Archive for November, 2010

Is Denman opposable today?

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

Everyone loves a superstar chaser and Denman is no exception.

I’m sure every racing enthusiast would love to see Denman come back off a long break and put up another awesome weight-carrying performance in the top class handicap that is the Hennessy.

But look at this:

– His form figures read:  2F/1U24-  Ok, the penultimate “2” was the Cheltenham Gold Cup, but it’s doubtful Denman is improving at the age of 10 – and he has failed to complete in 2 out of the last 6 of his starts.

– Question:  How many 10 year olds or older horses have won the Hennessy in the last 50 years?

– Answer:    3.

Big weight carrying performances in the Hennessy have a rather more encouraging record.  11 horses have carried 11 stone 10 or more to victory, including Denman, twice(!) in the last 3 years.  A feat comparable with, if not equal to, the legendary Arkle.  But Arkle was 7 when he won the first of his back to back Hennessy victories in 1964.  And even Arkle failed to win a third – plus he was a younger horse with an impeccable recent record (having won his third Gold Cup in the same year) when he tried.

In many ways, it’s hard to see why Denman is such a short-priced favourite for the race.  Of course, his formidable trainer would not be competing him unless he thought he had a great chance of winning – but he also has 4 others in the race!

So – it’s probably fair to say that whilst a horse of Denman’s class should not be underestimated, and we would all like to see a winning superstar, today he’s not the best betting proposition.

Is there a betting play in the race?  With many of the other 17 contenders unexposed at this level, it’s hard to single one out.

Ironically, Denman may be the most solid bet on the exchanges – but not backing him (or laying him) before the race.

Instead, provided he doesn’t have one of his notorious recent “off-days”, his class should see him thereabouts towards the end of the race.  If he is going well coming to the final turn at Newbury, laying him at an even shorter price in-running may be the most interesting betting proposition – especially if one of the other contenders that are carrying 2 stone less are also going well…

Paddy Power Gold Cup thoughts

Saturday, November 13th, 2010

Thoughts briefly:

At 28/1, Little Josh, coming out top in our leader statistics for the race, is an interesting back to lay play.

Can’t see beyond Great Endeavour from a win perspective.   But with so many, including Great Endeavour, yet to run this season, this is not a great race for confident punting.

Leaders and laggers for the last of the Flat turf season

Friday, November 5th, 2010

Leaders and laggers, our guide to pace in the race for all Flat races under a mile, are now up online in the Betwise Members’ area for all Saturday’s qualifying races.

Next week we’ll start showing our pace statistics for selected National Hunt racing – since pace also has an important bearing there, more than you might think at first glance…