Friday, 8th January 2016
Good afternoon, contrarians,
On the menu today….
They had a lot of rain at Chepstow earlier in the week but a dry day yesterday has helped and it looks very much like the rescheduled Welsh Grand National will go ahead tomorrow afternoon.
In a bid to provide the best possible conditions for what is the biggest race of the day, the Chepstow administrators have brought the race forward to 1.45 (as opposed to the original start time of 3.25).
This will mean the race will be the first chase to be run on the day – ensuring the best ground possible.
That said conditions are still going to be testing. A slog through the Chepstow mud is not for the faint-hearted and there will be no fluking it. If a horse doesn’t genuinely relish heavy ground then it will be well and truly found out tomorrow afternoon.
It seems like a long time ago now that we published the key pointers you need to look for in horses contesting this race. But the delay in proceedings makes the data no less informative. You can check out exactly what credentials and qualifications Welsh Grand National winners generally possess right here….
We’ll get down to the serious business of finding the value in a moment. But, before we do, I want to give you a bit of a heads-up….
You will have noticed that we’ve made a couple of changes to the service recently.
First we expanded the roster of races we target over the year from 100 to 130. Then we went daily with our coverage – Monday to Friday.
And there are some more changes, improvements and enhancements to come over the next few weeks...
Without going into too much detail on a Friday afternoon, I’ve been working behind the scenes with my publisher and his team on some new tools and features which we’ll be introducing to the website a few weeks from now.
In a nutshell you’re going to be getting online access to some of the tools, stats and aides that I work with myself.
We’re in the process of coding these things right now. The original plan was to go ‘live’ for the 2016 flat season. But we’re ahead of where we thought we would be at this stage and we’re going to introduce the enhancements in advance of the Cheltenham Festival.
I’m excited about these upcoming developments. I know I’m being a little cryptic. But now is not the time to go into detail. I’ll give you all the ins and outs a little closer to the time….
For now, I just wanted to give you a heads-up. Over the next week or so you might read or hear about these planned developments in other letters you might receive from my publisher. I wanted to warn you in advance – and to assure you that there is absolutely no cause for concern.
Quite the opposite! The next few months are going to be really exciting times for this contrarian service.
More to follow. Let’s get back to the business of the day….
Stamina will be the name of the game tomorrow. An extreme trip on heavy ground doesn’t represent ideal circumstances for every horse but PORTRAIT KING is very much one who thrives on this kind of challenge and at 33s he looks well over-priced.
He’s won an Eider Chase over 4 miles, he was going well in last season’s Grand National before falling 3 out and last time out in the Becher Chase – where I put him up as a contrarian pick – he was starting to look threatening in the later stages of the race before exiting 2 fences from home.
He has a nice racing weight and this Irish-raider can outrun his odds and hit the frame.
WOODFORD COUNTY went off joint-favourite for last season’s renewal – but disappointed on the day. This time he’s twice the price at 16s and I want to be with him.
He’ll handle the trip on the surface and arrives in pretty much the same shape as last year – having won in heavy ground at Exeter last time out – and carries just 10-03 (with a 5lb claimer Ciaran Gethings in the plate).
The Hobbs yard has been in fine form this term. Woodford County is the pick of the yard’s three entries and I expect a big run.
Given the nature of the race and the fact that some bookies will offer Enhanced Place Terms of 1/4 1-2-3-4-5, I’ll be backing both selections each-way.
The Contrarian Bet Box….
To recap where the value is today….
In the Welsh Grand National...
That is my take on tomorrow’s target race. You will no doubt have your own ideas – and that’s exactly as it should be. You can watch the action unfold live on C4 & ATR.
That’s all from me for today. I’ll be back in your in-box on Monday….
Winning Race Profiles
Juicy Plums is back from the Christmas break later today. We’ll be targeting the Lanzarote Hurdle at Kempton. I’ll be distributing my selections by 5pm at the latest. If you want to be first to the best prices then consider Liking/Following our Facebook page where the Juicy Plums appear earliest. You’ll get an alert from Facebook the moment we publish our post.