Talking Horses Friday August 27th 2021

First to the Hitlist and a catch up from Wednesday when Jonathan Dawe napped Summertime Romance, an 11/2 winner. Nice work, JD.

On to Thursday winners and very good to see stalwart Harrytheactor scoring with his nap Do No Wrong, advised at 15/8. Harry is a fine judge and specialises in bumpers. You’ll see more of him here, I hope, as summer fades and the jumpers begin roadwork.

Mickle, still tickles at the edge of hitting a solid run of form with his winning nap Royal Prospect. Well done, Mickle.

And Alan’s EW nap Mamillius was 3rd at 16/1. Good work, Alan.

If I’ve missed anyone, please give me a shout via the August Winners thread.

The blog’s nap was 4th. Today I go for Melody King in the 7.40 Hamilton.

As ever, please leave your naps/tips by making a comment below. All welcome, especially newcomers; just enter a name when asked so we know who is who. No prizes, but it’s good fun here among some seasoned punters, most of whom spent years commenting at The Guardian on the original Talking Horses forum, which has now been heavily cut back.

If you tip a winner, please use the Winners thread to highlight your result and we’ll put you on the Hitlist next day. There is a Winners Thread for each month.

What This Blog Is For

As mentioned above this long-running Steeplechasing blog was adapted in a hurry when The Guardian announced they were cutting back on their (usually) daily Talking Horses section. Many punters had gathered there over the years to exchange ideas and fancies. Part of the adapting we had to do at the start of this blog was restricting this daily main article to tips/naps, while we found our feet regarding house rules, moderation and stuff like that.

We are now in a position to open this main daily article to all subjects. It can be very enjoyable when something is latched onto by our knowledgeable, quick-witted posters as they indulge in wordplay and jousting. We still want tips of course, from those who want to tip. It’s by no means an obligation.

If you do post a tip/nap, just include it with whatever subject you are discussing, preferably at the foot of your post. So long as you remember to come back after a winner and put the details of that win in the monthly Winners Thread, then we can include you on the Hitlist in the next day’s main article.

General guidance: No swearing, please. We’re not prudes, it’s just that there is wide scope in the swearword lexicon and we do not have moderators (and hope we’ll never need them). Also, please keep discussions on politics and religion to The Lounge section, though brief references to these subjects in the main article are not forbidden.

Thanks for looking in. If you are betting, especially if you follow our tipsters, good luck with your bets, but please bear in mind that this is meant to be ‘fun’. There are many wise heads posting tips here and we haven’t yet gone a day without somebody tipping a winner. But never bet more than you can afford to lose. Small stakes can still produce wide smiles.

All the best


  1. Nap: SACRED BRIDGE , 5.45 Curragh. 3/1. Juddmonte filly hasn’t doesn’t anything wrong yet, could be ready to cross into Group 1s after this.
    NB: Albert Camus , 3.55 Down Royal. 9/4
    Interesting to see how this progressive ex-Gosden horse goes. Clearly superior to the others on the flat, will he be a Stranger to success now going over flights and will his jumping be plagued with errors or like the man himself be a bit of a ‘keeper’ for his new connections? Time will tell.


    1. Now that’s more like the TH of old.

      Today’s one to avoid, and therefore my nap, is Zagato in the 2.55 at HQ.

      I’m becoming a bit (more) depressed. Will I be The First Man To Fail for a whole month. I want my booby prize!


  2. Good blog statement Joe with a wise final line.

    The nap is PIERRE LAPIN, the Curragh 6.45 at 16/1 and the nb is I SIYOU BABY, the Curragh 5.15 at 14/1. EW and EW double.


    1. I can’t leave Auldchiel to win the booby prize, so I’ll have a stab at that one, but I shall also follow John Murtagh’s rich vein of form with CARRYTHEONE in that race and a long shot SALTONSTALL (EW bets). Murtagh’s CHAMPERS ELYSEES in the 5.15 is also a (win) bet along with SOLENE LILYETTE (just ew). I shall give GRAMMATA an ew chance in the 18.15. Nap, though, is STUNNING BEAUTY at Goodwood 18.53. Sounds like the syndicate horse.


    2. Tricky races, and am only seeing 3 places on the site I use which doesn’t entice. I’d probably take the evens on offer for I Siyou to place in the top 6, whether it’ll be shaking its ass(according to the song…) in the winner’s enclosure is another matter! Oodnadatta I was considering- they thought she was good enough to take to the Breeders Cup last year so should be up to taking this. Best of luck!


  3. Victoria Grove in the 1.30 with Hayley Turner making a rare visit to Thirsk for this and only one other ride looks a likely one.


  4. When a stable is bang out of ?form ?Horses they sometimes break their duck with a big priced winner.
    Ballydoyle have justifiably plenty of them today at the Curragh.
    It is rare to see an APOB Filly run in a Nursery. However I will not back Madonnadelrosario but New Star in the 7.15 who was 5/1 yesterday but 7/2 this morning.
    Looked like he badly needs this step up in distance and if JP Murtagh trusts a 10 lb Claimer that suggests the Horse is pounds in at the start.
    He is 0/4 runs and my nap in the 7.45 is 0/11. She’s In The Game has at least been 2nd on her last 3 runs and has improved from a rating of 51 on June 9th to 63 today.
    The Curragh is not normally a venue to ask 2 maidens with a cumulative record of 0/15 to lose their maiden hood but the Trainers skipped Bellewstown for this.


    1. Are you malicious Michael in disguise??

      Interesting on these pages that the sages so often nap runners outside of the UK, especially during the week.

      Going against this trend, I’m after Bearwith at Ffos Las. I have an inkling he may be better than he has shown recently.


  5. Overnighting in the city of Edinburgh. Not your typical fringe August by any means. But things going on here and there

    Julie Johnson in 2.30 at Carlisle carries a quick nap with a hope that Mark Js horses will start to find some more consistent form


  6. I must be mad to NAP something in the 6.45 Curragh (Cambridgeshire , 30 runners) but here goes .. CRYSTAL BLACK, Dermot Weld, 14/1 and more as I scrawl..

    I am in agreement with the general thoughts expressed re. the Blog, it’s been in existence for only a few months (and summer months too) and I believe it will develop over the autumn/winter months. It is what we the contributors make it to be!


  7. I had an interesting exchange on Twitter with Simon Rowlands (ex Timeform: sectionals guru) the day Mohaafeth ran at York. Simon had posted his ATR Expert Analysis from Mohaafeth’s previous run where Crowley had been slated for the ride, effectively giving the horses too much to do. I replied saying that before that race the horse was still very highly thought of by connections and that Crowley was entitled to believe the horse would pull out what was needed, and he had plenty of time to do so.

    Simon’s response was curt, as is his style in general with those who get near criticising the efficacy of sectional times:

    ‘I could not disagree more. And that’s based on the evidence, not an “opinion”.’

    I replied, ‘Well, it’s based on the likelihood of your interpretation of the data playing out as you’d expect it to under different circumstances. You cannot be certain it would have.’

    Simon: ‘The notion that if a horse gets there “with a chance” it does not matter how much it had to overcome to do that was quaintly popular for a while in the mainstream in the 1980s. Feel free to revive it if you wish.’

    This was on the morning of the Juddmonte. After the race I responded to Simon’s post (above): ‘My key point was that perhaps his last race simply showed he was not as good as connections thought. Crowley got him where he had to be & expected him to find more. It was no Dancing Brave Derby. I doubt he ran any better today.’

    He did not run any better according to Timeform who gave him a 114 for the Juddmonte and a 114+ for his previous race. Simon did not respond further.

    Now, I’m not posting to infer the Juddmonte proved I was right. I respect sectional times a lot, but I don’t think they are infallible and, contrary to what Simon claimed, the ‘evidence’ they supposedly provide, does not necessarily trump someone’s opinion.

    That ‘bad ride’ defeat was in the York Stakes. Simon’s point was that Crowley had to rush Mohaafeth in the late stages of the race, causing the horse to use his energy inefficiently, leaving him short for putting the race to bed. My point, having watched the race a couple of times, was that had Mohaafeth been what Crowley and connections believed he was, he would have overcome that ‘bad sectional’ and won. Visually, with no reference to sectionals, he was there to challenge in good time, but could not go through with it. Simon’s conclusion was that the ride cost him the race. Could it not have been stamina (he flattened out in exactly the same fashion in the Juddmonte)? Might it have been lack of will? Or is he simply not as good as many believed?

    The moral of the tale is have confidence in your opinion, even in the face of experts. You might have heard of the 10,000 hours theory, where some claim that practising a skill for 10,000 hours makes you an expert. Well, I’m pretty sure that since watching my first race at the age of 12, I’ve easily put in 10,000 hours of watching and judging races and horses. I wouldn’t call myself an expert by any means, but I’d be confident that I’ve developed enough ‘muscle memory’ in that part of the brain to be confident about my opinions.

    Does data or ‘evidence’ always top opinions? What do you think?



      1. If it’s done well (and Simon does it really well) I think it’s valuable. A truly run race offers the most balanced display of ‘reliable form’ as you are likely to get. Trouble in running incidents can add even more value when it comes to sectionals as it can help identify the worst sufferers. It’s a complicated subject and it needs advocates who are willing to persuade people of its value rather than just saying, ‘look, it’s worthwhile, take my word for it’.

        You can download a detailed guide to sectionals from Timeform (Simon wrote it) here –


        1. Joe,
          I am not what are the true Sciences aside from men in white coats who can predict what happens to, well, very predictable variables In Vitro but are hapless when it comes to In Vivo (think Coronovirus modelling).

          Vets and Doctors believe that they practice an art not a science.
          Studies consistently show that Medical Consultations result in a management plan with less than 20% of that plan based on Grade 1 or Grade 2 evidence.
          If Medical and Veterinary Practitioners believe that a Consultation is largely a qualitative experience and not a quantitative measurement that can be delegated to Automotons then I can hardly see how sectional timers believe they have simplified what happens to a Horse on a small number of reductionist variables. I am not doubting that the 1-2% edge that knowledge provides can be meaningful for a Pro-Better but it can never be a Religion (sorry to mention Religion).

          I would throw out 3 words on the limitation of sectional timing; The Green Monkey.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. DN will be posting news on the 2nd Syndicate horse over the weekend . Free lease with option to purchase ,ready to run in its first bumper mid Sept .

      Sectionals are a theorists pet ,personally I’ve always believed they are not worth a toss unless every race is run ,like they are say in Hong Kong , to class and standard sectionals where Jockeys are heavily fined if they fail to ride to them.
      Here , with our course variants ,complete lack of exact distances and going extremes it’s a no no in evaluating a horses ability as far as I’m concerned.
      What’s the point of emphasising a horses chance that put in a fast split if it doesn’t stay the distance its racing over ,its meaningless . Up it in class its even more meaningless because class counts more than anything .
      Class ,that indifinable thing that you dont understand until you are up against it. In any sport .
      Every horse can put in an impressive looking sectional if the early pace is a crawl . Try getting one to do it off a true pace out of it’s natural cruising speed and that’s another story or out of its class which is the real key.


  8. I bow to the superior judgement of EGS in deciding the rules for winning the booby prize for August. 50 points for coming last plus one each for each horse that beats them. My selection of Dixie Bluebell in his previous run gave me 64 points. According to RP, his jockey stated that the saddle slipped comping out of the stalls. While this was unfortunate this doesn’t negate my claim. Dixie Bluebell is running today in the 15:15 at the Curragh (odds 100/1). As there are only 13 runners I can’t improve my booby points totals by selecting him.

    My nap is COSMOS RAJ in the 14.55 at Newmarket.

    If multiples were available to me I would have a Yankee with the additional horses:-
    Percy’s Price 15:05 Ffos Las
    Go Another One 18:00 Down Royal
    Razzle Dazzle 14:20 Newmarket


    1. Jonathan,
      I have been doing reflection on the points system.
      I was thinking about why we need a 50 point bonus for coming last? Why not just count back the number of runners from last to first?
      But then real I realised the Jumps are upon us and many get pulled up (e.g struck in to) or brought down through no fault of the Tipster.
      Therefore I believe a 20 point bonus is more than enough over a Jumper for failing to finish.
      In addition it has to be the first Horse to opt out.
      Otherwise there would be a ridiculous scenario wher the Booby Prize could go to a Tipster based upon falling at The Chair and not the 1st Fence (I am thinking 100 points are merited for any Horse who is gone in the GN at the first with 98% of the Race still to come and all the Houseperson’s bets that have been done based on that tip).
      This has to be a Prize that rewards true ignorance not chance.
      I am hoping to capture people who lack insight in to their defincies in tipping Horses yet feel no shame about it.
      I also believe it can only be naps that finish LAST that count and a minimum of 4 Runners.
      Otherwise my job will be harder than Joe’s.
      You have declared 2 Horses that were napped and finished last in August as opposed to my one and you are more than double my score.
      If this were Scrabble I would be hoping for an X or a Z and two 7 letter words.


  9. I remember Tom Segal saying ‘watch as much racing as you can’ when asked for his ‘secrets’. Pretty sure Hugh Taylor has said the same thing. I trust my eyes more than my ability to translate all the form analysis available without seeing the race. Work doesn’t usually allow me to watch as much racing as I would need to so I tend to concentrate on the Group races and thereby a smaller group of horses.

    I followed the right people on Wednesday and got three out of four up – Primo’s Comet, Oso Rapido and Motawaazy – Quercus would have been the four. Thanks for the NAPs and the racing chat – really enjoying this new incarnation.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Some great chat the last few days on here. And Joe I will add comment to your sectional piece when I have time.
    I’m off to Hamilton today with some friends and have not bet since my double up Wednesday. My full focus is on trying to get a few winners at Hamilton but that is easier said than done.

    Haggas sends two up at short prices and H Palmer sends one up who has ran two nice races in maidens. I have put a short price Trixie on with these runners.
    Thunder legend 5.10 8-11
    Sweet believer 6.10 8-15
    Maharajann 6.50 6/4

    Il play against these on course for small money.
    Singles I like the look off
    4.35 big big Harley 6-1 small single
    5.10 street sense Bertie 7-1 ew
    5.40 Ventura gold 9/2 EW
    7.10 Three castles 4-1 win and Ice canyon 10-1 EW
    7.40 melody king 2-1 and Aleef ew 20-1

    Will keep you all posted on my day. But it’s 20 degrees In Glasgow and the beers are flowing in the sun!


    1. Nice trixie! Bet you were anxious for a good few seconds with Mahrajaan caught awfully in a pocket …must still be well-handicapped going forward.


  11. NAP
    6.53 Goodwood
    STUNNING BEAUTY 9/4 generally
    7.23 Goodwood
    LIBERTY BAY 4/1 Bet365
    6.45 Curragh
    SIR JACK THOMAS 22/1 Paddy (7 places)


  12. Seems to be a bit of money coming in for Rugaday in the 19:45 at the Curragh. In from 25/1 to 14/1. Can I call it an EW nap if I’m just following the money? Who sets these rules, eh?


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