GROUP/GRADE 1 RACING 2022

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GROUP/GRADE 1 RACING 2022

Postby Robmull » Wed Dec 22, 2021 3:34 pm

THE JOURNEY COMMENCES

Welcome to the first post on this thread.

The aim of this thread is to produce consistent profits from investments in top level races on both the flat and over jumps in the UK, Ireland and France, plus the best of the flat race action worldwide.

There are a number of reasons for me choosing to concentrate on the top level races:

Firstly, I have limited time nowadays to study horse racing and therefore need to focus on a relatively small number of races/horses.

Secondly, the runners in these races tend to perform consistently, which is exceptionally useful when my main method of selection is based on form analysis and performance ratings.

Thirdly, there is usually plenty of information available to the general public in the run up to the race to assist punters when assessing the runners for each top level race.

Finally, in light of the first three reasons, I have found over the years that I have achieved my best results when betting in these top level events.

In addition to the provision of selections in Group/Grade 1 contests, I will also on occasions cover lower class events in which a previous Group 1 winner has been entered.

Based on my past experiences in these contests, I have set an objective of making at least 50 pts profit/year which although not a huge return on investment should provide a useful contribution to a punter’s betting bank.

I will post the second instalment between Christmas and the New Year, but in the meantime, I wish all readers my best wishes for the festive period.

All the best,

Rob.

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Re: GROUP/GRADE 1 RACING 2022

Postby nors » Thu Dec 23, 2021 9:26 am

Hi Rob, Good to read that you are still chipping away in search of profits I am the same although my selections as you know tend to be in lower grade racing.

I will follow this thread and hope others will as well, good luck and Happy Christmas.
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Re: GROUP/GRADE 1 RACING 2022

Postby Robmull » Thu Dec 23, 2021 2:52 pm

Hi Nigel,

Good to hear from you.

It has been quite a while since I felt that I had the time to run a blog in addition to analysing and placing bets on the best races, but I am really looking forward to developing this thread over the next year.

I hope you and other readers find my ramblings and analysis of interest, but don’t expect too many winners at inflated odds, as I am only expecting to achieve an average profit of 1 pt, per week.

All the best,

Rob.

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Re: GROUP/GRADE 1 RACING 2022

Postby Robmull » Sun Dec 26, 2021 4:17 pm

PERFORMANCE RATINGS

As previously mentioned, my available time for horse race study is quite limited, meaning that I have to focus my activity using just one data source when assessing Group/Grade 1 races.

From my personal experiences, I have found that the best single source of information is the Racing Post site, which provides full race cards for all Group/Grade 1 races in Europe, plus a healthy selection of top class events from around the world.

In addition, the various articles, including pre/post race analysis and access to recordings of races (predominantly UK and Ireland) are useful, when I have time to study them.

However, I find that the biggest asset when assessing both forthcoming races and previous performances is the Racing Post Ratings (RPRs), on which I base most of my selections.

However, when assessing Group/Grade 1 races outside of the UK and Ireland, I often find it frustrating that the Racing Post do not provide details for every race that each contender has run in, or RPRs for many of the races that are included in it’s race record.

There is little that I can do regarding the missing races, which are usually lesser events, often run at lower profile race tracks, however, I do use the Racing Post site to quickly calculate and store my own performance ratings for each horse where RPRs are not available.

Experience has shown that whilst my personal ratings often differ slightly from the corresponding RPRs, they are usually within a couple of lbs of those produced by the Racing Post experts, so at least I can be fairly confident that they are useful when filling in the gaps when RPRs are unavailable.

Hopefully, RPRs and my personal ratings, will assist this thread to achieve the profit target mentioned in my first post, during the forthcoming year.

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Re: GROUP/GRADE 1 RACING 2022

Postby Robmull » Mon Dec 27, 2021 3:25 pm

ASSESSMENT OF UNRESTRICTED GROUP/GRADE 1 RACES

My methodology for assessing Group/Grade 1 races that are not restricted to either a specific age band, or inexperienced novice contenders, is relatively simple.

My first action is to review the previous results for the race to identify the RPR figure which is likely to be required to win the forthcoming renewal.

Once this figure has been obtained, I then compare the recent RPRs and my personal ratings (where necessary) that have been achieved by each of the contenders for the race against the previously required performance figure.

I then discount all contenders that have not recently achieved the previously required performance figure, other than those horses that are listed in my tracker (I will explain further in a later post on this thread) which leaves what is hopefully a relatively short list of candidates that require further analysis.

For each of the short listed contenders, I assess the suitability of the race conditions (e.g. course, distance, underfoot conditions, draw, etc) to identify my selection(s), or runners to oppose in the race.

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Re: GROUP/GRADE 1 RACING 2022

Postby Robmull » Tue Dec 28, 2021 4:09 pm

ASSESSMENT OF RESTRICTED GROUP/GRADE 1 RACES

Past experience has shown me that the assessment of Group/Grade 1 races restricted to inexperienced 2 and 3yo runners and unexposed novice hurdlers and chasers over jumps is difficult, as it is often impossible to estimate the potential for improvement for these horses, who have rarely achieved the required previous performance figure for the race.

Therefore, I tend to place fewer wagers on these races, albeit I use these top level events for unexposed runners to identify Group/Grade 1 winners of specific races that should either be supported, or opposed in their next few races, depending on both the RPR recorded by the winner and whether the race in question has a strong, or poor history of producing future winners.

These winners are placed in my tracker with information as to when they should be supported, or opposed in their next few races, which I then use to help determine my selections for future age restricted, or novice events and unrestricted Group/Grade 1 events where the horse in question has the potential to improve past the more experienced contestants.

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Re: GROUP/GRADE 1 RACING 2022

Postby Robmull » Wed Dec 29, 2021 3:56 pm

PROFIT/LOSS AND STAKING PLANS

As mentioned in my first post the objective of this thread is to achieve an annual profit of at least 50 pts, based on a staking plan of either 1 pt win, and/or 1/2 pt each way, in line with the criteria for the OLBG tipping competitions.

I shall wherever possible add my selections as tips for the competitions to enable readers to monitor progress throughout the year, albeit there may be some selections in races abroad that cannot be tipped up, where the race in question is not covered by OLBG.

In addition, the choice of win, and/or each way support is rather limited, when compared with my usual betting practices, which include placing forecasts/tricasts, place only, without the favourite markets, or just laying a horse that I wish to oppose, whilst I also use Tote and Pari Mutual markets, which are not offered by the OLBG tipping competitions.

As for my personal staking plan, this differs from the limitations of the OLBG tipster competitions, as I stake between 1 pt and 2 pts per bet, depending on my strength of confidence in the selected horse(s).

Finally, I often wait until close to start of the race before deciding how I wish to support my selection(s), or oppose a specific runner, whereas my thoughts will usually be posted on this thread and placed as tips on this site during the evening prior to the race.

Therefore the profit/loss figures appearing in the tipping tables and quoted in this thread may differ significantly from the results achieved when placing bets in the real world.

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Re: GROUP/GRADE 1 RACING 2022

Postby Robmull » Thu Dec 30, 2021 7:02 pm

NATIONAL HUNT TRACKER

As mentioned in an earlier post, I track the winners of Grade 1 National Hunt races for novices over their next 3 starts.

During this period, I will be looking to either support, or oppose these tracker entries, depending on whether they recorded a strong, or weak performance based on the winning RPR and the quality of the Grade 1 event in which they were successful, when compared with previous renewals of the race and past performance of the previous winners during the past decade.

So far this season, I have added the following Grade 1 winners to the tracker, which are listed together with my assessment of whether they should be supported, or opposed over their next few starts:

281121 BEACON EDGE - won Drinmore Novice Chase at Fairyhouse - oppose In next 3 starts

261221 BRAVEMANSGAME - won Kauto Star Novice Chase at Kempton - oppose in next 3 starts

041221 EDWARDSTONE - won Henry VIII Novice Chase at Sandown - support in next 3 starts

261221 - won Wayward Lad Novice’s Chase @ 8/15

261221 FERNY HOLLOW - won Racing Post Novice Chase at Leopardstown - support in next 3 starts

291221 FURY ROAD - won Neville Hotels Novice Chase at Leopardstown - support in next 3 starts

261221 MASTER MCSHEE - won Faugheen Novice Chase at Limerick - oppose in next 3 starts

271221 MIGHTY POTTER - won Future Champions Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown - oppose in next 3 starts

271221 PORTICELLO - won Finale Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstow - oppose in next 3 starts

291221 STAGE STAR - won Challow Novice Hurdle at Newbury - oppose in next 3 starts

281121 STATUAIRE - won Royal Bond Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse - oppose in next 3 starts

As readers can see from the above list, I have not been impressed with most of winners of the Grade 1 Novice events so far this season, especially the hurdlers, who all appear to have recorded very moderate performances based on their winning RPRs.

Whilst four of the Grade 1 winning Novice chasers have recorded relatively strong performances based on RPRs which suggest that they should be supported in their next 3 starts, I intend to oppose BRAVEMANSGAME, who recorded a very useful RPR of 161, as winners of the Kauto Star Novice Chase have a poor record in subsequent starts during the past 10 seasons.

It will be interesting and hopefully profitable to follow these horses over the remainder of the season.

I will advise readers of my thoughts on the winners of the remaining Grade 1 Novice events as the season progresses.

It would be interesting to hear from any readers who have specific thoughts regarding any of the above horses, especially if you disagree with my proposed plans.

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Re: GROUP/GRADE 1 RACING 2022

Postby Robmull » Sat Jan 01, 2022 11:10 am

2 JANUARY - 2.10 NAAS - LAWLOR’S OF NAAS NOVICE HURDLE (GRADE 1) - 5YO+ OVER 2 MILES 4 FURLONGS

Based on historic results, this is a fairly strong novice hurdle for the time of year having produced an average winning RPR of almost 149 (min 143 max 155) during the past decade.

Four of those winners recorded a figure of at least 152, after which they proved worth following in their next 3 starts, recording 8 victories from 11 attempts.

There are 7 declared runners for this year’s renewal, which I have narrowed down to a short list of 3 contenders:

GINTO
HOLLOW GAMES
WHATDEAWANT

All 3 of the main protagonists won their latest race over 2m4f at Navan, which is a similar track to Naas, being both left handed and undulating with a circuit of about 1m4f, have won on Heavy ground, so should not have an issue with underfoot conditions and are handled by trainers who have secured 7 of the last 8 renewals of this race.

GINTO

Won a Grade 2 novice event for which he was awarded an RPR of 143, a figure which would have been sufficient to dead heat in 2 renewals of this race during the past decade.

The form of that race has been franked by both the runner up, who went on to win a Grade 2 Novice hurdle on his next start and the third home who has since scored in a Maiden event.

HOLLOW GAMES

Won a Grade 3 novice event last time, but it appears that it was a weak event as he only recorded an RPR of 127, having previously won his Maiden with an RPR of 139 over 2m6.5f, which suggests that he may be better over further.

It is also worth noting that he has only produced very moderate times in all of his races to date, which again suggests that he may prefer a step up to 3 miles.

WHATDEAWANT

Won a Maiden event on his recent hurdling debut for which he was awarded an RPR of 133 on the same day that GINTO was successful in the Grade 2 hurdle, but to put this into context he carried 9 lbs more than that rival and the time he achieved was slightly quicker.

In addition, he also beat GINTO by 2 1/2 lengths in an INHF race at Punchestown when they were both making their rules debut, back in early January last year.

SUMMARY

My initial reaction was that the shape of this race was not ideal for a bet, with 3 shortlisted horses from a field of just 7 runners.

However, after further analysis and a view of the early prices, I believe that HOLLOW GAMES is the weakest of the protagonists and yet he is currently favourite and is therefore worth opposing.

For the purpose of this thread and the OLBG tipping competition, I will back GINTO and WHATDEAWANT, as this offers the best opportunity to oppose HOLLOW GAMES.

1 pt Win GINTO @ 2/1 (BOG)
1/2 pt EW WHATDEAWANT @ 9/2 (BOG)

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Re: GROUP/GRADE 1 RACING 2022

Postby Robmull » Tue Jan 04, 2022 1:47 pm

WEEKLY REVIEW

Although there was plenty of Group/Grade 1 action over the Christmas period, l will restrict my review to the Lawlor’s of Nass Novice Hurdle as this blog relates to 2022 and I have already posted my tracker entries for the season to date, including the winners of the Grade 1 events since Boxing Day.

From a betting perspective the result was a success with the runner that I wished to oppose, HOLLOW GAME finishing third.

My main selection GINTO won at 5/4 (1 pt win at 2/1 BOG), whilst my each way selection WHATDEAWANT could only finish fifth (1/2 pt ew at 9/2), despite being backed down to 2/1, albeit he wasn’t disgraced having been beaten just 8 1/2 lengths.

The profit/loss summary for this thread stands as follows:

Stakes - 2.00
Return - 3.00
Profit - 1.00

Although GINTO enjoyed a fairly comfortable victory, his RPR of 147 is a couple of lbs below the 10 year average for this race which leads me to believe that he should be added to the tracker as a horse to oppose in his next 3 starts.

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Re: GROUP/GRADE 1 RACING 2022

Postby Robmull » Wed Jan 05, 2022 4:18 pm

ANTE POST BETTING

Personally, I am not a fan of ante post betting, despite the fact that my biggest ever winning bet was placed ante post, but that was a few years ago now, at a time when the bookmakers were falling over themselves to accommodate punters, who wished to play races long before the final declarations were known.

My arguments against ante post betting in the current climate, are as follows:

Often, there is no guarantee that the punter’s chosen selection will even run in a specific race.

This is especially true in respect of the major racing festivals when trainers often enter their horses for multiple races at the track and only make their final decision close to the start of the festival.

Even if the selection is declared to run, it is often difficult to gauge the likely strength of the opposition that it will face in the race.

There is no guarantee that the selection will be suited by the prevailing underfoot conditions, likely pace profile of the race, or will be allotted a reasonable stall position in flat races, where the draw can be a major consideration.

Bookmakers now generally offer poor value for ante post punters, as they tend to take few chances and therefore price the race up with massive overrounds.

This is especially true once the Bookmakers offer the non runner no bet concession.

I will be the first to admit that taking this stance against Ante Post betting has on occasions resulted in me missing bigger odds on some winning selections, however the additional profit from these bets are dwarfed by the losses that I would have sustained through other ante post selections failing to be declared for the race, or either getting beaten on unsuitable ground, or after being poorly drawn.

I shall therefore continue to make my final selections for this thread based on the final race declarations, but will from time to time provide readers with my shortlisted contenders at an early stage for early closing Group/Grade 1 races once the entries have been published, which may assist anyone wishing to place ante post investments.

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Re: GROUP/GRADE 1 RACING 2022

Postby Robmull » Thu Jan 06, 2022 4:02 pm

CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL 2022 - EARLY THOUGHTS

January is a relatively quiet month for Group/Grade 1 action, but this lack of betting opportunities does at least provide me with an opportunity to spend some time to assess the entries for the fourteen Grade 1 races that are run over the four days of the Cheltenham Festival in March.

Over the next few weeks, I will post a series of articles in which I intend to highlight the main contenders for each of the fourteen Grade 1 races, albeit it should be noted that these shortlists will remain fluid up until the final declarations have been published for each race in March, depending on how the entries perform on the track during the interim period.

I will commence this series by covering the 3 unrestricted Grade 1 Chases:

CHAMPION CHASE - 2 MILES

There are currently 22 entries for this race, which has required the winning horse over the past decade to record an RPR of at least 169 (or 162 for mares receiving a 7lbs allowance).

The shortlist of entries that have achieved the minimum RPR are listed below, together with some brief thoughts:

ALLAHO - more likely to run in the Ryanair Chase, which he won last year, especially as all 4 victories over fences have been achieved at around 2 1/2 miles

CHACUN POUR SOI - multiple Grade 1 winner at around this trip, but disappointing when finishing third in this race last year. Was also well beaten on his seasonal debut in the Tingle Creek Chase when travelling to the UK and has since missed his next intended start due to injury.

ENERGUMENE - has won all 5 starts over fences, including 2 Grade 1 novice events. Recorded best RPR of 174 in Grade 2 event on seasonal debut, but has never raced at Cheltenham.

FIRST FLOW - has won 7 of his last 9 starts, including the Grade 1 Clarence House Chase at Ascot last year, but the finished sixth in this race and appears to prefer racing right handed.

GREANETEEN - has won 6 starts over fences, including Grade 1 events, Celebration Chase and Tingle Creek Chase, but all wins achieved on right handed tracks and only finished fourth in this race last year.

NUBE NEGRA - has recorded his 2 best RPRs at Cheltenham and was unlucky to be beaten 1/2 length behind PUT THE KETTLE ON in this race last year, but could only finish fourth in the Tingle Creek Chase on his latest start and has yet to win at the highest level.

PUT THE KETTLE ON - Irish mare who has recorded 4 victories over fence at Cheltenham, including this race last year, but was beaten fair and square by NUBE NEGRA in the Grade 2 Schloer Chase in November and is also entered for the Ryanair Chase.

SHISHKIN - unbeaten in 6 Chase starts, including the Grade 1, Arkle Chase over this course and distance at last year’s festival. He recorded his joint best RPR of 175 on his recent seasonal debut at Kempton, when beating GREANATEEN by 10 lengths.

RYANAIR CHASE - 2 MILES 4 1/2 FURLONGS

There are currently 36 entries for this race, but with many of these having entries in alternative races, this is probably the hardest Grade 1 chase to analyse at this stage.

History suggests that the winner will need to record an RPR of at least 170, which is the criteria used to produce this shortlist.

ALLAHO - won this race by 12 lengths last year and was successful on his seasonal debut in the Grade 1 John Durkan Chase. He has further entries in both the Champion Chase and Gold Cup, but is more likely to attempt to defend his Ryanair Chase crown.

A PLUS TARD - finished third in this race in 2020 and runner up in the Gold Cup last year. More likely to run in the Gold Cup, as both of his Grade 1 Chase victories have been achieved over at least 3 miles.

ASTERION FORLONGE - talented but accident prone chaser who has unseated, or fallen in 4 of his 9 starts over fences, including when moving ominously well on both of his starts this season in the John Durkan and King George VI chases. He may appreciate this track, as all of his non-completions have occurred when racing right handed, but is also entered for the Gold Cup.

CHACUN POUR SOI - disappointed on his only start so far this season, but multiple Grade 1 winner at distances up to 2 miles 1 1/2 furlongs, albeit he has never raced over this far, so is more likely run in the Champion Chase.

ENERGUMENE - yet to taste defeat in 5 starts over fences and has won around this distance, but both of his Grade 1 novice chase victories were over shorter trips, so more likely to run in the Champion Chase.

FAKIR D’OUDAIRIES - consistent chaser who has won 4 of his 14 starts over fences including a couple of Grade 1 events and finished second in this race last year. He appears most effective at around this trip and this is his only entry in the Grade 1 chases at the festival.

SHAN BLUE - won his first 3 starts over fences including the Grade 1 Kauto Star Novices’ Chase at Kempton, but has been beaten in his subsequent 4 starts, albeit he was unlucky to fall when 20 lengths clear at the third last fence in a Grade 2 Chase on his only start this season.

TORNADO FLYER - surprise winner of the Grade 1 King George VI on his latest start, for which he was awarded a career best RPR of 174. His previous defeats over shorter distances suggest that he is more likely to run in the Gold Cup.

CHELTENHAM GOLD CUP - 3 MILES 2 1/2 FURLONGS

There are 32 entries for the most prestigious Grade 1 chase in the UK, for which the winner is generally required to record an RPR of at least 171.

The shortlist for this years renewal is as follows:

AL BOOM PHOTO - won 2 successive renewals of this race prior to finishing third behind MINELLA INDO and A PLUS TARD last year. Made a winning start to this season when successful in a Grade 3 chase at Tramore for the fourth time on New Year’s Day, but unlikely to be open to further improvement as a 10 year old.

ALLAHO - top class chaser who has yet to convince that he stays 3 miles and is highly likely to run in the Ryanair Chase, which he won last year by 12 lengths.

A PLUS TARD - finished runner up to MINELLA INDO in this race last year and recorded his career best RPR of 180 when routing the field in the Grade 1 Betfair Chase on his seasonal debut, but was disappointing when he appeared to be outstayed by GALVIN in the Grade 1 Savills Chase over Christmas.

ASTERION FURLONGE - yet to win at the highest level over fences, but has recorded successive career best RPRs in the John Durkan and King George VI chases, despite unseating and falling late on when in contention. Has also been entered for the Ryanair Chase and will need to brush up his jumping if he is to get involved in either race.

GALVIN - improving chaser who has won 7 of his last 8 starts over, including the Grade 2 National Hunt Chase over 3 miles 6 furlongs at last years festival. He has recorded career best RPRs on each of his 3 starts this season, culminating in a narrow victory from A PLUS TARD in the Grade 1 Savills Chase.

MINELLA INDO - won this race last year, beating A PLUS TARD by 1 1/4 lengths for which he was awarded a career best RPR of 179, but has disappointed in his 2 races this season. He has questions to answer, but perhaps the return to Cheltenham will spark him into life.

PROTEKTORAT - has yet to finish worse than second in 7 starts over fences, wining on 4 occasions including a Grade 1 novice event at Aintree in April. He recorded his career best RPR of 172 on his seasonal debut when winning a Grade 2 chase over 3 miles 1 1/2 furlongs at the same track.

TORNADO FLYER - useful chaser who appeared to improve for the step up in trip when a surprise winner of the King George VI Chase at Kempton. However, the strength of that form is rather debatable as he benefited from being held up in a race where the front runners went off too quickly, resulting in a pace collapse and a slow motion finish.

FINAL THOUGHTS

As previously mentioned, I am not keen to get involved in the ante post markets and do not intend to get involved in the pre-declaration markets for the Cheltenham Festival.

However, there are a couple of entries in the Ryanair Chase that catch the eye, namely FAKIR D’OUDAIRIES and SHAN BLUE as they have no alternative targets and there odds are likely to shorten significantly, if they make the final field and most of the shortlisted horses are as expected rerouted to either the Champion Chase, or Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Both of these horses will need to improve to beat ALLAHO, if he runs to form, but FAKIR D’OUDAIRIES is highly consistent , whilst further progress is certainly a reasonable possibility for SHAN BLUE, which suggests that they at least have strong claims of finishing in the first 3, which would reward each way support.

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