Friday, Sep. 19, 2014

Spot Potential Stable Gambles


The small fields which are a hallmark of this new jumps season can afford us an ideal opportunity to spot stable gambles – horses who may have been deliberately run over the wrong distance in their previous races, or with deliberate tactics to put them at a distinct advantage in their previous races suddenly win at 25/1 in their next race, or at least go very close.


There have only been 2 occasions thus far this jumps season where the hint of a stable gamble might be taking place. Here are the calling signs

1. The races are usually small field races which don’t usually stand out
2. The trainer in question enters 2 horses, one who the market thinks is a good favourite or at least has a strong possibility of being in with an above average chance of winning. The second horse is a perceived outsider whose previous form and price indicate as much.
3. The prize money won’t suddenly catapult trainer and owner into the millionaire lifestyle should their more fancied runner win the race. In our examples, winners prize money is just over £4000 and just over £3000, BUT if they have a crafty each way bet on their outsiders at 25/1 then they can clean up and make far more than the prize money from their bets

Let’s look at the first example this season, which had many “hindsight punters” screaming “foul play”


The 210 at Hexham on the 29th September sees a 3 mile 5 runner class 4 novices hurdle – hardly Teofilo versus Holy Roman Emperor I’m sure you’ll agree.
Let’s take a look at the runners and the trainers
Sue Smith saddles the hot favourite Rare Society at 1/3 .
Second favourite is Somedo Somedont at 4/1
Third favourite is Nectar du Gaye at 16/1
Fourth favourite is City Music for Sue Smith at 25/1
Fifth favourite is the outsider King Amber at 100/1

Having a red hot favourite at 1/3 will make the prices of all of the other horses over inflated and thus represent excellent value, especially as this race is over 3 miles.

A study of City Music’s form shows that , in his last race, he was pulled up at 11/1 – so we can surmise from the price that he was no forlorn hope in this race. Naturally this form ( or lack thereof)  necessitates a big price in this race, especially in comparison to stable companion Rare Society who won his last 2 races in this class.

Let’s take a look at the result – I would expect Rare Society to have too much for these rivals, including his stable companion City Music.

Stable Gambles

What? City Music won. Even more interesting is the tactics “ Rare Society made the running, and was 10 lengths clear at one point, but he made a mistake 2 out , tired going to the last and was outpointed by the winner”. Rare Society had never made the running in his last 2 races.


It’s 7th October at Bangor-on-Dee, a 7 runner class 4 novices hurdle over 2 miles and 1 furlong, another race paying out 2 for the place as luck would have it!

Jonjo O’Neill runs In extra Time, rightly installed as 10/11 favourite under Tony McCoy. The horse is making his hurdling debut so the price is probably falsely short because of jockey/trainer reputation.

Jonjo also saddles Carnival Town at 25/1 who was pulled up on his last 2 outings.

It looks as if In extra Time has a great chance in this race if handling the hurdles for the first time – well at least he has the right jockey on board!

Carnival Town comes 2nd , beaten a neck at 25/1 – damn shame!

These are the only two qualifying races thus far with a strike rate of 1 winner at 25/1 and 1 2nd place at 25/1, beaten a neck!

I’m sure there will be ample opportunities as the jumps season comes into full swing to spot other potential stable gambles.
So, to recap

• Small fields – small enough to pay out 2 for the place
• One of the stables horses is a rock solid favourite, the other a perceived outsider whose previous form leaves a lot to be desired
• Relatively small prize money

That’s it really. Another weapon in our armoury with the potential to bag these big priced outsiders. This is an incidental system, to be used should the opportunity arise. I’m not saying that all races of this type will be stable gambles, but these types of race afford the opportunity for some tactics and mischieve from the stables