Talking Horses Sunday October 17th 2021

Mickle closed an exceptional week on the Hitlist with a winning 5/1 nap Dark Shot at 5/1. Superb work, Mickle.

Alan’s NB EW Highland Princess placed 22/1 advised 40/1. You’re never far away with this big priced EWs, Alan. Well done.

David knocks in yet another October nap with Rebel Leader at 2/1. David, you and Mickle should team up and this time next year we’ll al be millionaires!

Rakib’s EW nap Genever Dragon was placed at 6/1 (advised 9/1, and Jakebuckfast napped Hamish EW to 4 places: he was 4th at 4/1. Nice work, gents.

Kindly note. When reporting your results, please remember to mention status – nap, NB, tip.

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

The blog’s nap Aldaary advised at 8/1 won at 7/2. Sunday’s nap is The West’s Awake at 8/1 BOG in the 4.15 Cork.

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. Great work all winners, and again great double in the week David. Once again, thanks Joe for managing this, I don’t miss TH at all due to all the ‘good eggs’ being here in your lovely basket :o) 👍👍

    I’m really a jumps man, so I’m quiet this time of year, but we are getting there! G’wan the Mud Plodders 😉…..


  2. Had one of those what if days on Saturday. Three second place finishes and the football accumulator fell one goal short of coming in.

    Hoping for a change of luck. The nap is Evergreen and Red -15.25 Naas.


    1. I am sure I have bored everyone to death before when stating the 1st house my Parents bought was in Geenford, West London and owned by QPR.
      The fashion at the time was to place apprentices in digs with stern Landladies.
      Rodney was a previous incumbent and I never knew if it was my bed he slept in.


      1. There was great excitement when I was a kid as there was a rumour that Stan was buying the house opposite my where we lived. Alas he got sold to Forest shortly after.


  3. DN – Milton has a couple of nice Juveniles out – across the card double could be a possibility?
    Kempton race looks the stronger if the two and is priced accordingly.

    Thoughts on Jockeys from yesterday. Frankie had a rare off day and I don’t think it was fair of him to be going off on Dylan Browne.
    Gosdon said himself that Frankie needed to take the race by the scruff of the neck in palace pier.
    A rare critisism.
    Not sure on what the plan was with Sunray Majors ride but i had thought that he may be a group horse in the making. On reflection I was Probably being a bit silly to punting 2-1 fav in the balmoral.

    Also think Oisin maybe needs some help to get his head in order, it’s an amazing feat to win champ jockey and he looked to have put huge pressure on himself in the latter part as Buick got some traction. I do hope if he does have any issue with drink/drugs that he seeks help. On the flip side maybe he just needs a holiday for a few weeks. Stress gets us all in different ways.

    I think what came to the fore at Ascot is how you can’t continue to go to the well all the season.
    Apart from Trueshan, champions day seen every fav beat.
    The winners were specifically aimed at the meet or where lightly raced across the season.
    It was Nice to see the French horse win the champion stakes and uphold the Arc form. I loved watching Almanzor win it a few years back.

    My ascot tips yesterday ran as their odds implied. Was fun for a tiny stake though.
    From My mains bets Senior citizen saved my day at 9/2 but my other two weren’t up to scratch. The 5er ew Trixie I put on returned a 22 quid loss. Not end of the world I suppose.
    Il keep an eye on Mickle and David today. Seem to be unstoppable recently ! Well done – your making it look easy !

    But anyways I can tell you one thing for sure …. it’s well and truly NH time for me. Goodbye flat racing for another season.


    1. Well said Steelman. I totally agree with your comment on Frankie. I agree that Oisin needs to sort some things out and I have heard that there’s more to come out on him and this is a great shame. The media love to drag things into the gutter. I only hope it’s relatively harmless stuff.
      As I understand it, when Oisin was pulled up for being over the limit it was the limit to race ride and he would have been under the limit to drive. We should also consider some of the jockeys from the past and what they got up to.


      1. Re Frankie, I was hoping on Palace pier for a double with truesham. Every time I looked at screen the great man was looking over his shoulder for Baeed and I knew the bet was lost. FD Owes us racing fans nothing. He’s a joy but pretty sure he won’t have slept easy last night


        1. Yep it wasn’t Frankie at his best.

          I must say that I think william haggas is a top operator. He seems to be able to give his horses the right time and get them spot on for a target.
          He had had some lovely horses to run yesterday.


  4. Mercian Prince 2.40 Kempton. Some kind words about the tips recently but a) bit of a streaky spell* is often followed by a barren patch and b) I’m more of a flat man and often find the transition to the jumps difficult (obviously I don’t do anything sensible like taking it easy for a bit and waiting for the season/form to settle down). Good luck everybody.

    I’ve pondered on this over the years. Is there such a thing as a run of good and bad luck? I believe so (one of my gripes is with football pundits saying luck/decisions will balance out over a season. Why should things balance out over a set amount of games? It’s just as possible that a team might get relegated or achieve success due – in part – to a degree of fortune. When Leicester won the league the main reason was obviously the players/manager etc but a factor was that their relatively small squad had very few injuries – the slice of luck/fortune, call what you will, that made the difference?) When picking horses we’re making decisions. Surely in life we have those periods when we either seem to get things right or wrong fairly consistently? When you’re in good form confidence comes into play and you stick to your guns, when you’re not you start to doubt yourself (and often change your mind, usually for the worse). Anyway just my ramblings on something that I don’t think is factored in enough – whether it’s the influence of the bizarre and possibly non-existent luck/fortune or the very real presence of confidence. Feel free to snort with derision and disagree.


    1. I consider you as the best and most consistent bloke on here ( sorry Alan ) because you do not resort to fancy. One a day.
      Just keep doing what you are doing . Luck has no part in it .Well done.


    2. Time was I’d have the confidence to answer this with some authority—it’s all half-remembered now.

      Football is an insanely complicated sport to model for probability just within a single game, never mind over the course of a season. It’s relatively anarchic and all sorts of fairly random things can happen. (someone smart once said something like: of all the sports, football is the one where the worst team in a match has most chance of upsetting the odds, precisely because of this relative anarchy) But if . . . if . . . those things are truly random, you would indeed expect them to even out over an appropriate course of time and number of occurrences. But that doesn’t preclude streaks; if each individual occurrence is truly random, streaks are totally possible.

      Also, a lot turns on how you individuate types of events in a game/season. Let’s say our event is “thrown-in wrongly awarded” (and let’s assume this is truly random). We can expect that to happen a fair number of times over a season, and probably therefore to even out. But if our event is “throw-in wrongly awarded and leading directly to a goal”, that’s not going to happen so often, and the number of times it needs to happen to even out is probably going to be much much longer than a season.

      Picking horses is a whole other ball game. But here’s a conjecture: you could probably assign to each punter an objective chance that they pick the right horse in a given type of race, based on their track record. So let’s say Mickle has a one in five chance of picking the winner of a 10-horse flat race, and Cornsay has a one in ten chance. You could then expect this objective chance to be their average success rate over the course of a season, with any “streaks” evening out (or regressing to the mean, as they say). So if Cornsay has a miraculous streak where he picks five winners in a row, he’s likely to get it wrong the next 50-odd times. (perhaps something similar goes on with, say, horses with “dragon” in the name).

      Of course this leaves no accounting for improvement via practice, confidence, etc. So perhaps it’s all nonsense.

      Things are somewhat easier to predict and model when you concentrate on simpler sports or elements within them. There’s been a reasonable amount of research debunking the “hot hand” idea in basketball—roughly, the notion that sometimes a player gets on a self-sustaining roll of scoring success. Here’s a write-up:


      1. The dragon thing is just a bit of fun, C. They’re not always tipped contrary to popular opinion. The two yesterday both had each-way chances and one delivered. Nobody has time to list all the horses they’re going to back on a busy day of racing (well, not on this forum at least) -sometimes you’ll put up the right ones, sometimes the one you tip will have good or bad luck somewhere in running and you’ll look a genius or prat. It’s all part of the game and the taking part counts. It will always be easier for some to mock from the sidelines. But as the betting companies (have to) say: when the fun stops, stop…and as I say, enjoy a run while it lasts and have other hobbies to fall back on if it goes pear-shaped! Special mention to Joe btw who’s been on a roll himself and somehow goes under the radar because he’s so self-deprecating. Great tip on Aldaary yesterday and well before the gamble on it started and it was obvious the Shadwell silks could do no wrong!


        1. Don’t worry, Rakib, I didn’t think I should be chasing the dragons for real. And no, good grief, I wasn’t seriously suggesting that we actually keep track of all the horses someone backs. Just speculation!


    3. It’s a hard one to explain … luck. Apart from the fact I don’t often have much!

      I am my own worst enemy when I comes to betting. Mostly I overcomplicate my bets and selections.
      Also I find that time pressures mean I can’t look at some races replays or form so I maybe rush. In this case I need to learn to just leave it.
      Over the last few years I’ve tried to become more constant at backing singles for my main bets Nap/NB and stick to a points system.
      Or If I get information from a trusted
      Source I will take a bet.
      I will take some acca/lucky 15 type multiples etc but generally it’s only ever small stakes on a Saturday or big festival.

      I agree with dilton that you keep it simple and hit the bullseye more often than many of us. Your method and your eye for a selection is something I’m trying to become better at!


  5. Some people may be unaware of the website
    I find it easy to use and quite informative, especially on Irish horseracing obviously. My nap is gleaned from their pages. Cork 3.05 Lighthouse Lady with Jordan Gainford on board.


  6. Interesting thoughts Mickle. I never put punting success or failure down to luck. Sometimes I may be furious with myself for going against instinct and punting when I should not and relying on ‘luck’. At least the nerve held at Ascot yesterday!

    I find the more time and preparation I give to something leads to success or ‘luck’. For instance, every two years I have a very heavy period of work stretching from late March through to early May and my time for racing disappears. Then I have a lousy flat year, which is sometimes saved by the Arc meeting.

    “I’m a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it”
    ― Thomas Jefferson


  7. I’m not a great believer I luck either. Was it sevvy that said “‘the more I practice the luckier I get”

    Far more mundabely today’s nap is cobblers dream Kempton 2.05 on a nice card of Nh racing.

    30 runner sprints.. No. 5 horses over fences every time


  8. I’ve always thought of those quotations about luck and practice/work as really saying: the more I practice, the more I reduce the range of things that are subject to luck, because they’re now under my control. I admit this is not as pithy as the quotations.


  9. Interesting range of responses folks. Thanks. Re. Cornsay: I think it’s probable that certain things will balance out over time (penalty decisions going for or against you for instance) it’s the often repeated ‘over a season’ i.e. over a specific number of games, I found difficulty with and have taken the view that sometimes success (like Leicester’s with injuries, and for those with long memories Villa in 1981) or failure is due to those decisions/issues not balancing out over a season. Just for clarification, I’m not saying it’s all down to luck or whatever – ability/hardwork etc are obviously far more important – just that it can be a factor. One that the journalists always seem to ignore in write-ups which nearly always seem to be seem through the prism of the result rather than the performance. Phew, think I’ll go for a lie-down. much needed now!


    1. Ps Although I’ve used football analogies in the main I think the racing equivalent might be in a jockey waiting for a gap whilst having a horse full of running. Gap appears and ‘great ride’. Gap closes and ‘desperately unlucky’. Hmmm. Now I’ll have the lie-down.


    2. Yes, “over a season” is arbitrary, and if you’re talking about fairly rare events, it’s quite likely that they won’t balance over a season, even if genuinely random; you need a longer time frame for the evening out. Injuries to key players are probably one of those things that are fairly rare. So I agree. Enjoy your siesta!


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