Trade of the Day and Hennessy Reasoning

John Mac, our race analyst writes:

A few readers have asked how and why I selected the two horses I have done for the Hennessy. My reasoning is below.

Initially I checked the weather forecast which revealed that although rain is forecast it is not anticipated to be of biblical proportions so, heavy dew combined with moderate temperatures means we should end up with ground just on the soft side of good, pretty much as it is reported to be now.

On that basis I would expect my two selections to be able to perform to their best as that is what the formbook tells me and also what my own interpretation of their previous efforts indicates.

By simple process of elimination:

NEPTUNE COLLONGES, JONCOL and PLANET OF SOUND – at the wrong end of the handicap for me. Having to give lumps of weight to probable big time improvers will ultimately prove beyond them all.

SARANDO – doesn’t jump well enough to win a Hennessy.

BLAZING BAILEY – fully exposed and the handicapper has him where he wants him.

AITEEN THIRTYTHREE –I haven’t been overly impressed with him as most of his races have been in small uncompetitive fields and the challenge that the Hennessy brings is of a far different ilk. As he is priced up very much on the cautious side he has been rejected.

BESHABAR – will have targets much later in the season over longer trips so he is overlooked.

GREAT ENDEAVOUR – The reasons for rejecting him have been outlined previously.

WAYWARD PRINCE – couldn’t beat Wymott at levels in a gruelling hurdle battle @ Haydock two seasons ago and I see no reason for him to be able to give him weight on Saturday.

CARRUTHERS – will be better suited to a small field where he can dominate, preferably in hock deep ground.

MUIRHEAD – won’t stay and disappointed last time out anyway.

THE GIANT BOLSTER – makes too many mistakes for me.

From FAIR ALONG down they may have to run from out of the handicap so I cannot entertain them.

That leaves WYMOTT and MICHEL LE BON.  Both  have good records when coming to the racetrack after a break. They come from big stables who are more than capable of getting one ready for a challenge such as this and are at the right end of the handicap.

WYMOTT is the most likely winner as I have been hugely impressed with his jumping and his attitude when all is well and if he runs to his obvious potential he will go close here.

MICHEL LE BON is slightly more speculative. However, reviewing video footage of his previous runs I do not want to let him run without having him on my side. He definitely has an engine and if he is over the problems which have stalled his career, he could prove to be very well handicapped.


When you have an idea about a particular race, how do you work out the best way of securing a profit from it?

Let’s take today’s 2.10pm race at Southwell as an example.

For me this race revolves around ACE OF SPIES.

My thoughts are a fast break and move one off the rail from his number one box – hopefully steering out of the quicksand. He may be away and gone before they can get to him.

I can see no potential pace pressure from the low boxes and, hopefully for me, all the high ones may just get in each others way. I’m liking the look of a trade in this one.

Ace of Spies hit a relatively low number in running last time out and he had to see off Suddenly Susan early. he came from the 8 box and headed her from the 2. Sparkling enough early speed that!

On the six previous occasions he has run off a mark below 70 over course and distance he has produced the following data:

Mark 62: BSP 20 – IR Low 2.02

Mark 67: BSP 96 – IR Low 3.00

Mark 65: BSP 3.07 – Won

Mark 64: BSP 8.53 – IR Low 3.20

Mark 67: BSP 9.00 – IR Low 4.00

Mark 68: BSP 8.43 – Won

This would be my plan for backing Ace of Spies:

Have £50 each way @ around the forecast price this morning of 10’s

Then have another £100 on the machine in the win market at 11ish

Put up an In Running Lay for the stake at around 5.5 for the stake.

Then put up another In Running Lay for £220 @ around 2.5

All being well I should scrape a profit out of it!

Cue a missed break and always behind…lol

Good luck to all, I will be back tomorrow to analyse where it all went wrong!

John Mac



    1. Hi Jim

      Thanks for your comment.

      Yes, unfortunately A of S didn’t trade low enough despite leading until 2 out. That’s the nature of the game. You can do your homework, get everything right, play it in the correct way and things still not go your way. it’s a marathon not a sprint and those kind of plays will work often enough to give them a long term positive expectation. If they worked every time, there would be no one to take our bets.

      All the best


  1. Yes fair point Jim. ACE OF SPIES didnt run up to expectations or to past performances, remarkably he still traded @ 8.6 IR as opposed to his Betfair SP of 12 !
    SOOPICAL put pace pressure to him early from the 2 box which i hadnt envisiged in my pre race analysis and three non runners brought the wider drawn horses closer to Ace earlier than i had anticipated. The favourite was obviously very well handicapped and is improving fast but that was factored into his price. He won well and ACE probably ran between 5 and 7lb below his best but that is the nature of low grade racing, the horses are just not that consistant. The EW money prerace correctly predicted a better showing from SOOPICAL and if he can reproduce that effort next time out he may well be winning if circumstances allow him to. Thankyou for your positive comments Kieran.

  2. Fantastic performance by Carruthers, I didnt think the Hennessy would be his type of race at all. Both Wymott and MLB ran ok , particularly Wymott who gave the outside up for no horse and was always in the firing line. There may be a big handicap in Wymott and I will monitor his entries with interest.

    Two key facts to take from saturday’s event. Firstly, this years 2nd season novices continue to dissapoint on the whole and just when the crown maybe up for grabs none of them have so far have managed to step forward. Perhaps CAPTAIN CHRIS will throw down the gauntlet in the King George.

    Secondly, how strong is the Cheltenham race that Galxy Rock won @ Cheltenham a few weeks back ? Carruthers was destroyed in that as was Fair Along who both ran with great honour yesterday. In addition, Hey Big Spender was completely outclaseed in the same race but was able to fairly run away with the Rehersal Chase at Newcastle giving lumps of weight away all round.

    The 14/1 available for the Chepstow Welsh National didnt last long after yesterdays results and if that is indeed the target then the 12/1 is going to look awfully big as well come race day as quite simply this is the best available staying chase handicap form currently available.

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