#startracking Wednesday February 10th 7.15pm

Two nice cards tomorrow at Doncaster and Huntingdon on ground described as Good to Soft (Soft in places)

#startracking runners

Bit of a London bus syndrome, no runners then two in the same race!

Huntingdon 3.05 NORTH HILL HARVEY

Huntingdon 3.05 MINELLA REWARDS

Both are likeable novices and this is a decent Listed 2m 4f contest. It is difficult to see a betting angle as they are both 9/4 as is Ma de Fou so it’s a watching brief and we will see where they go next time.

#startracking Ante Post Update

Newbury Racecourse ‏@NewburyRacing · Weds. 10am GOING UPDATE: we are now soft, heavy in places on the chase course. Hurdle course still heavy, soft in plcs. A trace of rain in last 24 hrs.

Betfair Hurdle Latest

Sternrubin General 9/1                 Modus  7/1PP, as low as 5/1 Coral & L

Zarib 16/1 Betfred & Coral


DONNA’S DELIGHT                      PU          11/1       one star* each way selection @ 14/1 general.

“Diarmuid O’Regan the rider of DONNA’S DIAMOND (IRE), which was pulled up, reported that the gelding was reluctant to jump off. The Veterinary Officer also reported that the gelding lost his right front shoe.” BHA Stewards

LE REVE                                              1st        4/1   two star** win selection @ an outstanding 11/2 with Ladbrokes.

PONT ALEXANDRE                      3rd        9/4    At 5/2 general he is a two star** win selection. Didn’t handle the ground.

#startracking Oohthatsinteresting

“Wetherby Saturday.

STICKEE FINGERS, ridden by Tom Scudamore and trained by Warren Greatrex, wore earplugs to the start and they were removed prior to racing.

BURLINGTON BERT (FR), ridden by Mr T. Greatrex and trained by Warren Greatrex, wore earplugs to the start and they were removed prior to racing.” BHA Stewards Reports

Must have item along with a trapped epiglottis!

#startracking Updates

Mark Howard of One Jump Ahead has sent out his final update of the season and has some wise words on horses we have in the #startracker. (Thanks Steve!)

ONENIGHTINVIENNA: A likeable horse, Philip Hobbs’ six year old has taken well to chasing winning on his reappearance at Exeter last month. Given an excellent ride by Tom O’Brien (3211122), he was produced at the final fence before getting the better of the well touted Fletchers Flyer to win by a length and a quarter. The pair pulled 54 lengths clear of the third, Dawson City (unlucky not to win next time). He then ran a cracking race in defeat at Cheltenham in December behind Blaklion. Conceding five pounds to Nigel Twiston-Davies’ gelding, he held every chance but was outspeeded after the last and was beaten two and a half lengths. He did, however, confirm the form with Fletchers Flyer, who was sixlengths back in third. Granted an official mark of 151 as a result, he filled the runners-up berth once again at Kempton towards the end of last month. Beaten a head by Ben Pauling’s promising young chaser Local Show, he stayed on well after the last but found the winning post coming too soon. The track almost certainly didn’t play to his strengths having got caught flat footed on the run to three out. While the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham looked an obvious target, a trip to the Festival has been ruled out with his connections intending running the Oscar gelding in the Grand National even though he is a novice. Available at 33/1, he is a superb jumper but his lack of experience is a concern (he did run in two Irish points though, plus his three runs in novice chases). He is expected to have one more race before Aintree, possibly at Warwick.

BORN SURVIVOR: A two lengths winner on his Rules debut at Warwick in December, he was reportedly far from tuned up but still won in a manner of a high-class horse in the making. Dan Skelton’s former pointer returned to the Midlands track last month for the Grade 2 Leamington Novices’ Hurdle. The subject of strong support beforehand, the King’s Theatre gelding could only finish fourth and was beaten around thirteen lengths by the Willie Mullins trained pair Thomas Hobson and Open Eagle. Ridden along after the third last, he was a spent force by the time he jumped the penultimate flight. Even though his previous win was gained on soft ground, it is possible he didn’t appreciate the gruelling conditions (heavy) last time (won his point on good ground and may want a sound surface). The other point to consider is the stable form of the Skelton operation. The yard struggled from mid December to mid January but are in much better form now (4 winners in the last fortnight). For example, on New Year’s Day, the stable ran three smart horses, namely Captain Chaos, Three Musketeers and Virgilio at Cheltenham and they finished 75P. Indeed, on Saturday 16th January (the day of the Leamington NH) their runners finished 8,10, 4 and PU. In other words, they weren’t right and their latest starts should be forgiven. However, bookmakers reacted accordingly and Born Survivor is now only quoted by three firms for the Neptune Investments Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham. Bet365, Skybet and Stan James are currently offering 50/1 about the five year old, which could look generous by mid March, granted better ground and the stable back in top form. I certainly wouldn’t write him off because he looked a horse with a big future on his previous outing over the same course and distance.

THREE MUSKETEERS: Rather like Born Survivor, I feel he has been discarded and written off prematurely for the Cheltenham Festival by some bookmakers as a result of one poor performance when his stable weren’t firing. Reportedly in need of the run when only third on his chasing bow at Huntingdon in early November, the six year old was a different proposition at Newbury next time in a Grade 2 novice chase over two and a half miles. Held up and jumping superbly, he was left in front at the cross fence (5 out) when Activial (won since) made a mistake. The Flemensfirth gelding was in firm control from that point onwards and wasn’t hard pressed to beat Harry Fry’s charge by four and a half lengths. Sent off 3/1 favourite for the Grade 2 Dipper Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day, he never travelled with the same purpose and I am told that Harry Skelton knew he was beaten after four fences. As discussed, the yard had three high profile runners on the card that day and the trio underperformed by some margin. He was beaten over thirty lengths in fifth behind Seeyouatmidnight. The JLT Novice Chase at the Festival has always been the plan and the 25/1 available with Coral, Paddy Power, Skybet, Stan James and William Hill looks tempting. On his run at Newbury, the six year old should be half those odds. I recall O’Faolains Boy disappointing at Haydock in January 2014 when his stable was under a cloud. The bookmakers acted accordingly and he was a 33/1 chance for the RSA. A month later, he won the Reynoldstown at Ascot and the rest is history. Don’t write him off.



PETIT MOUCHOIR – TOP PROSPECT After making a winning start to his hurdling career last month, the connections of Petit Mouchoir decided to step this son of Al Namix up in grade to contest the Grade 1 Future Champions Novices’ Hurdle at Leopardstown on Sunday. As Willie Mullins was well-represented in the race, Jacques Ricou took the ride and he travelled smoothly under the French jockey in mid-division before being ridden along entering the home straight. He made a mistake at the last obstacle which hindered his chances of getting to the leaders but I was particularly impressed with how this gelding stuck to the task, especially taking into account that he was rather keen in the early stages of the race. I have always thought of this 4-year-old as a horse that will appreciate a step-up in trip but given his freshness, I can understand why connections are pursuing the two-mile route at this stage. Gigginstown House Stud have aimed some of their better horses at the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle over the last few years (Sir Des Champs and Don Poli previous winners) and I would not be at all surprised if this is highlighted as the end of season target for this promising novice.

Petit Mouchoir currently has an OR of 145!! Top price 20/1 SkyBet for Martin Pipe (16/1 general)


Thanks to “Roy the Boy” Betswot

Out of Order Offers What are the Promotion Managers at some of the online bookmakers thinking?  Their offers are clearly eye-catching, but when you prove someone to be a sucker just the once, they will be full of resentment and will not be made fools of a second time.

Most probably, from a punter’s viewpoint, the conceived all-important bond of trust will have been broken and they will move on to pastures new.

Let me give you an example.  On the eve of the Superbowl BetVictor came up with a headline promotion “Place a £25 bet on the Superbowl and get a £50 Casino bonus”.

Of course a free £50 for placing a £25 bet has to be too good to be true, such offers always are.  But just how bad is the truth behind the headline?

The small-print:  £50 is indeed put into your online casino account but it must be bet (turned-over) 35x times before any winning can be withdrawn.  So, you must turn-over your £50 to the tune of £1,750 before anything can be taken in real cash.

But wait, there’s more.  This turnover only counts if you are playing Slot Machines or Scratch-Cards.  If you play half-sensible games such as Blackjack your ‘action’ will only count as 20 percent of the 35x times wagering requirement, meaning you will need to push your £50 (or any part of it) over the line until your wagers total £8,750.  Some chance, some offer!

I am not deliberately pointing the finger at BetVictor here, a company who I have the utmost respect for.  They do, consistently, offer a fair bet at a fair price.

So, to be fair, let’s also look at Unibet’s new customer offer.  ‘A 50 Percent Risk Free Bet’ is how it is showcased.

Here’s the highlights:

  • If your first bet wins there is NO bonus.
  •  If your first bet loses you will be refunded half your losses capped at €15.
  •  You must gamble that €15 15x times before it can be withdrawn as winnings – that’s €225 in bets must be placed.  As an added obstruction any bets on a selection priced less than 2/5 will not count towards the requisite €225.
  • Should you choose to play casino games with the €15 you have been refunded you will need to turnover that money 25x times (€375) before withdrawing.

Seriously, could any other business advertise these types of offers given the severity of the small print/criteria?  I think not.


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