The pick of the prices in the Veterans' Handicap Chase....

Last Updated: 03.03.2017

3rd March 2017

In this week’s issue….

  • Our target race this weekend….
  • On the record….
  • Process over outcome….
  • The pick of the prices in the Veterans’ Handicap….
  • A solid each-way bet in the Greatwood….

The pick of the prices in the Veterans’ Handicap….

This weekend the plan was to head to Doncaster and target the Grimthorpe Handicap Chase – but just 7 turn out and it renders the race unappealing from a betting perspective.

Instead the focus switches to the C2 Greatwood Veterans’ Handicap Chase at Newbury (2.05) over 3 miles and 2 furlongs – where a field of 12 goes to post….

This morning the ground at Newbury is described as good to soft (soft in places). It could get softer.

They’ve had rain this morning. There is also heavy rain forecast tonight – depending on which weather forecasting site you look at. Its forecast dry tomorrow but it could still be on the soft side at off time….

We’ll get to my selections in a moment. First, this….

  • On the record….

Over on my paid ATC service we had a good win last weekend – I’d put Pilgrims Bay up each-way at 25s in the Betbright Handicap Chase at Kempton. Reader PL had this to say….

‘Two words. Bloody fantastic! It was amazing seeing him go from apparently struggling to keep up to cruising up with two to go on the bit. We were on a weekend break in Cardiff and the winnings paid for the weekend and more. I've been a member for exactly a year now, have recorded every bet and am 120 points in front….’

That profit was news to me. It may surprise you to learn that I don’t pay any mind to my bottom-line.

I know that’s sacrilege. I know every betting manual ever written says you MUST keep records and consult them as though they are scripture. But I don’t bother.

If keeping and consulting records works for you, do it. But I never give such matters a thought.

My total effort is focused on seeking out bets at prices the market has got wrong. Win, lose or draw, I move on quickly.

I know if I’m having a dry spell or a purple patch. I know if I’m ticking over somewhere in between. But I couldn’t give you exact figures. And I’m not bothered.

  • Process over outcome….

My publisher records my results on the ATC website – for the benefit of readers who want to check me out. We’ve nothing to hide….

But I don’t pay any mind to such things. I am not a slave to a reckoning ledger. I don’t want to be distracted from the job at hand by overarching figures stretching back to pre-history….

I set my stall out race-by-race. I work on each individual race as if it were a completely fresh page. And I let the results take care of themselves.

If I’m any kind of judge, these things will take care of themselves. If not, then I’ll soon be heading to Tesco looking for a start as a trolley collector and it won’t matter anyway.

I’m in a results oriented game. I know that. But to get the best results, you can’t focus on the results. You must focus on the process. Anything else will send you mad. You must believe in your game, play it, and let the results take care of themselves.

I get plenty wrong. More than I get right. I have more losing weeks than winning weeks. That’s a natural and expected consequence of the way I play the game.

The overall ambition is to get it right frequently enough at prices sufficient to get in front over the long-term. PL’s email suggests I can hold back on the Tesco application – at least for now….

Take a free 14-day trial of my ATC service here….

  • Pick of the prices….

I’ll be honest with you, tomorrow’s Greatwood Veterans’ Handicap Chase is a horrible race from a value-seeking perspective. There’s not much juice in any of the lemons….

Last year’s winner Shotavodka is just 1lb above the mark he won off last year. He’s easy enough to make a case for. But I’m not sure I want him at 8s.

Ditto Harry Topper and OFaolains Boy at their quotes. You can see it happening. But there’s little or nothing in the price that offers encouragement to bet on it.

There’s little to like about most of the prices but the one that might be worth a bet each-way at the 16s with bet365 is GOULANES.

He hasn’t raced much in the past couple of years. He was with David Pipe and won the 2014 Midlands Grand National on the back of a wind-operation and off a mark of 138. He was clearly useful.

Nothing was seen of him until December last year. He’d been injured and it took time to get him straight again. In November, he moved to Neil Mulholland’s care and his first assignment was the Welsh National where he pulled up….

We didn’t learn much from his run. He was entitled to need it after a 1000+ days off track. But the standard of that first-time-back target suggests Mulholland believe there’s still life in the old boy.

Maybe that level of assignment was just beyond him. Tomorrow’s event represents a scaling down of ambition. Only the old-boys go to post and that will make things easier.

Goulanes is an out-and-out staying chaser who relishes soft ground – and he’ll get that tomorrow. He gets to go off a mark 4lb below his last winning mark. And the yard remains in good form a week on from Pilgrim Bay’s success at Kempton.

I’m taking plenty on trust. The horse will have to turn-up on the ball. But, if he fires, he could figure at a decent-enough price.

  • GOULANES @ 16s (bet365) 

Standard place terms are 1/4 1-2-3. I’ll be going in each-way.

  • A solid each-way bet in the Greatwood….

Over on my paid ATC service I’m targeting tomorrow’s Greatwood Gold Cup Handicap Chase (3.15)….

The bookies have priced the race up very conservatively – it looks very competitive and they are unwilling to offer punters anything too generous….

But there’s an angle worth pursuing. There a strong chance quite a few horses won’t get their ideal ground tomorrow afternoon….

On ground with a bit of cut, one runner appeals as a stand-out each-way pick at the prices….

You can get access to this pick by simply taking a FREE 14-day test drive of my Against the Crowd service….

Get on my pick for the Greatwood right here….

That’s all from me this week. Enjoy your weekend.

Nick Pullen

Against the Crowd Extra