It’s funny how things pan out…
I have a daily routine when I’m tipping, that starts with me looking at the following days declarations at lunchtime (just after they have been released).
That enables me to get a feel for the next day’s racing and to establish if there are likely to be any tips (I look for suitable races and familiar horses !).
Yesterday, when I saw today’s Bangor card, I was confident I would be able to find us a bet or two – but ultimately nothing materialised (at Bangor, at least); today when I looked at tomorrow’s cards at Ludlow and Taunton, I was sure I wouldn’t have a bet – and yet, a selection has miraculously appeared...
The reason for this reason for this happening, is down to the second and third steps that I go through…
The second step takes place throughout the afternoon, as time permits. I look in more detail at the potentially suitable races and try to find an angle. I also pull together a price tissue in my mind (for comparison with the bookmakers first shows).
The third and final step takes place when the bookmakers issue their early prices.
I scan through the lists, checking out the prices of the horse I’m potentially interested in – or comparing the prices with my tissue prices (if I’ve not found a particular angle).
I hadn’t found a particular angle on any of tomorrow’s races, but I had produced a mental tissue for the 4:00 at Ludlow.
In that tissue, Maraafeq was around a 7/1 shot – so when I saw him on offer at double that price, I simply had to take action !!
The thing about tomorrow’s race, is it easy to pick holes in the credentials of all of the market leaders:
Cootehill has not run for 2 months; is up 6lb from his last run (which he won by a neck) and represents a stable that isn’t really firing.
Fairoak Lad hasn’t run for over a year and whilst he undoubtedly has the class to take this, you have to think that the important thing tomorrow will be to get a run into him as a preparation foe some of the bigger late season prizes.
Theatre Diva has been hunter chasing and whilst he ran pretty well last time out, you would be slightly fearful that he is in a general decline.
Rackham Lerouge has been pulled up in 2 of his last 3 runs and beaten over 100 lengths on the other occasion, he may be dropping in the handicap but it would take a leap of faith to follow him.
Drumbaloo has been similarly disappointing on his last 2 runs. He may bounce back to form tomorrow – but you wouldn’t really want to be on it.
In fairness, the credentials of Maraafeq are hardly rock solid. However, his sole chase win was over course and distance, and on similarly good going – and he really should be competitive tomorrow of a rating of 113, having won a hurdle off a mark of 121.
He also represents the Venetia Williams stable, which is still in red hot form (apart from when we back her runners ;) ).
In truth, I don’t see him as the most likely winner of the race: if the money comes for Fairoak Lad, you would have to be very fearful of him; and on balance, Theatre Diva probably has the strongest credentials (if he gets close to double figures tomorrow, he will certainly be worth a saver).
However this blog is all about spotting early value – and the early value in this race was represented by Maarafeq.
Hopefully he can convert that theoretical value into hard cash profit and set the new month (or at least, new half month) off to a good start.
1pt win Maarafeq 14/1