Ross Brierley’s Blog + a New Year’s Eve Selection

Southwell Racecourse

Ross Brierley joins us again for his bi-weekly blog, adding in a free horse racing tip of his own which this week is a tip on the All-Weather from Lingfield. You can catch Ross and his co-host Natalie Green each weekend on the myracing show discussing the best of the upcoming action for the weekend.

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New Year’s Resolutions

2020 eh?! What a year! I for one have had a FANTASTIC time. I’ve travelled the world, eaten in some of the finest restaurants, rubbed shoulders with the great and the good and seen some of the most memorable live music gigs and cultural experiences I could ever imagine. All my resolutions have been SMASHED, my goals have been ACHIEVED and I’m richer, healthier and happier than I’ve ever been.

If you believe that, you’ll believe anything.

I have spent most of my time at home, in my converted spare room/office hybrid, watching hours and hours of horse racing and looking back at my goals and ambitions for the year like a squirrel looks back at all the nuts he’s buried and forgotten about. If only!

Still, the year is over and, if I’ve learned anything about time, it’s that as soon as the clock strikes midnight on the 31st, everything changes. It’s time to make some betting resolutions.

A period of COVID related boredom and curiosity led me to go back and analyse my bets from the past five years and, whilst there was a lot of noise to sort through, one thing that does stand out is that my winners come much more frequently towards the back end of the week, in better quality races.

Sounds obvious when you write it down doesn’t it? That better horses in better races would perform more consistently, and therefore be easier to predict and to profit from. To be honest, I think it’s got more to do with the fact that it takes me until Wednesday evening to warm my brain up for the week. If I’d have simply worked forty percent less for the past five years, I’d be much better off than I am now, and that’s a resolution I can get behind.

So long Monday blues, bye-bye Turgid Tuesday’s and no more Wading through Wednesday, it’s a three-day week for me. Hopefully, by 2022 it’ll be a two day week, and by 2036 I can simply work during Royal Ascot and take the rest of the year off.

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With that in mind, let’s get stuck into Thursday’s All-Weather fare, where LOYAL HAVANA looks like a good each-way bet in the 3.05 at Lingfield. What most of us would give to be strolling around Havana right now, sipping cocktails and marvelling at the Cuban architecture, but with any luck, Nick Littmoden’s charge will cross the line in front with Joshua Bryan having enough time to spark up a cigar as he flashes passed the winning post.

The lightly raced Privacy and the improving Desert Marathon are sure to be dangers to the selection, but the scopey son of Havana Gold has caught the eye twice in quick succession and might make his experience count, especially with a switch to this track. His sire has a poor record on every other a/w surface but has a more than reasonable 13.2% strike rate here.

Clueless on debut, he took an age for the penny to drop on his second start too, making some late gains when the race had been won and going into the notebook for a handicap further down the line.

That plan has been blown apart somewhat with a huge run in second behind an easy winner from the John Butler stable on his most recent visit to the track. He missed the break but still looked a danger down the middle of the track only for Ivasecret to quicken clear impressively. A comfortable second place, with the hot favourite Caribbean Sunset well beaten in fourth, still reads well and this step up to seven furlongs could be the key.

Given his connections and his profile, he should go off a bigger price than his form entitles him to be and a cheeky each-way is the angle for a yard who have gone close with two of their three runners over the Christmas period.

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