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Saturday, January 10, 2004


The Value Betting Column, which appears every Saturday on racenews.co.uk and is completely free of charge, has started the year well by advising 15/2 winner Southern Star in today’s (January 10, 2004) Tote Classic Chase at Warwick.

The Henrietta Knight-trained horse was 10/1 when advised this morning and won from outsider Jurancon II who was also favourably mentioned.

The Value Betting Column usually only selects one horse every Saturday and this week it was Southern Star.

Visit racenews.co.uk every Saturday. See the full column below.

Saturday, January 10, 2004


Going - Good to soft and rain forecast

BP = best odds offered from Coral Eurobet, Blue Square, Ladbrokes, Tote, Stanleybet. Bet365, William Hill

3:05pm £110,000 Tote Classic Chase ( Handicap) 3m 5f.

1) 50-2 Behrajan 21 Henry Daly 9-11-12 Andrew Thornton
The class act of this race who has to give weight all round. He ran a typically game race at Ascot last time when beaten by Horus. Seemed to have a hard race that day. Has never run at Warwick over fences before but won twice here as a hurdler. May need softer ground
BP= 6/1 Coral Eurobet, Ladbrokes & Tote

2) 1-66 Ad Hoc 21 Paul Nicholls 10-11-06 Robert Thornton
BP= Connections think Ad Hoc is badly handicapped and he is certainly not getting any younger. Has not sparkled so far this season but cannot be dismissed entirely.
BP= 20/1 Blue Square & Ladbrokes

3) 4-P1 Gunner Welburn 14 Andrew Balding 12-10-10 (6lbx) Richard McGrath
A game winner at Wetherby just after Christmas. This is a tougher task. Won a hunter chase here back in 2000.

BP= 12/1 Coral Eurobet

4) -F21 Bindaree 14 Nigel Twiston-Davies 10-10-10 (6lbx) Carl Llewellyn
The Martell Grand National winner returned to his best to beat Sir Rembrandt in the Coral Welsh National at Chepstow. He needs a long trip and ground which is as soft as possible so any rain today would suit him. This is a tighter track than Chepstow so his task appears more difficult.

BP= 5/1 generally except Ladbrokes and bet365

5) -33P Take Control 14 Martin Pipe 10-10-03v P Moloney
Made mistakes and was pulled up in the Coral Welsh National. Has seemed to prefer good rather than soft ground these days and has some chance on the form he showed on his previous two starts.

BP= 20/1 Blue Square, Ladbrokes, Bet 365 & William Hill

6) 5P-3 Montifault 10 Paul Nicholls 9-10-03 Joe Tizzard
Likes to race up with the pace. He has come down in the handicap a bit but maybe not enough to win here. Cannot be dismissed.

BP= 12/1 generally

7) 02-F Akarus 14 Martin Pipe 9-10-3 Tony McCoy
Had a heavy fall when apparently going well four out in the Coral Welsh National at Chepstow. Obviously stays very well and may need further than this. Worth opposing at this price.

BP= 100/30 Coral Eurobet

8) 0-43 Southern Star 9 Henrietta Knight 9-10-01 Graham Lee
Useful performer at best and has come down enough in the weights to have a chance. Has not been raced on very soft ground so will be suited by the rain keeping away.

BP= 10/1 generally except Coral Eurobet & Stanleybet

9) 0-43 Ardent Scout 48 Sue Smith 12-10-00 Willie Marston
Consistent chaser who plugs on. However, he is not getting any younger and was beaten a long way when third over the Grand National fences at Aintree last time out.

BP= 20/1 Ladbrokes

10) PU4F Carbury Cross 9 Jonjo O’Neill 10-10-00b Seamus Durack
Has had problems finishing and is best watched for the time being.

BP= 33/1 Blue Square, Ladbrokes & Tote

11) -145 Jurancon II 14 Martin Pipe 7-10-0 J P Elliott(5)
Consistent sort who stays well. Was unsuited by the very soft ground at Chepstow. He is out of the handicap but has a claimer on board. Has some chance.

BP= 33/1 Blue Square & Tote

12) 1-11 What Odds 42 T K Geraghty IRE 8-10-00 Davy Russell
Progressive lightly-raced chaser who has come from the hunter chaser world. Could be anything despite being out of the handicap. No wonder the bookmakers are being wary but there is better value to be had.

BP= 4/1 Coral Eurobet, Blue Square, Ladbrokes & Bet365

A fascinating contest where it may be wise to have a small amount each-way on SOUTHERN STAR


£2,500 in prizes plus three expenses paid trips to Newmarket plus the opportunity to be published in the racing press

The Martin Wills Memorial Trust, a UK-registered charity, is offering its 12th annual awards for journalistic articles (fact or fiction) on, or with a background in, any aspect of horseracing by young people resident in the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland. Particular importance will be attached to originality, use of language and entertainment. Articles on racing politics/the future of racing are unlikely to be well received. Quality of writing is much more important than a detailed knowledge of racing.

Those aged under 26 at 1 January 2004 (other than employees of the national and racing press and previous winners in their category, who are not eligible) are invited to submit a single typewritten article of under - not over - 1,000 words by 29 February 2004 to the Trustees,

The Martin Wills Memorial Trust, Henley Knapp Barn, Fulwell, Chipping Norton, Oxon, OX7 4EN (fax: 01608-678 052) or by e-mail to willsct@ukonline.co.uk. Name, date of birth, address and telephone number should be stated. The article must not be published prior to the announcement of the winners of the awards. No correspondence will be entered into, entries will not be returned and the judges' decision is final.

The prizes will be £1,250 to the winner and £750 to the runner-up, with £500 for the best other entry from someone aged under 19 at 1 January, 2004.

In addition, the winning article will be published in the Racing Post and Irish Field, and the winner will both retain for a year a bronze trophy of two galloping horses by Gill Wiles and have the opportunity of a week's work experience at the Racing Post. The awards will be announced and presented at Newmarket on Wednesday 14 April 2004 (Free Handicap and Earl of Sefton Stakes Day at the Craven Meeting), where those successful will be given an expenses paid day's racing, including a reception in a private luncheon room made available by the Racecourse, plus a tour of two leading stables.

his year's six judges are: Brough Scott, Editorial Director of the Racing Post, sports feature writer of The Sunday Telegraph and for 30 years until recently chief presenter of Channel 4 Racing (Chairman); Chris John, Marketing Director of the British Horseracing Board; Alice Plunkett of Channel 4 Racing and attheraces; Leo Powell, Editor of the Irish Field; Chris Smith, Editor of the Racing Post; and Catherine Wills, art historian sister of Martin Wills.

The 2003 under 26 competition was won by 23-year-old Jessica Rexroth, an American from Maryland, USA, resident in London, where she is studying at the Royal Veterinary College, having graduated as a Bachelor of Animal Sciences at Virginia Tech in the USA. The 2003 under 26 runner up was 24 -year-old Catherine Austin from Brecon, who is now Racing Editor of Horse & Hound. The 2003 under 19 competition was won by 16-year-old Jennifer Hamilton, a GCSE student from Solihull.

The Martin Wills Memorial Trust commemorates Martin Wills, an amateur jockey, point-to-point rider, racing enthusiast and journalist who died in April, 1992, aged 39.

For old articles (from 1st March 2000) go to the Newslink Archive

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