Welsh National

CHEPSTOW 1.45

Coral Welsh National Handicap Chase
Grade 3 (CLASS 1) (4yo+) 3m5f110y

4/1 Synchronised, 6/1 Maktu, 8/1 Dance Island
10/1 Watamu Bay, 14/1 Arbor Supreme, 14/1 Dream Alliance
14/1 Exmoor Ranger, 14/1 Giles Cross, 14/1 Silver By Nature
16/1 Ballyfoy, 20/1 Ballyfitz, 20/1 I´moncloudnine
25/1 Old Benny, 25/1 Royal Rosa, 33/1 Bench Warrent
33/1 Theatre Dance, 40/1 Dashing George, 40/1 Flight Leader
40/1 Magic Sky, 50/1 Eric´s Charm.

The Welsh National is a Handicap Chase over an extended
3m 5f. Usually run in December the race has been moved to
January after the recent cold weather.
That leaves a dilemma about whether to rely on statistics for this
and all other races  when they have been run in December and
especially when all  horses are a year older once we get to January.
In the end the best plan for me was to look at all similar races over 3 months

* December – January – Febuary have 65 Handicap Chases
* Thats 65 Handicap Chases between 3m 5f and 4m
* Thats 65 of these races in Class 2 – Listed – Grade 3

There are several of these that look quite simple to eliminate from consideration.
ERIC´S CHARM and ROYAL ROSA do not appeal and look too old with no
winners aged 11 or more since 1976. FLIGHT LEADER – MAGIC SKY are also passed
over as too old. DASHING GEORGE has completely a wrong
preparation. BENCH WARRENT didnt do much last time and
I wasnt sure he will stay in the ground. All his sires wins over a distance like this in
the class are on firm ground and he looks unsafe to me. OLD BENNY looks on the
road to Cheltenham and probably wont be fit here. I looked at all 10 year olds
that ran in these races with 1 run that season. The only horses that won with the
profile were last time out winners. He was beaten too far and it may be the
same as last years race when he was beaten miles after 1 poor run last year.
BALLYFOY is facing a similar problem as a 10yo with 1 run this year and he
doesnt have much backclass. I’d question his stamina. I’d question his suitability to the track too.
THEATRE DANCE may struggle  coming from 2m5f and he has not achieved much this season.
ARBOR SUPREME may pop up but I dislike his profile as an  exposed horse and beaten easily
on his only run this year. He  looks badly handicapped to me and may be on the road back
to the Grand National. The problem with GILES CROSS apart  from Stamina and a
testing absence is his last run.
Very few  winners managed to win these sort of races without finishing last time and I felt he was unsafe.

* SYNCHRONISED doesnt convince me completely
* My argument is his weight and his class
* He has 11st 6lbs and No form in Graded races before
* I looked at horses with no previous runs in Graded races
* Those that had 11st or more had a 0-29 record
* Almost all past winners of the race had GradedForm before
* 13 of the last 14 winners had no more than 11st weight
* He has to overcome that weight stat without graded form
* SYNCHRONISED has a stiff task for me with his weight
* SILVER BY NATURE was 2nd in last years race
* He had 10st 2lbs last year yet has 11st 12lbs this year
* Thats a massive jump considering he’s run just twice since
* SILVER BY NATURE fails a lot of angles
* He has a horrible weight with 11st 12lbs
* He ran badly last time out as well
* Exposed with 1 run this year he looks wrong to me
* All these are serious problems for an exposed horse
* DREAM ALLIANCE won this last year with 10st 8lbs
* This year he has a crippling weight of 11st 12lbs
* He is not in the same form as he was last year
* He fails multiple angles including a poor last run
* I think its too much of an ask to win again
* WATAMU BAY is very inexperienced with 3 chase runs
* Going back to 1990 the winners had these Chase runs
* 10-9-4-4-16-7-24-8-14-17-8-13-22-12-12-9-14-18
* WATAMU BAY will be the least experience winner in ages
* WATAMU BAY also comes from a Novice Chase
* Only 1 of the 65 winners managed that
* That horse was older and had more experience
* He also won within 2 weeks and had a stone less weight
* 11st 3lbs is a tough ask for a Novice Chaser
* Dont forget 13 of the last 14 winners had 11st or less
* I don’t like his chance when inexperienced with weight

There is a case statistically for I´MONCLOUDNINE. The
big problem is Chepstow is a track he has never experienced
before. It would worry me his wins are on sharp flat tracks and most
were right handed too.  I´MONCLOUDNINE also suffers from a lack of backclass.
Almost all past winners of the race  had Graded Form before and none with
13 or more runs failed  to have form in a Graded race before.
I nearly shortlisted him but I couldnt get past the Track suitability.
What swung it was the half brother who only won right handed on fast tracks.

SHORTLIST

EXMOOR RANGER – DANCE ISLAND
MAKTU  -BALLYFITZ

* DANCE ISLAND has 4 Chase starts
* There were 2 recent winners with only 4 chase runs
* Statistically I can turn a blind eye to some of his problems
* I can not match him exactly to any of the 65 winners
* Partly as he has an absence but so do many
* Partly  as he is 8 and comes from 3m or shorter
* I don’t feel he has a bad profile just not a good or safe one
* I would have to question whether he will stay this far
* I think there is a serious stamina doubt in this class

* EXMOOR RANGER has a good profile
* You would be worried about stamina on this ground
* I dont see him getting home on this ground
* Noy with a tough weight and a stiff handicap mark

* MAKTU has a decent chance with strong track form
* Ground – Consistency and a decent weight all in his favour
* I would have liked more backclass
* He is unexposed over fences though
* He has never been out of the 1-2-3-4 in all 8 chase starts

BALLYFITZ is technically too old as an 11 year old but as
he wouldnt have been last week it seems we should overlook
that.I ran his profile in all the 65 other races.
There were 3  winners aged 11 that had 1-2 runs that season like him.
None of them were as absent as long as he is but we have to overlook
that when so many others have absences because of the harsh winter.
BALLYFITZ ran well in this race last year.
I felt he’d been overprepared last year.
He had a hard race in the Paddy Power at Cheltenham and then took in the
Hennessy as well. That was more than enough but he then went and won over
hurdles at Sandown as well and this may have been too much for him.
This year he has been far better prepared and now he gets to race off a 10lbs lower mark.
That will be a serious help as will a better preparation and he has only has 12 starts over fences.
I’m overlooking his age as he would have been a
10 year old last week and this is a career low mark for him in a Chase.
His run last year suggests he should at least place.
I feel the best option is to bet both horses in a split stake bet.

SELECTION

MAKTU – Win Bet 13/2  ( now 6/1 Coral  bet365 BoyleSports )

BALLYFITZ – Win Bet 16/1 + bet365  BoyleSports  William Hill

Posted under Major Horse Races

Hennessy Betting Advice

The Hennessy is top class and a fascinating puzzle.
I am going for an outsider.
This has to be the best quality Hennessy in recent years.
There are a dozen that can win.
My choice is not one of the safer bets and he may easily
run badly for any number of reasons but I like him at
the price and feel there are good reasons to bet him
at more than 20/1 so I’m going with CARRUTHERS

NEWBURY 3.05

Hennessy Gold Cup Chase Handicap Grade 3
(CLASS 1) (4yo+) 3m2f110y

9/2 Denman, 11/2 Weird Al, 15/2 Burton Port
8/1 Diamond Harry, 8/1 Pandorama, 12/1 Big Fella Thanks
12/1 Taranis, 16/1 Madison Du Berlais, 16/1 Neptune Collonges 20/1 Carruthers,
20/1 Hey Big Spender, 25/1 Silver By Nature 33/1 The Tother One, 40/1 Barbers Shop,
40/1 Niche Market 50/1 Dream Alliance, 50/1 Razor Royale, 150/1 Hills Of Aran.

* The Hennessy is a 0-182 Handicap Chase
* This is a Top Class Handicap for 0-182 rated horses
* There are 18 renewals since 1992
* Horses with 6-20 career starts dominate the Hennessy
* Recent winners had the following National Hunt runs
* 17-34-10-12-11-6- 6-18-18-16-12-7-14-5-17-16
* Horses with Under 8 runs in Handicaps dominate
* The winners had the following runs in Handicaps
* 21-0-1-0-1-1-7-1-1-1-1-7-2-7-1-1-11-3-1-1-8
* The last few winners had the following Chase races
* 12-29-5-4-4-6-4-11-6-5-6-7-11-5-13-7
* Finishing 1st-2nd last time is important
* 16 of the last 17 winners were 1st or 2nd last time

NEGATIVES

* BARBERS SHOP can’t win after a dreadfull last run.
* SILVER BY NATURE doesnt appeal to me
* I dont want an exposed seasonal debutant
* He may be using this for a Welsh National prep race
* He doesnt have the backclass for a Hennessy winner
* NICHE MARKET- Hills OF ARAN are outclassed
* RAZOR ROYALE – DREAM ALLIANCE are outclassed
* DENMAN tries to win this for the 3rd time
* He won with this weight in 2007 and 2009
* This year I would rather oppose him
* His 2 wins in this race came from marks of 161 and 174
* Today he a better class field and a tough mark of 182
* This is his hardest task in this race and I dont like his chance
* DENMAN is a 10 year old
* Since 1992 horses aged 10 or more are 0-46 in this race
* The last winner his aged was back in 1981
* Before that the previous one was in 1967
* He is more exposed than almost all the past 18 winners

* He is possibly on the downgrade now on last years evidence
* Dissapointed in 2 of his last 3 runs and he has plenty to prove
* Statistically DENMAN is weak in this years race

* THE TOTHER ONE has run this year in a Graded Chase
* Horses with that profile had a 0-23 record
* He doesnt look well handicapped at the moment
* 7 Chase starts and he only has 1 win in a Novice Chase
* Well down the stable pecking order he may lack the class

* DIAMOND HARRY may fail for lack of experience
* I looked at 7yo seasonal debutants with Grade 1 form
* Those with 9-20 career starts from Grade 1 races were 2-3
* Trabolgan (2005) and Denman (2007) had this profile
* They only other that had it was a 1st fence faller in 2003
* That W F W record makes DIAMOND HARRY interesting
* Its fair to say the 2 similar winners won the Sun Alliance last time
* DIAMOND HARRY Pulled up in the Sun Alliance
* In his favour though is he carries 24lbs less weight
* There is a concern whether he has enough Chase experience
* The last few winners had the following Chase races
* 12-29-5-4-4-6-4-11-6-5-6-7-11-5-13-7
* DIAMOND HARRY only has 3 Chase starts
* He only completed in 2 of those races
* His only wins came in tiny fields and lack of experience hurts him

* TARANIS is a 9yo seasonal debutant
* He has a superb record when running after an absence
* His main problem is the record of debutants his age
* Since 1992 Seasonal debutants aged 9 or more are 0-42
* He is quite exposed for a seasonal debutant
* Thats my main objection to him
* He is older and more exposed than ideal for a debutant
* NEPTUNE COLLONGES has the same problem
* He is 9 and has not run in 624 days
* No past winner has won with anything like that absence
* No exposed horse has won first time out anyway
* NEPTUNE COLLONGES doesnt appeal with that absence

* BIG FELLA THANKS has ran once this season
* Horses doing that with 9 + career starts won 7 races
* They all had form in Grade 1 or Grade 2 races though
* Those like BIG FELLA THANKS that didnt were 0-20
* None ran this year in a Non Handicap either
* Statistically I cant match him to a winner
* My main doubt is whether he has the Class to win
* I Looked at past winners with No Grade 1 or Grade 2 form
* Those with 9 or more career starts doing that were 1-41
* The only winner was 40/1 shock Sibton Abbey in 1991
* He was younger as well and overall I am unimpressed

* PANDORAMA is a 7yo seasonal debutant
* Debutants aged 7 like him with Grade 1 form were 3-14
* These 3 winners had 4-5-6 chase starts
* PANDORAMA only has 3 Chase starts
* The last few winners had the following Chase races
* 12-29-5-4-4-6-4-11-6-5-6-7-11-5-13-7
* That makes him less experience than any recent winner
* He has won all 3 of his Chase starts though
* Lack of Chasing experience is his biggest problem
* He also has to prove he stays this far as well

* MADISON DU BERLAIS is exposed unlike most winners
* He did win this when exposed though in 2008
* With less weight this year I dont ignore his chance
* I can match him to any past winners now though
* No past winner came from a Hurdles race either
* I will be surprised if he wins again

* BURTON PORT is a 6yo seasonal debutant
* The only recent winner like that was in 2006
* That winner had Grade 1 form like and won last time
* Horses sharing BURTON PORT’s profile were 1-2
* You can argue neither horse came from a Grade 2 chase
* No past winner came from a Grade 2 Chase first time out
* Take 6 year old seasonal debutants from Grade 2 Chases
* There were 2 horses with that profile in the last 18 years
* These 2 horses finished 7 + F
* As a rule 6 year old debutants with Grade 1 form are fine
* BURTON PORT has the correct exposure as well
* He is a small horse though and isnt guaranteed to stay
* BURTON PORT is a net positive though

* HEY BIG SPENDER won  first time out this year
* No winner did that from a Non Handicap Though
* He has yet to prove he stays this far
* He has fallen twice in his last 3 Chase starts as well
* Only 1 year ago he was in Novice Handicap Chases
* I cant rule him out but he doesnt offer enough

SHORTLIST

* WEIRD AL has run this season in a Non Handicap Chase
* No horse running this year came from a Non Handicap
* WEIRD AL has only ran 6 times under rules
* Horses with 1 run this year and under 9 career starts won 2 races
* None came from 2m 4f as he has to do
* Both winners came from Handicap Chases and he doesnt
* None were aged 7 like he was as well
* I cant rule him out but I cant match him exactly
* His 4 Chase wins came in fields of 4 5 5 6 runners
* This will be a much different test for him

* CARRUTHERS is given a chance at 25/1
* He didnt run that well in his seasonal debut
* Being Unplaced that makes him unlike any past winner
* He was beaten 23 lengths last time out
* However his chance is similar to the  2008 winner
* Madison Du Berlais won this in 2008 from the same race
* Although Madison Du Berlais placed in his prep run
* He was beaten 25 lengths that day less than Carruthers
* That was in the same Ascot race which is interesting
* CARRUTHERS is the same age as he was
* He also has far less weight as well
* I dont see a reason why CARRUTHERS cant win
* He does look a small field horse but thats unproven
* Throw out his Cheltenham runs and that improves it
* Throw out his Cheltenham runs and his seasonal debuts
* His record then becomes W 2 W W W W W 2
* As a smaller horse he’ll be much better suited to a lightweight
* I think CARRUTHERS is worth shortlisting

Todays Suggested Bets

Newbury 3.05

CARRUTHERS 20/1 each way
Sky VC Tote

Best Wishes

Guy

Posted under Major Horse Races

Grand National Tip

If you like a Grand National horse don’t let me or my angles talk you out of it.
I don’t feel this is an easy race this year and I’m hopeful rather than confident.
You get just the one chance a year to bet the winner so don’t let me cost you the winner.

My Grand National selection (s) are these

HELLO BUD 50/1
NICHE MARKET 22/1

AINTREE 4.15

John Smith´s Grand National Chase
(Handicap) Grade 3 (CLASS 1) (6yo+)  4m4f

Forecast Odds

9/1 Big Fella Thanks, 12/1 Mon Mome, 12/1 The Package
16/1 Arbor Supreme, 16/1 Black Apalachi, 16/1 Character Building 16/1 Niche Market,
16/1 Snowy Morning, 16/1 State Of Play 16/1 Tricky Trickster, 20/1 Backstage,
20/1 Comply Or Die 20/1 Don´t Push It, 25/1 Vic Venturi, 28/1 Irish Raptor 28/1
King Johns Castle, 33/1 Ballyholland, 33/1 Can´t Buy Time 33/1 Maljimar, 33/1 My Will,
40/1 Cloudy Lane, Dream Alliance 40/1 Eric´s Charm, 40/1 Hello Bud, 50/1 Ballyfitz, 50/1
Cerium 50/1 Madison Du Berlais, 66/1 Flintoff, Nozic, Palypso De Creek 66/1 Royal Rosa,
100/1 Beat The Boys, 100/1 Conna Castle 100/1 Ellerslie George, 100/1 Joe Lively,
100/1 Ollie Magern 100/1 Piraya, 100/1 Preists Leap, 150/1 Made In Taipan 150/1 Pablo Du Charmil.

The Grand National is never easy but never as hard as
is often portrayed and not everything can win the race
as the old cliche goes. The ground could play a bigger
part this year as its drying out.
I think this years race has an unusual frame to it with no horses carrying less than 10st 5lbs
and 19 runners having 11st or more.
The stats that suggest horses don’t win with over 11st has never been more vulnerable as it is this year.

Not planning to have a huge preview of the race but very keen to get it right this year and I’m turning a blind eye to some stats.

My favourite Grand National statistic that applies to all
similar races in the first half of the year is as follows.

* Since 1992 there has been 65 Handicaps
* Thats 65 Handicap Chases over 3m 7f or more
* Thats 65 Handicap Chases with at least 12 runners
* Thats 65 Handicap Chases in Class 2 or Higher Grade
* This includes the last 16 Grand Nationals
* It includes the Scottish , Irish and Midlands Nationals
* Exposed horses struggle with under 5 runs that season
* They have a 2-337 record in these races
* They were 0-144 in this race
* In all races at 4m and more they were just 1-293

I would strongly avoid all horses that are exposed and
lightly raced this season with under 5 runs. This is why
I would make the following horses negatives.

Madison Du Berlais – Black Apalachi – Don’t Push It
Comply Or Die – Dream Alliance – Character Building
Pablo Du Charmil – State of Play – Cloudy Lane – My Will
Eric’s Charm – King Johns Castle –  Maljimar – Irish Raptor -Flintoff- Cerium – Royal Rosa. NOZIC is also short of runs.

It is a well known fact that the last 7 year old winner of
this race was back in 1940 and I couldnt have any horse
that age. In addition to those already opposed above I
would add TRICKY TRICKSTER who is actually only 6
years and 10 months old foaled in June 2003. Others aged
7 to be rejected are THE PACKAGE who has fewer races
over fences than all recent winners. PALYPSO DE CREEK
and PIRAYA are both out as 7 year olds.

* Since 1992 there has been 65 Handicaps
* Thats 65 Handicap Chases over 3m 7f or more

If you look my sample size of 65 races discussed earlier that covers every similar race to this as well
as this one they also show that you have to have been at least 1st  2nd or 3rd in a recent race.
In fact All 65 winners had managed to be placed 1-2-3 in their last six runs.
This should rule out all the out of form horses in the doldrums showing no recent promise.
It’s a trend  PREISTS LEAP fails. BIG FELLA THANKS deserves  massive credit for
finishing 6th last year as a 7 year old. This year he is 8 although not quite 8 for a
few more weeks yet as he was foaled late. I don’t like that about him. I hate the fact
he has just 3 runs this year and did not finish in one of those races.
I think coming from 2m 4f also hurts a horse as young as him and he has far too many
holes in his profile at a short enough price. CAN´T BUY TIME has a similar problem
age 8 and having to step up from 2m 4f with just 3 runs this season.
I can not find any similar horse winning in the 65 races.
The record of certain horses coming from 2m 4f or shorter is awful. MADE IN TAIPAN makes no appeal doing this. Neither does
BALLYHOLLAND coming from a 17f Chase and opposed for
that reason and because he has not won over 3 Miles before
something every winner since 1988 had done. BACKSTAGE
is also 8 years old and up from a 2m 4f race and I couldn’t get a similar winner to
him and he looks on the inexperienced side as well. CONNA CASTLE is out
exposed and up significantly in distance. Exposed horses that come from chases
over 2m 6f or shorter had a 0-66 record in the 69 races.
Thats one of the reasons why I am not convinced about  SNOWY MORNING.
OLLIE MAGERN looks wrong and impossible to fancy.
I feel JOE LIVELY has far too much weight for an exposed 11yo.
It’s  unheard of for an exposed horse like ELLERSLIE GEORGE  to  win without
Graded form. BEAT THE BOYS fails many angles. BALLYFITZ doesnt have a bad profile
although he doesn’t  jump well enough and I would not be confident he would get  round.
I hate the fact he has only won Novice Chases and he also comes from a hurdle race.

POSSIBLES

VIC VENTURA has to be considered. I think he has quite a
stiff handicap mark courtesy of being so consistent. I think  his rating and handicap mark hurt him.
Statistically having won 3 races this season he wouldn’t be like many winners  and coming from a
small field graded chase doesnt impress  me. My gut feeling is that although interesting in terms of
class and his 5-6 runs this season the price he is paying for 3 wins this season may be too high
and his weight may just  be the undoing of him.

ARBOUR SUPREME has factors I don’t like. If you look at
the 65 similar races that include the last 16 renewals of this race. Horses with 13 + career starts
absent over a month like ARBOUR SUPREME won 18 of the 65 races.
Those under 10 years old were 6-174. ARBOUR SUPREME is only aged
8 and that 6-174 record applies to all horses under 10.
Those without form in Grade 1 races like him were just 1-89.
None of them came from short of 3 Miles as he does.
He’s not the best age. Having 4 runs this year is no advantage.
Neither is stepping up from 2m 6f.
Combine all those factors and as a horse with no Grade 1 or Grade 2 form
I think a combination of all of them might prove too much for him.

MON MOME won this by 12 lengths last year carrying 11st.
He has 11st 7lbs this year. His weight was always going to
be his big problem. That said he’d have won the race last year with 7lbs
more weight and many past winners were clobbered more than he has been.
In a year I personally wouldnt listen to negative weight statistics much I’d give
him a better chance than many and I would have him as 3rd-4th-5th pick in the race.

SHORTLIST

NICHE MARKET –  HELLO BUD

I don’t much like exposed 12 year olds like HELLO BUD but
what few winners there were like her had similar credentials to him and I can ot rule him out at 50/1.
NICHE MARKET  has a good profile. He prepped really well at Cheltenham when he was wrong statistically.
I would have liked more wins and some form left handed but he has a fair chance.

SELECTION

NICHE MARKET 25/1
HELLO BUD 50/1

Blog comment : prices dropped a touch from the above which was given to full members earlier

Hello Bud now 40/1 Coral VC Ladbrokes canbet or 48/1 betfair

Niche Market now 20/1 sjames VC bet365  or 23/1 betfair

Posted under Major Horse Races