This notebook contains horses I have spotted that are likely to be available at value odds the next time they run. I try to look beyond obvious impressive winners and horses that have clearly been unlucky, as these are unlikely to have escaped the attention of the bookmakers or other punters. Horses will appear on this list for various reasons but the majority are likely to have come to my attention via the sectional timing figures I compile for good-quality chases.
I’ll start off with the below five horses but will add to the list on a weekly basis. We’ll announce when horses are declared to run on Twitter as well as in this article. As always, we utilise this information for our daily free horse racing tips which are updated at 8.45am every day!
ALWAYS ON THE RUN (Tom George)
Always On The Run was beaten nearly 20l when making his chasing/stable debut at Warwick (2m4f, heavy) on New Year’s Eve but ran with much more promise than the bare form suggests. The gelding raced with the choke out in the early stages and had pulled his way to the front by the sixth fence. From there, he set a very strong tempo and jumped well until predictably becoming tired in the home straight. On faster ground, he could be much harder to catch next time out.
ANOTHER HERO (Jonjo O’Neill)
I was hugely impressed by Another Hero’s winning chasing debut at Ascot (3m, good to soft) in November. After making smooth headway to join the leaders, the 7yo was quite badly hampered at the penultimate fence, but the way he quickly regained momentum and the fast time he recorded from the final fence to the winning line were both clear indications he had plenty left in the tank. I’m sure a 6lb rise underestimates him and he’s one to follow on his next few starts.
LIGHTENING ROD (Michael Easterby)
Micheal Easterby’s 11yo is getting quite long in the tooth now but he’s slipped to an attractive handicap mark and offered clear signs of a return to form when a fast-finishing third at Musselburgh (2m, good to soft) on 4th January. He’ll probably be nudged back up the weights a bit for that performance but wasn’t suited by the slow early pace and is capable of much better when ridden patiently in a more strongly run event. He seems best on a flat track and probably doesn’t want the ground any slower than soft.
REAPING THE REWARD (Lucinda Russell)
It’s not that common for a 12yo to appear on a list of horses to follow but Reaping The Reward is lightly raced for his age and might still be improving. Lucinda Russell’s gelding travelled well for a long way in a highly competitive veterans’ event at Sandown (3m, heavy) in early January but ultimately found that race to be just too stiff a stamina test and had to settle for third. On slightly better ground, he can land a good prize before the end of the season.
THE LAST SAMURI (Kim Bailey)
Kim Bailey’s gelding built upon his promising stable debut when scoring at Kempton (3m, good to soft) at Christmas. He needed to be ridden along to remain in touch with the leaders from after the fourth-last fence but, once his stamina kicked in, he powered clear after the last. A subsequent 9lb rise will make things tougher but marathon trips will unlock further improvement.