7th – 13th November All Weather Musings and retirement??

It’s that time of year once again, all weather season. Where us fans of racing on ‘the level’ get to punt our way through the cold, dark, winter months, watching Luke Morris thrash his way around Chelmsford and Lingfield. Speaking of Lingfield, 11:05 first race there on Saturday, which means I can potentially chalk the first green or red of the day at 06:05 EST, a new record, I think. The 700/400 taken on myself to win the ‘Winter Naps King’ contest now looking less shrewd by the second with ‘LENG’ tipping on the sand on the opening day. Cold here at the moment, -9c with the windchill this morning over this side of the pond, a long winter ahead to say the least. Over the next few months there will be horses to follow, horses to oppose and ones that may be potentially well handicapped when the 2023 turf season kicks off #Theroadtodoncaster

Before I get to the nitty gritty of a few horses to potentially back or lay in the coming weeks and months, just a chance to address a bits and pieces. I’ve had numerous messages about me retiring, will I still be on the Barstewards etc etc. After my sub-par tipping throughout the summer, I’m surprised that the latter question cropped up. We’ll put the summer selections down to variance. Back to the retiring side, no I’m certainly not retiring and I was surprised to read that it was being claimed, I’ve never once mentioned the ‘R’ word to anyone. I haven’t made enough money yet, I’m 31 and as long as my eyes still work, I’ll still be betting on horses in some way shape or form. Truth be told, I’m not qualified to do anything else! I’ve loved my time at Betting Gods but the right time to take a step back. The majority of my income is derived from betting/trading rather than the tipping horses. That being said, punting can be a pretty solitary pursuit and I do enjoy the tipping side of the game. It’s allowed meet new people that I wouldn’t have otherwise, people I would now class as friends infact. Speak about racing, find new edges and hear about what members have done with winnings throughout years. Who knows what will happen next, but I’m always open to offers and opportunities, so I guess I’ll see what crops up in the short, medium or long term. 

5 horses below to kick off the All Weather Musings column for this season.

Monday 7th November

17:30 Wolverhampton – Numerous horses could have been put up from this contest, it really does appeal as strong form the grade. The front three clocked big numbers in relation to their handicap marks and will all be going close next time out if placed correctly. The horse that I putting forward as one to follow short term is the Jonathan Portman trained Bear Force. He half missed the beat at the start here and ended up too far back, despite the race being run at a decent tempo he was still too far out of his ground. Still going well 3f from home he started to make gradually late inroads without ever being given a hard time. One love tap a furlong from home to be precise. Safe to say he finished quickest of all 101.84% finishing speed and with a lot left in the tank. The handicapper has kindly dropped a lb to a mark of 72, if he can get into the 0-70 back over C+D 26th November then he would be of significant interest. As I said at the start, this race appeals as very strong form and he’ll drop on much weaker heats than he contested here.

18:30 Wolverhampton – A longer term prospect here in the shape of Lucky Fifteen, he had really taken my eye when I saw him walking around the paddock pre-race at Kempton (19th October). The more I looked at him the more I liked him. Very strong in the market that day despite still carrying a fair bit of condition, he underperformed market expectations. Still carrying at Wolverhampton, to my eye he showed a bit more and is one to very much be interested in now he has been allotted a mark. Green and rough around the edges he ended up posted 3 deep throughout, this speed test no suitable for one that has ample stamina on the dam side. Bess Of Hardwick the dam, wasn’t seen until May of her 3yo season and ended up winning The River Eden over 13f towards the backend of her 4yo season. Her other foal to have hit the track Cavendish needed 14f to get off the mark. Time, distance and gelding will be the making of this smashing looker. 64 is the mark he’s been given, looks wise and long-term ability wise I have no doubt he’ll be significantly better than that in due course. 10f+ will be his bag and is one to follow with a winter on his back.

Wednesday 9th November

18:00 Kempton – Early markets (Paddy Power compilers) nowadays, rightly or wrongly seem very much focused on timefigures when chalking up novice races. With that in mind I feel the run of Royal Cape could potentially be grossly underestimated in the market next time out due to the poor raw figure. Green and slowly away, the Gleneagles colt had to be ridden throughout the early stages to know what the game is about. The strong early pace slackened circa 3f into the contest meaning he ultimately ended up poorly positioned in a race where it was tough to come from off of the pace. An 11.49 seventh furlong, which was the quickest of all the runners towards the backend of the race, was enough to see him make up multiple positions before the lack of race fitness told and his run petered out close home. The yards modus operandi generally sees horses take steps forward from first to second run, I expect fair leap forward here. Trip wise, stepping up to 10f at this stage wouldn’t concern me at all given he’s half-brothers King’s Castle and Kibaale both were winners over said distance. The debut form has yet to be properly tested but Bodygroove who trailed home in 12th did take a step forward last night at Kempton.

Saturday 12th November

12:50 Lingfield – Sea The Moon hasn’t been a regular source of first time out 2yo winners. Before Empress Wu won this contest, he was 1-84 with his first time out juvenile runners in the UK. Mentally they tend to sharpen up a great deal for the run. Under the circumstances the David Simcock trained filly did remarkably well to win on debut. Drawn widest of all in 14 which safe to say isn’t a positive around 10f at Leafy. Dropped out in second last place which is normal for the yard in question, she ended further back than ideal and three deep around the side of the course. Still travelling powerfully, she came into the straight full of running and settled matters with a rapid sub 11 second (10.93) final furlong. The gun was never put to her head and she did this on raw ability alone. I hope she’s put away for the year and next step maybe an Oaks trial in the spring, just coming from a Lingfield novice win may well mean she ends up being underestimated by the market. I like her a lot.

20:00 Wolverhampton – I felt the morning chalk on Harry Magnus was slightly out and backed him accordingly at 25/1. I had him more of an 11-12/1 poke, near enough the SP to be honest. I’m not overly keen on Harry Angels progeny FTO, 2-42 (4.8% S/R, 0.46 A/E), they seem to make above average progress from 1st to 2nd run, 6-36 (16.7% S/R, 1.01 A/E). I’ve warmed to the sires’ stock of late, early season they looked tricky and I was quite happy to be against them. A view that was shared by Lee also. They’ve started to seem more straight forward and I’m less likely to be against them now purely on the basis of attitude. Harry Magnus to my eye had shaped a fair bit better than the bare result on debut in a hot novice at Glorious Goodwood, drawn furthest away from what was the favoured stands side rail on the day, he went like a horse with ability but patently failed to handle the track. Hanging right and not being given anything like a hard time late doors. He reappeared here after wind surgery and given the ride on Saturday, I suspect the instructions were to get him to finish his race off and enjoy himself. That’s just what he did. Dropped out last he ended up over racing early, taking a strong hold in John Fahys hands, ultimately left with far too much to do. The field got away from him but extremely strong late gains were made. The ride was inefficient and he flashed home with a 104.58% finishing speed. As a type he looked better than he did at Goodwood, almost certainly taken a step forward from a physical standpoint. For me, I’m confident he can win a novice next time.

At the end of the day, everything comes down to price so feel free to give me a nudge on Twitter if any of these are running and you want to know if I’m pressing blue, pink or sitting on the fence.

Thoughts, comments, retweets and feedback are greatly appreciated as always.

Be lucky,


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