Catterick 3-35
Horatio Carter 3 7/2
Fathsta 9/2 4
Turn Me On 9/2 6
Lady Rengali 5 8

Sunrise Safari 6 9 BET 9/1 early

Result:
1 Celtic Sultan 9/1
2 Fathsta 3/1
3 Horatio Carter 5/2F

Sunrise Safari was 5th at 14/1, didn’t get the distance. It was an oversight to rule Celtic Sultan out – he has form in a higher grade and drops 15lbs from his last winning mark. That said, recent form and most of last year didn’t look inspiring. the weight drop should have been worth a point or two though – noted for future reference.

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The racing is not too good today – Haydock is heavy going despite it being summer already and Newmarket is mostly 3 yr old races. Elsewhere no grade 3 minimums, 7f – 1m, which is my preferred scenario. So, just the one at Catterick.

I am tempted to back the top rated, Horatio Carter, but the value principle says not to. It’s a dilemma, I admit; my top rated won both yesterday’s races and at 5/2 and 4/1. With hindsight, that sort of result is profitable. One doesn’t have hindsight though. The dilemma is the fine line between the form hoses at shortish prices and the less obvious types but at value prices. It’s a choice which one has to stick to for the longer term, not chop and change daily according to who wins.

At shorter prices, one needs higher turnover, 2,3,4 bets a day. The value approach needs fewer but one still has to keep skills honed with 3 or 4 betting days at least.

Some types of race are better suited to the value approach as well – Cheltenham and Aintree showed that with lottery-style payouts on seemingly indecipherable fields. Ideal for value seekers who are entirely comfortable living with such uncertainty.

Otherwise, run of the mill weekday punting would be a pleasure if one could indulge Monday to Friday, several bets a day. Fineform and some rough assessment of the price would bring steady profits, albeit a longer term grind.

So, what to do today? I will stick to my rule pending further pondering planning. One factor which has been encouraging is the simplification of the Form Value process and the use of Fineform to decide the order in which the field is looked at. I will think some more but feel to be close enough to a definitive approach.

Incidentally, I am doing a realtime survey of Fineform, rating the races at the day’s main meeting. Yesterday, FF top rated won 3 of the 7 on the card, FF 2nd rated won 3 others. Prices were from 11/10 to 4/1. This is the ‘master’ formula, Holt’s improved version.

What happened to him, anyway? Does the formula have any basis in reality of did he just take obvious factors and a psuedo-mathematical scoring system?

Taking a bit of a risk that he will get the distance, I will back Sunrise Safari, who has run well in higher grade races and has had a couple of runs to be ready for this. He is the ‘longest-priced’ value contender.

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