horse racing

NTF 1 to follow from the weekend: Rebel Rebel(lion) your form is a mess…

Plenty of quality action at Ayr over the weekend with the star of the show undoubtedly being the Alan King trained GODSMEJUDGE. Is he a future Aintree Grand National winner in waiting?

My notebook stayed shut for most of the weekend if I’m honest although there were a couple worthy of inclusion on my ‘to follow list’. One of those I want to share with you today…

NTF 1 to follow from the weekend: REBEL REBELLION…

REBEL REBELLION (P Nicholls) – 4th in 2m4f Novice Chase at Ayr (2.05) – Saturday 20th April

This novice chaser was out not once but twice at Scotland’s premier racetrack over the weekend and both times it’s fair to say he failed to shine. He ran an average 2nd (of 4) in the 2 mile Novices’ handicap chase on the Friday (never really looked like winning) before returning in the 2m4f Future Champions Novices’ Chase on the Saturday, where he finished a well-stuffed 4th of 6. This followed up on his pulled-up effort at Aintree in which he started as 6/1 fav. Despite disappointing on the Friday at Ayr he was well supported in the market on the Saturday and was backed into an SP of 6/1 from a price of around double that earlier in the day. He is a lovely, well-built and robust chasing sort and it is no real surprise that he was supported in the market but the facts are he simply can’t produce his best when going left-handed (like on his last 3 starts).

Take a look at his Left-Handed/Right-Handed form splits…

Rebel Rebellion’s form going Right-Handed – 301111

Rebel Rebellion’s form going Left-Handed – 17643P24

*Winning form going left-handed came in a small field ‘jumpers-bumper’ on the all-weather at Southwell where he completely outclassed his rivals

If you watch back his Aintree run and first Ayr run you will see he has a slight tendency to hang to his right as well as occasionally taking his fences with a slight leaning to his right. Ruby was clever on his 2nd Ayr start and made sure he had a runner on his right hand side for as long as he could and although this helps matters I’m always of the opinion the horse can run to it’s full capabilities as you are essentially trying to stop it doing something that it naturally wants to do. Sure, you can get away with it against horses of a lesser ability but when you race against horses of a similar or better class you are going to struggle.

So where to now for Rebel Rebellion?

His last 3 runs have been off a mark of 140, which actually looks a decent enough mark, but he is sure to be dropped a couple after his last 3 starts. The obvious move for connections would be to draw stumps and look for a right-handed handicap chase at the start of next season.

His form after a break of 60 days reads much stronger than when returning to the track within that time-frame…

Form after a break of 60+ days  – 111061

Form when returning within 59 days or less – 342P3417

I don’t think it is absolutely essential that he needs a lengthy break but it is clearly an advantage.

All in all he is actually a pretty sound jumper of a fence, his main ‘problem’ is that he has a strong bias towards going right-handed over left-handed.

After these 3 runs there is every chance he will be overlooked in the market on his next few starts and that, obviously, plays to our advantage.

Look out for the rested right-handed rebel….

REBEL REBELLION ideal conditions – Right-Handed tracks | A break of 60 days + is preferable | Possibly better in fields of 11 or less


Can you feel the spirit of the lord?

“He clearly relishes a stamina test and he could well be one for a National of some sort in the future, if not a National then certainly a marathon contest of some description.” “Praise be the lord that the King runner lands a big staying chase before the season is out!”

The above are excerpts from my blog post on the 14th of January. From email’s I have received it seems a number of you took heed and lumped on…I, on the other hand, did not!!! Idiot!! It has been a theme for me this season, a bad habit I seem to have picked up since I started taking in the Yorkshire air. It was a rare occurrence of times gone past that I would ignore my own advice (VERY rare), now it seems to be happening more and more. The only solace I have is that you, the loyal NTF followers, don’t ignore my ‘to follow runners’. In the past 3 weeks I have had messages from readers who have backed Auroras Encore for the Aintree National and Godsmejudge for the Scottish National on the back of my Blog posts…in the past 3 weeks I have backed neither Auroras Encore or Godsmejudge!! Aaaagghhhh!!!

Can you feel the spirit of the lord? Yes, it seems plenty of you can! If only I could….



Again from emails I receive I know plenty of you are still interested in this angle. It will hopefully be returning in some way, shape or form in the near future…


Ben – (NTF).


7 responses to “NTF 1 to follow from the weekend: Rebel Rebel(lion) your form is a mess…”

  1. You weren’t alone. I talked myself out of backing Godsmejudge too. I thought the ground would be too quick for him.
    Ah well

    • Hi Steve

      Its a real kicker when that happens. I didn’t even talk myself out of it, pretty much dismissed him out of hand, which is very odd as I backed him on his 2 subsequent runs after I highlighted him (1 win and 1 3rd where I backed him EW).

      A pain and a half when you miss a good winner through being an idiot (in my case!)

      Thanks for comment – Ben (NTF)

  2. I did not back Godsmejudge because no 7 yo has won since 2001 and your caveat ”11 runners or less”!!

    • Hi David

      I see your point re. the field size but I did also say “This is certainly not concrete evidence, far from it,” and since I wrote that he had run a very solid 3rd in the NH Chase at the Cheltenham Festival (in a 16 runner field). Back then it was only really an observation to keep an eye on.

      Thanks for your comment – Ben (NTF)

  3. April 18th Newmarket Rowley 2.20 8f Maiden Horse String Theory
    Paddock Pictures:
    Videoform ( free if registered):
    String Theory on the pictures a type I like for this distance, athletic muscular but not too bulky and in general makes a very balanced impression from his body constitution. His strength if you watch the video is his smooth travelling with his biggest plus his perfect straight head carriage. The way he moved trough the field, even after rearing in the gates is incredible. If this horse wouldnt have this head carriage I wouldnt be interested, but his overall body balance and this head carriage is a good sign of an overall decent animal to me.

    27th April Newbury 3.40 5 f Maiden Horse Neigbother
    Paddock pictures here:
    Videoform( free if registered):
    Neighbother as you see on the pictures is a smaller but very compact 5f sprinter type. Massive buttock and decent balanced front muscles allow this horse in my view to make many accelerations on the lowest 5f distance. To me has a win in the future in hand. When you watch the video of the run, it was already over for this type as it missed the kick out of the gate. Let this horse have a normal start, it will be very hard to beat in a one to one final furlong Head to Head. Negative is his head carriage a bit green sometimes which can cost him races. So only play when big odds, as the constitution is there when all things fall into place. Its not an odds on to rely on.
    Cheers Ben!

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