Grand National 2016 Preview

Many Clouds is favourite to win the Aintree Grand National for a second successive season when he lines up on April 9th.

Aintree Grand National

Many Clouds bids to emulate Red Rum at Aintree

Oliver Sherwood’s nine-year-old only ran in the race on the insistence of owner Trevor Hemmings last year following a disappointing run in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Racing off a mark of 160, he ran on gamely to hold off Saint Are by a length and three-quarters at odds of 25-1.

Many Clouds and Leighton Aspell on their way to a clear-cut victory in Betbright Cup at Cheltenham

His entire campaign has been geared to a repeat victory this season. He needed the run at Wetherby in October before chasing home Don Poli at Aintree in December. He was then beaten 12 lengths by Smad Place at Cheltenham in heavy ground in January before completing his preparation with an easy victory at Kelso.

Although only 5lbs higher this year, he will still have to carry top weight of 11st 10lbs. The last horse to win the Grand National in successive seasons was Red Rum in 1973-74.

Paul Nicholls won the Grand National for the first time when Neptune Collonges beat Sunnyhillboy in a dramatic photo-finish in 2012. He saddles Silviniaco Conti this year, twice a winner of the Grade 1 King George VI Chase at Kempton Park. The chestnut was pulled up when attempting a third victory in December but bounced back to win impressively at Ascot. Nicholls decided to by-pass the Cheltenham Gold Cup in favour of a tilt at the Grand National this year.

The Last Samuri enjoys perfect Aintree preparation

Kim Bailey has rarely hit the headlines since winning the Champion Hurdle and Gold Cup back in 1995. Harry Topper won three Grade 2 races for the stable in recent seasons while Darna won at the 2015 Cheltenham festival. He has a leading Grand National contender in The Last Samuri, an eight-year-old gelding by Flemensfirth.

The Last Samuri

He has improved with every run this season and was particularly impressive when beating The Druids Nephew by ten lengths in the Grimthorpe Chase at Doncaster. He is a safe jumper who likes good ground so he has to be on the short-list with only 10st 8lbs to carry at Aintree. [Read more…]


A look at the 2016 Cheltenham Festival

With less than one month until the 2016 Cheltenham Festival gets underway, it’s time to start checking out the form guides, betting markets and runners and riders for each and every race. The festival itself will span four days and plays host to a number of Group One races – including the prestigious Cheltenham Gold Cup, Queen Mother Champion Chase and the Champion Hurdle.

In 2015, almost a quarter of a million people passed through the famous gates of Cheltenham and officials are estimating over 250,000 to attend this year’s festival. The event is growing at a rapid rate and avid racing fans from all over the world now travel to Cheltenham to see the best horses on the planet compete against each other in some of the biggest races in the sport.

2016 Cheltenham Festival

This year, many punters will be hoping the Ruby Walsh-Willie Mullins combination strikes gold again. In 2015, the duo combined for a treble on the opening day of the festival, which has since been labelled as “Ruby Tuesday”. The nine-time Cheltenham top jockey is looking for yet another accolade this year and stands a great chance with Mullins’ horses.

Walsh will be riding the likes of Faugheen, Douvan and Annie Power once again and his mounts’ odds have shot in considerably in recent weeks. In fact, Coral now price a Min, Douvan, Faugheen and Annie Power quadruple at just 6/1. As the betting markets heat up, so does the excitement and anticipation for the event – we simply cannot wait! [Read more…]


Horse Racing Bets – The Key to Big Wins at the Track!

If you’re like most people, you can’t make it down to the race track all the time. Maybe once or twice a year you travel to see a big race, but you usually just catch them on television. No matter how you decide to watch all of the races, the key here is to make sure that you’re betting regularly. A regular betting cycle will give you the best chances on making a profit. Otherwise, you just end up feeling frustrated and confused. When you put all of your bankroll on one race, that’s the exact reaction that you are setting yourself up for. We see this during the height of Derby season, but it shows up in other races too.

Horse Racing Bets

The key here is to make horse racing bets part of a regular routine, and then dig deep into the world of horses. You should learn how they’re bred, what trainers do, how they bring out the best in the horse. Knowing more about horses than others will help you pick the very best ones, rather than just going on what some sports commentator thinks. Horse handicapping comes down to superior knowledge, not necessarily expensive tools. After all, the spirit of betting has been around for a long time.

How hard is that horse competing in the overall racing cycle? The same horse that seems to have no rest and little preparation isn’t a top contender, while the horse that seems to never be in a race until the very last minute isn’t a good bet either. It’s better to have a cross between the two extremes: a well rounded horse that has a well known trainer and stable. Not every horse owner really understands the sport. Some are just in it for fame and glory, rather than really trying to get the maximum potential out of each horse.

Want the best path to success? Bet online. We know that it sounds very straightforward, but sometimes the best solutions come from the most straightforward thinking. Getting online gives you the best odds, a great community to chat with as you bet, and the more information possible. You won’t have to risk missing a race, either. Online sportsbooks are here to stay, so check them out today!


What California Chrome’s Loss at Belmont Really Says for Horse Racing?

You’ve had time to deal with the results already, so we’ll be blunt: C. Chrome lost. A fourth place finish isn’t the end of the world, but it’s still a long way from being a Triple Crown winner. There were some punters that worried about C. Chrome from the beginning. Yes, the horse took the Derby. Yes, the horse took the Preakness. But concerns about speed and endurance have always been hanging out in the background, all the way back during the Road to the Derby series.

Again, the horse is still impressive. People are moaning about the loss of the Crown as if it means that this wonderful horse is bound for a slaughterhouse in some foreign land. That’s just not the case at all. California Chrome is a great horse, with a lot more fight in him than meets the eye.

Let’s not forget all of the stud fees that the owners are going to be able to collect. Winning the Derby and the Preakness definitely gets you noticed. Tonalist won the Belmont, but that win is opening up some controversial doors. It also says a lot about horse racing.

California Chrome

Tradition has a difficult time surviving in the modern world, especially when the modern era is so digital. We have much more data to work with than we used to, and this requires the racing world to change. Should Tonalist been allowed to compete in the last leg of the Crown, when the horse didn’t race in the Derby or the Preakness? Some say yes, but others say that this change is disastrous. They say it’s not fair that C. Chrome had to race in both prior races while Tonalist was allowed to compete “fresh”.

We think that some sort of agreement needs to be reached. If the fresh horses are allowed to compete, some will feel that it doesn’t accurately display the skills of the other horses. On the other hand, some say that a true Triple Crown champion should be able to defeat even the fresh horses to take the title properly.

This is an argument that won’t be concluded anytime soon. Some people are just sore that California Chrome didn’t take the title, since it’s been 38 years since a horse has been able to take the title.

There were some punters rejoicing on that loss, of course: if you bet against California Chrome taking the title, then you might have made some money off side bets. You could also make money off C. Chrome’s 4th place win. It’s all about how you structure your bets 🙂


Horse Handicapping 101 – Older or Younger

If you’re brushing off your handicapping skills before the Derby, you might have a long way to go. There’s so many horses competing that it can be hard to pin down who you want your top horse to be. Even after the Derby is long gone, there will be great races to follow. That’s why starting to refine your handicapping now can yield big benefits in the future.

So, how do we set the stage? The daily racing form is a great way to look at all of the contenders, but today’s lesson is a bit of general theory. You have younger horses against older horses. Does youth win? Or does experience play a bigger role? Do you want to go with a horse that’s relatively untested, the wildcard, or do you want to go super conservative and pick a horse that’s already won a bunch of allowance stakes?

The choice isn’t easy, because you can go either way. It’s also a bit of a “false choice”, because age alone doesn’t mean much. Sure, a young horse has a bit more life in them, but this “life” is marred by inexperience. Simply put, the horse can be stubborn and not perform nearly the way that you wanted them to perform.

Horse Handicapping

We advise making two groups in your handicapping drafts: the younger horses, along with the older horses. In the young group, you want to refine by looking at the performance of the jockeys, as well as the horse’s performance on different fields. There’s an inherent track bias that you need to keep aware of, and that bias can ruin a horse. Yet it’s not just about the condition of the track, either. (See why this can be complicated?)

You have to think about the horse’s endurance in general. You can look at the races they’ve won and then look at the track. Was it a speed race, or an endurance race? The longer tracks will bring out the horses that can go the distance, while the shorter tracks will reveal your sprinters.

As you begin to filter and refine based on historical data, you’ll realize that you’ll have more than a few horses in the running. It can be a lengthy process to narrow down the horses you want, but it’s worth it. If you are going to make sure that you practice conservative handicapping, you may want to avoid super exotic bets. There’s no need for a supertrifecta or an accumulator bet if you’re going to study the data. Sometimes, the “simple bets” can lead to the most money.


Cool Horse Racing Bets You Might Have Missed

Tired of the parlay bet? In horse racing, you have plenty of different ways to bet on the big races. As you watch the Road to the Derby series, you may already have a head start on your handicapping. Don’t get frustrated if the rankings change quite often. You still make a little money on these small races until the Kentucky Derby is here.

Here are a few different bets to check out.

If you want something easy peasy simple, you can’t go wrong with a straight win bet. As the name implies, you put money down on one horse for the win. You can calculate how much you’re going to get by looking at the odds multiplied against the stake that you put up. If you’re trying to skip the handicapping and “bet from the gut” or make guesses or follow hunches, this is the best way to go.

If you’re already handicapping, you might as well check out something like the each-way bet. It’s half on the horse you want to win, followed by the other half going to the horse you want to finish in one of the top 3 places. Some races are generous and will consider 4th place a winner as well, which can give you some leeway.

Horse Racing Bets

One of our favorite types of bets would have to be the forecast bet, also referred to as the tricast bet. Now, for our American friends, this is the exacta and trifecta.

Basically, the forecast bet means that you get the 1st and 2nd place winners in perfect order. Considering that you have to pretty much be a mind reader to get this down pat, it’s really a fun bet with a lot on the line. If you happen to get it right, you’ll win a lot of money. If you don’t get it right, you don’t get anything but a few laughs. All the more reason to only risk money that you can afford to lose. Gambling is good entertainment, and there’s nothing wrong with it.

But if the forecast bet is too much for you, you may want to check out the reverse forecast, where it doesn’t matter the order you place the horses. As long as they hit the required placements, the bet still pays out.

Betting should be fun, not stressful. Give yourself time to check into everything, and you’ll be able to put out some good bets!


Are These Horses Truly Derby Contenders

Everyone’s passing around lists of horses they think could be contenders in the Kentucky Derby race to come. Now, May is a long way away, and that means that there’s plenty of time to speculate. Since no one really knows a solid contender list, we figured that we’d just join in on the fun. We wanted to list a few horses and see what all of you think. Let’s pretend that we don’t really have an order here. We don’t want to cause a war, you know! 🙂

1. Tapiture


What an elegant horse! Have you seen this fella? If you’re not sure if you should look at Tapiture just yet, hare’s some background. He’s trained by Steve Asmussen, who is no newcomer to racing. His own parents were trainers, and his brother is a decorated jockey. He’s nailed 650 wins in a single year. Tapiture is owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds, a family that definitely has racing in their blood! The Winchells are pretty proud of Tapiture, who whose sire is Tapit, and his dam is Free Spin.

Tapiture definitely has speed in his blood, but distance is tricky. Tapit ended up in ninth place during the 2004 Kentucky Derby, but that doesn’t mean that Tapiture shouldn’t be considered a favorite. Free Spin won 3 of her 6 starts, and is a daughter of Olympio, a very decorated horse in his own right.

2. Intense Holiday

Intense Holiday
Now, this is definitely a horse that got our attention! This contender won the Risen Star Stakes on February 22nd, but it’s how the horse won that got our attention. Albano was definitely home free at the sixteenths pole, and it felt like a sure victory. But Intense Holiday proved that nothing in horse racing is ever certain, or foolproof. Kerwin Clark, the jockey who rode Albano in that race, was very surprised. A second place finish still deserves merit, but Intense Holiday definitely got the bragging rights. [Read more…]