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)

 

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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.

Sky Bet Super 6 – Jackpot now £1 million!!!

I know I keep banging on about this but this weekend it is a £1 million jackpot! And it’s still FREE to enter!!

You do need a Sky Bet account to play but you don’t need to deposit any money to enter the Super 6 competition.

If you don’t have one I suggest you grab one now and get your Super 6 predictions in ASAP!

>>>Enter your Super 6 predictions for a chance to win £1 million!

Ben (BDH)