I don’t wanna dance + New BDH recruit…

I don’t feel like dancing…

Life is difficult at times. We all know that, we all accept that. Finding winners on the gee-gees is also pretty difficult. We all know that, we all accept that as well. So when a horse with latent ability starts making life difficult for himself and in turn making life frustrating for his supporters…it is safe to say we have every right to question our support of said beast.

Yes Dance And Dance I am talking about YOU!!

I’ve watched his run in Sunday’s Cambridgeshire a few times now and every time I’m left with the notion that there is so much left in his tank at the finish, sooooo much! I know I’m not the only one that has been seduced by his performances, he has started to become the master of seduction in recent runs. However, there has to be a time when we say enough is enough, I’m not falling for your ways any more, I’m fed up throwing a portion of my hard-earned cash on you for little to no return, only getting a faint buzz at the end of your races when you start teasing us all with what might have been and would could be in the future.

Sometimes you have to take a stance against these beasts and I’m taking one now. Dance And Dance you are OFF the BDH list. I don’t need time wasters and attention seekers in our squad. We have worked damn hard over the summer and I’m not in the mood to let you spoil the party!

I’m sure Dance And Dance will win again at some stage, if it happens to be next time out I’ll live with it (maybe!), but as far as being a member of our cherished BDH attack force I’m afraid to say (perhaps happy to say!) that your time is up, bye bye.

Not wanting to be overly light with our attack line I myself got involved in transfer deadline day yesterday and after shifting Dance And Dance out of the squad (someone else can deal with the wayward star!) I managed to secure the services of a youngster who I hope can land us something before the season is out…

BDH Review…

Race in focus: 2.05 Sandown (31-08-2013): BETFRED GOALS GALORE HANDICAP – 5f, Class 3 Handicap (14 ran)

How the race played out…

Sandown 31-08

With the 1st & 2nd coming from stalls 2 & 3 it is safe to say that it was an advantage to be drawn low; I’m pretty much coming round to the notion that this is where it pays to be in these tricky Sandown sprints. ASK THE GURU absolutely blitzed out of the gates in stall 1 and that gave a perfect target for BURNING THREAD & TIDAL’S BABY to aim at. The potential front runners from up high, SWENDAB & FRATELLINO, couldn’t get their preferred spot and this again helped it become a low drawn affair. The majority from up high had to switch behind early and this caused plenty of bunching on the far side and middle of the track. ASK THE GURU set a strong pace out front but couldn’t hold it in the final furlong and that gave a perfect slipstream for the eventual first 2 home to sweep past and strike.

There were a few hard-luck stories in-behind with the next 3 home SIR MAXIMILLIAN, DUNGANNON & MISSION APPROVED all meeting some sort of trouble at some stage of the contest.

The end result…

The winner BURNING THREAD was in the prime spot behind the pace setting Ask The Guru and he duly obliged. With retrospect he was well in on old form, had his ground and had previously won over course & distance. Depending on what the handicapper does he may still be able to squeeze out another win before reaching his ceiling again. 2nd home TIDAL’S BABY essentially just couldn’t match the winner and it may just be that he has enough weight for now. This was, however, his 2nd best RPR figure so that’s not conclusive by any means. 3rd home SIR MAXIMILLIAN ran a sound race given that he met trouble in-running and had an average draw. For all this was a solid run he is showing signs that he is held off his current mark. We know all about DUNGANNON in 4th and he was probably slightly more hampered than Sir Maximillian, having to switch numerous time to try and get a run. There was plenty to like about this run and he is still running at a consistent enough level, his time will come. 5th home MISSION APPROVED had the worst draw of all as he was parked widest of the field in the outside box. Moore tracked him across as soon as he could but he had to wait for gaps (on more than 1 occasion) and when they did appear the race was all but over.

BDH to follow…

MISSION APPROVED (5th) (Sir M Stoute)

Having his first run since being gelded and also dropping back to 5f for the first time in his 7 race career, this Dansili 3yo did extremely well to finish only 4 and a bit lengths behind the winner. Ryan Moore had to switch early and bide his time but the gaps just didn’t come in time for him.

He looks a powerful sprinting type as he traveled with plenty of gusto out the back and looks well suited to this drop down in trip. He impressed me with the way he quite easily consented to ghost through the gaps when they did appear and he closed in on the pack with minimal effort when asked by his pilot.

His rating of 80 looks extremely workable, especially when we consider that was gained over 7 & 8f trips. It should also be noted that he recorded his best Proform speed figure to date in this race, by quite some way in fact; another sign that this drop in trip brought about improvement from a potentially very lenient mark.

We don’t have a great deal to go on with regards to preferences as this was only his 7th career start (5th on turf) but his only turf victory to date (has won on the A/W) was gained off Soft ground at Warwick last October and it could be we see more improvement once the ground eases in the final couple of months of the season.

Conditions – As mentioned already we don’t have a great deal to work with although he looks for all the world like a sprinter to me and I am looking for him to be back over the 5f trip, possibly even 6f. Ground he seems adaptable with although ground with cut in it may just be more of a help.

MISSION APPROVED now enters my Proform ‘Horse Watcher’ tool and I will post on the Blog when he is due to run next.

Ben (BDH)

p.s. I have a free guide available to all members of the FREE service. It concerns an angle that I follow that can generate huge priced winners! If you are not on the Free service then you can’t get the guide. You can join and pick up numerous free guides at the following page >>> Join the BDH/NTF community

Today I’ll leave you with the immortal words of Mr Eddy Grant…

BDH Sunday Runner: D&D aiming for an Irish Jig?

Hopefully D&D will have the luck of the Irish!

We make a very rare foray across the Irish Sea for a BDH qualifier today, with one of our squad taking to the track in the Irish Cambridgeshire at Curragh.

Before that, however, just a few thoughts on Yesterday’s runners…

DUNGANNON – 205 Sandown

An each-way bet was suggested and he finished a fine and dandy…4th! Would have been fine if the full 16 had gone to post…but they didn’t, we had 2 non-runners. The race pace played out a bit muddling, didn’t really suit our lad and the gaps did not appear when needed. That’s racing, however, and there are no excuses here.

I’m still not convinced by the Sandown draw but it could be argued that Dunny ran well again from a poor draw…

THUNDERBALL – 255 Chester

He was a no bet for us anyway as he pretty much had nothing in his favour here and as predicted he ran like it. Hopefully, however, it will give us a massive price next time out, if of course he fits our criteria.

Now onto today’s BDH qualifier…

Sunday BDH Runner: DANCE AND DANCE – 445 Curragh

To be fair I wasn’t really expecting him to appear in Ireland but kudos for connection for looking a bit further afield in their bid to get him back in the winners enclosure.

The return to 1 mile is a positive move for me, in my opinion that’s where he is most effective at these days.

Ryan Moore back in the plate is also a huge bonus. His record on D&D is a rather fetching 12240. Moore also has a solid record at the track with 9 wins from 31 for a 29% S/R.

He runs well when returning after a break of 15 days or less and has proven in the past that he runs very well in large fields.

It’s a tough race to try and win, with more than a few unexposed sorts going into battle, but back at a mile and with Moore in the saddle I’m happy to pitch in again on D&D.

I’ll be honest though we can’t keep giving D&D that many more chances, his days may well be numbered as a fully paid up member of the BDH squad…

Ben (BDH)

 

BDH weekend review & Monday qualifier…

Time for Waking Warrior to turn into the Ultimate Warrior!!

Just a quick post from me today with a review of our weekend runners as well as my thoughts on a sneaky wee BDH qualifier that runs at Thirsk today…

BDH Weekend Runners Review…

315 Newbury – TAWHID – The ground just didn’t come in time for him and he ran as I expected. The jockeys were all reporting that after the first couple of races the ground was riding just on the fast side of good and visually, to me anyway, it didn’t look like the rain had gotten into the ground enough for our boy. As I have already mentioned we will get him at the end of the season when the rain comes, his performances on ground that isn’t ideal for him tells me there is plenty talent in there.

330 Ripon – BACCARAT – Winner! One run as a member of our squad and 1 win! We can now release him back into the wild! He was drafted in to do a job for us and that’s exactly what he did. I’m obviously not saying I won’t be backing him again in the future but for the sake of our BDH squad his job is now done and he is off the list. Good stuff Bacca, your work is much appreciated.

My value cover in the race, RODRIGO DE TORRES, ran a stormer to finish 3rd at 33/1 and landed some tasty each-way sheckles for me. Assuming the handicapper leaves him alone he looks feasibly handicapped at present and the young claimer on top is certainly a bonus.

350 Newbury – DANCE AND DANCE – He is a frustrating bugger but a frustrating bugger that will hopefully land us a decent pot before the season is out. He ‘won’ ‘his’ race but unfortunately the progressive winner was in his own race, on his own, out front. I certainly think a return to a mile will suit D&D as he did seem to have plenty in the tank as he raced for the line. 7/1 second wasn’t a bad result considering and will have rewarded any each-way backers (for the record I was not one of those).

415 Doncaster – DUNGANNON – Needed the run? Quite possibly. That was my one worry beforehand and he certainly seemed to flatten out at about the area where fitness may have become an issue. Lets hope he is back on the track within those all important 30 days…

TAWHID, DANCE AND DANCE and DUNGANNON stay in the squad. BACCARAT drops of the list with a perfect 100% record for the team. Good lad.

BDH Monday Qualifier: Waking Warrior – 3.00 Thirsk

A sneaky one for us today as we have WAKING WARRIOR in the 3.00 at Thirsk going into battle for us. Walking Warrior was highlighted by myself in a guest post I did for the Make Your Betting Pay website.

Our boy is actually still a maiden on turf after 23 runs (yikes!) but he has run plenty of solid races in defeat, including some decent performances at the track. He should have plenty speed to aim at here today and his young jockey (who is 3 wins from his last 6 rides) knows him well.

It is a competitive enough field today (for the grade) but our lad has a decent chance and on a light betting day I’m willing to take a chance on him. He is running much better than the bare form suggests and I’m confident he will break that turf duck sooner rather than later!

I may have another runner to replace the departing Baccarat once I have done a full review of the weekends action, if so I will post on here in the next couple of days.

With the York Ebor Festival rolling into action on Wednesday I will also have a couple of BDH guides available for you all here on the Blog, probably the Nunthorpe and the Ebor itself, both races I like to get stuck into.

Ben (BDH)

Will Baccarat have us Dancing & Dancing in the Great St Wilfrid?

BDH going in mob-handed in search of Saturday winners!

A busy day for us this Saturday with no less than 4 of our BDH offensive line taking up attacking duties across the length and breadth of the country. In fact it is an hour of power blitz for us with our first race at 3.15, closely followed by the 3.30, the 3.50 and finally the 4.15

So no time for dilly dallying, I’m just going to crack straight into the action and take you through our qualifiers in chronological order.

Starting at Newbury…

BDH Runner: TAWHID 3.15 Newbury

The 3yo steps out of his own age group for the first time here and although this wouldn’t be the toughest Group 2 on paper a case could probably be made for all 5 of them.

My main concern, however, is the Good to Firm ground that is forecast. I have already expressed my wish for at least Good to Soft for this lad and with that in mind I’m considering swerving him here today.

There is some rain forecast at the track but I would be surprised if it was enough to get properly into the ground. As always I will keep my eye on proceedings but as things stand I don’t think I’ll be getting involved with him here.

*Note – I’m reading conflicting going descriptions at the time of writing. It looks like it has softened to Good (from Good to Firm) so I would actually be leaning towards a bet if the softening continued. Best I can say is keep your eye on things, it’s a winnable race for him if the ground comes his way…

BDH Runner: BACCARAT 3.30 Ripon – GREAT ST WILFRID STAKES

The big sprint of the day and Ripon’s most valuable contest of the season.

It’s a large 20 runner field so I’m slightly disappointed that our BDH runner is 11/2 favourite (I would prefer a wee bit more juice in the price) but there is no doubt he is a highly progressive horse, with course and distance form, form on the *predicted* ground and a jockey that knows him well. In short I will be putting my money where my mouth is with BACCARAT.

With a large field going to post and a race that throws up some fairly strong race trends I think it’s wise to dig a bit deeper and to see if there is any value lurking a bit deeper in the pack as back-up to our boy.

Starting with, naturally, the pace angle. Before I post up the BDH pace map I did a bit of digging around in my Proform database and had a look to see if there was any normal draw bias over the 6f trip at Ripon. I know I always bang on about the draw bias coming from the pace bias but there are occasions when 1 side of the track is favourable over the other; the 6f at Ripon is potentially one of those occasions.

I wanted to look further than just where the winners of this specific race came from so I had a look at all 6f races at the track with 13 or more runners since 2007. Here is what I found…

Since the start of 2007 there has been 52 races over 6f at Ripon with 13 or more runners and only 1 of those races has been won by a horse drawn in stall 15 or above (88 have tried, making it 1/88) in fact if you go back just another 2 years the figures then read 2/157; it certainly seems the near side rail is a difficult place to win from in large fields at Ripon.

To balance that stat out, however, we should consider that the first 3 home in the 2011 renewal of this race were drawn 17-20-19. So whilst it may be hard to win from the high stalls it isn’t completely impossible. Clear? OK!

Lets get this years pace map up…

Great St WilfThe runners for this race generally split into 2 groups and DR RED EYE looks the pivotal runners here from stall 15. If he stays high then, in theory, the high numbers have a squeak, if he barrels down to the low numbers then the high stalls could be left…um…high and dry!

Even if he does stay high the low to middle stalls look to hold marginally more pace and with my previous Ripon 6f stat in mind I’m happy to concentrate on low to middle. Handily that includes our BDH runner BACCARAT; tick.

Keeping to the pace angle again recent renewals of this race have told us that it’s difficult to come from out the back to win the race. The past 15 renewals have seen 4 front-runners, 9 close to the pace runners and only 2 hold-up runners succeed. It’s not impossible to win from out the back but it’s certainly preferable to be making or sitting close to the pace. Something worth considering in the analysis. Given a good start, unlike his last run, BACCARAT should run close to the pace or at the very least midfield/close to the pace; tick.

The race trends for this handicap have been a decent pointer in recent seasons and to help us narrow the field (oh…hold on that’s my other site isn’t it!?!) I’ve applied the following set to this years runners…

1              15/15 were rated 101 or less

2              15/15 had 3+ starts in current season

3              13/15 ran within the past 21 days

4              12/15 had recorded a top 3 finish in 1 of their last 3 runs

5              12/15 had 3+ career victories

6              12/15 recorded at top 7 finish LTO

7              11/15 ran over 6f LTO

…and here is how that works out when applied to the 20 strong line-up…

Great St Wilfred Trends

BACCARAT is one of 6 that top the board with full marks 7 from 7; tick.

The only other thing we seriously need to consider is that there is heavy rain forecast for the track. Whether it arrives or not is another matter but we should probably be looking for runners with Good and softer leanings rather than Good and faster leanings.

Outwith our BDH runner SPINATRIX is a hard to pass over, he looks to have conditions in his favour and is yet to finish unplaced from 7 starts at the track, including 3 victories. I don’t really want to be loading up at the front end of the market though so I’m going to look for value elsewhere.

The same comment would probably apply to LOUIS THE PIOUS. He is in fine shape coming into this and should be there or there abouts but again I don’t really want to be loading up on the front end of the market.

For a value I’m going to look to the well handicapped RODRIGO DE TORRES. His last 3 bits of form read well and the 5lb claim from his young jockey puts him on a pretty tasty mark. He hasn’t actually raced in as many handicaps as you would think and down at this 6f trip I think there is plenty scope for him. He may also get an easy enough lead out front, if they decide to attack from the business end, and that could make him pretty dangerous.

We have BACCARAT on side through our BDH squad and from a personal angle I’m going to take RODRIGO DE TORRES into the fold for a bit of value cover. SPINATRIX and/or LOUIS THE PIOUS both look significant dangers but for now I’ll settle with BACCA and RODDY.

BDH Runner: DANCE AND DANCE 3.50 Newbury

He failed to fire with any authority at Goodwood and Ryan Moore jumps ship here…well to be fair he jumps plane as he is riding at Arlington across the pond instead of staying here and riding in good old blighty! Kieren Fallon is an able enough deputy though and I’m happy enough on that score.

It’s a strange looking race on the pace front as their doesn’t appear too much speed on the go, however Confessor drawn in the box next to D&D may well set the pace, which of course would be a bonus to our lad. If he doesn’t go on from the front it could be a tactical, straight race affair and that wouldn’t be ideal for us.

On the plus side D&D does look one of the better handicapped runners in the race with the danger(s) probably coming from the clutch of unexposed 3/4yo’s in the field.

The fact is that Dance And Dance is an attractively handicapped proposition and with that in mind I’m happy to pitch in with him here, despite the small niggle surrounding the pace.

BDH Runner: DUNGANNON 4.15 Doncaster

A 5f blitz with plenty of pace happening round about him should be just what Dungannon is after. My one query is that he has been off the track for 43 days and ideally I would have wanted him back within the month. Apart from that he looks well placed to strike.

I’m happy to have him on our side today but a below par effort won’t put me off him going forward from here. This is his first run in the BDH silks and it could be this is a bit of a tune up for a future target but with plenty of pace around him I’m loathe to leave him out of calculations today.

Phew! Quite an hour of power that!

In review we have…

315 Newbury – TAWHID – Tentatively a no bet but if Good to Firm is missing from the going description and we are heading towards Good to Soft then I’m on!

330 Ripon – BACCARAT – I’m on. Unexposed on a track he likes and plenty to like about his chances. A value alternative in RODRIGO DE TORRES to cover things for myself.

350 Newbury – DANCE AND DANCE – Given another chance after his Goodwood mis-fire. I’m on. 

415 Doncaster – DUNGANNON – Not 100% ideal conditions but has pace to aim at and talented claimer puts him on an even more tempting mark. I’m on.

No doubt it could be a Sh!t or glory day for us here but hopefully at least one of our warriors can land the money for us.

…and if that wasn’t enough to keep us entertained…

Footie season kicks off! 

OK, I know, I’m Scottish and our season kicked off a couple weeks back but the thought of playing the fantasy football leagues with the Scottish Premier Division to choose your squad from…. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Nah, you’re alright, I’ll hang fire for the proper stuff thanks!

So with that in mind, and if you haven’t already, then fire yourself over to http://fantasy.premierleague.com, pick your team and then enter it into my NTF Champions League. It’s free to enter a team and there are prizes to be won in the overall game. There are no prizes to be won by entering my own league but you do get the honour of being the winner of the NTF Champions League; some would say that is a prize money can’t buy!!

Once you have picked your team, pop along to the ‘LEAGUES’ tab and enter the following code to join my league – 1170033-369849.

All a bit of fun to keep us entertained throughout the footie season and you never know you might land some prizes along the way.

Sky Bet Super-6

Today also brings the resumption of the Sky Bet Super 6 competition.  The concept is essentially ‘guess 6 correct scores and win loadsa money!’ (and its free to enter). You just need a Skybet account and you can get cracking. If you have one then fire away, if not then sign up for one now! You don’t need to deposit any money as the Super 6 is free to play, cant say fairer than that!

The tag-line that SkyBet use for this weekly competition is ‘Predict 6 scores to win £250,000‘. For a free competition that takes about 2 minutes to enter it really is a no-brainer! I’M IN JEFF!

If you need a SkyBet account then click on the following link and get set up >>> Sky Bet sign-up

Once you have an account you will find the Super 6 details here.

I’ve never even been vaguely close to landing the main prize but that won’t stop me trying each weekend. You miss 100% of the shots you never take, as a great ice hockey player once said…

Best of luck on a busy day of BDH racing and…well…sport in general!

Ben (BDH)

BDH Glorious Goodwood Assault: In Ryan Moore we do trust…

In Ryan Moore we do trust…

No BDH action on the first 3 days of Glorious Goodwood, which if I’m honest has been perfectly fine by me (I’ve had NTF Summer Stunner Carlingford Lough to keep me in clover this week!). GG has never always been the kindest meeting to me and I wasn’t overly keen having a punt anyway, not with the unsettled weather floating around over the Sussex Downs. The weather seems a bit more settled now, which is pretty handy because *BANG* like buses we go from zero qualifiers on the first 3 days to THREE on day 4!

Here is my take on our 3 BDH gladiators…

2.30 Goodwood – Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes

BDH runner – TAWHID

This one may have sneaked past the attention of some of you guys because…eh…well…it was a guest post from myself on horse-racing.ie! Ideally I want at least Good to Soft for this 3yo, so for him (and me) this drying ground doesn’t sit well. In fairness he has never run on Good before (best form on Good to Soft & Softer – worst form on Good to Firm) so this assignment possibly falls into that ‘maybe worth a punt‘ zone. SDS takes the ride here, however,  which at Goodwood, is a wee bit of a negative for me so that starts to swing it back into ‘maybe not worth a punt‘ zone. As you can see I’m a bit in 2 minds with this lad and personally I reckon there will be better targets for him in the latter part of the season, today I’m inclined to leave him alone. If he wins today then so be it, there will be other, possibly stronger opportunities for me to get my money down on him before the season is out anyway.

*If it rains, however, I will clearly look to change my mind about not backing him today.

3.05 Goodwood – Betfred Mile (Heritage Handicap)

BDH runner – DANCE AND DANCE

First up: Drawn in stall 1 over a 1 mile at Goodwood in a large field = Great! / A hold up horse drawn in stall 1 over a mile at Goodwood in a large field = Not quite as great!

However, in Ryan Moore do we trust? Yes, in Ryan Moore we do trust. Moore will know this horse is a perennial hold-up merchant but he will also know the value of the 1 stall in this race and the potential to waste that good draw by bolting his mount to the back of the pack from the favourable position. At the time of writing this post his Betfair column isn’t available so it will certainly make for interesting reading re. his race positioning plans for Dance And Dance.

For the record these are the draw stats for the  1 box in 15+ fields over the 1 mile trip at Goodwood since 2007…

7 winners from the 1 box from 25 races | 28% S/R | +£112.17 BFLSP – Win & Place 11/28 | 44% S/R

You don’t need me to tell you that is impressive figures! That is way more than expected and no other stall comes close to that sort of hit rate.

Apart from the draw quibble everything else looks in place. He is incredibly well handicapped on a mark of 94 (he ran 5th in this off 108! in 2011), the ground has come right for him, Ryan Moore has a solid record on him and he runs well after this sort of break.

The draw has slight issues for us but 2nd time blinkers may help combat that and I’m on this BDH warrior today.

In Ryan Moore we do trust…

3.40 Goodwood – Betfred King George Stakes

BDH runner – DUKE OF FIRENZE

Again we entrust our BDH warrior to Ryan Moore and again I’m happy to pitch in with him.

As far as the draw goes I’m thinking he is pitched in perfectly in the 7 stall. Take a gander at the pace map…

King George G Gdwd

There looks plenty of pace on in this Grade 2 and a lot of it is coming from down beside DUKE OF FIRENZE. In theory there should be a flurry of pace happening right in front of him and that should allow Moore to sweep in behind and strike hard, fast and late. There are also some speed options up high but the pace map gives firm indicators that the bulk of the pace will be blasting out from stalls 6 and below, DOF is situated in stall 7.

Outwith the draw we know DOF handles the track (1 from 1), handles the ground (all 4 career wins on Good), enjoys tackling undulating courses (form on undulating & very undulating tracks reads 111) and loves firing off the back of a burn up out front (check the Epsom dash). The only real query is whether or not he is up to Grade 2 class. There is no doubt he has to improve on what he has shown to win this but with only 13 runs under his belt that is a distinct possibility.

At the odds available I’m happy to take the plunge and I’m on this BDH warrior.

In Ryan Moore we do trust…

Ben (BDH)