A Kick in the Stomach and The Each Way Steal Part 2
A very happy New Year to you all and I hope you had a relaxing, refreshing Christmas. Mine was pleasant if a little tainted by the residual shock caused by a betting 'kick in the stomach' I received on the Saturday before. More of that later - suffice to say one of the most careless, complacent pieces of jockeyship I have seen in a long time cost me several thousand pounds in winnings and my peace of mind for a week or two.
Sincere apologies again for the unacceptable delay between posts - Christmas, New Year and a variety of other issues have conpsired to make it more than 2 weeks since I last put pen to paper (finger to keyboard in this instance.)
The last couple of weeks in December were pretty much a washout in terms of jump racing and I can honestly say I can't remember a time, in nearly 30 years of following racing, when so many meetings have been lost to the weather. It makes me wonder about the validity of the 'global warming' arguments. If we keep getting winters like this I'm going to have to start burning piles of tyres in my back garden to try and speed the whole process up!
The Each Way Steal Part 2
In my last post, I talked about a value finding method called the Each Way Steal and promised that I would give a worked example when I got a chance. I've spotted countless opportunities since my last post but unfortunbately just haven't had the time to get the neccesary screenshots and data to give a good worked example. However, I've had a quick look at today's cards and spotted a likely opoortunity in the 3.10pm at Southwell.
It's a maiden hurdle with a very warm order at the head of the market from the Nicky Henderson yard, Problema Tic. I have it on good authority this morning that the stable think very highly of this horse and will be amazed if it doesn't win easily. The horse I am interested in for the purposes of an each way steal is Management, currently generally available at 13/2 (10 on Betfair).
I can't really see this beating the favourite and I am a little concerned about the support for Evan Williams' Timesawastin. However, this appears to be a pretty poor maiden and I would be surprised to see Management out of the places. It is interesting to note that the place part of a bet at 7.5 pays 2.3 yet the 10.5 to win available on Betfair gives us only 1.95 in the place market. This disparity clearly demonstrates the vulnerability of the bookmakers on a place bet for this kind of horse. The 1.95 reflects Management's chance of placing far more accurately than the 2.3 we can snaffle from the bookmakers.
Why Management? Management has placed in 3 of his 4 bumpers to date and comes from the Alan King yard which has a 43% place strike rate over the last 14 days and is ridden by Robert Thornton who has a 58% place strike rate over the last 14 days. We have to take his hurdling on trust but I am sure he will be well schooled. Furthermore, Alan King managed to get a run into him during the cold snap which many of his rivals today didn't manage. If there are any chinks in the armour of the favourite I believe Management is best placed to exploit them.
I would be a lot more comfortable with this as an Each Way steal if the Betfair win price was a bit closer to the bookies price but we can't have everything. Even as things stand this bet has a long term positive expectation.
The Kick in the 'Stomach'
As I mentioned earlier in the post, I had a pleasant Christmas only slightly marred by a failure to secure the expenses on the previous Saturday. I've called it a kick in the stomach in this post but believe me, in my head it's a kick in a far more tender area! The claiming jockey Michael O'Connell is right off my Christmas card list and won't be carrying any of my money for a while. Picture the scene:
It's Saturday 18th December and I'm up early examining the card for Southwell, the only meeting spared by the weather. I've spotted 4 shortish horses that I think have an excellent chance and I'm pondering my options on how to take advantage. By far and away my best bet of the day is Silaah in the 2.05. I'd been keeping a close on this one over his recent runs and I rated him a near certainty for this race.
I had a £300 win bet on him at 7/2 and then, rather gratifyingly, watched his price tumble as most of the big tipsters stuck him up as their best bet of the day. As the morning progressed I used him as the cornerstone for a number of multiple bets including:
£100 win double - 1.00pm Southwell Kumbeshwar (6/4), 2.05pm Southwell Silaah (3/1)
£100 win double - 2.40pm Southwell Nightjar (5/2), 2.05pm Southwell Silaah (3/1)
£100 win double - 1.35pm Southwell Camps Bay (15/8), 2.05pm Southwell Silaah (3/1)
£10 ew Yankee the above 4 at those prices
I was more than happy with those bets and confidently expected to collect on at least a couple of the doubles and the win bet on Silaah.
All was going nicely to plan as Kumbeshwar and Camps Bay won well after being heavily backed.
The came the 2.05pm. Imagine my pleasure as Silaah swept smoothly to the front as they turned into the home straight. Michael O'Connell was sitting very still while all his rivals toiled in behind. I sat there urging him to get after the horse now and draw clear. Yet still he sat like a statue as Philip Makin managed to galvanise an effort from Everymanforhimself. I remained confident that Silaah, travelling well within himself, if told to go on would win easily. Still Michael O'Connell sits, unmoving trying to look flash and win cosily. By the time Everymanforhimself drew alongside and O'Connell realised his mistake, it was all too late. Finally getting to work on Silaah, he picked up nicely but the other horse had the momentum by this point and touched him off by a head.
I'm open to the charge of talking through my pocket here, but there is no doubt in my mind that had Michael O'Connell actually ridden the horse, rather than being complacent and trying to make the win look easy, Silaah would have won with plenty to spare.
My misery was compounded by the triumph of Nightjar in the 2.40pm.
God knows how much money was lost by punters nationwide by this truly hopeless display of riding. For me alone it meant:
With Silaah finishing a head 2nd I returned £873.98 from an outlay of £820. A profit just about.
With Silaah winning (as he should have done) I would have been returned £7882.12. A profit of over £7000.
If I had any say in things, Michael O'Connell would never be allowed on a horse again.
On that note, I will leave you for today. I will be back a bit later in the week with a look at The Welsh National for Saturday.
Have a great week