Thursday, 8 August 2019

It's Like Having John Gosden on Speed Dial

John Gosden
The 2017 Flat turf season has begun.

Interesting to see the Brocklesby Conditions Stakes was split into two divisions. I have been following this race since 1988 and to my knowledge, it is the first time this has happened. In so many ways this race is synonymous with our journey into horse racing. A love found from my father and expertise founded by my twin brother. Tony wasn't interested in simply taking a brief look at a race card and making a bet. He dug deeper than anyone within the sphere of two-year-old horse racing and the first person in the world to research the significance of pattern race entries specific to juvenile horses. In fact, it was acknowledged by Nick Mordin's column in The Weekender many moons ago, who was literally startled by this data in pinpointing the best unraced and lightly raced two-year-old colts and fillies in training. Group entries have changed their format over the years but still a major part of our analysis. How do you think we manage to keep ahead of the game? 

As mentioned in my marketing talk:

 ''It's like having John Gosden on speed dial...''

Thanks, John. 

You are welcome to join our free mailing list at Group Horse which details 10 Dark Horses throughout the year. This inside information will be an eye-opener for many readers. It may well be the first glimpse into a deeper understand which goes beyond the surface structure the bookmakers and general pundits may want you to believe.   

Every piece of true knowledge that has worth in pounds, shillings and pence. It's hard fought. 

That is why, in future, it will literally have a price on its head. If you want something of value it most definitely has a price. Else, you'd go to Hatton Garden, pick up a ten carat diamond ring for the misses...and walk out the door without paying. Mmmmmmmm, I wonder why that doesn't happen! 

All this information doesn't grow on trees. I know as you read these words you may think easy come easy go. Yeah...right. So, you're a plumber, well come round mine and fix this leaking tap and I'll say thank you in ten different languages but don't expect a penny from me. 

I've got this really colourful language that I'm just dying to tell you... 

Even these words take time. The understanding and expertise behind each word took years to appreciate. You might think how can these words be worth anything. But, as usual, for many, you're wrong.

When you read these words they encompass a depth of understanding. They have an air of confidence. 

You bet they bloody do...

I asked the question the other day about the big gambler at the casino asking: How do you view your gambling?

It's an interesting question. 

To many gamblers, it might be the most uninteresting question ever written on planet Earth. If that is your answer, I would suggest you should stop betting at once! (That is said with tongue in cheek because it really doesn't concern me what anyone does). Your win, your loss. Roll a dice. 

Think about this question.

What separates you from other

Everyone kind of has their own way of doing things, hey. You only have to watch someone playing darts to notice their throw is unique to them. How many ways can you throw a dart? If I said 7.125 billion you'd think it's quite a number. The population of planet Earth. Yes, I know babies, the very old or people with disability may not be able to throw a dart, but you get what I'm trying to say.

But, let's say, how do you, personally, select a ''winning'' horse?

I've had this conversation with my good friend Eric Winner. Yes, he is the bloke who runs a website of a similar name. 

I know lots of very interesting people with many, varied, sometimes inspiring approaches to gambling. I listen, learn, steal...the best bits. 

I could tell you 10 pieces of information and guarantee 
you made money gambling 

The thing is, it seems easy to say. Easy to read. But that information wasn't easy to find. It took thousands of hours to learn. I could say something to you. You may accept what I say, take it or leave, or even think what does that bozo know.

I've had people do all those things. It is the reason why I don't say much to most people about my betting. I'm not being funny, but when it comes to two-year-old horse racing I can confidently say I know more than you. It's a fact. It's like going to the doctors and trying to explain to him how the heart works. 

The thing that makes me smile is that I am a generous person and have given a few gems of wisdom away for free but people disregard them because of a multitude of reasons. Basically, it boils down to people thinking:

  • You simply can't beat the bookmakers. 
  • Wrong. 
  • You can't know anything I don't know. 
  • Wrong
  • Or they think the world is flat. 
  • Wrong. 

I often assess people in how many ways they can be wrong. If you meet a wrong 'un. I'm not being funny but save your breath or if you have enough for one last sentence, tell them to...


I had originally detailed F*** O**

I rarely swear in conversation. It has much more impact on the page and gets the message across in a nice, succinct form. 

If you want to be successful at anything you need to know that little bit more than most. That little bit more may put you 80% ahead of the game. That's why it pays to specialise. Know your niche. Who the hell knows everything? What is everything? Why would you want to know everything? 

Chop off your head, replace it with an old monitor and have a smilie screensaver as your face, a brain strapped to your back in the shape of a modified, but old, desktop PC. The downside is that you won't get a joke! 

You don't need to know everything, bloody thing.

I don't care how hot it is in Cuba because I live in a Fenland town. The weather's always like four seasons in a day. You need to have confidence in something that works. Even if you have a strange affliction about knowing things that shouldn't even register in a sensible mind you still have just 24 hrs in a day to process all this gunk. 

Best to work in an efficient, relaxed, if you can, manner.

Find your niche. 

This post was going to mention the Brocklesby Conditions Stakes... but I think the wisdom of this post may benefit you more.   

Sunday, 28 July 2019

Gambling: The Concept of Time...

Gambling: The Concept of Time
As the John Rowles song goes: ''If I only had time, only time...''

Betting, keeping up with the two-year-old horse racing, let alone anything else, takes time. At times, far too much time. It's the way it is. From my perspective, there's an overflow of racing. I won't say poor racing because I kind of like betting good juveniles when making their second or third start against inferior opposition.

It's like a conveyor belt from the Generation Game. Instead of winning prizes, you store horses in your hippocampus (that's not a place hippos camp) and wait for that synaptic nerve to fire up like an inch of pure magnesium. Which, somehow, with years of experience and knowledge leads to a bloody good winner. 

If I was a conspiracy theorist, I would say there is too much racing because someone somewhere knows it stretches the stamina of even the most big-lunged beast with a brain the size of diploblokeus. ''There's too much racing'' is often the voice of those who actually have some understanding of what they are doing rather than the greyhound mentality which cannot see enough races. 

I once chatted to someone who said they preferred greyhound racing to horse racing because there wasn't so long to wait for the next race. I didn't say anything but I was horrified by the statement. To me, it was like saying they preferred painting by numbers compared with a true artist who loved (or was tormented) by each and every stroke. 

Each to their own. (I know who I would rather be).

It is difficult when you have three or four two-year-old races with a five or ten-minute gap and then a meeting is running late. However, efficient, professional and hardworking, no one can really look at two things at once. 

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Betting While Sitting on the Sofa in West Palm Beach

Ocean Pointe, Key Largo, Florida
Ocean Pointe, Key Largo, Florida
In many ways my life is good. 

I guess that is a statement many people could say. I guess it is a statement many people wish they could say. 

It is all too easy to take what we have for granted. Sitting here on the sofa in West Palm Beach, Florida. A few days ago spending three days in a lovely hotel in Key Largo, a wonderful view from room 2410 at Ocean Pointe. Overlooking the sea, the sound of birds, and watching people fish for tarpon. Our room called the Tarpon Suite. A memorable place made all the more special to be with my beautiful Marlene and family. 

From there we had a day at Key West. The drive from Key Largo to Key West memorable for the long bridges which spanned the sea. A place memorable for being the home of Ernest Hemmingway, Robert Frost and Tennessee Williams. The sight of frigate birds flying high in a blue sky, waiting to catch a fish chased by a bottle-nosed dolphin. 

It's a very artistic, bohemian and tolerant place. 

We parked the car behind CVS. The parking attendant, who wasn't very attentive, was in his late 70s (if not older). He had long grey hair, bleached a sandy blonde and beard to match. I couldn't help thinking he must have been a surfer back in the 1950s because he had a kind of windswept look. He seemed a little spaced out. Probably exhausted from the sun and paid a pittance to do a job which bar needing the cash no one really wants to do. He lived in one of the most beautiful parts of the world but, by his attire, a week away from being homeless if not living on the streets. 

Back to West Palm Beach. It always seems hot in Florida. A beautiful view from the house overlooking palm trees and a little birdbath I purchased for the ground doves, blue jays and cardinals. 

I have been working from home. Luckily I don't have to do the 9 - 5 because I run these websites and bet to keep my head just above the waterline. I don't want to be swallowed by a flying fish.

It is too easy to not appreciate how good life is at times. To not thank those who are part of your life. To be reflective of the people who are no longer here but always in your heart.

I wish my Dad was here to be part of my day. We could sit on the sofa together and bet on the couch which was made for two. 

God bless.

Casinos, Horse Racing and Woolly Sheep!

Bjorn Nielson & East Wind Racing Ltd
Well, I'm back from Great Yarmouth's Eastern Festival. Three days of racing action and a good time had by all at the casino in the evening. I must admit, I do enjoy the brick and mortar casinos but for those who love playing online, take a look at and follow lucky number 33 on the roulette which served me very well on the Norfolk coast. A single number and corner is a good plan because if you get lucky it pays well.  

Looking at the result for today's racing. Plenty of two-year-old races to review. A number slip into two divisions. Nine juvenile races in a little over two hours!

These backends two-year-old races reveal a mixed bag of horses. Those fit and primed for the day, others sent out for a run, while a few look more like sheep.

Always love John Frankham's quote: ''That one looks a bit woolly!''

So what have we seen on this autumn afternoon? Perhaps a couple of two-year-olds who will be winning sooner rather than later - most probably next start. Ideal betting opportunities to get stuck into.

1:30 Nottingham - 

Keep an eye on Karl Burke's Exalted Angel. This bay colt, a son of Dark Angel, is held in some regard by connections and seriously backed from 14/1 [Betfair] to 4/1 SP with bookmakers. He ran on well, finishing third. I suspect connections were half anticipating a win. Will go well on his second start. A decent prospect. 

1:40 Salisbury - 

A fair course to spot talented two-year-olds. Ed Walker is a superb trainer to follow and Ginistrelli is worth putting in your notebook. This bay colt is a son of Frankel out of a twice-winning mare. Racing in the familiar silks of Bjorn Nielson & East Wind Racing Ltd, this 475,000 guinea yearling purchase ran on with a purpose to finish fourth in the hands of Gerald Mosse. Definitely, a horse you want to be with next time out. 

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

The Oldest Grand National Winners

Oldest Grand National Winners
If there is one race which captures the mind it has to be the Grand National. This April 8th will be no different from many before but if you want to watch the most famous steeplechase in the world make it all the more tantalising to login to William Hill to bet on the Grand National

A testing course of 4 miles 3 ½ furlongs. Forty horses will make the line-up. Two demanding circuits, 30 fences, and run in that saps the energy of all but the winning horse. It's enough to make a young horse feel old. This leads into the fascinating question.

Who is the oldest winner of the Grand National?

Well, we can answer that quite simply but we need to go back into the archives to 1853. In this year a horse called Peter Simple won at the age of 15. This bay gelding was trained and ridden by Tom Oliver in the ownership of Josey Little. He was 9-1, so his seniority didn't deter bettors.

What may surprise readers is that this was Peter Simple's second win of the Grand National. He won in 1849 aged 11 when trained and ridden to victory by Tom Cunningham owned by Finch Mason Jr.

In fact, four other horses have won the Grand National twice: The Duke 1836, 1837, Abd-El-Kader 1850, 1851, The Colonel 1869,1870 & Reynoldstown 1935, 1936.

The only horse to win three races is the legendary Red Rum who proved successful in 1973, 1974 & 1977. Ginger McCain's star was also runner-up on two other occasions.

But back to the old timers who have proven, they can win almost at any age. Peter Simple defied his age because the next oldest horses to win were aged13.

They were:

  • 1894 – Why Not 5/1JF
  • 1923 – Sergeant Murphy 100/6

So just 3 horses have won aged 13-years and older.

In this modern era, horses aged 12 are not without a fighting chance. In fact, 7 horse have won since 1969.

The most recent trained by Ginger McCain, who made the headlines with Red Rum, but this time it was Amberleigh House in 2004. Ridden by Graham Lee, he was returned at odds of 16/1. This bay son of Buckskin was an exceptional jumper and raced over the National fences at Aintree on 11 occasions (5 in the National) without falling. He made his Grand National debut in 2001 when bought down at the Canal Turn, the 8th fence.

His second best performance in the National came in 2003 when finishing third behind Monty's Pass.

Looking at this year's entrants, there are a couple of horses that may well run age 12.

Maggio is trained by Patrick Griffin and presently odds of 50/1.

The only other runner who may just sneak into the maximum 40 entrants on the day is Raz De Maree trained by Gavin Cromwell. This son of Shaanmer is priced 40/1.

In recent years horses aged 9 – 11 years of age have proved best.

Monday, 17 June 2019

What's The Best Betting Strategy?

I'm sure many people would say: ''Keep your money in your pocket!''

At times, that is definitely the best approach. 

It does worry me with so many bookmakers advertising on the TV where it will lead to some new gamblers. Even something a basic as bingo can be a disaster waiting to happen to some poor soul. It is a worry for people in relationships. Do you know what your other half is doing behind your back? 

Are they gambling to a point they are getting themselves (you or your family) in debt? The sad fact of the matter is that you may only find out when the problem is out of control. When you know what hits the fan. 

Gambling may seem a little bit of fun. However, it is far from an innocent endeavour. You may be reading this and thinking ''who cares'' ''that's their problem'' ''they should know better''.

Sadly, many new gamblers don't know better. They let the betting bug get its grip on them and for some people they struggle to stop. 

If you are betting, take a moment to consider what you are doing. What are the consequences? No one should just waste money for ''fun''. Think about what you can do with the money. Save it up and go on holiday. Go out for a nice meal. Do anything but don't waste money in the name of fun. 

If you don't work hard at gambling and rely on luck, you will lose. You may get lucky on the lottery and win a million pounds. But the chances are you have more chance of flying to the moon. 

So when betting, take a moment to question why you need to bet. 

I know it sounds a bit Mills And Boon but keep a little diary o follow your wins and losses. Then read your words with fresh eyes a month or two later. It will reveal the truth. We should appreciate the truth. 

It may say: the best betting strategy is to stop.

Saturday, 15 June 2019

2:20 Bath (15th June) The Betting Market is a Jungle Boogaloo

It's been a busy few days. Just lately I feel a touch on the back foot, which isn't ideal. However, I still like to write blog posts and make an effort to keep the info coming. 

The testing ground conditions have made life for horses and punters equally tough. It is time to be extra careful.

Just three two-year-olds races today. 

Looking at the 2:20 Bath. 

Quite an intriguing fillies' stakes over 5f on good to soft going. 

Clive Cox does exceptionally well at this course. Star Alexander was fancied to go well on debut at Ascot. This 40,000 guinea yearling purchase was a beaten favourite. I can imagine connections were a little deflated with that lacklustre effort. Time may tell, it was a decent race. Starting favourite was a significant pointer to me, and being fancied in the betting today suggests a big run is expected. 

Daddies Diva won on her third start and a fair juvenile for Rod Millman. She has pace and even though carrying a penalty here could still put in a decent performance. 

Another filly who disappointed on debut is Richard Hannon's Divine Covey, owned by Her Majesty the Queen. This homebred daughter of Dark Angel was seriously backed for her debut at Sandown. However, after showing speed, tired rapidly and finished sixth. There was something strange going on that day because a few horses seemed to run bizarrely. I wouldn't be surprised to see this grey filly run well today. 

Charles Hills does well at this course. He can win with debutantes although his statistics suggest they are more likely to be placed than win. Sabaaya is a British-bred daughter of Oasis Dream. She has drifted in the betting but still interesting. 

An outsider who may have a glimmer of hope at huge odds is Jungle Boogaloo trained by Ali Strong. The stable don't have many two-year-olds but she knows her horses. This daughter of Bungle Inthejungle was a 50/1 that day. Not a bad looking sort. I noticed she pulled like the proverbial train - a couple of furlongs, if not three. In fairness, she tired in the closing stages to finish sixth. Whether Jungle Boogaloo has ability is a difficult question to answer. Will she pull? Many unanswered questions but that's what you are dealing with when speculating if a horse can win at odds. 

Conclusion: I can't help but think Star Alexander will take some beating. Daddies Diva will most likely need the fancied runners to falter to win with a penalty. She has pace and proven ability but these win penalties are hard to defy, especially in the face of stiff opposition. Added to the mix, Divine Covey could go well. She didn't start odds on for her debut for a laugh. There is little doubt she disappointed to some extent and better should be expected. Sabaaya has each-way claims if priced 13/2 & less SP. I would be inclined to think a placed effort is more likely than a win. Can Jungle Boogaloo win at huge odds? This isn't an easy race to win and it is difficult to assess if she has any ability. Strangely, I am measuring her ability on the fact she pulled extremely hard on debut and hoping that if racing with less temperament will show more. On balance, I would have to take a watching brief although intrigued to see how she goes. 

Thursday, 13 June 2019

2:00 Newbury Racing Tips (13th June)

Horse racing tips
Another busy day. Soft, heavy or abandoned race meetings.

Here's a tip - look for the horse with hooves the size of dinner plates or wearing Dunlop Wellington boots with go-faster stripes. 

I must admit, I'm not keen on testing going for two-year-olds as there is little form to assess whether they like to get their toe in or not. Breeding helps to a point but a soft ground 6f can turn into six and a half. Will the beast like the going, get the trip or decide it would rather jump in puddles (with its new boots) than run through a sloppy mess?

Soft ground at Newbury [2:00].

Quite an interesting race in ways. 

A few two-year-olds have received significant entries. 

William Haggas sends out Baadirr for his second start. This son of Showcasing was very weak in the betting when making his debut at Newbury over 6f. This 180,000 guinea yearling purchase ran as if needing the run. The finishing position, seventh, proved the point. Almost a month off course, this horse steps up in distance and may well appreciate the testing conditions. Also, from a statistical point of view holds respectable each way claims. 

Richard Hannon is a difficult trainer to assess at times. They can win on debut while other horses need the run. Even the betting doesn't always detail the truth of the matter. King's View has been given a Class 2 stakes entry. This son of Dark Angel has Ryan Moore in the saddle. 

I'm interested in seeing how a couple of outsiders go. Both Sylvester Kirk and Brian Meehan can win at a price on debut. 

Rocket Dancer hails from a high-class owner in John Smith who has a good breeding program. This son of Toronado is out of a winning mare. There has been some money for this bay colt. The stable's two-year-old debutantes can be unpredictable. They can flounder in last place. They can win with ease. Intriguing. 

A similar story for Swinley Forest, who races in the familiar colours of the Sangster family. This bay colt is a son of Ivawood out of a limited racing mare who was trained by Mick Channon. Brian Meehan has had a few significantly-entered juveniles race this Flat season and all have proved disappointing. The stable has a fair record at Newbury, so that adds some interest. 

Conclusion: A tricky race in ways. The testing going is a factor that makes assessment difficult. With four horses holding significant entries it indicates there may be a little more strength and depth in this race than first observed. I think Baadirr will run a decent race with valuable experience on side. King's View holds claims. While the two outsiders, may be something of dark horses if enjoying the mud. 

Monday, 10 June 2019

Meeting Jerry Banks

Many readers of our horse racing blog will have heard the name Jerry Banks. 

It's funny working online. I bump into people here, there and everywhere. Some from down the road (Eric Winner), others from across the globe, while one man Jerry Banks lives at Lowestoft on the Norfolk coast. Being a regular at Great Yarmouth, I have been just a stone's throw away from this seaside town. I think I have been to Lowestoft once, a good few years ago, with a lady I used to know. I think it was a day out, travelling from Great Yarmouth. 

Anyway, I must have been chatting online with Jerry for many years. A long time. He runs Jerry's Best Bets, a horse racing tips website. Jerry knows his horses and bets as a professional gambler. 

I have been to Great Yarmouth races for many years and had one or two opportunities to meet Jerry at the racecourse but sadly it hasn't happened with plans changing at the last minute or simply missing him in the crowd. 

I am going to Great Yarmouth horse racing on the 28th June and I heard from Jerry that he is too. 

So, finally, I am going to meet him at the course, at a time and place. I imagine it will be near the winning post at 3:15 or something like that. 

Looking forward to meeting him and having a drink.  

Saturday, 8 June 2019

Betfair Punter Lays 7/2 Shot Lord Riddiford at Odds of 249/1

4:15 Chelmsford - 

A race where A Momentofmadness was in the field saw one punter have a similar bet laying Lord Riddiford at odds of 249/1 for £20. 

The misery didn't stop there as John Quinn's son of Zebedee went on to win the 5f sprint with win prize money of £25,876. 

Lord Riddiford, ridden by P J McDonald, returned 7/2, winning from old timer Tropics by three-quarters of a length. 

The total bet laid at £20 would have totalled £4980. I guess the lucky bettor who randomly scooped up such huge odds may have laid it off to a substantial non-lose bet. If they fancied their chances they may have kept the bet and filled their pockets with very easy money. 

You can't help feel sorry for the punter who clearly made a mistake. These things happen on a daily basis but they fill the heart with sadness. To be honest, I was hoping the horse would lose (even though my good friend Eric Winner tipped it to prove victorious) because it is the kind of bet that really shouldn't happen. 

If you are reading this post, I hope you come back from such a loss. A day you can do without. 

See the full result here