Monthly Archives: February 2016

Festival 2016 Handicap entries – full press release

spyglassCourtesy of my friends at Racenews, here’s a PDF with all the news of the handicap entries for Cheltenham 2016


Fez16 hcap entries press release

25/1 Dark horse Kilcooley just a gallop away from the World Hurdle

CLIn October I tipped Kilcooley at a big price for the World Hurdle. Like last year’s World Hurdle winner, Cole Harden, Kilcooley had just won the Bet365 Yorkshire Hurdle.

Training problems have kept him off the track since then. On the upside, they’ve also ensured he has slipped well below the bookies’ radar. On official ratings, Kilcooley is one of three sitting just 4lbs behind Thistlecrack. On Topspeed ratings he’s the fastest in the race.

Kilcooley’s trainer, Charlie Longsdon, told me yesterday, ‘”Killer” is very well and I am doing a racecourse gallop with him before I make a final decision as to whether he will be ready for Cheltenham or not. If he is not, I will send him to Aintree.

‘He has had a few muscle problems since he last ran, but hopefully they are now a thing of the past. He has had a lot of help from our vets and all the physios, and I hope that will pay off in three weeks. As for his chances, he is the forgotten horse of the race. He is the joint second highest rated horse in the race and he will go on any ground’.

Kilcooley is 25/1 NRNB with a few bookmakers and it looks like he won’t be risked unless he is spot on, in which case he has an excellent chance. With money back if he doesn’t run, he is great value.

Good luck


Who will become the Amazon of online betting?

binocularsAs Amazon, Facebook, and Google have proved, where there is a global desire for a product, online dominance of that sector is not only possible, but it is becoming the norm.

Netflix for streaming movies, Spotify for music, Uber for taxis…why shouldn’t this work for betting?

Bookies offer different odds – that might be one argument, but how many casual punters care about that? If you just want a bet on the football or on the National or The Masters, the difference between 9/2 and 11/2 won’t matter much. So long as it is easy to place the bet, you get paid right away and, if something does go wrong, customer service is splendid.

So, how do you beat your rivals in this fight for dominance? Well, brand recognition is a crucial aspect. If I were the CEO of one of the majors, I’d be grabbing every sponsorship opportunity I could get while my rivals dithered about agreeing ABP status.

The usually astute Paddy Power seldom let an opportunity for name recognition pass, and I’m astounded that they’re hanging around on the question of ABP.

I’d take every sponsorship of every race I could get my hands on for the next five years, so that all that the betting public sees, a dozen times a day, seven days a week and at all the major events would be my company’s name. Not only is that name drip, drip, dripping into their consciousness, it’s displacing the names of all my rivals, for there is nothing left for them to sponsor.

Of course, they can go into other sports, but at what price? And I’m going to be there too, with a much more recognisable brand.

I’ve worked in the betting and racing game since 1971 and I’ve seen some short-sighted decisions, but this is one to beat the band.

Is there nobody out there with the vision to grasp this opportunity for long-term dominance?

Be wise with Buywise at 50/1 in the National

national_jumpersThe Crabbie’s Grand National entries were published today, and Buywise caught my eye. He’s trained by Evan Williams who has a good record of placed horses in the National, and for the romantic among you, Williams has sworn ‘I’ll win the Grand National before I draw my last breath’.

Buywise could be the one. He’s certainly worth betting at 50/1, which is twice the price he should be in my opinion. He’s a talented but, so far, luckless horse who has run well in some really good handicaps. He tends to run into trouble at a crucial point, take a bump or run into the back of something, or just make a bog-standard jumping error. But that seems to be steadily getting ironed out. He was 3rd at Doncaster last Saturday and made no mistakes. He was staying on well at the end and his trainer now believes he might have been running the horse over the wrong trip.

Buywise, like many before him, will be wide-eyed when he sees the Aintree fences for the first time, though they are nowhere near as punishing as they used to be, thankfully. Some horses get scared and can’t or won’t jump them cleanly. Some find it exhilarating and fly round. I’m hoping Buywise is in the latter category.

I’m certain he’ll be much shorter than 50/1 come April 9th, but, as always, much can happen between now and then. If he doesn’t make it to the race (a pre-race injury would rule any potential runner out), your money is lost, so stake accordingly.

Good luck