Ian Harrison’s heartfelt plea for more non-handicaps
Irecommended Un de Sceux in last month’s edition of Racing Ahead and he didn’t so much win as lead a procession. I think we are seeing a star in the making. As the Irish battalions marched in I kept my hand in my pocket. I feel it is a waste of time trying to predict winners in fields of twenty plus.
I love the Cross Country race which reminds me of the many happy times riding in eventing.We need the reminder that the start of National Hunt racing was led by the hunts. There were huntsmen dressed in pink leading some of the parades but I noticed that Channel 4 didn’t show them. We are denying the roots of jump racing and shame on them for pandering to the lily livered who love the vermin foxy woxy. If you’ve ever owned chickens in the country you will know what a verminous pest the fox really is. He kills the whole coop for fun. I notice in my local supermarket that there are double the charity gifts for animals than for homeless people. We really need to toughen up. People come first, not animals.
The bookmakers have crippled racing in Britain through the services of the BHA. They are heavily represented there and I noticed one day last week there was only one non-handicap race from three meetings. The bookmakers have systematically demolished non-handicaps and those are the races that were bread and butter to the professional backer.Novice events used to be non-handicap and they tried to eliminate them but the trainers stopped that move. The bookies answer was to come up with handicap novice events. They also make novice favourites odds on. Every little helps as they say.
I visited my local bookmakers to find nobody following the racing and a queue for the roulette machine. They will never learn. £1.7 billion is spent on FOTBs every year. Each machine makes £1,000 a week profit. It all went wrong when the National Lottery was started. One bookmaker banned a punter who won a five horse accumulator when he tried to place the same bet the following Saturday. You couldn’t make it up. All they want now is the gaming machines. God bless Betfair.
This situation has been gathering pace for a couple of years now and has made my life very difficult with fewer and fewer pro bets every month.So I decided to take a close look at handicaps to see whether I could find an answer.
After a few days buried in the form book I hit gold.See advert for results at March 14 when this copy went in. In the end it all comes down to experience and race reading.You are trying to get inside the trainer’s head and see what he is up to. It takes a lot of time and effort but for results like these it is worth it.
Wanna make money from betting? Just oppose the England cricket and football teams.A guaranteed money maker.
The Grand National is nearly upon us and all I can advise is to take a look at the speed figures in the Racing Post and pay attention to all those who have run over the course before.
This list will be a big help and being the Grand National it would be advisable to bet each way. You need to do some race reading and knock out all those that will never see out four and a half miles.
Ian Harrison has managed Goldcrest since 1985.