horse racing

What we learned from the weekend: 16th & 17th January…

A bit of a quieter weekend just passed into the form books. No real surprise though, what with the weather still battering certain parts of the country…🥶🌧⛈

Even the ‘excitement’ of the ENVOI ALLEN V ASTERION FORLONGE dual failed to brighten up the weekend, given that the Mullins challenger decided to depart at the first fence 🙈 what do connections do with him now?

My Weekend Notes were not quite as deep as normal this week, given the quiet nature of the NH racing, so I’ll take a slightly different approach to this weeks blog and highlight three slightly ‘under the radar’ types from my notes , three runners that can hopefully find themselves back in the winners enclosure prior to the end of this season…


Three ‘Under The Radar’ types for you notebooks…


Horse Profile - Jockey Colours DJANGO DJANGO (JJ O’Neil)

Pulled-Up in the Classic Chase at Warwick (Saturday 16th January)

This 8yo was fancied in some quarters to run a big race in the Classic Chase and there was money for him throughout the day, but he is a horse that has been struggling a little from his current mark (ran in this off OR 134) and he has now returned form figures of PP5P0 (0/5, 0p) when racing from marks above OR 130. He was actually rated OR 132 for Saturday’s contest but ran from 2lbs out of handicap (so technically was running from OR 134).

The new ratings have seen him shunted down 2lbs to his last winning mark of OR 130 and that does make him of more interest going forward.

Handicaps over 3m+ and when running from a mark of OR 130 or less (where he is 1171) may be the best place to catch him.


Horse Profile - Jockey Colours ASK PADDY (S England)

4th in Class 3 Handicap Chase at Market Rasen (Saturday 16th January)

The 9yo is one that generally needs a spin to get himself back to peak fitness and he is now 0/8 off breaks of 46 days or more (he was running here off a break of 57 days).

He’s received a 1lb drop in the weights for his last two runs (beaten 19L & 12L) and he’s now sitting on OR 117, a mark that probably isn’t out with his capabilities.

I have Prime Conditions for him as…

DSLR 45 or less | Jan – March | 2m3f+ | Soft or Heavy

…where he has a form string of…

1111111 (7/7 – all 7 career wins)

We are now obviously bang in his prime months and he’s worth keeping an eye on with this recent effort under his belt. A small drop back in grade to Class 4 level may also be a positive, for all I wouldn’t conclusively be saying Class 3 level is above the ceiling of his abilities.


Horse Profile - Jockey Colours GENEROUS DAY (H Oliver)

3rd in the Edward Courage Cup at Warwick (Saturday 16th January)

The Henry Oliver trained gelding won the 2019 renewal of the Edward Courage Cup when it was a Class 3 contest but he’s always likely to bump into at least a couple better animals now it’s a Class 2, which was exactly what happened here.

He does just struggle to convert at this level (0/6, 1p at C2 level+) so the 13.5L third was no real surprise. In general, however, I didn’t think this was a bad effort, the 9yo giving his all until the final fence, where the two ‘classier’ types (Sky Pirate & Amoola Gold) swept past him.

He’s on a very winnable mark at present (OR 117, down 3lbs from his run on Saturday), a mark that puts him 9lbs below his last and highest winning mark. He’s worth looking out for under the following…

OR 126 or less | C3 or less Hcps | Fields of 11 or less | DSLR 45 or less

…where he is…

8117124131 (5/10, 2p – all 5 career wins)

Hopefully connections will be able to find some suitable targets for the above three runners in the coming weeks.

We could be in for another week of disruption if the weather forecast is correct (fingers firmly crossed it is NOT correct 🤞) but hopefully we’ll have a bit more analysis from A/W expert David Punshon at some stage this week, I’m sure he’s got his eye on one or two over the next few days.

Talking of the All-Weather I did read an interesting piece from Matt Bisogno over on GeeGeez today, with Matt sticking up a new ‘Clock Watcher’ post and highlighting six All-Weather runners that have impressed him on the figures.

Well worth a read as there is plenty to get stuck into and ponder over in the article…

>>>See Matt’s Six To Follow here

That’s all from me today, let’s pray the weather gods give us a break this week and we get a decent run at things…

Cheers and stay safe out there

Ben (NTF)

7 responses to “What we learned from the weekend: 16th & 17th January…”

  1. I never consider weight as a factor. Class yes as higher class horses run faster but when a horse weighs half a ton 5 lbs or so extra is nothing. Factors affect the horse but almost never weight.
    Just my opinion. Great email nonetheless. Thanks.

    • Hi Paul

      We all have different opinions on this great game 😀

      I’m not talking about actual weight carried on the day I’m talking about the mark they are running from (so OR 132 as opposed to 11-00, for example) which itself is linked to what race the horse can run in, which when they climb the ratings mean they have to start taking on the better horses and eventually a horse will find it’s ratings ceiling.

      Each to their own though and we all have different ways of slicing and dicing a race.

      Cheers – Ben (NTF)

  2. Hi Ben,

    Nice ideas as ever. I have been spending some time thinking through All Weather racing – trying to work out how to make it a successful betting medium. I have always, as I am sure is true of many others, regarded it as an inferior pastime to the “proper” racing. However, over the last few years I have followed on Geegeez (lifetime member me) for years their excellent work and articles on AW racing. You have sourced a top analyst in David and on Geegeez excellent articles (free for anyone who drops by), by Sam Darby, Dave Renham (articles on pace), and of course Matt himself. There is one question in my mind that I would be interested in answers to and that is “how to select a particular AW race to analyse”? I could and do choose to analyse “sprint AW’s” but that is just one criteria and perhaps just a bit simple. Any thoughts?

    Anyway enough rambling but I do congratulate you on recruiting David and if one looks at the other sources/tools available I am sure we can look to having a wager on the AW with a degree of confidence!



    • Hi Ian

      Yes, I would say I have also been guilty of, on occasion, viewing the all-weather game as the ‘inferior’ of the three disciplines…

      As to deciding on which race to tackle…I guess that is always up to the individual and their personal preferences?

      I guess you could look at one track in isolation and concentrate on the horses/trainers running there…or maybe one particular surface…from there you could filter to different distances…

      No real right or wrong I suppose, just finding what works for you and what keeps you interested. That would be my two tuppence worth anyway 😊

      Cheers – Ben (NTF)

      • Yes fair comment. In fact in thinking about this a bit further it occurred to me that with Horseracebase I have just the tool for analysing further the trainer performances at the AW tracks and jockeys as well.



  3. What a shame we didn’t get the anticipated battle between envoy Allen and astorion forlonge would have been great to see what envoy Allen is made of before the spring festival’s coming up he has now been left very short at Cheltenham might be worth taking on at the price 😊,

    • Hi Kim

      Yes, disappointing that the ‘battle’ was over before it really begun…

      We’ve learned nothing really from his 3 chase contests except that he is as good as most of us thought but with really having to face off against some real top quality novices’…through no fault of his own, obviously.

      Hopefully plenty line up to take him on come March though…

      Cheers – Ben (NTF)

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