29 Apr 2017

B365 Gold Cup Handicap Chase (Grade 3)

And so to journey's end; the last hurrah of the jumps season and a race to savour, won by some fairly classy types over the years. 

It's a race that rewards accurate jumping. In fact, this is a very good race for horses who have previously been up to winning at Grade 2 level, who can now make experience count operating from a workable mark.

If you just consider runners aged 8 to 13 who have previously won any race at Grade 2 level. Since 2003, 42 qualifiers have produced 5 winners and some very decent prices, for +63pts level stakes profit to SP.

However stake the same group each way, and things are even better; 15 win or placed from the same 42, for a LSP of £101.75 on standard EW terms. There are only two qualifiers this year, Just A Par and Vyta Du Roc, both with winning course form.

Just A Par won this in 2015 and only went down a short head last year. He's a net 6lbs higher this time if you factor in the loss of Harry Cobden's claim. From a handicapping point of view however, VYTA DU ROC has been given a real chance by Phil Smith and looks laid out by the team from Seven Barrows.

He's a Grade 2 winner over both hurdles and fences, including at Sandown, and his good accurate jumping is just what's needed around here.

Good luck today,

0.75pt EW Vyta Du Roc, 10/1 various 3x1/4

Herbie is one of the resident pro-gamblers in ENIGMA:


** Feedback: What can I say, arrived one stride too late for the win, just denied. A solid 2nd, we'll get 'em next year :) **

Away with the greys - Vyta Du Roc has a solid claims in the B365 Gold Cup for Nicky Henderson 


22 Apr 2017

Michael Foster Conditions Stakes (Class 3)

At first glance this conditions stakes looks a one-sided affair with the 110-rated Custom Cut taking on an assortment of handicappers and one or two under-achievers.

However the 8-y-o gelding is a son of soft ground sire Notnowcato, and has done all his best work on an easy surface. They are relying on class to win out, for a horse who comes across these days as not quite absolutely keen to put it all in.

Bookmakers make a career out of laying such horses and 4/5 looks awfully short.

Bryan Smart will be hoping that gelding proves the key to Kentuckyconnection, who was 5th in last year's Guineas but one I have in my tracker, and who could well be improving, is Kevin Ryan's MOUNT TAHAN.

The 5-y-o looked in great nick in the Spring Mile, travelling best of all for a long way before just finding the trip slightly beyond him. 7fl is his bag and the step back down is just what he wants.

Take out the slightly wobbly favourite and it's certainly an open race, and I'm not at all surprised Mount Tahan has attracted support this morning.

Good luck today,

1.5pt win Mount Tahan, 6/1 generally

Herbie is one of the resident pro-gamblers in ENIGMA:


** Feedback: Ran well for 3rd, a drifting favourite duly beaten - a great bet for layers. Our pick went off 100/30 - we won't go too far wrong this year backing those at 6/1 **

Custom Cut (right) could well prove vulnerable today on fast ground 

8 Apr 2017

Gaskells Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3)

Grand National day is upon us with the big one in this later 5.15pm slot, which still all feels a bit new. I wish they would stop fiddling. Anyhoo…

The way to play the National for profit over time is to concentrate on the enhanced EW terms and fish for big prices. We've seen multiple win and placed SP's of 100/1 this century and all sorts of fancy prices make the first 5 or 6 home. 

Those terms, especially to 6 places make the layers very vulnerable if you steer towards them and away from simply trying to pick the winner - which is the trap the bookies are relying on you falling into.

We have figured out the optimum strategy for tackling the big EW prices, but for that you need to be an ENIGMA member. If you want the exact details of how to do it - not to mention the 2017 picks, just go here:

And a very shrewd move that would be too!

In the meantime, we've got something else for you which I hope and think will get your day off to an excellent start in the 1.45.

The J P McManus owned NO COMMENT ended up in one of those races at the Festival where runners held up had no chance off an unusually slow pace. Well fancied for the Martin Pipe, No Comment showed his excellent form with eye-catching progress. Philip Hobbs' gelding did much the best of those most disadvantaged and obviously didn't have a hard race.

His previous win ahead of Minella Awards reads well and he's the choice today of Barry Geraghty. The trip is an unknown but I do think it looks suitable on this surface. Put it this way, if he does stay I think he will run a very big race.

1pt win & 1pt EW No Comment, 10/1 various, 4x1/4

Good luck today,

Herbie is one of the resident pro-gamblers in ENIGMA:

** Feedback: Excellent 2nd for No Comment, finding this combo of trip and pace well suited to his hold up style. Meanwhile ENIGMA members who followed our Grand National EW system were rewarded with Saint Are and Gas Line Boy in the first 5, advised at 33/1 and 80/1 respectively. We did warn you! **

Banking on a winner today in the green and gold for J P McManus and Philip Hobbs


1 Apr 2017

Betway Spring Mile Handicap (Class 2)

Short and sweet this week.

Lady Bamford isn't interested in owning gelded handicappers, let alone 6yo ones - so there's no doubt J Gosden thinks this horse has a valid shot at being Group quality.

He certainly has the look of one.

Also fits a long term stat we keep about unexposed J Gosden runners in April who reappear in decent handicaps at Group 1 venues.

2pt win Sacred Act, 9/2 various

Good luck today,

Herbie is one of the resident pro-gamblers in ENIGMA:

** Feedback: stood no chance with a heavy draw bias in evidence against those who raced stands' side, but one to keep a close eye on. The vibes from the yard were firmly as expected **

John Gosden must be on plan D for Sacred Act by now, but he looks a good one