Thursday, 21 March 2019

Bejabez Ramblings - 1:30 Naas (24th March) 5f Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden (Plus 10 Race) (2yo)

1:30 Naas (24th March) 5f Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden (Plus 10 Race) (2yo)
The first 2-y-o race of the 2019 season is almost upon us. 

I love the 2-y-o races mainly because there is no racecourse form, to begin with, and you can build your own. From day one, the form and therefore the interpretation of it is in your hands. 

You can follow the racing paper tipsters or daily papers or a good website, however, what could be better than doing it yourself. I’m not saying that you have to compile your own handicap or time books. 

The game is more than that the thrill and enjoyment you can get, like me, from assessing your own races is great. Pure elation when your selection not only goes on to win the race, giving you a financial incentive to study more, learn to assess more eventually giving you a euphoric activity. 

Must stop rambling. Now, what was I saying, oh yes the first 2-y-o race of the season at Naas. 

How can you expect to find a winner in a race of 12 runners that are having their first outing on a race track? 

''I wish I was at the course to see how they are coping with the parade ring...'' 

You remember your first day at school or work (anywhere that was new to you). You may be the type of person that gets nervous at the thought of meeting others. On the other hand, you could be the leader and just stride out with confidence. Well, these first-timers are similar, and some trainers tend to be better at schooling and getting their charge ready to perform first time out than others. Of course, the horse's temperament also comes into play. 

This is where the pedigree may help. 

Pedigree: does it really help with this type of race? 5f (plus 10) galloping track with the stiff 4f uphill finish.

Take a look at the entrants for the 1:30 Naas 24th March 2019

Well, it’s time to let you enter my thoughts! Be warned, it's not a good place to go. There will be twists and turns, perhaps the odd wander here and there. 

Where to start? OK, there are 12 horses, 12 trainers, 12 jockeys (yet unknown) as stated above, none of the horses has previous runs (no form) The winning trainer last year was Brendan Duke (Value Chain). His stable is 11 miles away. His record for 2yo at Naas is one win & second place from twenty-four runners. 

For those who think the distance travelled is a factor, Ernie T travels 130-mile, Amperson 120 mile & Lequinto 113 mile. One of the top trainers at Naas is J S Bolger who trains Feminista one of two fillies in the race, the other being Capel at Dawn, trained by Adrian Keatley, again, 11 miles away. 

Both fillies are by Dawn Approach who had 10 2yo winners in 2017 and 16 in 2018. Its pedigree goes back to Northern Dancer through New Approach, Galileo. 

There are two First Season Sires (FSS). Hot streak (Ballyare) and Anjaal (Captain Corcoran).

Looking at the sires in this race only one other stand out to me Elzaam (Never Mistabeat). Sire Elzaam had 9 wins in 2017 and 14 wins in 2018. Let's hope his win ratio improves again this season. 

Talking of sires, which I tend to do, Mayson (21 wins 2017, 16 wins 2018) is one I like. He’s represented by Amperson in this race. I worry that the trainer Richard O’Brien has not had a 2yo winner in 16 races. 

I did say I tend to jump around a lot when assessing a race. 

Not surprising in this race I can’t really recommend anything and, in reality, could have stated this at the beginning of this blog post. However, I thought I would try to explain some of the things I look at. 

I’m not going to beer.  In this race, there are enough factors to make it a very interesting race for me. 

The two First Season Sires I’m really looking forward to seeing (video) the Ernie T run. The pedigree going back to Giants Causeway suggests he will want further later and probably be a 7-8f horse, who knows. 

In summary, I’m down to three runners: Ernie T, Never Misabeat and Feminista (although she is taking on the boys).

Oh dear, I forgot about J P Murtagh training Captain Corcoran.  I shall have another look when the jockeys are declared then it might be all change, who would have thought a little race of unknowns would have given me so much fun. 

Looking forward to the New 2-y-o Season.

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Bejabez Ramblings - March to the start

Brazen Beau stallionAs we approach the end of March there are big questions to be answered and decisions to be made. NO, I’m not talking about Brexit that’s beyond my understanding. I’m more interested in the start of the Flat season. On one of the social media sites, I’m a member, one of the tweets (why didn’t I just say twitter?) was by a guy who was complaining how many days this week there is NO flat racing. I sympathise totally, I hope he understands my frustration waiting for the start of this year's 2-y-o campaign. Over the last few months, I’ve been preparing and trying to get what I believe to be an edge. My main interest is in this seasons sires having their first 2-y-o place their hooves on a course, First Season Sires (FSS).

I have posted my FSS list earlier on Thursday, 28 February 2019Bejabez Ramblings - 2019 First Season Sires (Karakontie).

As I couldn’t wait to get going last week I looked at the Big Race Entries on the Racing post and had a look at the following four 20 July Newbury: Weatherbys Super Sprint Stakes cl2 (2yo) 22 August York: Goffs UK Premier Yearling Stakes cl2 (2yo) 12September Doncaster: Weatherbys Racing Bank £300,000 2yo Stakes (2yo) 5 October Newmarket: £150,000 Tattersalls October Auction Stakes cl2 (2yo).

I don’t know if it gives me an edge or even helps to find future winners based on breeding, however when I do this type of exercise it does allow my little grey cells to wander, and surprisingly give me food for thought. Let me try to explain based on what happened when I looked at the first race in the list above 20 July Newbury: Weatherbys Super Sprint Stakes cl2 (2yo).

Currently, there are 224 listed horses, and yes I looked at each one, my main interest was the sire as NOT all these would be FSS. It was interesting, well to me, how many were by FSS. After deciding to look at each sire (FSS) in turn I was surprised how many Brazen Beau progeny had previous runs. I was really wandering now (and wondering) I had to know more about this FSS I had listed, well at least look at the stats.

At the time of writing Brazen Beau (pictured) has had 15 progeny who has taken part in 26 races. 

The best of these are Accession: Tassort: First Dawn.

Now how is this possible if our new flat season hasn’t started and we have not had any 2yo races in the UK. Well, there’s the answer in the UK: Australia in the Southern Hemisphere their 2yo horses are allowed to run after August 1. It, therefore, is important to note the date of birth e.g. Accession is listed as 2yo born 7 September 2016 Just taking another horse at random from the 20 July Newbury: Weatherbys Super Sprint Stakes cl2 (2yo) Almuerzo Loco by Zebedee is listed as being born 2 May 2017.

I’m not saying these horses will ever meet but if they did one would be 7 months older giving a clear age and maturity advantage without giving any weight for age. 

Therefore as another part of assessing the race, it may be an advantage to note the birth date.

I’m off now as I’m going to look at the first 2-y-o Race of 2019 which will be run at Naas 1:30 this Sunday 24th March.

This will whet the appetite for the 2019 Brocklesby Stakes.

Foot Note: In my earlier post I didn’t mention Brazen Beau, perhaps I should have, also the most progeny listed in the race above is 18 the sire being Gutaifan which I did list.

Saturday, 16 March 2019

Bejabez Ramblings - Female Jockey to win the Grand National?

When I was a youngster back in the day my dad, God bless his soul, would always encourage me to get back up again after a fall. I seem to be doing this quite a lot lately. Here’s many an old quote from Dad that makes me smile and come to mind when at the races. None more so than: “They get now’t for second!” as I am tearing up my ticket up after “Weighed In! Weighed in!” broadcast over the tannoy. 

My father passed away at the turn of the millennium, just two months before his Great Grandchild was born. A girl that he had always wished for, all boys up till then. This little girl would have been spoilt rotten he’d always had plans for the great event, a pony and riding lessons being top of his list. My Dad would have loved this year Cheltenham, especially seeing the female jockeys partaking. 

Headlines as in the TDN Europe on Friday: “CHELTENHAM THURSDAY: The Sport of Queens” 

I couldn’t have been happier with the Frodon winning, as the jockey Bryony Frost (first female jockey to win a Grade 1 at Cheltenham) is in my select jockeys to follow list.

Her quote to the nation was inspiring and refreshing:

“[When he was headed] most horses would have accepted defeat but not Frodon. He said no, and I said no, and for that minute, those few strides, it could have gone the other way, but he grabbed hold of me and said ‘no kid, we keep going, that hill’s still there, there’s still one more to jump and we’re still in it, the line isn’t here yet’. And with his ears flat back on his neck, he wanted it more than anyone.” 

The race after was also a tear jerker, in a nice way, for me, what a special win was Paisley Park for his owner Andrew Gemmell trained by Emma Lavelle. It’s like the Grand National we’re always enthralled not only with the race but also the little stories behind the winner and connections. The ‘Sun Racing Stayer’s Hurdle’ had its own story, Paisley Park nearly lost his life to colic two years ago but, returned to full health, and has remained unbeaten in five starts. Andrew is one of the greatest advertisements for racing, how he enjoys not only racing but all sports across the world. Not allowing being blind from birth stop him thoroughly enjoying himself. His excitement was infectious. 

Then just as we thought it could n’t get any better along comes Siruh Du Lac in the 4:10 ridden by Lizzie Kelly the third woman to ride a winner this week. The first female jockey winner this week at Cheltenham was Rachael Blackmore winning the Listed Race ‘Close Brothers Novices Handicap Chase’ by 16L on board ‘A Plus Tard’ on the first day Lizzie was the first female jockey to ride a Grade 1 winner over fences with Tea For Two.

Well, what an exciting time we live. Things can only get better and I’m now looking forward to the Grand National. Will we be having a female Jockey winner? I hope so and then perhaps we can start thinking about dropping the female bit and call them what they are ‘JOCKEYS’. Although I am reminded that the first race on the Uttoxeter card today Saturday 16th March is the ‘Abacus Decorators Lady Riders’ Handicap Hurdle (Female Professional Jockeys/Amateur Riders’ Race’. Nine go to post with Woulduadamandeveit currently favourite (time of writing).

Sunday, 10 March 2019

Bejabez Ramblings - There’s life beyond Cheltenham

Your Guide to the Cheltenham Festival (Day 1)
Over the last ten years, I’ve suffered, if that’s the right phrase, with high blood pressure. I go to the doctors for a check up knowing full well that the doc’s going take my readings, gasp and tell me I’ve got to do something about it. During each visit, I’m told that I have a 25% of a stroke or heart attack. Being a bit of an optimist, you have to be to follow the horses, one year I was feeling a little devilish and just said: “ That’s good then doc!” she looked at me and looking puzzled saying: “I’ve just told you to have a 25% chance of a Heart Attack in the next five years!” “yes I know, does that mean I have a 75% chance of not having one” I sniggered, she was not amused.

This made me think about my 2yo spreadsheet going on my records.

In 2018 there were 1413 races and 25% (348) of them were won by the top five trainers: Mark Johnston, Richard Hannon, A P O’Brien,  Richard Fahey and Archie Watson  (who was a surprise as he had 52 winners against 15 in 2017).

The top ten Trainers had 38% (531).

The top twenty Trainers had 54% (761).

My spreadsheet listed a total of 228 trainers.

I know it’s a big week ahead. You only have to look at the leading racing web sites: Racing Post, Irish Racing, At The Races & The Sporting Life and others to realise all eyes will be on Cheltenham - Tuesday 12th to Friday 15th March. 

However, during the week there are other meetings:

Tuesday: Southwell (aw), Wolverhampton (aw), Sedgefield 

Wednesday: Huntingdon, Lingfield (aw), Kempton (aw),

Thursday:  Market Rasen, Hexham, Southwell (aw)

Friday: Fakenham, Lingfield (aw), Chelmsford (aw)

It's that 75% of meetings where I will be looking for my winners 

I believe it may be easier to find winners than at Cheltenham (I have very disappointing returns at the big meetings).

There’s been a lot said lately about ARC, the prize money and trainers/jockeys boycotting meetings. It's gone a bit too far for my liking, especially as you read about the bullying etc. The owners should have the last say as to where and when their horse's race. 

I’m glad to see the Arc courses above are putting alternate races on to Cheltenham. 

I wonder how many, what are so-called small trainers, have runners and capitalise on prize money whilst all the big guns are elsewhere. However, I do look for the odd horse from the big stables attending. I’ll be concentrating on Sedgefield, Market Rasen, Huntingdon and Fakenham which nicely gives me one meeting a day if I want to make a bet. Also, making it a bit easier on the studying. 

I shall be leaving the All-Weather as a backup.

What will I be doing Tuesday to Friday? 

Watching Cheltenham of course! 

Then Saturday, I have the Midlands Grand National to savour at my local track Uttoxeter, where I have been a member for years.

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Bejabez Ramblings - My Cheltenham

It’s that time of year again, everyone has their opinion on the outcome of each race. I find it very difficult to find winners at the big meetings, probably because each Trainer/Jockey/Owner are chasing as many winners as they can. Which makes it very competitive. I’m not saying they don’t try all the time, well it is ‘Cheltenham after all’ We, the lads and lasses of our local, have a little competition. Easy rules, just pick as many winners as you can, and take the sp for each, the one with the highest sp total at the end of day four is the winner. 

As we know there are 28 races in total so not an easy task. In the group, there are several who just choose a cloth number all through the meeting. You may not agree with this method, however, the chap who had the good fortune to choose No.5 picking up the prize. On this occasion, I did quite well to end up joint second, but disappointed that pure luck beat me. That’s the game though, you pays your money and takes your chance. 

This year, as I don’t tend to bet at the major fixtures, I’m going to have a little competition on my own, for each race:- I’m going to choose a horse based on my interpretation of the form (haha you serious) I might bet on it! I’m going choose one horse that just jumps out at me (pin-picker) funny name etc. I’m going to choose a cloth number (well you never know) very disappointed if this wins.

I’ve put the first 10 cloth numbers in a hat and chose one, so it looks like I’m having No.4 for every race. I know some of you will be thinking about how will we know what your selections are apart from number 4. 

I’ve created a spreadsheet and will supply as required.

This is purely for fun and please note I don’t give or sell tips. Also if you are like me and believe in luck or more to the point bad luck I apologise for listing your selections. 

A gambling rule I’ve always stuck to (that makes no sense) is. After I have written my selection down and walking to the betting window, I hear anyone mention my horse I throw the slip away and don’t have a bet. You may laugh but this little foible has saved me plenty, its as though someone is looking out for me. 

I like to think it’s my Uncle Bill.

Monday, 4 March 2019

Bejabez Ramblings: Join us at the Races

Thank you, Eric, for forwarding a poem written by your wife, Mrs C. Arnold. 

Grab your coat and binoculars 
We’re off to the races today 
It isn’t warm, we might have rain 
But we’ll have fun anyway 
There is no such thing as bad weather 
Just a case of wrong clothes 
So be prepared for anything 
Just in case it snows

We’ll get there nice and early 
Buy a race-card on the way in
Get a coffee, find a seat 
Let the studying begin! 
It’s always good to read the ‘form’ 
And make a note or two 
Of horses that might stand a chance 
Of coming good for you 

A walk up to the parade ring next 
To see them walking round 
It sometimes helps your judgement 
Before you place your pound 

Back down to the bookies 
All waiting for your money 
I haven’t really got a clue 
I just pick a name that’s funny 
The odds are changing all the time 
Depending on the betting 
But when your slip is printed 
It tells you what your getting 

We’ll find a spot to watch the race 
There are screens to see as well 
The atmosphere is usually good 
We’re all waiting for the bell 
The flag is raised and then they’re off 
All racing at their best
But soon the leaders go in front 
And leave behind the rest 

Mine’s in the lead, but not by much 
He’s trying to hang on 
He’s jumping well and gathers pace 
Yes, ‘Terry the Fish’ has won the race 

Back to the bookie who sold the slip 
I never bet a lot 
Put a flutter on my next tip 
And count up what I’ve got 

Ladies Night and Ladies Day 
Are favourites of mine 
I forget about the racing 
As the fashions fill my time 
I gawp at all the dresses 
And marvel at the headgear 
Some must have cost a fortune 
But it's only once a year 

I hope I’ve whet your appetite 
For a day out at the races 
It doesn’t have to cost a lot 
So come join the happy faces 

 C Arnold 3/3/2019

Sunday, 3 March 2019

Bejabez Ramblings - Systems or Tips

Horse racing systems or tips
Sorry for the title of this little ramble folks, its just I have provocative questions to ask. “Provocative” may suggest sexual connotations to some, however, I want it to stimulate our thoughts. Oh dear, I’m at it again another sexual connotation. Give me a moment to clear my thoughts. I think I’m Ok now, where was I, Oh yes I was going to talk about Systems and Tips. If you don’t mind I’ll start with;- 


There are more systems than enough how or which one do you choose to use. When asked what is the best system to use for winner finding on horse racing. My reply is “the Best one has, and will never, be seen!” Honestly, would you find a system ‘that works’ then go and tell someone even for money? You know it would soon be broadcast everywhere. 

I worked with a chap who people confided in on other matters, because of his inability to keep a secret he was known as “Radio Dave” Also the more punters and layers knew about this, Midas system, there would be no value anywhere. So far in my fight off between systems and tips, systems have been on the canvas in the first round. Can it make a comeback, Looks exhausted with these opening blows. 

In earlier rambles I’ve mentioned Uncle Bill, well he had a system simple but he did quite well out of it. (I don’t understand how there’s no logic to it) He would use the Daily Mirror, look at the form in the race card and choose the horses with place form in the last three outings e.g 032 finished unplaced, third, second. He would list these and check if any of them was listed second in the betting in the probable SP. If he found one ‘Bet On’ otherwise no bet look another day.

As they say “simples” 

You know as well as me form 032 tell you nothing about the quality, how many runners it was up against, distance, going, and over the jumps any that fell at the last fence. 

Quite a few systems use the form in them. No! systems were not able to get up after this last blow, technical knockout! 

NOTE: Do not let me put you off looking and trying new systems you know what Del Boy says “ This time next year we’ll be millionaires. Rodney” 


Looking favourite to win this competition after round one, however not all plain sailing, Oh that’s another sport, anyway let's get back to Tipsters. 

They are everywhere, all the racing pages have their experts ready to give you advice on why this should do well and win. They also provide their Nap and nb selection. Nap (derived from the card game Napoleon) indicates this is the tipster’s most confident selection of the day. nb = “Next best” and indicates another selection that the tipster rates highly. Newspaper tipster is on a hiding to nothing really as they have to choose one horse for each race, we all know they aren’t going achieve that. 

In days gone by mention the name tipster and it conjures up an image of a man in a raincoat wearing trilby binoculars around his neck, standing outside the racecourse entrance with little brown envelopes. Today is a very different picture with the internet just type in “Tipsters” and see the outcome. When I did this the first site listed was OLBG (online betting guide) worth a look just to see just how many tipsters there are. 

The Racing Post has a tips table (looking at Naps) listing their Naps Table and also a Press challenge listing all the daily papers Naps. 

I am not a tipster and would advise anyone thinking of using one fully check it out, there are some very unsavoury people out there. 

Well in the final round I declare Tipsters over Systems the winner. 

This is has been somewhat an awkward topic I have chosen to write since this is a sister website to others that offer tips on horse racing!

Thursday, 28 February 2019

Bejabez Ramblings - 2019 First Season Sires (Karakontie)

Karakontie First Season Sire (2019)
With Cheltenham approaching, a week of high interest followed by The Midlands Grand National (Uttoxeter). Why on earth would you write about 2yo sires? It’s a good question and I can see bewilderment on your faces. However, as my main interest is the 2yo season I have to prepare in advance. 

Now I’m getting on a bit, I find if I don’t note it or write it down, what was I saying, oh yes I forget things easily. That’s why I use all means of reminders. 

Most racing web sites offer a tracking system, we all have a different approach when it comes to list and remember our noted horses etc. I use several trackers each one specific to my needs. Choosing to use different sites to track horses, sires, trainers or jockeys, each email will not contain a long list that you have to plough through to find your next bet. I’m rambling again, now you know why I call it Bejabez Ramblings. Let's get to what I was going to let you in on, my list of:- 

First Season Sires for 2019 (26 at Present) 

Stallion (Sire: Sire Line)

Altruistic (Galileo: Sadler’s Wells) 
Anjaal (Bahamian Bounty: Cadeaux Genereux) 
Brazen Beau (I Am Invincible: Invincible Spirit) 
Cable Bay (Invincible Spirit: Green Desert) 
Cappella Sansevero (Showcasing: Oasis Dream) 
Due Diligence (War Front: Danzig) 
Fountain Of Youth (Oasis Dream: Green Desert) 
Free Eagle (High Chaparral: Sadler’s Wells) 
French Navy (Shamardal: Giant’s Causeway) 
Fulbright (Exceed And Excel: Danehill)
GlenEagles (Galileo: Sadler’s Wells) 
Golden Horn (Cape Cross: Green Desert) 
Gutaifan (Dark Angel: Acclamation) 
Hot Streak (Iffraaj: Zafonic) 
Intrinsic (Oasis dream: Green Desert) 
Ivawood (Zebedee: Invincible Spirit) 
Karakontie (pictured) (Berstein: Storm Cat) 
Kingston Hill (Mastercraftsman: Danehill Dancer) 
Lucky Speed (Silvano: Lomitas) 
Make Believe (Makfi: Dubawi) 
Muhaarar (Oasis Dream: Green Desert) 
Night Of Thunder (Dubawi: Dubai Millennium) 
Outstrip (Exceed And Excel: Danehill) 
Pether’s Moon (Dylan Thomas: Danehill) 
Sea Moon (Beat Hollow: Sadler’s Wells) 
Telescope (Galileo: Sadler’s Wells) 

Of the above list, I will follow some more closely than others. 

One first season sire progeny I am particularly looking forward to seeing on a racecourse and having influence are Karakonties

Others of initial interest are Gleneagles, Gutaifan, Night Of Thunder and Muhaarar It will be also interesting how many Due Diligence progeny A P O’Brien decides to have if at all any.

Please note: Although these are my thoughts this early they can change, that’s what’s so good about the unknown, every day you find or realise something new.

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Bejabez Ramblings - Form

Having a chat with my granddaughter, Olivia, the other day when her phone bleeped. She had received a text message from one of her friends. I asked her who and what was so important to interrupt our conversation (phones are so ignorant they just bleep and people immediately answer them, in a normal conversation when a third person wants to interrupt they would say ‘Excuse me’).

Anyway back to our interruption ‘Liv’ (she hates it when I call her Liv) said: “oh just a friend telling me something, you probably not be able to read it, granddad.” 

Why not? I asked. 

Okay, she texted: “jk m8 cu l8r” then Olivia laughed. “See what I mean?” 

I said, oh why, she said: “Just kidding mate, see you later.” 

The look on her face was a picture. 

''Didn’t expect you to be able to read it, granddad.''

I’ve been reading form results in the weekly returns since the 1980s

I then read a race return for her. The race and horses are not important. The two horses dead-heated in second place:

Race return: 

 ''dht (1) s.i.s: towards rr:rdn o’r 2f out:r.o.wl up inner fnf:jst hld (2) led:hng lft o’r 1f out: kpt on u.p fnl f : hdd and jnd for 2nd last strds.'' 

What’s it all mean granddad? It was my turn to laugh!

There has never been so much form available to us punters as today. The racing papers/websites are full of it, almost to the point of being too much. 

Then there’s my favourite - video results. If you really want to find those winners you just have to put the time in. 

One of my great interests are the 2yo races. I mentioned earlier I started reading the weekly returns, in 1986. I started logging all 2yo runners. I used the index card method and using a shoe box to hold the cards and index dividers. 

At the end of the season, I had 3 shoe boxes full of returns with the form (as above) for each runner, listing: Horses Name, Trainer, Meeting (course), Date and of course the Form. I did this for two seasons, too time consuming, and then started listing the same on a spreadsheet but not the form. I just made a comment instead. It has changed over the years as I have been more selective in what I’m looking for to give me an edge. I still list all the 2yo’s winners and use the results in my spreadsheet to track Sires, Trainers and Jockeys (see examples). 

I shall be writing more on my interpretation of form reading in the future and explaining in more detail. See the charts, below.

Jockey Chart

2YO Race Winners

Trainer Chart

Saturday, 23 February 2019

Bejabez Ramblings - Winners

A little boy asks his dad: “How do you find a winner?” 

Dad replies: “Ask your mother.” 

Although the above is my attempt at humour, it is also a fact my wife is more likely to find big priced winners than me. So why isn’t she writing the blog then, I hear you ask, the simple answer is she’s not been asked.

As we all know the name of the game is to get winners, there are several ways to try to achieve this. Being in the know or close to a stable/trainer etc. You can purchase tips. You can follow a system. I have a system I change it every day. Allow me a little indulgence as I tell a true tale. I mentioned my uncle Bill in an earlier blog.

In my late teens and just old enough to place my own bets I had a little bit of luck and won a few quid. I was over the moon and was beaming from ear to ear when I walked into the front room at home. My mother asked me why I was so happy, of course, I couldn’t wait to tell someone of my good fortune. After which my mother gave me the look, you all know what I mean by “mothers look!” then said: “Oh our Eric you’re not going like my brother Bill gambling your money away” it was at this point she just said. I can give you a system as good as any you may see or buy. Well, I was all ears. 

There are just a few rules: 

1. leading course trainer 

2. leading course jockey 

3. has the horse run: 3.1 over the same distance, 3.2. on the going, 3.3. been placed in last 3 outings...

Well, she just went on on with the different proviso.

I was taking it all in and thought this sounds good. 

When my mother grinned, winked then said: “Don’t put your money on unless the fourth letter in the name is a T” That about sums up my trust in systems. 

In my mind, there are two types of gamblers: 

One who uses high stakes and can afford to (probably professional). Two, then gamblers like me who uses small stakes. 

This brings me to something I was told way back in the days when I knew less than now, 33% of races at each meeting are won by favourites. Some courses this can be as high as 40%. If you can determine which races might be won by the favourite it will help you find the chance of a big priced E/W in the other 67%. Easier said than done. As a low stake player, I look at the races where non favourites have a chance. 

At the beginning of this little ramble, I mentioned my wife and her uncanny methods for winner finding. She would tell you herself its all in the ‘name’. It’s surprising how many friends going to the races for the first time ask me for a winner. You know how difficult it is, so I just tell them to go along have a good time, don’t go mad, and only have a small bet on each race. 

I also tell them I can almost guarantee they will have a winner. It’s surprising how many people do well when they don’t know much about racing. It’s only when you put all the calculations in that it all goes pear-shaped.

Thursday, 21 February 2019

Bejabez Ramblings: First Blog

There’s a familiar football chant “who are ya?!” well I’m Eric and over the next weeks, months and hopefully longer I shall be contributing to this and other blogs run by Jason who runs a number of websites High-Class Equine, Horse Trainer Directory and Eric Winner as you can see there is already someone called Eric (Winner). I, therefore, propose to use a Pseudonym Bejabez.

“Now that’s a strange name, where did it come from?” I hear you say. 

Many years ago in my local rag, there was a cartoon strip and the character was called Jabez. It was during this time I was looking for a pen-name. I knew I couldn’t use that but I did like it so I said to myself I’ll Be Jabez and that was that! I started signing off with Bejabez.

So here goes Bejabez first blog. 

Brief Life history and interests in horse racing. 

For this introduction, I don’t see any reason to go back to my childhood and bore you and me. However, I would like to mention my Uncle Bill who I point the finger at for introducing me to Horse Racing in my teens. Later in life it was whilst working in a repair shop, surrounded by what I can only describe as gamblers, that I came across my first Nap competition. You know the format pick a nap a day pay a small fee and at the end of each month, the winner takes the money. If there are quite a few in the competition they may pay 2nd and 3rd. It was during the first Nap comp I made myself look a right plonker,''You know what I mean Del Boy.''

It was during the races at Ascot and one of the group told me the nap today was for the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, well I just said to him does that mean we got pick two today!

It just goes to show how little I knew. 

So it began, or as Sherlock Holmes would say “The games afoot”, my long apprenticeship started and continues. I don’t think you ever stop learning at this game, as your always looking for the next big thing (win). 

Over the past five years, I have been more interested in the pedigree as a means to find clues to race outcomes. I shall be writing more on this topic nearer to the start of the flat season and in particular the new 2yo races. 

I was told many years ago to win at horse racing you don’t have to beat the bookies, you just have to beat all the other players. In other words, find an edge before someone else to get the best price. See a trend spot a new up and coming Jockey or Trainer. I look at First Season Sires (FSS). There’s a lot of speculation from the mainstream papers. Just to give you food for thought in 2017 everyone was talking about Frankel's progeny I decided to keep note of Nathanie (pictured)l both out of Galileo. 

In 2017 Frankel 2yo progeny wins were 19 and Nathaniel 6. In 2018 Frankel 2yo progeny wins were 10 and Nathaniel 11. I don’t know what happened in 2017! However, 2018 was what I would have expected. 

Well, the journey has begun and I must take a pit stop and recharge my little grey cells (Hercule Poirot) more to come.

I would like to thank Eric A. for taking the time to write this blog. Great story and looking forward to more. [Jason]

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

The First Woman to Ride a Grand National Winner?

The First Woman to Ride a Grand National Winner?
You don't need me to tell you that the Grand National is almost here. Listen hard and you can hear the name Red Rum whispered with joyful praise. That emotive music score from composer Carl Davis. I really should watch the film Champions detailing the heartfelt story of man and horse: Bob Champion and Aldaniti who proved victorious in 1981. 

The Grand National has so many stories. I mean, most of the fences are named after horses who got lucky (Foinavon) or unfortunate jockeys (Captain Becher) who hid in a ditch after his horse fell. This race is built on stories. 

Who could forget Jenny Pitman the first woman to train a National winner in 1983 when Corbiere stormed home. She won again in 1995 with Royal Athlete at 40/1. 

At some point, it has all happened. 

We know one thing that has never happened but it could do if lady luck has anything to do with the result on 14th April. 

Could we see the first woman to ride a Grand National winner?

If the betting is anything to be believed, this year could be the closest we come to a story which many would consider on a par with the three victories of Red Rum.

Baie Des Iles - the flashy grey mare - has been heavily backed in the betting - slashed to 16/1. Katie Walsh is primed for the biggest race of her life at 5:15 Aintree, Saturday 14th April

Walsh came close to winning in 2012 but this time she could make history. 

Few people remember that it took the 1975 Sex Discrimination Act to make it possible for female jockeys to take part. 

The first female jockey to take part being Charlotte Brew in 1977, riding 200/1 outsider Barony Fort. The duo didn't complete the course after her mounted refused to jump the 26th fence. In fact, it took until 1982 for Geraldine Rees to complete the course in 8th riding Cheers a 66/1 shot. Other notable achievements include Carrie Ford finishing fifth in 2005 on 8/1 second favourite Forest Gunner. 

Katy Walsh has come the closest to winning when third on second-favourite Seabass in 2012.   

Baie Des Iles is trained by Ross O'Sullivan. The seven-year-old grey mare most recently finished third when contesting a race at Punchestown (Ireland) on heavy going. Katie Walsh rode the horse as she has on its last eight runs. Support came for this horse after being priced 50/1 last week.     

Only three grey horses have won the Grand National. 
  • The Lamb (1868, 1871)
  • Nicolause Silver (1961)
  • Neptune Collenges (2012) 

Monday, 4 February 2019

Staying at the Nelson Hotel for a night at Great Yarmouth's Grosvenor Casino

Nelson Hotel Great Yarmouth
It's never long before we visit Great Yarmouth on the Norfolk coast.  

A lot of people, including residents, question why go to ''Yarmouth'' for a holiday or weekend break. However, we have a long history of visiting this coastal town. It is a place our dad used to go horse racing, while, as children, we stayed at the Haven holiday park at Caister-on-sea. Such lovely times. 

We visit every September for the Eastern Festival, which sees sparkling racecourse action over three days. A merry pilgrimage of family and friends which remembers those who are no longer here but always in our hearts. 

Next week, I'm off to West Palm Beach, Florida to see my beloved Marlene. I wanted to visit Great Yarmouth before leaving as we haven't visited the town since September. We have stayed at a good few hotels. The best, if not most expensive, being the Andover House. The Embassy Hotel has been a regular haunt. Last night, the Nelson Hotel took centre stage. A family room, for the three of us, cost just £65, including breakfast. A great deal. The room had a view overlooking the seafront and the Grosvenor Casino, almost opposite the Wellington Pier. 

We arrived at the hotel around 9:30pm after taking the train to Great Yarmouth, changing at Norwich. A taxi from the station to the hotel giving the driver a tip (to bring us luck). 

A hundred-metre walk from the hotel to the casino at around 10pm. A decent meal in the listed building. Always exceptional service although the food can be a bit hit and miss.

Thereafter, we went downstairs to the gaming room. Sometimes we play three-card poker (not very often as the rake is high) so we favour roulette. The tables were busy so we played on the machines. I had never played on them before. In some respects, I wasn't keen as it seems a very private way to play and low key compared to the often hectic table with chips aplenty and chat from winners and losers.

Anyway, I played on the minimum £1 bet. I started with £20 and that was all I ever needed to cash because once again I got lucky. I always follow hot numbers which have come up a few times and thirty-three caught my eye. I routinely place a single bet and corner. Within five spins, the single and corner had come up and I had £50 or so in credit. A few more spins it comes up again and I am well in profit. I ended the night winning £80. I left with my two brothers at 2am. Tony won £230, while Gareth lost £40. 

All in all, it was a great evening. A brisk walk back to the train station after a full English breakfast at the hotel. 

Returning home a couple of hours later. 

Feeling tired but an evening to remember and we'll be back soon.