Good two days of quality racing begins today at Sandown aided by the cards at Aintree and Wetherby tomorrow.
So far this week we have had two dominant factors: A moderate standard and testing conditions. Both conspire to make true betting value a rare commodity.
Of a morning I alert my select group of clients of value in the markets having priced up every race of interest to a 100% book without prior reference to the bookmakers prices.
This week has been notable in the lack of morning value as quite a few horses under consideration have fallen below my valuation only to ease once the market gained liquidity. For example yesterday with Renoyr at Market Rasen. I had him at 3/1 on my tissue whilst he was an early 9/4 generally. Drifted out to my price and won well.
I do fully appreciate the difficulties faced by the compilers in assessing lower grade horses on heavier ground. Testing conditions do level the playing field. This is a big factor in handicaps. As most cards contain four or five handicaps, it is something you must consider greatly. You can have the best horse in the race, but if carrying a heavy burden the sheer effort of carrying that weight becomes more profound. Over the years I have had many trainers say to me that every pound over 11.7 is like 2lb extra.
When assessing the market I always look to get the favourite beaten. Heavy conditions and burdensome weights can provide an advantage for the more astute backer.
Turning back to today, we have a interesting handicap in the 2.05 at Sandown. The market is undecided about Dancing Shadow. He jumped well on chase debut and can improve. The early 4/1 has dried up, whether the current 3/1 is value is debatable. A stronger market than we have seen so far this week will tell us more.
You can follow Steve on Twitter and Facebook. For more details about his work, go to the website: www.slh.co.uk.