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Hugh Taylor Selections


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As I said on Thursday, I’m starting a new thread on Hugh’s selections for the reasons given then. This is a thread that anyone who wants to, can cut and paste the Hugh Taylor Selections and put them up here. I’m cutting down my involvement  here to a healthy three days a week.

Straight away Hugh had a winner yesterday with a very good pick in Flash Bardot a horse I’ve followed in the past as it is a sixties icon progeny.

The rationale behind the selection was very sound.

So whenever He puts up one like that where sound reasoning in the context of the actual race the horse is in running in comes into play, I’ll flag it up. 
 

Published 8.59 & 9.29 - all selections online

The 1m4f handicap at Kempton this evening (7.45) looks notably weak in terms of all-weather form, despite having a couple of recent turf winners in the line-up, and TRUSTY SCOUT makes some each-way appeal, given he has plenty of solid all-weather form at this level, in a race which seems to feature plenty of dead wood.

He doesn’t win very often, but usually gives his running at this level, and shaped as if in form at Chelmsford last time over 1m6f, caught a bit further back than ideal.

He ran very well when second over this course and distance in May. The winner was a handicap blot who showed much-improved form on his first start for Alan King and went on to win two of his three subsequent starts, and the third and fourth, who finished a long way clear of the remainder, both won in higher grades next time.

Trusty Scout is 2lb lower here, and if he reproduces that form, he’s very likely to make the frame and has a good chance of winning.

In the 1m4f fillies’ handicap at Newbury (4.45) FLASH BARDOT might be worth chancing each-way in the belief that she might be suited by the very testing ground.

She ran poorly at Bath last time, but I doubt she appreciated the very firm conditions that day, and it’s worth noting that she has run well on both occasions that she has encountered a little cut in the ground.

She often races keenly, but the presence of a couple of frontrunners in today’s field might help her settle, and David Probert takes over in the saddle from an apprentice.

There’s a chance that today’s even more testing conditions might bring about some more improvement in her, as the progeny of her sire Sixties Icon have a notably good record on testing ground, and she might bounce back from that firm-ground flop.

 

HUGH'S BEST BETS (1-5 POINTS):

4.45 NEWBURY

1pt each-way FLASH BARDOT (12-1 bet365, William Hill, 11-1 general)

7.45 KEMPTON

1pt each-way TRUSTY SCOUT (6-1 Betfred, William Hill, 11-2 general, 7-1 bet365)


SATURDAY 23rd September 2023

 

00 - another selection may follow.

HODLER is at his best when the mud is flying and he looks set for a big run with conditions back in his favour in the 7f handicap at Newbury today (4.25).

He has won on fast ground, but is more potent when there’s plenty of give underfoot, as first highlighted when he won at Epsom last year on heavy going despite challenging away from the favoured stands rail.

His subsequent second on his final start last season when trying to concede 4lb to fellow mudlark Astral Beau (now rated 105) on soft ground at Newmarket also reads very well.

He hit form on his third start this year when readily winning a competitive handicap on deep ground at the Chester May meeting. He had a short break after his next run, presumably put away until the autumn rains arrived, and shaped as if back in form at Chester last time on ground that probably wasn’t quite deep enough for him.

All four career wins have come under talented apprentice Ryan Sexton, but the booking of Oisin Murphy is hardly a negative, and back under testing conditions a big run looks likely.

HUGH'S BEST BETS (1-5 POINTS):

4.25 NEWBURY

1pt win HODLER (9-2 & 4-1 general)

All prices correct at time of publishing - please see top

Edited by Sporting Sam
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Hugh Taylor

Hugh found 13-2 winner Ask Peter on Sunday and has a trio of tips with analysis for Wolverhampton on Monday evening, live on Sky Sports Racing.

  • Monday 25 September 2023
  • Tipsters
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Published 9.17, 9.25, 9.31 - all selections online

Dropping CITY HOUSE to 6f at Wolverhampton today (6.00) might look a handicapping ploy on his third start, especially as he’s bred to want further, but it actually makes a fair bit of sense given how he has shaped on his first two starts, and he looks worth chancing each way.

His two runs to date, at Doncaster and Ascot, have both come over 7f, and in each case he raced very freely and travelled strongly.

He shaped with plenty of promise at Doncaster, to the extent that he was sent off second favourite for a class 2 Ascot maiden next time. He again travelled as well as just about any of his rivals on that second start but found nothing and dropped away tamely, his early exertions and, in particular, the soft ground possible excuses.

He appeals as the type to take well to the all-weather at some point, and whilst the fact that this is his third start, as well as his high draw, are obvious concerns, I suspect he has a lot more natural ability than his dismissive odds this morning suggest.

In the opening 7f handicap at Wolverhampton (4.55) FLATLEY must have a strong chance of taking advantage of a generous bit of handicapping as he bids to follow up his course-and-distance win from almost exactly a year ago.

His profile suggests he’s a better performer on the all-weather than on turf, and he pulled clear with the runner-up when winning a similar event (albeit a 0-75 handicap) in a good time figure off a mark of 74 this time last year.

He wasn’t seen to best effect next time over the same course and distance when fifth off a steady pace, and that race worked out extremely well, the first, third and fourth all winning next time and the runner-up scoring two outings later.

After four outings on turf this year his mark has dropped 6lb - it’s a little surprising that the handicapper hasn’t awarded him separate turf and all-weather marks – and he has an obvious chance of following up his win of a year ago off this 5lb lower mark.

In the concluding 1m handicap at Wolverhampton (8.30) Island Native was firmly on my radar after shaping better than the bare result two outings ago at Kempton, but that ship has very much sailed in terms of his odds, and at the prices at the time of writing I’d rather side with VOLTAIC.

Voltaic saves some of his best efforts for this course and distance and I thought he shaped best when third here two outings ago, racing three wide throughout under his amateur rider.

Too free at Newmarket on Saturday, that run should have taken some of the freshness out of him, he should be suited by the return to this track and perhaps more patient tactics, and he’s handicapped to go well granted luck in running. 

 

HUGH'S BEST BETS (1-5 POINTS):

4.55 WOLVERHAMPTON

1pt win FLATLEY (7-2 general)

6.00 WOLVERHAMPTON

1pt each-way CITY HOUSE (33-1 Betfair Sportsbook, BetVictor, Paddy Power 28-1 general)

8.30 WOLVERHAMPTON

1pt win VOLTAIC (15-2 bet365, BetVictor, 7-1 general)

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I have analysed Hugh's selections for this year based on BSP. I have used BSP for 2 reasons. Firstly it is difficult to get on at the prices advised. Secondly I have very few options left with traditional bookmakers and sooner or later all my betting will have to be on the exchanges.

My thought process was that these selections would be overbet and therefore there would be an edge in backing other selections.

In fact this is not the case. The AE of his selections is 1.05. 

I have ignored the EW selections because I assume these will have taken advantage of extra places.

For 2023 there have been 68 wins from 361 runs with a profit of 13.26 points.

For those selections advised between 5/2 and 7/1 there have been 48 wins from 186 runs with a profit of 27.09 points.

I won't get too carried away at this stage, I'll go back a few years and see how this pans out.

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City house ran well, very well and came close in hunting down pen letters while the favourite was third. 
In the last, I picked out two value selections and just like the penultimate race on the card a handicap debut maker dropping in class took the race at rewarding odds. Jamie Osborne was completing an across the card, lucky last race double as his daughter won for him earlier in the day.

The comments preceding this post are interesting but I’m yet to meet anyone anywhere who has got the advertised odds in the morning and if you base your figures on odds you could only get,  they won’t reflect an accurate picture.
Caan Berry using the most sophisticated  available software, was unable to obtain anywhere near Hugh’s claimed odds even a minute after Hugh Taylor posted on at the races. That led him to make ONE conclusion 

I always state my winners at sp because I haven’t previously recommended stake or odds. I don’t do profit or loss and mostly tip at the post. This is because although all the fancy odds are gone due to ‘levelling up or carving up of the odds’ by the bookies, I’m simply looking for the winner or horse most likely to run well due to the current conditions of the race visible at the post. 
 

Published 9.07, 9.12, 9.30 - all selections online

LORDSBRIDGE GIRL looked better than ever when runner-up at Kempton last time and should go well in the 1m handicap at Lingfield (3.35), acknowledging that this looks a notably warm race for the grade.

She raced three-wide at Kempton for much of the race but still produced a powerful surge down the centre of the track that looked likely to prove decisive, before the winner overhauled her with a strong run in the final furlong.

She won her only previous start here, albeit in a lower grade, and her 7lb claimer Brandon Wilkie looks good value for his allowance.

A case can be made for quite a few in what looks a really competitive event, but Lordsbridge Girl shaped as if at the top of her game last time and isn’t prohibitively priced this morning. 

It looks like Nottingham is getting a deluge of rain this morning, and with that in mind JUSTUS might be worth chancing in the Grassroots Series Stayers’ Final Handicap (5.00).

This will be the fourth time he’s been selected in this column this year, and whilst the going has been part of the equation each time, I’m starting to think there’s a possibility that he might need the ground to be really deep and wet from recent rain, rather than merely testing or holding ground.

It had rained for most of the morning when he romped right away from his rivals at Doncaster in April, that the deepest ground he has encountered to date, and he’s only 3lb higher here.

He hasn’t backed up that run subsequently, and was a bit disappointing at Haydock last time, but perhaps he’ll be helped by the refitting of a visor (which saw him go well for a long way in the Chester Plate before seemingly not getting home over the 2m2f trip), and certainly the more rain the better for his chances. 

I think there’s a good chance that SAVROLA is going to prove a better performer on the all-weather than on turf, and he might be able to confirm that impression in the 1m2f handicap at Lingfield (5.50).

He caught the eye on his third start as a two-year-old, when he was trained by Chris Wall, staying on well from off the pace over an inadequate 7f trip in a warm race at Newcastle.

On his only subsequent all-weather start, which came at Wolverhampton on his debut for James Ferguson earlier this year, he did really well to run down course specialist Daheer, having been held up off the pace in a race run at a steady tempo.

He’s been below that level of form in three subsequent starts on turf, but back on the all-weather and with first time cheekpieces fitted, it shouldn’t be a surprise if he bounces back to form racing off the same mark as at Wolverhampton.

HUGH'S BEST BETS (1-5 POINTS):

3.35 LINGFIELD

1pt win LORDSBRIDGE GIRL (10-1 & 9-1 general)

5.00 NOTTINGHAM

1pt win JUSTUS (22-1 & 20-1 general)

5.50 LINGFIELD

1pt win SAVROLA (15-2 Bet Victor, Boylesports, bet365, Coral, Ladbrokes, 7-1 & 13-2 general)

At the post assessments for one two or three of these contests today from sporting Sam. ( if possible)

A winner from these races in the last at Wolverhampton.

Style Of Life 12/1 Nicola Currie

 


 

 

Edited by Sporting Sam
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2 hours ago, Sporting Sam said:

I always state my winners at sp because I haven’t previously recommended stake or odds. I don’t do profit or loss and mostly tip at the post. This is because although all the fancy odds are gone due to ‘levelling up or carving up of the odds’ by the bookies, I’m simply looking for the winner or horse most likely to run well due to the current conditions of the race visible at the post. 

Why do you not take Betfair Starting Price ?

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2 hours ago, Sporting Sam said:

Caan Berry using the most sophisticated  available software, was unable to obtain anywhere near Hugh’s claimed odds even a minute after Hugh Taylor posted on at the races. That led him to make ONE conclusion 

The bookies are able to react quicker than punters. 

Lordsbridge Girl was available at 10/1 with SpreadEX at 9.07 and 9/1 at 9.10 with a number of bookies. By 9.15 it was down to 7/1.

Justus was available at 22/1 with a couple of bookies at 9.12 and 20/1 with a number of bookies at 9.14. By 9.20 it was down to 12/1.

Savrovla was available at 15/2 at 9.32 with Betway and 7/1 with a number of bookies at 9.40. 

So to be fair to Hugh the prices are available when he publishes.

All a bit academic to me as I can only really bet on the exchanges.

 

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21 hours ago, MCLARKE said:

Same here, I'd heard him mentioned but disregarded him as I do most tipsters. His record though is excellent over many years, over 3,000 points over the last 14 years, notwithstanding that you would struggle to get on at those prices. 

Was he not a Racing Post "Pricewise" back in mid 1990s?

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9 hours ago, MCLARKE said:

The bookies are able to react quicker than punters. 

Lordsbridge Girl was available at 10/1 with SpreadEX at 9.07 and 9/1 at 9.10 with a number of bookies. By 9.15 it was down to 7/1.

Justus was available at 22/1 with a couple of bookies at 9.12 and 20/1 with a number of bookies at 9.14. By 9.20 it was down to 12/1.

Savrovla was available at 15/2 at 9.32 with Betway and 7/1 with a number of bookies at 9.40. 

So to be fair to Hugh the prices are available when he publishes.

All a bit academic to me as I can only really bet on the exchanges.

 

So to be fair if you are not aware of hugh’s selections the moment they come up you cannot get them  at the price. That’s irrelevant to be fair. My point of running this thread is not to try and get Hughs selections at the prices he puts them up at, but to take advantage of the market that is available at the post, as a result of a market formed around a runner often incorrectly and the advantages thrown up,  wether they match a Hugh selection or other horses.


 I selected  savrovla (2nd).

Belo Horizonte (head second) and flying spirit ew 4th @ 7/1
ace Rothstein each way 4th at 80/1. Along with last night’s  12/1 winner ,  I’m demonstrating there is value in playing in Hughs selected races wether or not you agree with his picks.

Edited by Sporting Sam
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On 9/25/2023 at 7:20 PM, MCLARKE said:

I have analysed Hugh's selections for this year based on BSP. I have used BSP for 2 reasons. Firstly it is difficult to get on at the prices advised. Secondly I have very few options left with traditional bookmakers and sooner or later all my betting will have to be on the exchanges.

My thought process was that these selections would be overbet and therefore there would be an edge in backing other selections.

In fact this is not the case. The AE of his selections is 1.05. 

I have ignored the EW selections because I assume these will have taken advantage of extra places.

For 2023 there have been 68 wins from 361 runs with a profit of 13.26 points.

For those selections advised between 5/2 and 7/1 there have been 48 wins from 186 runs with a profit of 27.09 points.

I won't get too carried away at this stage, I'll go back a few years and see how this pans out.

As usual, these things are never straightforward. I have analysed 2022 and the AE was 0.90. I was hoping for something more consistent, one way or the other. I'll plug on, hopefully one of these years is an anomaly. It will be a better comparison when 2023 is complete, the AE was particularly low in the last 4 months.

 

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Hugh found 13-2 winner Ask Peter on Sunday and has two bets for Wednesday's racing, both running on the all-weather at Kempton.

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Published 9.17, 9.30 - all selections online

LABIQA left the impression she would have produced a much-improved display granted a stronger tempo on her recent handicap debut and return from a break at Ayr, despite finishing fourth of the five runners, and she looks interesting off her lowly mark in the 7f handicap at Kempton (8.00).

Sent off the outsider of the five runners at Ayr, she was held up in last place off a steady pace and was still two or three lengths behind the remainder inside the final furlong, but she finished with a flourish, leaving the impression she would have bustled up the winner granted a stronger pace.

She’s been generously dropped a couple of pounds for what could have been a winning run in different circumstances, and she’s a well-bred, lightly-raced filly who might be ahead of the handicapper. 

In the 1m3f handicap at Kempton (6.30) OUTGUN should go well on his return to the all-weather.

He appealed as the type to go well in middle-distance handicaps as a three-year-old when running three fair races in maidens as a two-year-old before being put away, as is often the case with juveniles from his stable.

He has run creditably in three starts on grass this year, notably when fourth at Newbury in July in a race which produced six next-time-out winners, but the progeny of his sire Outstrip have a better strike rate on the all-weather than on turf.

Moreover, Outgun was shaping quite well when sent off second favourite in a void race at Wolverhampton in July which worked out very well, acknowledging the race was halted too far out to judge where he might have finished.

The return to the all-weather might be enough to see him off the mark in a race that doesn’t look especially strong for a three-year-old middle-distance handicap.

HUGH'S BEST BETS (1-5 POINTS):

6.30 KEMPTON

1pt win OUTGUN (5-1 & 9-2 general, 11-2 bet365)

8.00 KEMPTON

1pt win LABIQA (15-2 general)

All prices correct at time of publishing - please se

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Published 9.08, 9.23 - all selections online

I was very impressed by EBEN SHADDAD’s debut win at the July course last month and he looks worth backing to confirm the promise he showed that day in the Tattersalls Stakes on the Rowley course at Newmarket today (3.35).

Eben Shaddad was sent off as fourth favourite at 4-1 for his debut, his SP perhaps a reflection of the fact that the stable was still waiting for its first turf two-year-old winner of the season at the time, as well as a pedigree that suggested he might want further than 6f.

He was slowly into stride and after travelling well at the 2f pole, he was palpably green off the bridle, hanging left and seeming unsure what was required.

Nonetheless, he still managed to surge clear in the closing stages, the visual impression backed up a really quick final furlong sectional.

The overall time of his win is difficult to assess because rain fell before the two subsequent contests over 6f, but for now my interpretation is that although the opposition was nothing special, Eben Shaddad’s performance was that of a potentially high-class colt. 

The pedigree on the dam’s side suggests that 6f should really have been a bare minimum trip even as a two-year-old and although he was due to run in last week’s Mill Reef Stakes (having been supplemented) over that distance before the ground went heavy, he looks sure to be suited by this step up to 7f. 

THEORYOFEVERYTHING has been a bit disappointing since an impressive debut win at Doncaster in April, but he ran creditably in a red-hot class 2 handicap at Goodwood last time, and the return to calmer waters at Pontefract this afternoon (3.55) can hopefully see him go close.

Fitted with cheekpieces for the first time at Goodwood, he was never a danger in a race won by the classy Royal Rhyme, but he plugged on to finish a respectable race, probably not helped by making his challenge up the centre of the track.

He finished alongside Garden Route and Silver Sword, each of whom left the form well behind next time, and in general the form of the race has worked out extremely well.

This is still a competitive race despite the small field, but perhaps not to the same degree as the Goodwood contest, and Theoryofeverything might be able to confirm that he’s back in form.

HUGH'S BEST BETS (1-5 POINTS):

3.35 NEWMARKET

2pts win EBEN SHADDAD (4-1 Bet Victor, Boylesports, Coral, Ladbrokes, 7-2 general)

3.55 PONTEFRACT

1pt win THEORYOFEVERYTHING (9-2 general)

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On 9/27/2023 at 1:00 AM, MCLARKE said:

As usual, these things are never straightforward. I have analysed 2022 and the AE was 0.90. I was hoping for something more consistent, one way or the other. I'll plug on, hopefully one of these years is an anomaly. It will be a better comparison when 2023 is complete, the AE was particularly low in the last 4 months.

2021 was an exceptional year with an AE at BSP of 1.14 although it was his best year at early prices in 4 years. Still too volatile to draw any conclusions. I will move onto 2020, which was his worst ever year, although he still made a profit.

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As expected, 2020 was a poor year with an AE of 0.94. I will conclude with 2019 as before then Hugh's performance was a lot better so I am taking a worst case performance by starting with 2019.

Overall the 4 years show an AE of 1.008.

Some further stats which may prove useful.

1 point stakes have an AE of 1.03.

Bets with advised odds of 15/8 to 11/2 have a record of 201 wins from 699 runs with a LSP of 117 points and an AE of 1.18.

All weather bets have an AE of 1.06. All other race types have an AE less than 1.

 

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As I’ve maintained Hugh’s picks are good when the rationale is sound it is the same for all of us. I didn’t play in his races yesterday but this week has proved telling where his selections throw up decent value elsewhere. There are a variety of reasons, one of them which strikes any race reader is a horse which walks off the page find one and you see recommending it to the exclusion of all others. In Hugh’s case that’s where I come in I wait until late on and play that race at the post. I’m not a layer but may put up a few lays in the future. Here are Hugh’s selections for today. They often feature sky racing to the exclusion of the quality racing going on which is a key negative but if there’s some value to be found, not in it’s  self a bad thing.

Published 8.59, 9.09 - all selections online

It’s not difficult to excuse DOGGED’s latest performance at Haydock, and he might bounce back at the same course today (2.00) with conditions in his favour.

He wasn’t able to make the running last time, he raced solo on the inside rail down the back straight, and most importantly he was racing on the fastest ground he has encountered this season (also over the furthest trip he has tried), so it’s perhaps not surprising that he dropped away tamely in the straight.

The ground will be testing today and he should be able to get to the front, and his form figures when making the running or disputing the lead on ground softer than good read 2111.

He was repeatedly declared a non-runner when the ground turned soft by his previous connections, but it now seems clear that he positively relishes give in the ground.

He has a good attitude and is a straightforward ride, and his four wins for his current yard have all come for amateurs or apprentices claiming 5lb. His apprentice rider today Archie Young has been going really well lately with four winners from his last ten rides, making all on a couple of occasions, and looking a good prospect.

Dogged should appreciate the return to softish ground here, and although on the face of it he’s high enough in the weights, he might be hard to pass once again.

There’s a chance that FIRST OF MAY is going to prove well above average on an artificial surface, and she looks of interest on her return to the all-weather at Newcastle (6.00).

She won over today’s course-and-distance last December, but was still a revelation on her three-year-old debut at Wolverhampton in May. She was eased through to make her challenge early in the straight and her rider was able to take a pull before she shot clear in the final 150 yards, continuing to pull away from her rivals even as she was being eased down.

She hasn’t built on that run in two subsequent starts on turf, but there has to be a chance that she’s simply a better performer on an artificial surface, and although this is a better race than the one she won at Wolverhampton, she still looks the one to beat.

HUGH'S BEST BETS (1-5 POINTS):

2.00 HAYDOCK

1pt win DOGGED (5-1 general)

6.00 NEWCASTLE

1pt win FIRST OF MAY (5-2 Paddy Power, Betfair Sportsbook & 2-1 general)

All prices correct at time of publishing - please see top o

 

 

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1 hour ago, Sporting Sam said:

They often feature sky racing to the exclusion of the quality racing going on which is a key negative but if there’s some value to be found, not in it’s  self a bad thing.

I think he tends to concentrate on the all weather which is mostly covered by Sky.

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haydock 

 

Western stars

win

gets the main vote here after plenty of consideration.

Bought out of Ed Dunlop’s after a good second in a class three seller. (Seller and class three seems a contradiction in terms.) That’s two classes higher than this race. 

second on debut to a subsequent listed class horse rated 93 who also was eighth recently to Absurde. Went clear over too far before being reeled in this ex Dunlop horse looks never more comfortable than over a straight mile beating Cosmo raj over that trip. Has raced at class three and won at four. So this represents a big drop in class with the only question being the stamina factor over 1:2. 
in  any case the draw data puts this highest drawn runner in the driving seat as the highest drawn horses have prevailed in recent years.

a combination trifecta involving the three top weights is the saver hopefully the two bottom weights will stand their ground although both have big question marks carrying a penalty and hating soft ground.

 

win

western stars

western stars dogged fascinating lips 

Combination trifecta

 

Edited by Sporting Sam
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On 9/29/2023 at 12:49 AM, MCLARKE said:

As expected, 2020 was a poor year with an AE of 0.94. I will conclude with 2019 as before then Hugh's performance was a lot better so I am taking a worst case performance by starting with 2019.

Overall the 4 years show an AE of 1.008.

Some further stats which may prove useful.

1 point stakes have an AE of 1.03.

Bets with advised odds of 15/8 to 11/2 have a record of 201 wins from 699 runs with a LSP of 117 points and an AE of 1.18.

All weather bets have an AE of 1.06. All other race types have an AE less than 1.

I have now completed the analysis for 2019, this had an AE of 0.95. Overall for the 5 years the AE was 1.00 so the general conclusion would be that there is no real benefit of backing his bets or betting against him.

However In the years 2019 to 2022 backing his selections between 11/8 and 6/1 resulted in 242 wins from 878 selections with a profit of 87 points and an AE of 1.13.

If I then followed this "system" for 2023 there would have been 46 wins from 174 selections with a profit of 9 points and an AE of 1.07.

If I stick to the all weather then in the years 2019 to 2022 backing his selections below 6/1 resulted in 135 wins from 462 selections with a profit of 61 points and an AE of 1.15.

This "system" for 2023 has resulted in 25 wins from 82 selections with a profit of 8 points and an AE of 1.13.

I don't normally follow tipsters but I'll keep a note of these AW selections. 

 

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Published 9.04, 9.11, 9.17, 9.22 - all selections online

GHOSTWRITER has created a really favourable impression in his two starts to date and might be able to cope with the step up in class in what looks a good renewal of the Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket today (1.50).

He won in good style on his debut at the July course last month, recording a much better time and sectionals combination than that of today’s rival Macduff, who won the other division. It’s true that the selling race over the same distance was won in a slightly faster time than that of Ghostwriter, but it was run at a much stronger pace (more than two seconds faster to the 3f pole), and the runaway winner of the seller, Lambert, is much better than the average selling-race winner anyway.

Ghostwriter went to Ascot for his second start and produced a smart performance under a penalty, having his field well strung out despite the pace not being especially strong.

Moreover his time figure and his final 2f sectionals stood up extremely well against those of the ultra-competitive class handicap for older horses that followed.

The evidence of the clock suggests that he’s not only well worth his place in this field, but that he should be a leading player despite the potential strength of the race. 

ATLANTIS BLUE’s profile doesn’t leap off the page as that of a winner in waiting, but she’s still fairly interesting as far as longstanding maidens go, and she might be able to get off the mark in the 1m2f handicap at Chester (4.53).

She has finished runner-up six times and has yet to finish outside the first four in ten starts, but is still looking for her first win.

That’s partly down to over-racing, and that was certainly the case at Kempton last time, when she did too much too soon and folded in the closing stages having gone four or five lengths clear on the home turn with all her rivals struggling.

She has plenty of form with give underfoot on turf, notably when pulling clear with a well-handicapped rival at Bath in April, a race she might have won had she not given away the favoured inside rail at the cutaway.

She’ll need to settle, but she looks capable of winning off her current mark when things drop right. 

CLEARPOINT is a bit of a stab in the dark in the 5f handicap at Haydock (2.40) given it’s his debut for a new yard following a break, but his form on soft ground is probably better than it appears at first glance and I think he might be actually quite well suited by testing conditions.

He ran really well when fifth on his seasonal debut at Thirsk in April in the mud, racing on the unfavoured part of the track away from the stands rail, and a lot of the horses that raced on the same part of the track went on to leave that form well behind.

He had also shaped better than the bare form suggests on his other try on softish ground in a Listed race at Longchamp on his final two-year-old start last October, having little chance from a wide track position in another strong draw-bias race.

He was down the field when last seen at Royal Ascot on fast ground in June, but he’s become potentially very well handicapped if the switch to a new yard can revive his fortunes. 

THUNDER ROAR’s best form has come with give in the ground, and with Chester currently described as good to soft with further showers forecast this afternoon, he might go well at decent odds in the extended 7f handicap (5.28).

He clearly hasn’t been the easiest to train given his lightly-raced profile, but he has shaped well on each occasion that he has encountered give, and he bounced back to form on his debut for his current yard at Ayr in July on rain-softened ground.

His next run over 6f there can be excused, racing up with the pace into a headwind, and he also didn’t have the best of track positions when down the field at York last time.

He’s had another short break since that run, and the likely give underfoot should see him in a better light. He has a double-figure draw, but over the last year or so challenging wide has been no bad thing at Chester when it has rained and the ground starts to become chewed up on the inside.

HUGH'S BEST BETS (1-5 POINTS):

1.50 NEWMARKET

1pt win GHOSTWRITER (4-1 Betfair Sportsbook, bet365, 7-2, 100-30, 3-1 general)

2.40 HAYDOCK

1pt win CLEARPOINT (14-1 & 12-1 general)

4.53 CHESTER

1pt win ATLANTIS BLUE (13-2 bet365, 6-1 general)

5.28 CHESTER

Thunder roar win

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Published 9.07 - all selections online

SOTO SIZZLER’s form figures at Epsom read 1122123, and he’s been given a chance by the handicapper on his return to his favoured track in the 1m2f handicap today (Epsom 4.00).

All of those previous course runs have come in ultra-competitive handicaps – two each in the City And Suburban Handicap and Great Metropolitan Handicap, and the other three in well-contested events at the Derby meeting.

This looks a shade less competitive than the races he has previously contested here, and although he’s an eight-year-old, he left the impression he was well up to winning again here when third over this course and distance in April on his first start for Gary Moore, shaping extremely well on ground that was probably softer than ideal despite making his challenge away from the favoured stands rail.

He had a break after that effort and after presumably needing the run on his reappearance at Goodwood in August, he ran well when second in a four-runner event at the same track later that month.

I think a line can be put through his latest effort at Southwell, held up at the rear off a very steady pace against a bunch of useful all-weather specialists. He has a history of running well here after an ordinary prep run on an artificial surface, and as this is the final Epsom meeting of the season, this race may have been his principal autumn target. 

HUGH'S BEST BETS (1-5 POINTS):

4.00 EPSOM

1pt win SOTO SIZZLER (13-2 bet365, 11

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With such a small field  in Hugh’s race I’m looking to the 3:15 at Epsom with some collaborative form to come earlier at longchamp.

Epsom 1415

Mercian Warrior

win

ran second in a £300k sales race in Ireland to a horse running in a group one at the arc meeting today. He goes for a fraction of that today ( £12k) and may hold strong enough form to take this lesser race.

Sennockian

each way

represents a yard who’ve reaped fifteen winners from the dying embers on September and close order to thunder blue earlier in the season puts him in a vein of form possibly capable to take a hand here.

I won’t be getting involved in Hugh’s race as there is too much high quality fare going on today.

Native American 

runs for Richard Fahey against an unbeaten french runner at 1315 at the arc meeting.

Edited by Sporting Sam
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Published 9.09, 9.41 & 10.00 - all selections online

CASTAN’s sole all-weather run to date reads very well, and after leaving the impression he would have finished much closer granted a clear run at Redcar last time, he might be poised to strike on his belated return to an artificial surface at Newcastle today (7.30).

He didn’t travel especially well at Redcar, but looked like he was starting to stay on when repeatedly running into trouble approaching the furlong pole, his rider accepting matters once his chance had gone.

His chance here, though, is predicated on his run over this course-and-distance last October. He couldn’t go with Michaela’s Boy in the closing stages, but that’s hardly surprising as the winner was just about the fastest 5f two-year-old seen on the all-weather last winter and was racing off a mark of 78 (he went on to finish a close second in a valuable handicap at the Curragh off a mark of 97 this summer).

Castan readily beat the remainder, and the field finished extremely strung out by 5f standards.

He’s 2lb lower here, and if he is close to that form on his return to the all-weather he’ll be hard to beat.

It’s not surprising to see Tropical Air installed as a short-priced favourite in the 6f nursery at Newcastle (7.00), and he might be hard to peg back again as he bids for an all-weather hat-trick, even though he’s down in trip and racing on a straight track this time.

However, I don’t think we’ve seen the best of ANGLESEY LAD, and he looks a bit of value against the odds-on favourite.

Anglesey Lad shaped with a degree of promise on his all-weather and handicap debut at Kempton in August, racing three wide round the bend but travelling well up to a point, suggesting he had taken to the surface quite well.

His next run was a curious piece of placement, other than Chester being the stable’s local track, as he was asked to contest a 7f maiden on soft ground, but he shaped quite well in the circumstances, travelling nicely a long way off the pace and not at all knocked about.

That run wasn’t without its benefits, as he’s been dropped a further 2lb here, and having shown promise off a 5lb higher mark at Kempton, he looks the best alternative to the favourite.

PATONTHEBACK has a habit of throwing in the odd shocker, as was the case last time at Newcastle, but he also has a history of bouncing back from those poor runs, and he might be worth chancing in the 7f handicap at Newcastle (5.00).

He weakened here tamely last time when sent off 5-2 favourite, but his previous course-and-distance run in August had seen a dominant display in a good time figure.

There have been a handful of other occasions during his career when he’s run no sort of a race yet bounced back on his next start, and whilst he’s probably not one to take too short a price about, a return to his previous course-and-distance form would make him a big player at decent odds.

 

HUGH'S BEST BETS (1-5 POINTS):

5.00 NEWCASTLE

1pt win PATONTHEBACK (16-1 general)

7.00 NEWCASTLE

1pt win ANGLESEY LAD (11-2 general)

7.30 NEWCASTLE

1pt win CASTAN (7-1

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Newcastle 17:00

three horses of interest 

DRAW DATA HORSE IS STALL 6

AL BAHEY

WIN

SHOWTIMES MAHOMES

WIN

drops in class after class four win on turf and was going away over this trip and may be more to come.

POWER OF DARKNESS

each way

a winner off 91 in a class three runs off light mark here and has contested class two and three. Last in the Cambridgeshire two years ago. But potentially a group horse in a handicap if finding a glimpse of old form for Charlie fellowes.

 

 

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Power of darkness went very close. Beaten by a stable switcher from Charlie Johnston who on reflection had been laid out for last night returning some inexplicable performances in the lead up to his transfer.

Castan was Hugh’s best selection for some time and the formline with michealas boy proved spot on.

.  Socialise     achieved an each way fourth.

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