Clear, concise, comprehensive horseracing analysis and insight from Paul Jones, former author of the Cheltenham Festival Betting Guide, concentrating on jump racing in addition to the best of the Flat and leading Sports events.
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Hennessy Meeting Lookback

November 29th

Well, the Hennessy couldn’t have gone much worse for my two ante-post selections, one being withdrawn less than an hour beforehand and then the other fell at the first fence! Then, to really rub it in, I had to sit and suffer and watch Smad Place, who I backed in last year’s race, absolutely hose up. However, it was still a good day principally due to Identity Thief (advised at 8/1 on Wednesday in Big Race Focus) winning the Fighting Fifth following on from Annacotty at 16/1 in the Paddy Power Gold Cup in the same feature two weeks earlier. It’s the Tingle Creek next weekend but, as I have no desire to take on Un De Sceaux, I will be looking at the Becher Chase and maybe also the John Durkan in this Wednesday’s Big Race Focus trying to find the early value and keep the very good start going.

Before then I have posted a preview of Fairyhouse's x3 Grade 1 card today in Race Previews, I will uploading Week 3 of the Cheltenham Ante-Post Service on Monday where there is plenty to get through and it Finals Day of the Players’ Championship Darts today on ITV4 starting at 12.45 where Mike Henderson has quarter-final bets and his pre-tournament advice, Michael van Gerwen at 13/8, is now 8-13. Ross Miles also has a bet to win NFC Conference.

Three trainers who enjoyed a notably good Hennessy Meeting were Warren Greatrex, Colin Tizzard and Dan Skelton so I’ve already made a note in my 2016 diary to remember that for 12 months’ time. I like to do this with sporting (particulary golf) and racing events as you can easily forget things a year on. Greatrex trains just down the road and had three winners from his seven runners at the meeting at 7/1, 5/1 and 5/2 (the last two being well backed) so this looks like being a meeting he will continue to target. Tizzard, who I flagged up in Friday’s copy as a trainer who over-performs at this meeting, had two winners of pattern races at 8/1 and 7/2 plus the double-figure priced runners-up in the Hennessy and Pertemps Qualifier and Dan Skelton also had two very good novice winners. A hat tip to Alan King who has now won both major handicap chases this season following on from the Cesarewitch. Sounds like Martin Pipe in his hayday! He hasn't had the best of luck with injuries to many of his best horses over the last 2-3 seasons (Uxizandre being another for this campaign) and these successes are richly deserved. 

Staying with trainers and I hope you took note of Andy Richmond’s Trading Talk article in Guest Contributions from earlier in the month regards Sue Smith who has had seven winners in the last 11 days. Andy argued: “On the face of it the month of October has looked a disappointing one for the yard with just one winner from 29 runners. But that really doesn’t tell the whole story as the High Eldwick handler has had numerous horses run well with the large majority trading at well below their SP before just looking as they have needed the run. This sort of trait often highlight a yard that are about to really strike form I’ll be particularly interested in a lot of the Smith runners on their next starts when they should strip fitter for their initial outing.” Andy’s next weekly copy will be uploaded on Thursday.


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