The Weekend Bulletin (Sat 8th April’17)
The new Flat turf season got off to a really positive start with our Big Race Guru, Nick Hardman, nailing the Lincoln Handicap winner Bravery at 20/1 whilst 2 of his other double digit Each-Way plays also landed the spoils. Here is a quick reminder of how Nick decided to tackle the first big handicap at Doncaster last Saturday:-
Nick Hardman’s Big Race Selections – Sat 1st April’17
The Lincoln and I am going with Richard Fahey again and David O’Meara who consistently gets his runners placed in this. Bravery is ex Aiden O’Brien trained and decent. This yard often improves horses and if doing the same here then he has an obvious chance. Steel Train is interesting despite a row of duck eggs next to his name and Dolphin Vista is the pick of Hanagan for Fahey. That trainer runs a fair few and Gabrial is not out of this on his current mark.
Steel Train @22/1 e/w (1/5 odds, 6 places, Skybet) – 7th beaten SH for a place
Dolphin Vista @14/1 e/w (1/5 odds, 5 places, PP) – 5th 12/1
Gabrial @20/1 e/w (1/5 odds, 6 places, Skybet) – 4th 16/1
Bravery @14/1 e/w (1/5 odds, 5 places, PP) – Won 20/1
Of course Nick can’t win with every race his selections run in and it is fair to say that the first 3 months of 2017 have been challenging but his proven methods have always ridden out the odd losing run and hot on the heels of the Lincoln winner Nick also provided the Insiders Club members with the winner of the Foxhunters, Dineur (adv EW 25/1), on Day 1 of the Aintree Festival.
You can find out more about the method that Nick uses to find these Big Race selections on this interesting video.
Saturday’s feature race is of course the Aintree Grand National and Nick passed his slide rule over the key stats and traits for his article in the current Insiders Club Report (Issue 144) which is hot off the press. You can find out how to get your hands on a copy and a whole lot more here. http://bettinginsiders.com
The Grand National Handicap Chase (Grade 3; 4m 3½f)
If there was one race in the whole season where you want to pick the winner then it has to be the Grand National – 40 runners, 30 fences and a roller coaster from start to finish. This really is racing’s greatest spectacle. This is a race where I have no worries taking at least 4 against the field and big-odds backers have been richly rewarded with winners at 33/1, 25/1, 25/1, 66/1 and 33/1 in the last five renewals. Throw in Mon Mome at 100/1 in 2009 and finding the winner of the race can be very rewarding for punters who are brave enough to look outside the top tier in the betting market.
So let’s look at the statistics. The strongest one is that all of the last 20 winners had last raced 16 – 60 days before lining up for the Big One. Horses aged 8yo or younger are 2-170 since 1997. Horses aged 9yo to 11yo totally dominate and account for 17 of the last 20 winners and all of the winners since 2004.
The Grand National is the longest race in the racing calendar and often run at a decent clip. 17 of the last 20 winners carried 11st 0lbs or less and I will be looking at those horses carrying something around 10st 6lbs to 11st 0lbs as this weight bracket has produced 9 of the last 14 winners. A good last time out performance is a decent pointer and 15 of the last 20 winners finished in the top five on their previous start.
All of the last 13 winners were rated 137+ although we have seen a shift towards higher rated winners in recent time. A minimum of three runs in the current season looks a prerequisite and accounts for all of the last 20 winners. Fifteen of the last twenty winners had raced over at least 3m 5f previously and that is a strong statistic.
Another interesting statistic is that 6 of the last 18 winners had their last run over hurdles. This type of prep race is not uncommon and there are usually around 4 to 6 such horses in the line-up each year. Since 1997 these runners are 6-71 for a level stakes profit of £17.00. Putting all these statistics together gives us the following profile:
• Has had a run in the last 16 to 60 days
• Aged 9yo to 11yo
• Carrying 10st 6lbs to 11st 0lbs
• Top 5 finish LTO
• At least 3 runs in the current season
• Rated 137+
• Raced over at least 3m 5f (preferably 4m+)
• Won a race over at least 3 miles
• Note any horses whose last run was over hurdles
• Previous experience of the Grand National fences (ran in the Grand National, Topham Chase, Becher Chase or Grand Sefton Handicap Chase previously)
Click here to read on and find out which horses Nick really fancies for the Aintree Grand National.
Nick Hardman’s Big Race Selections – Sat 8th April’17
The Big One. The trends leave us looking at just five horses the best of whom appear to be Cause Of Causes and Ucello Conti. The other two I like are One For Arthur and Highland Lodge. If the latter stays I think he has a great chance.
Ucello Conti @18/1 e/w (1/4 odds, 5 places)
Cause Of Causes @16/1 e/w (1/4 odds, 5 places)
One For Arthur @16/1 e/w (1/4 odds, 5 places)
Highland Lodge @28/1 e/w (1/4 odds, 5 places)
Together We Can Win
Darren & Steve