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Value Test - 24th Jul


16.20 Yarmouth

The top three in the market look to have very similar chances and vary in price from 3/1 to 4/1. Soap Wars has a negative in that he has not run for 288 days. Kuanyao has gone up 1lb for a 1.5L beating last time and Picabo has increased 3lb for a 1L beating, so these two don’t look particularly well handicapped on recent form.

It is difficult to split the three at the top so I am going for an each way bet on The Guru Of Gloom at 12/1 and 15.5. He was beaten 2L by Klynch last time out over 7f and Klynch was only beaten 1.5L off 6lb higher next time. He is dropping back to 6f for the first time having won over 7f and 1m 100yds before. This may be a negative but he has raced keenly before so it could just as easily be a positive and the odds make the risk worth taking.

Value Test - 23rd Jul


21.00 Beverley

In a tricky race reduced from 17 to 15 runners Choc A Moca looks a bit short at 4/1 and Tabaret looks reasonable value at 13/2 and 7.2. He ran well in a claimer last time out but 2 runs before he ran 2nd to Bosuns Breeze who went on to win his next race off 5lbs higher.

Finishing behind Tabaret that day and running here are Secret Venue, Nickel Silver, Mercers Row and Select Committee. Select Committee has never won off today’s rating and so I will exclude him from consideration today.

Mercers Row’s disappointing run may be worth forgiving as he has won 2/3 at Beverley. He may be value at 9/1 and 9.2.

Secret Venue finished 3rd after being off the track for over a year and at 12/1 and 12 is worth considering if he is able to build on that.

At a bigger price Nickel Silver at 16/1 and 26 may be worth an each way bet. He has been running well below form on his rare appearances over the last couple of years and it looks like his last run may signal he is still capable of winning and repaying his trainer’s patience.

Value Test - 21st Jul


15.05 Ripon

The favourite, Eastward Ho, looks reasonable value at 11/2 and 6.4. He is drawn 3 and likes to make the running and looks progressive. He has won his last two races and the 2nd and 3rd in the last one have both won since and one of those, Lockantanks, reopposes here today.

At a slightly bigger price Venutius looks value at 9/1 and 10. He has gone up 5lbs for winning last time out but he was only narrowly beaten off higher marks last season.

Ingleby Exceed 8/1 and 12 also won last time out from a subsequent winner and although he has drifted on Betfair may be worth a small interest.

15.55 Ascot

There is very little to choose between the top half dozen or so in the betting. If I had to choose I’d have a small bet on Bonnie Brae to follow up her Bunbury Cup win at 14/1 and 16 but it has been said that the run may come too soon for her and all the others at the top of the market have good chances as well.

My preference is for a small each way bet on Brae Hill at 22/1 and 28 (5.6 BF place) who likes to lead but doesn’t have to lead to win. It looks like he is back to form after finishing 2nd after missing the break at Newcastle and being held up. If he can settle just off the pace today he has every chance.

Value Test - 20th Jul


15.55 Ascot

Mac’s Power is the favourite at 5/2 and 3.7. He has been unlucky at times but this price looks too short. He is certainly capable of winning this so I don’t want to lay him therefore I prefer to take him on with the next two in the market.

Shropshire 13/2 and 8.2 was beaten 2L in a competitive handicap last time out and remains on the same mark.

Farlow 7/1 and 8.2 has gone up 1lb for finishing 2nd over 7f last time but the time before he won over 6f on GS going.

Value Test - 19th Jul


18.00 Bath

Wooden King is the favourite at 7/2 and 4.4. This looks a reasonable price if he handles the easy going. I will be having a “saver” at that price but I am interested in a couple of others at bigger prices.

Time Medicean at 16/1 and 17.5 made his seasonal debut last time out and was well beaten but if we forgive this run and a run over 7f last year on the all-weather he looks capable of winning. He has run well on easy going and has won over 5f.

Sulis Minerva may also be value at 11/1 and 12.5. She was slowly away last time out on heavy going and doesn’t need to improve too much on that run if she can start a little quicker.

Value Test - 16th Jul


14.35 Ayr

The Nifty Fox looks a bit too short at 11/4 so Rasaman looks a better option at 11/2 and 8.2. He won last time out from Mass Rally who recently finished 3rd in the Scottish Stewards Cup off 2lbs higher.

Of some interest at 11/2 and 6.8 is Hills Of Dakota who wasn’t given a hard time when he was beaten last time out and may still be progressive.

No Hubris at 16/1 and 20 (5.7 BF place) may be worth an each way bet. He won a claimer last time out and has gone up 2 to 79 but it is only a year ago that he was rated 92. Ruth Carr has had him for 7 races and may well have started to work him out.

Value Test - 14th Jul


14.50 Chester

The narrow favourite Corporal Maddox is dropping back in trip to 6f so Parisian Pyramid 4/1 and 5.1 may be a better alternative. It is quite possible that he can get things his own way in front as there aren’t too many horses that have recently led in the field. Masked Dance may press him for the lead and is drawn on his inside but may not be good enough to really trouble him.

Should they go off too fast and give the finishers a chance then it may be worth risking an each way bet on Arganil. Last time out was too bad to be true and although he is inconsistent at 14/1 and 19 (BF place 4.7) it may be worth the risk.

Value Test - 13th Jul


16.00 Newbury

This looks quite an open handicap and there is little to split the top 3 in the betting, all at around 5/1. A small each way bet on Catalina’s Diamond may be an alternative (9/1 and 11, 3.7 BF place). She won last time out and has gone up just 1lb.

The negatives are that she won over 7f on the all-weather. She is now back to 5f, over which she ran well last season without winning, and on soft going, which she has encountered only once before and ran ok without pulling up any trees.

The positive is that she would not be this price if the race was over 6f or 7f on the all-weather.

Value Test - 10th Jul


17.15 Wolverhampton

The first 3 in the market, Gazboolou 7/2 and 5.1, Basle 4/1 and 4.9 and Lutine Charlie 11/2 and 6.8, all look to have reasonable chances but do not look great value at current prices. It is difficult to split them at these prices so Sairaam at 16/1 and 18 may offer some value each way.

She is better on turf than all-weather but her rating reflects this. Last time out she was unsuited by the easy going and won on turf the time before that, making all the running. She had run twice on the all-weather before that and the first of those runs gives her a chance here. She can make the running and it looks as if there may not be too much competition for the lead here as very few of the runners have led in recent races. It may be worth risking a small each way bet.

Value Test - 9th Jul

I’ve specialised in all age handicaps from 5f up to 1 mile for many years and I’m constantly looking for ways to streamline the work involved in analysing a race. Usually that involves going through each horse in several likely looking races each day and producing a forecast odds line.

Recently I’ve been focussing on races where I think the favourite intuitively looks too short. This can lead to identifying a good lay opportunity or flag up value bets at bigger prices without the need to produce a price for each horse. I’ve had some success this way but I want to test the method further by sharing it here.

09/07/12 – 21.20 Ripon

The favourite Horatio Carter looks too short to be backing at 3/1 and 4.2 in a 15 runner race. That said I do not think there is enough recent form on show to mark him out as automatic lay material. He ran well last time out and has won off much higher marks in the past but needs to be a bigger price to warrant a bet.

It may pay to look for something at a bigger price and it is possible that Wisemans Diamond may be win and place value at around 16/1 and 24 on Betfair ( 6.2 BF place ). She made all in heavy going 4 runs ago but does not need to make the running to win. She ran ok two runs ago but has run poorly on the other two runs since that win, but she may have had too much use made of her racing up with the pace. If we forgive these runs a reproduction of her last win may well be good enough here.

Izzet won for the first time last time out and although he carries a penalty could be a better alternative as the most likely winner than Horatio Carter. At 5/1 and around 7 on Betfair he looks reasonable value in comparison.