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Friday, 16 May 2008

Friday Fun & Saturday Preview: O's and E's

Mayhem and bedlam, dear reader, that's the only way to describe this week. It's been carnageous! (Ok, so I made that last word up, but you know what I mean).

First of all, I opened a significant can of worms by reviewing unfavourably the Lay 51 Operation manual. In fairness to both Stephen Brookes and Steven Lee Jones, both of whom have been in touch with me multiple times this week, as far as I can tell they have ceased promoting this product (which was penned by neither of them).

This was followed by a funeral down in Dorset for a dear aunt in midweek: she was old and it was coming, but these things are never savoury experiences. May she rest in peace.

And now, I finally have a chance to pause for breath....






Ok, so perhaps I could have just done that metaphorically... No matter. For, as I regroup my thoughts, its onwards and upwards to the weekend's equine action. Aside from the Group 1 Juddmonte Lockinge Stakes at Newbury tomorrow, there's a hatful of hardcore handicapping h-action to challenge our minds and our wallets into submission.

But what are we, if we shy from risking ridicule and lampoonery - as well as pounds and pence - by attempting to solve the insoluble, impenetrable conundrums with their myriad unfathomable imponderables?! (Excuse me, while I change my dentures!)

So let's use the draw and the stats, for that is the game, to try to tease some profitable insights. (Incidentally, after Blue Bajan leapt off the shortlist last week to land the Swinton Hurdle, and some hefty wagers having been backed from double digits to 4/1 jolly, the record over the last few weeks is pretty impressive, though I say so myself).

The Lockinge first, as we should start with a race in which we at least have a feline in Hades' (that's a cat in Hell's) chance of trapping the gold medallist.

Twelve runners to post, and the ten year trends say this:

10/10 were either seasonal debutants (9/10, excluding Nad Al Sheba runs) OR won only start
This halves the field at a stroke

9/10 were 4 or 5yo (7/10 were 4yo's)
It's cheerio to the Cesare, the favourite

9/10 had previously won over a mile (the distance of the Lockinge)
Two of these haven't, so we're down to a trio already

10/10 had recorded a triple digit Topspeed figure
Phoenix Tower has not and is reluctantly scratched (reluctantly, as it may not be a fast run race, and therefore proven end-to-end speed may be irrelevant)

9/10 started at odds of 9/1 or shorter
Astronomer Royal is around a 16/1 shot, and is therefore eliminated

A single runner remains, and a very interesting one at that. Haradasun may be an unfamiliar name to you, even though he's 7/2 second favourite. The reason? He's having his Northern Hemisphere debut for A P O'Brien, having previously run exclusively in Australia.

Phoenix Tower is worthy of a saver, though this does represent a fair step up for Henry Cecil's unexposed (and still unbeaten) Chester House colt (ideally bred for a mile, being out of a Zafonic mare).

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So that, then, is the easy bit! (Or so time may tell)

Let's move to the handicaps... firstly, at Thirsk, I'm a little wary of the draw this season, and will pass up the opportunity for a punt in the 14 runner 6f race. However, if I was playing, I'd want something drawn within two of either side. From the six candidates that have this location, these conditions look optimal for Valery Borzov.

Not the most inspired selection, but one that won't be far away.

At Newmarket, I'll be siding with TFS stalwart David Elsworth. So, watch out for Viva Vettori in the 2.25 (assuming the going has the word 'soft' somewhere in the description); Silver Waters in the 3.00; and, Aggravation in the 4.10 (though he might prefer a mile, he won't be far away on softish ground).

The wily Elsworth rarely leaves HQ empty-handed, and I'll be empty-pocketed if he does tomorrow!

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If you're still alive punting-wise by Sunday, Ripon offers draw followers a couple of chances. High draws are often favoured in the sprints.

In the opening juvenile seller, well drawn (11 of 12) Rose of Coma may never win if she doesn't here put her best hoof forward in this company.

The subsequent 2yo maiden is the only other race of note from a draw perspective, and Dispol Mulofky (14 of 14) is a reasonable each way wager. But I recommend you spend time with the family or in the garden / pub / bed as its predominantly uninspiring fare.

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Last, but by no moans loast, timo for somo customary Friday Fun.



Tho wookond starts horo!

Matt

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Friday, 9 May 2008

Friday Fun & Saturday Preview

No loopholes, it seems, dear reader, in Betfair. At least judging by your comments. I think we'll leave the debate there, and move on...

Nottingham proved a good place to bet today, with the 10/11 favourite well beaten as suggested in the opener, but my selection plum last from what I thought was an ideal draw in 14. Given that the last four home were drawn 11-14 of 14, I feared the worst. However, three of them were 50/1, 66/1 and 80/1.

In the next race, I was sweet on the favourite, who obliged at a tight evens. No cream there for the average punter. My opposition of Readily was matched on course, as she was sent off 7/1 before finishing a nicely stuffed 10th.

In the last race, I was surprised to see Bold Argument start at 15/2, which I considered too big, and availed myself of (over 10 on betfair!). Any earlier reservations about the draw bias evaporated, as 17 (of 17) beat 11 and 16.

Who needs the form book?! ;o)

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On to tomorrow, and the Swinton Hurdle is the big race. 'Just' the 24 runners line up, and its tricky to say the least.

Some trends that will help us, from the last ten runnings:

10/10 were aged 4-6yo (cheerio to six old'uns)
8/10 were officially rated between 125 and 136 (nine classy horses, whose form is more exposed, are reluctantly eliminated: this is a race for the young improving types)
9/10 were placed or better in 50% or more of their races last season, and all won (two fail on this)
9/10 had had between 4 and 9 hurdle runs, which erases another one horse here

So, I'm quietly confident that the winner is on my list of six. But not sure where...

A four year old has not won since 2000, so I will reluctantly cross out Mamlook and Lazy Darren, leaving a quartet to conjure with. These are Blue Bajan, Working Title, I Hear A Symphony, and Raise Your Heart.

One other stat is that 8/10 carried 10-06 or less to win. A strict interpretation of the stats then would cross out Blue Bajan and Working Title, but - given they carry - a pound and two pounds over this threshold, I leave them in. [I never said this was a science!]

The four are 10/1 or bigger, so back them all win only. I will be and, when Mamlook or Lazy Darren wins, I'll be blubbing in the corner...

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They race tomorrow at Ascot too, and its too hard for me. I reckon the middle of the track is likely to be the best place to be, and a 4-6yo has won the last eight runnings. No more than token selections are Al Khaleej and Fishfourcompliments, who have both got jockey bookings that imply they are expected to run well...

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Just time for a spot of Friday Fun before I hit the pub... and this week, I've reverted to Family Guy to entertain us all... Its low grade, its American, and its pretty darned funny to boot! As you know, here at Nag3, I promote sensible betting with money that you can afford to lose... or this could happen! (yes, I know it repeats itself, but its almost worth watching twice!)



Good weekend one and all,
Matt

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Friday, 22 February 2008

Friday Fun: A Bit More Eddie...

My placepot down the khazi, dear reader, and its back to Eddie Izzard to return me to good spirits.

Some early material to get you in the mood for the weekend... I'll be back later with some more Cheltenham trends previews...




Pip pip!

Matt

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Friday, 8 February 2008

Friday Fun: Balloon-Atics...

I'm guessing they're German, dear reader....





Happy Friday

Matt

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Friday, 24 August 2007

Friday Fun: This Man Needs No Introduction...

Picture quality not great, gag value immense, even after all these years. A real Bank Holiday treat, dear reader....


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Friday, 17 August 2007

Friday Fun: Its Magic!

I think these guys are called Barry and Stuart. They're two very funny and clever Scottish guys...

Enjoy.




Matt

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Friday, 27 July 2007

Friday Fun: The Simpsons....

Its that time of the week again, dear reader, when work yields to play, and we enjoy some fun on a Friday.

This week, in honour of the magnificent Simpsons Movie, I've raided the youtube archives to bring a touch of culture, yellow stylee...

If you haven't seen the Simpsons Movie yet (and you probably haven't, it was only released last night), it comes highly recommended. So many great gags, such as Homer searching for an epiphany: "If you only touch it once or twice, it doesn't count as playing with yourself?!", and the magnificent Spider Pig scene. You've got to see it, I fear I'm not doing it justice).

Here is Hamlet, reworked by Mr Groening:



And here is the trailer featuring Spider Pig - go and see this movie! Take the kids, the wife, the girlfriend, the boyfriend, the mother in law, the next door neighbour, that cute girl you've been meaning to ask out, the checkout girl at Tesco, your lollipop lady, or just yourself. But go and see it, I promise you'll love it!



I might go and see it again tomorrow...

Bon weekend tout le monde!
Matt

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Friday, 29 June 2007

Ffriday Ffun: The Two Ronnies

A lorry carrying blue paint crashed into a lorry carrying red paint on the
M4 today. Both drivers were said to be marooned...

And another:

Thieves broke into Hackney Police Station last night and stole all the toilets. A spokesman for the Met said they had nothing to go on...

A third:

A planeload of spittle has crashed into the sea off the west coast of Africa. Reporters at the scene said there were no salivas...

One more?

'Have you heard the one about the retired general who said he had not had sex since 1956? His friend said, 'That's a long time ago.'I don't know, 'the general replied.' It's only 20.27 now.'

And finally...

'Following the dispute with the domestic servants' union at Buckingham Palace today, the Queen, a radiant figure in a white silk gown and crimson robe, swept down the main staircase and through the hall. She then dusted the cloakroom and vacuumed the lounge.'

It's good night from me!

Good weekend to all.
Matt

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Friday, 15 June 2007

Friday Fun: Webcam Abuse!

This guy is clearly narcotically enhanced.

Absolutely marvellous, camper than the proverbial row of rouge tents, and don't miss the superb eyebrow moment around about 58 seconds!

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Friday, 8 June 2007

Friday Fun: For The Ladies...

This is reasonably amusing, and is especially for Jeremy. You know who you are...!

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Friday, 1 June 2007

Friday Fun With The Zimmers...

Friday fun time again, and I'm celebrating after Our 'Enry did the business in the Oaks today to record... wait for it... his TWENTY-FOURTH Classic winner. The man is absolute class, and was typically gracious in victory, handing credit to everyone except himself.

I might start a peerage for Sir Henry campaign - what do you think...?

Anyway, a bit of Friday fun for you, once again from the archives of youtube.com. You may have seen this, as its received an awful lot of press coverage. They have a combined age of over 3,000! I think this fantastic and I hope you like it too...



Derby preview later...

Matt

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Friday, 25 May 2007

Arachnids And Psychoactive Narcotics: A Friday Lesson

Seeing as we're about to embark on a weekend of relaxation and merriment, with the odd drink and bet along the way no doubt, I though it might be prudent to remind you of the excesses of various poisons readily (and no readily) available these days...

Not strictly racing related, but amusing nevertheless...

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