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Allow Me To Introduce Myself.......

Hello and a warm welcome to

RaceReader is a dedicated horse racing blog . I will comment on topical racing issues and hope to provide useful information and analysis to make your betting more profitable and enjoyable.

My name is Steve and I more or less eat, sleep and breathe horse racing.  I compile my own handicap ratings, which have helped me to turn a profit betting on handicap races on the turf and all weather over the last few years.

I’ll be honest and admit that I’m probably a bit of an anorak as I get totally engrossed in speed figures, handicap ratings and strike rates. The numbers have helped me to make money but may have distracted me from the reasons why I liked horse racing when I was too young to bet, well, bet legally at any rate.

I half realised I was missing something when Sea The Stars eased through the gap in the Arc and the realisation was complete when the cardiac patient Denman recuperated to win the Hennessy.  Denman’s performance was so special that I found myself watching him in preference to a race I’d had a bet in on the all weather.

It took me back to the likes of Nijinsky, Mill Reef, Red Rum and Desert Orchid. I suppose what I’m saying is that I’ve got a bit bogged down in figures and see this blog as a way of kicking off some of the mud.

I’m not sure exactly what form my ramblings will take but I’m sure there will be some moans, rants and tirades but I will try to pick out some positive things as well.

I’d like to share some of the methods I use to ensure I keep backing winners and hope that you will also share your opinions and ideas.

If you have a favourite racing related topic or have ideas for interesting features please let me know. I will do my best to include your input.

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Value Test - 11th Aug


15.10 Redcar

Pearl Nation is unexposed and the horses he beat last time out into second and third both won handicaps in their next runs. He is 7/2 with most books but looks value at 5.4 on Betfair.

Illustrious Prince is the second favourite at 9/2 and 6.2. The only real positive I can see is his return to 7f and the fact he is 7lbs lower than his last run over the distance. It is not impossible that he can return to that form but I would be looking for a slightly bigger price.

Sound Amigo finished second at Thirsk over 6f and if he can reproduce that over 7f he may be value at 10/1 and 9.8. He has gone up 2lbs but won over 7f on turf last season.

A possible long shot is Act Your Shoe Size at 14/1 to 20/1 and 18 ( 5.2 BF place). She was beaten 40L last time over 1m 3f but won over 1m the time before and 1m 1f before that. She has gone up 6lbs for her last win but may still be improving. She likes to lead but I don’t think she has to as she was headed in her last win but fought back. The biggest worries are her outside draw and the drop back to 7f. The changes of distance may be a worry along with the presence of Celtic Sultan, an habitual front runner in stall 1 while she is in 14, but the price is big enough to warrant a small speculative each way bet.

Value Test - 10th Aug


16.00 Musselburgh

Green Howard at 3/1 and 4.4 may still be progressive but has been beaten twice off today’s rating in class 3 handicaps. He may have had excuses as he may have been on the wrong side of the course and may well do better on today’s faster going.

Al Muheer also has a good chance and at 7/2 and 5.4 looks value. He is on 89 and has run close twice off this mark recently. There is not much to choose between the two if we acknowledge Green Howard’s potential but I am trying to make most of my profit from Al Muheer and am using Green Howard as “insurance”.

Of the rest, Vito Volterra at 8/1 and 8.6 has been running well but he has made all the running in all of his wins and with Polish World in the field I think he will find it difficult today.

Copperwood seems to have been revitalised by Mark Johnston and a change of running style saw him race up front last time out to win at Newmarket. He looks not too far away from value at around 9 on Betfair. If he gets much bigger he may be worth a small bet and a drifting Mark Johnston horse is nothing to worry about. The stable does not bet so it does not generally mean the horse has less chance.

Value Test - 8th Aug


15.40 Newcastle

Discression is at 4/1 and 5.4. He may be progressive but is still a maiden and maidens do not have great records in handicaps. He has a chance taking potential into account but I see him as no more than a “saver”.

Eastward Ho may be better value at similar odds of 4/1 and 5.5 as he finished 3rd last time out and the second horse Venutius finished close up on his next run off 5lbs higher. Both horses raced up with a contested pace and did well to hold their positions. Venutius’s last run was a similar battling performance after doing the best of those that raced prominently. If the pace is not so hot today or he can settle just off the pace Eastward Ho may well win.

Who’s Shirl has some appeal at much bigger odds of 18/1 and 22 (BF place 5.0). She has run once this season and comes back after 74 days off. She has won after a two month lay off before. She has dropped by 11lbs since the start of last season and is capable of running well and is worth an each way bet.

Value Test - 7th Aug


19.35 Ripon

David Nicholls has the two market leaders in this competitive class 3. It may pay to look at two slightly higher priced runners in Singeur and Bosun Breeze.

Singeur at 8/1 and 8.6 was beaten by 5L on his seasonal reappearance last time out and has dropped 2lbs to his last handicap winning mark. If he is fitter for that run he can go close here.

Bosun Breeze won his penultimate start and went up 7lbs. On his last run the jockey said he slipped leaving the stalls so we can forgive him that run. The question is can he win again off 7lbs higher. I think we can take that chance at 8/1 and 9.8.

A much riskier proposition is Oldjoesaid at 33/1 and 46 (BF place 11.5). He finished just in front of Singeur in his last run and although, unlike Singeur, he may not improve for the run, he raced off the pace when those at the front all finished close up. He may be worth a small each way bet.

Value Test - 4th Aug


19.00 Lingfield

Macchiara is the favourite at 3/1 and 4.0. This looks no more than ok for a maiden winner entering a handicap against older horses for the first time. She is unexposed so can improve but there may be value in looking at Patrick Chaming’s two runners.

Eager To Bow has good form on the all-weather and has a sound chance at 6/1 and 8.6. He has won his last two races and has been raised 4 lbs.

Scottish Glen may be slightly better value at 8/1 and 9.0. He has also won his last two races on the all-weather but he has not been raised in the weights. He won off 74 achieving a good speed figure last time but runs off 67 now on turf.

The handicapper obviously thinks he is not the same horse on turf but there doesn’t seem to be enough evidence to say that he cannot perform on turf. His last run on turf was off 67 and he was beaten 3.5L. The run before that on the AW was off 70 and he was beaten 2.25L. Before that he was beaten 15L on turf off 70 and prior to that 11.5L on the AW off 70. He has only had 3 other runs on turf early in his career. There is another apparent negative as he hasn’t run since his win in May but this came after a lay off after a January win so he can run well fresh.

Value Test - 3rd Aug


19.30 Newmarket

Crew Cut looks solid value at 5/1 and 6.4. He has been beaten twice by Trojan Rocket since winning and has gone up 1lb for each of those defeats but he didn’t have a clear run last time and tries 7f for the first time today. There is plenty of competition but he looks the solid option.

Forks looks dangerous at 6/1 and 7.0, as does Emkanaat at 8/1 and 10.0 but I would prefer slightly bigger prices to have a “saver”. Konstantin is a bigger price at 11/1 and 12.5 but he seems a bit too inconsistent to warrant a bet at that price and his best form seems to be at Epsom, Brighton and Lingfield – tracks with downhill sections.

Value Test - 31st Jul


16.05 Beverley

Fear Nothing has sound claims but looks short at 7/4 and 2.92 so I am tempted to give Nickel Silver another chance. He ran here last week behind Last Sovereign, Select Committee, Tabaret and Steelcut. Last Sovereign carries 6lbs more and the others re-oppose on the same terms.

Nickel Silver usually likes to race up with the pace but last week he did not get a good start and was travelling well and looking for room in the final two furlongs before being switched and hampered. He may well have been pressing for a place if he had had a clear run.

He is drawn 1 today which should be ideal if he gets away well as other potential front runners are drawn high. He has run infrequently over the last two years but his last two runs are going in the right direction. If Bryan Smart is persisting because he thinks the horse can recapture his 2010 form odds of 33/1+ and 40 (BF place 8.0) look worthy of a small interest.

Another at big odds worthy of a small each way bet is Comptonspirit, at 20/1 and 21. She is drawn in 2 and could benefit from tracking Nickel Silver. She has her favoured Good To Firm going and is capable of building on her penultimate start, as her last run on easy going can be forgiven.

Steelcut looked unlucky not to finish closer last week but is again drawn high which tempers enthusiasm even at 11/1 and 19. Last Sovereign needs a strong pace if he starts slowly so again enthusiasm is tempered at  10/1 and 17. Tabaret and Select Committeee have decent chances but are too short to consider at around 5/1 as we are looking for the chance of a decent win if the short priced favourite fails with the bonus of additional place possibilities.

Value Test - 30th Jul


15.50 Yarmouth

Rough Rock looks value today at 5/1 and 6.2 on Betfair. He is a regular at the track and will not be disadvantaged if rain eases the going. He can be held up or ridden close to the pace so may have all tactical bases covered. He has not won off today’s rating of 73 but has won off 72 and has an apprentice rider who is well worth the 3lb allowance.

Value Test - 28th Jul


14.55 Ascot

Medicean Man finished 3rd in the Kings Stand, then ran slightly disappointingly in the Wokingham but last time had no run in a Sandown Group 3. He looks to be on top form and although he has been raised 6lb to 109 for his recent pattern efforts he is capable of winning. At 10/1 and 11.5 (BF place 3.6) he is worth a safety first each way bet.

16.10 Newcastle

Noodles Blue Boy at 4/1 and 5.2 looks solid value on his last two efforts on easy going as he is also effective on faster going.

Value Test - 26th Jul


17.55 Bath

The favourite Sarangoo looks reasonable at 7/2 if we forgive his last run from a wide draw and after being held up in a race where the leaders may have had an advantage. He was beaten less than 3L and the time before won an apprentice handicap off the same mark as today. His recent good runs have come on easy going but he has run well on firm going.

Catalina’s Diamond has claims at 8/1 and 10.5 as we can forgive her last run over 5f on easy going. She can win this if she runs to the form of her previous 7f all-weather victory.

19.40 Epsom

Moodhill looks reasonable value at 9/2 as he is an unexposed 3yo and although his recent win came on soft going he has run well on good going.

My Kingdom is very consistent and looks value to run his usual good race at 13/2.