job was a good ‘un.

As far as I’m concerned for our BDH list it is “thanks and good-bye, we will call again if your services are required”. As always that doesn’t mean I won’t back him in the future but for now he drops off the BDH list after doing the job we employed him for; securing us some tasty profits!

Good lad Redvers and best of luck going forward.

BDH Runner: WAKING WARRIOR 2.00 Thirsk – 6th at BFSP 12.5

The Kevin Ryan horse always seemed to be climbing a slippy slope here and that has to go down primarily to the draw. I thought it may be tricky from his berth but I maybe gave too much credence to its effect being lessened over the furlong further. Lesson learned and for now he stays in our squad.

I want to see him get a real shot at a race from a decent draw before making a solid assessment of his position in our squad.

BDH Runner: TAWHID 2.40 Haydock – 4th at BFSP 4.92

Hmmmmm…Tawhid…hmmmmmm. Either Mosse got the tactics wrong or the tactics he was given were wrong. The horse maybe didn’t help himself too much either but the facts are he managed to meet trouble in-running and wasn’t really able show his true potential. Once in the clear, and the race was over, he looked to have plenty left to give.

I learned nothing from this run, which is a shame as he had his ground on this occasion and should have been able to show more. He stays on the list for now.

BDH Runner: DUNGANNON 5.10 Ascot 1st at BFSP 4.74

This played out perfectly for Dunny and he made no mistake this time. I was a bit concerned by the price beforehand but I managed to get 5.5 on the exchanges about 15-20 mins before the off and I was happy with that; the more I looked at the race through the day the more convinced I became that he was going to win. (I tweeted 10 mins before the off that I had backed him, for transparency’s sake).

I see no need to keep him in our squad from here on in and like Redvers we say goodbye to Dunny after his well-timed victory at Ascot.

Good job Dunny, job well done, we may well see you back in the squad at some time in the future…

The other race covered by myself was the Group 1 Haydock Sprint Cup…

Haydock Sprint Cup

GORDON LORD BYRON did the job in fantastic style for us and that my friends is how you win a Group 1 contest! Impressive! To be fair he had his conditions but regardless of that fact it was an almighty performance.

In the end I only went with Heeraat as my cover bet, viewing of the ground from earlier races put me off Lethal Force as did his ever diminishing price. My own pace notes suggested he wouldn’t get an easy lead and that mixed with the softened ground just didn’t sit well with me as we approached the off. It is safe to say his run shouldn’t be taken at face value, he is waaaay better than the end result and conditions simply did not play to his strengths.

Heeraat ran a very poor race but his jockey Paul Hanagan did report after the race that his mount had ‘lost it’s action’ so we maybe also shouldn’t take his run at face value either.

In the end this was all about GLB though and he confirmed that when conditions are tilted towards him he is a serious player in the Group 1 sprinting division.

BDH Handicap Sleepers…

Some of you probably noticed that one of the handicap sleepers in my recent FREE guide was running at York yesterday; TIGER REIGNS in the 3.35. You will also have hopefully noted he was clearly a ‘no-bet’.

The field size was way outside his comfort zone and he was also running over a trip that was 2.5 furlongs longer than his optimum; he finished a comfortable 41 lengths behind the winner in 18th place!

Personally I’m happy with that. That should see another drop down the ratings from Mr Handicapper and it should also see him start at some juicy odds next time out. Hopefully connections will find a race that meets requirements on his next start (if you have the guide you know what they are), I really think he can land something at lofty odds when he gets his conditions…

Closing thoughts for the day…

Back to the main BDH list and if I see a potential new addition to our squad to replace Redvers and Dungannon then I will fire up a Blog post later in the week with all the details.

I’m also now getting properly stuck into the National Hunt game behind the scenes as I start work on the NTF National Hunt service 2013/14. I’ll hopefully still be blogging as regularly as usual on here but if not you know the reason why…

Ben (BDH)