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.
  • The Jumps Season Service will return for 2024/25 in late October

Staying Chases


Native River extended the continued success for the Ante-Post Focus column this year having been recommended five weeks earlier when 16/1 was available for the Hennessy. I will be looking at the Becher Chase in tomorrow’s copy and maybe also the Welsh Grand National (both races are covered in the Race Trends section) where I have an early fancy, though I’m not sure that his price will contract in the near future so I may hold off another week with him.

Most of us have a type of race in which we fare better than others and staying chases are comfortably where I have performed best down the years - Rule The World and Vicente being very good ante-post examples from last spring. My on-the-day 33/1 each-way recommendation of Carole’s Destrier underlined that view by making Native River pull out all the stops. I have digested the Hennessy in last night’s Week 3 edition of Cheltenham Festival Ante-Post.

I was a slow old boat myself being a former cross-country runner so perhaps I have an eye and feel for what is required being more of a tortoise than a hare! Also down the years it has been the staying chases (or the hurdle races that require stamina) where I have fared best at the Cheltenham Festival.

I like to be more generic covering all types of racing but there are many successful punters who are successful purely because they specialise in certain types of races concentrating solely on that genre. I don’t have the discipline for that but, being aware that staying chases is the area that I fare much the best in, I raise my stakes accordingly for them. Jeremiah Catskill is the same for the Flat specialising in the staying races and I hope that you enjoyed the first of his monthly blogs. His second blog focussing on horses from the Flat turning their attentions to hurdling will be uploaded in early December.

There is no magic staking plan but staking is a hugely important part of betting as you could back more winners than losers and still end up out of profit if you mess this critical factor up. My biggest staking mistakes down the years have been (a) not holding my nerve during a poor run therefore reducing stakes levels for winners, (b) increasing the stake levels for shorter-priced bets and most common of all (c) decreasing stakes for the bigger-priced bets. We’re all human and the natural human instinct is one of survival. In a nutshell, the main key to staking is to have more on when you think your edge is at its greatest and, with me, that is in staying chases.

Mike Henderson was out of luck with his each-way recommendation of Peter Wright for the Players’ Championship failing at the semi-final stage but all three of his match bets won over the three-day tournament. He is now turning his attention to the World Darts Championships which start on December 15th and will be covering on a round-by-round basis.

Jumps Season Service

An approximate 6 months' service running between late October 2024 until the end of the British Jumps Season focussing primarily on weekly Cheltenham Festival columns which is showing a 149 level stakes profit since that service was launched back in 2008 and also including views on other major races and sporting events including his Big Race Trends. 

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