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)

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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)

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BDH Saturday Qualifiers: Mob-handed in search of Gold & Silver…

Will 38 years of Scottish hurt end with Jack Dexter capturing Gold?

A busy day in store for us on Saturday as we fire double barreled assaults upon both the Ayr Gold and Silver Cups!

As well as our 4 Ayr raiders we also have last weekend’s unlucky 2nd, STEPS, ‘stepping’ into Group company for the first time at Newbury.

Before all that, however, we have to deal with Fridays runners…

WAKING WARRIOR 2.20 Ayr

12th of 24. Pace was up his side. Average run. Never looked like landing a blow. Time to drop him from the squad. He was staying on at the end but to be honest I’m just not feeling it and I’m happy to drop WW from the squad.

TAWHID 4.50 Newbury

Winner! Job done! He won how I hoped/expected/how he should have. Soft ground is simply a must for him and Silvestre De Sousa is a massive bonus when he takes the ride. His place in the squad is safe, lets hope there are a couple more spots for him before the season is out.

Now onto Saturday’s action…

Saturday’s BDH runners…

BDH Runners:YEEOOW & THUNDERBALL 2.40 Ayr

First things first lets take a look at the pace map for this 27 runner sprint…

Ayr Silver Cup

Pace coming from all over the track, which is handy as we are berthed in Stall 1 (THUNDERBALL) and stall 21 (YEEOOW). If anything there is slightly more pace down the bottom end (low numbers) but there isn’t enough to make a definitive pre-race conclusion. On the pace angle we are good with both. With the pace map looking like this I’m very happy to be hedging our bets with 1 high and 1 low.

Let’s deal with our 2 runners individually….

THUNDERBALL – Ran a very sound race at Doncaster last week (3rd), only 3lbs shy of his career best on the figures, and the 2lb raise he receives for the run still leaves him 1lb below his highest ever winning mark; good.

My initial assessment of him was that we want 6 furlongs and Soft and that’s what we get here; doubly good.

A straight track was also a preferable condition for him and he also gets that here, the only real ‘reservation’ is that this is a race worth more than 20k to the winner, an area he is yet to prove he is totally up to. However, he meets everything else and with Queally remaining in the saddle (form figures of 016813 when riding the horse) I’m more than happy to take a punt at prices of 20-1+. Needless to say in a race of this many runners I will be covering him in an each-way capacity.

YEEOOW – Another that ran a solid 3rd at Doncaster last week, running 1lb below his career best whilst at the same time meeting with ground with cut in it for the first time. Joey Haynes gets the leg up here and his 5lb claim takes the horse down to a mark of 87, 3lbs below his highest ever winning mark.

Off the back of last weeks effort and with the claimer making things interesting I think we need to play our boy again here. Like Thunderball I’ll also take this lad in an each-way capacity.

I would often try and find something else to have on my side in a race with this many runners but to be honest nothing really stands out at me, well nothing that tempts me into a bet. I’ll let it roll and just go to war with our 2 BDH warriors.

BDH Runner: STEPS 3.30 Newbury

Clearly Roger Varian’s hand has been forced to a certain extent here by the consistency of his horse and another rise in the weights (up 3lbs to 104) has made the trainer look to Group contests to get his 5yo back in the winners enclosure. I initially suggested that I didn’t think he would be up to this level but his last run has made me rethink that opinion.

He gets his bare minimum 5f trip here (well bar 34 yards!) and also his favoured Soft ground. Andrea Atzeni back in the plate is also interesting as together they have an eye-catching record of 131585. This wouldn’t be the toughest Group 3 we have seen and with Steps in such rude health I reckon it’s worth taking an interest in him again here. There is plenty of 8-1 flying around so I’ll probably look to take him Each-Way if I can.

BDH Runners: JACK DEXTER & DUKE OF FIRENZE 3.50 Ayr

Huge field again so let’s first take a look at the pace map…

Ayr Gold Cup

Like the Silver Cup there does seem to be a decent enough spread of pace here although it may just be that it is low to middle that is the strongest zone with regards to the pace. That isn’t totally ideal for our pair, boxed in stall 22 (JACK DEXTER) & 20 (DUKE OF FIRENZE), but it isn’t catastrophic either. It does mean that I’ll probably be looking for some sort of cover bet from the bottom half though. We will get to that later.

Let’s deal with our 2 BDH runners individually first….

JACK DEXTER – 110 is a hefty mark to win any handicap from but Advanced won this race from a mark of 109 in 2007 so it can be done and JACK DEXTER is certainly a progressive and classy beast, as shown by his close 4th in the King’s Stand at Royal Ascot. The soft ground will be perfect (form of 11111) and even if it dries out to Good to Soft I wouldn’t be put off (form of 261). He has good track form (531 – including a very comfortable victory in last years Bronze Cup), Graham Lee knows him very well (1541101041), he runs well in 16+ runner fields (741110064) and runs well in September/October time (4111).

I see very little negatives for him and the only small worry I have is the draw. At current odds I’m definitely on and once again I will look to cover him each-way.

DUKE OF FIRENZE – Hmmm…Duke Of Firenze (DOF)…what to do with DOF. My feeling is that 6 furlongs on soft ground will not suit. He has always struck me as one that is more at home on the top of the ground and his 2 runs on ground softer than Good have not promised too much.

Ryan Moore doesn’t make the trip up for the ride although I must admit Cathy Gannon is an interesting booking. She has ridden once for Stoute in the past 5 seasons and that was a winner. Is this a handy spare ride or have they booked her especially? It’s probably the former and in any case it isn’t really enough to swing me into a solid punt.

He is a tasty price for sure but I think he is a tricky ride and I would probably rather have a jockey that has ridden him before taking the mount here. I would also rather it was Good or better ground. If the pace does end up being down low then there is also a chance he doesn’t get a tow into the contest and as he seems to enjoy coming through runners late on that could prove to be a bit of a problem.

All in all I just have a few too many questions about DOF today and personally I won’t be backing him here.

So that leaves us with JACK DEXTER going into battle in the ultra competitive 27 Ayr Gold Cup; time to look for a bit of back up me thinks!

I want 2 others on my side here and those are GABRIEL’S LAD from stall 13 and OUR JONATHAN from stall 12.

I ran the entire field through my extended trends analysis and only 1 runner passed all 15 trends, that was GABRIEL’S LAD. He is an improving sort who was only just pipped by our BDH runner Redvers last time out and he also has winning form on soft ground. His mark of 99 looks workable and he is one I want on my side.

OUR JONATHON won this race 2 years ago, is fantastically well handicapped (10lbs below last winning mark & 19lbs below his peak rating) and will love the ground. He missed the break last week in the Portland at Doncaster but still ran well enough in defeat without managing to get overly involved. There is plenty in his favour here and his odds are too tempting to ignore.

Summary of runners…

2.40 Ayr

THUNDERBALL – Bet Each-Way

YEEOOW – Bet Each-Way

3.30 Newbury

STEPS – Bet Each-Way

3.50 Ayr

JACK DEXTER – Bet Each-Way

DUKE OF FIRENZE – No Bet

Additional selections…

Each-Way on GABRIEL’S LAD & OUR JONATHON – 3.50 Ayr

These cavalry charge sprints are always tricky to nail (bloody tricky!) but I feel we go in with solid chances of collecting at least some each-way spoils, hopefully much much more.

Best of luck if you are getting involved

Ben (BDH)

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BDH Qualifier: “I feel good!”…

…hopefully we will be feeling good at the end of the day anyway!

We have another BDH warrior getting ready to do battle for us on day 3 of the St Leger meeting. Before I get onto that, however, a quick word on Thursdays runner…

THUNDERBALL – 4.25 Doncaster

Gaaagh that was a close one! To be honest I can’t knock the run at all, he was beaten a neck & a neck into 3rd and battled on all the way to the line. There was serious money flooding on to the horse all day but hopefully some of you got some sort of price. The race kinda fell apart throughout the day with 7 non-runners but at least the each-way money was secured with his 3rd placed finish.

THUNDERBALL stays on the BDH list and hopefully he can land us something soon, with the ground likely to be playing to his strengths until seasons end.

We also came agonizingly close with our handicap sleeper runner at Epsom. MY KINGDOM ran a blinding race in 2nd and at one stage it looked for all money that he would land us the spoils. Somehow and from somewhere Brocklebank sprouted wins from out the back and nailed our lad on the line. I’m pretty sure he picked up a discarded rocket-pack around the 1 furlong marker to fly home and scupper our celebrations!!

Still, I know plenty of you had an each-way double on the 2 runners so all was not lost at the end of the day.

Now onto today’s James Brown inspired BDH runner…

BDH Runner: YEEOOW 4.25 Doncaster (13-09-13)

This lad is probably the only 1 of our squad that has no real conditions applied to when and where we back him and as mentioned when I added him to our squad it is a case of taking him on a race by race basis.

First up there doesn’t appear to be anything else hugely well-handicapped in this contest so on the face of it the race doesn’t look too strong, obviously a bonus for us.

YEEOOW was actually dropped 1lb for his 6th place run at Goodwood last time out and considering that was his 2nd best career performance on the figures I’m more than happy with that outcome. This is only his 11th career turf start and with the 4yo only sitting 2lbs above his highest winning mark there is plenty in his recent runs to suggest he has improvement still in him.

The ground is an unknown for Yeeoow but I’ve haven’t seen anything to suggest he won’t act on it and until I see that visual evidence I’m happy to roll with it.

From the pace viewpoint with only 14 runners going to post there is no guarantee the field will split, I can see a situation where they stick as one group. The pace-setters look to be DUBAWI SOUND in stall 4, DR RED EYE in stall 5 and ELUSIVE FLAME in stall 14. YEEOOW is in stall 13 so he at least has a pace setter beside him and should, in theory, get a decent tow into the race.

The way things stand I’m happy to play YEEOOW here, there is enough juice in his price at the minute to play him each way and at the very least we should learn a bit more about our BDH squad member, hopefully he can land us some tasty profits in the process.

Best of luck if you are getting involved and I’ll leave you today with this classic (and damn funny!) James Brown clip…

Ben (BDH)

BDH Qualifier: “They call him the winner who takes all”…

BDH Qualifier: “They call him the winner who takes all”…

…well hopefully that’s what we will be calling him at the end of the day anyway!!

Yes, we have a BDH qualifier hitting the track at Doncaster on day 2 of the St Leger meeting and for those of you that are not James Bond/Tom Jones fans and haven’t guessed who it is from the lyrical reference in the title it’s…

BDH Runner: THUNDERBALL 4.25 Doncaster (12-09-13)

My stipulations for this guy were 6 furlongs and Soft going with small preferences for a straight track and a race worth less than 20k to the winner. Here he meets 3 of those conditions (6f, straight track & race worth less than 20k) and won’t be far off meeting the ground requirements. The ground is described as Good to Soft for day 2 of the 2013 St Leger meeting and there is rain forecast for Wednesday night and Thursday evening, all in all it should lead to damp-ish conditions and ground with some sort of cut in it, perfect for our BDH warrior. Obviously the more rain the better for our lad.

On the pace/draw side of thing we are berthed in a handy slot in stall 16. The pace looks middle to high and that puts us bang there.

Here is the pace map for the 6f contest…

dONCASTER 12-09

There looks very little in the way of pace-setters down low so that should play to the hooves of those drawn middle to high, of which THUNDERBALL is one of them.

What else do we have in our favour? Well he has been dropped 2lbs since his last run at Chester. He ran poorly there but that was under conditions that were not anywhere near optimum; drop in the weights is very welcome, thank you very much Mr Handicapper.

Tom Queally gets the ride here and he gets on well with the 7yo; form figures of 01681 when teaming up and the horse’s best RPR figure of 99 was recorded with Queally on board.

THUNDERBALL is also a dual Course & Distance winner so we can be happy with the fact that he acts on the track.

I will be backing this BDH warrior here. He looks to have plenty in his favour and as already mentioned any further softening of the ground will only aid his cause.  With 22 runners set to lash down the Donny straight I will probably look to have a bit of E/W cover on him.

The one downside is that he looks like he is already being backed (I’m writing this at 6.30 on Wednesday evening!). First prices were favourable, there was 16-1 being banded about by a few of the bookmakers. However, he is being cut across the board and at time of writing 12-1 looks the best price available. I actually witnessed Bet365 cut him from 16-1 to 10-1 in one vicious swipe!! Paddy Power are even going as low as 9-1! Tight gits!

I’ll leave you today with a bit of classic Bond/Tom Jones action…

Best of luck if you are getting involved

Ben (BDH)

BDH Saturday runners: Dunny ready to do the business?

Google tells me this scary little fella is also called Dunny!?

Two of our BDH squad take to the field on Saturday so no time for any wiffle-waffle, lets get stuck into my thoughts on them both…

BDH Runner: DUNGANNON – 205 Sandown

Fist things first we have him back on the track within that all important 28 day window; 17 days since his last start will do just dandy.

Back down at 5 furlongs is also a good move in my opinion; that will do just fine for me as well.

Ground should be OK and track configuration should also be within the ballpark.

Draw, however, I have a wee question mark. I don’t think middle is ideal in large fields at Sandown over the 5f. To be honest I think straight track blitzes at Sandown are tricky, they don’t always play out how I expect them to. However, lets take it that this one will play out like normal I have the pace coming from the high stalls (boxes 12 & 13) and that should, hopefully, play to the hands of our boy DUNGANNON.

At the projected 10-1 odds I’ll have a bit of him each-way. He is well handicapped and is returning within the correct time-frame; it’s time for Dunny to do the business for us!

BDH Runner: THUNDERBALL- 255 Chester

In my own words…

“Essentially we are looking for 6 furlongs and soft” – Here we have 7 and 1/2 furlongs and Good!

“He is yet to prove he is up to winning a really valuable contest (20k+) but if he gets his conditions it would not be hard to see him running well in such a race” – This is worth 28k to the winner and he doesn’t look to have conditions!

“4 of his 5 turf wins have come on a straight track and although that condition isn’t a necessity it probably is preferable” – This is round the tight Left-Handed Chester track!

His stall draw would be average as well.

Yeah I think I will leave him here to be honest!!

If he somehow wins this you will probably hear my yells of “How the F**K did he win that” from wherever you are in the universe!!

Best of luck if you are getting involved.

FREE BDH Handicap Sleepers Guide

Hopefully you all managed to download the free guide I sent out yesterday. If you haven’t yet then find yesterday’s email that I sent out and grab the guide now, it’s well worth your time (if I don’t say so myself).

As you will have noticed there were 2 qualifiers from the guide running on Friday but neither of them were running under preferred conditions (so no bet). Both soundly beaten as well so an even bigger and better price on offer (hopefully!) when they do meet their ideal conditions next time.

If you want to grab this in-depth and FREE guide (all 21 pages of it!!) then head to the following page and pop your details into the sign-up form…

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Cheers – Ben (BDH)