500 Not out – Our major highlights

As we continue to celebrate our 500pts profit milestone, achieved in under 2 years with 1pt win and 1pt each-way betting, here we look back at the highlights that remain in the back of our minds as the best bets and the memorable moments.


Our top 10 bets of the first 2 years of HorseSpy:


10. Gullinbursti (10th Nov. 2013, Market Rasen) 5-2 – Gullinbursti had been off track for a long time and we had information that he had been working tremendously well at home and had fully recovered from all his problems. Ridiculously well-handicapped, we were sure that as long as he had a clear round this was like taking sweets from a baby. The bookmakers had made an error with the opening show of 5-2, so we took the 5-2  and then doubled up again, and again. The SP was 10-11f as it seemed others had realised the same as us that the price was massively in the punters’ favour. When he prevailed by 27 lengths, we realised this was one of the wins of the season.

9. Junction Fourteen (26th December 2013, Kempton) 13-2 – We’d prepared for Boxing Day with just one in mind for the day, and that was the running of Junction Fourteen. Again, we’d received intelligence as to how the stable expected Junction Fourteen to run in this, and on looks he was a clear stand out. His rating of 121 looked incredibly lenient and concluded that the 13-2 was overpriced which we identified early. The result showed that we were right as he pulled clear winning by 11 lengths like an odds-on favourite. Some additional Christmas cheer. The SP of 9-2 still looked generous and his mark increased to something more appropriate.

8. Sun Central (31st August 2013, Chester) 4-1 – Sun Central was a horse that we felt was in the twilight zone. Too good for Listed but not Group class. However, his last performance at York, which we saw in the flesh, suggested he was pulling into pattern status and we’d been waiting for this horse to run again whilst he was still progressing. He was pulled out of a few races leading up to this one because of the ground so we waited patiently for his run. The early 4-1 was great value and rewarded a good example of having patience, discipline and confidence.

7. Layline (23rd October 2012, Yarmouth) 10-1 – There was a lot to like about Layline and just hadn’t fulfilled his early potential as was originally showing signs of progressing to a good level. Our analysis of the speed figures we had for this animal suggested that the bookmakers had got his price horribly wrong. The 10-1 that showed up early on was taken with the utmost confidence.

6. Dell’Arca (17th November 2013 – Cheltenham) 12-1 – We have a set criteria for these types of horses as they produce incredible market value. If you don’t know what I’m hinting at you need to do more research! The 12-1 was massive value and had all the hallmarks of yet another occasion where the bookmakers have completely underestimated a runner of this type. We took the price and then doubled up on course.

Vautour on his way to win the Supreme Novice Hurdle

5. Cheltenham Festival 2014 – Within our shortlisted runners we identified Vautour, Faugheen, O’Faolains Boy, Balthazar King, Sire De Grugy, Midnight Prayer and Dynaste amongst the winners and Any Currency, Big Shu (completing a 1-2-3 in the Cross Country), Dell’Arca, Katgary, Guitar Pete, Caid Du Berlais, Claret Cloak, Trifolium and Suntiep in the places. On the account, and choosing what to back, the best moments had to be our two bankers that were landed at favourable odds. Vautour was probably my most confident selection of the Festival and was suggested to members at 7-2. The price actually drifted to 9-2, which was a bonkers move by Bet365 prompting me to have another bit of that and topping up the 7-2 from earlier. Ruby gave him a hell of a ride, although I must admit I was fearing that he’d done too much in front and would tire. Luckily he didn’t. My second most confident in Faugheen was a bit more patiently ridden but again, rewarded a generous looking 5-2 that I suggested to HorseSpy members in the morning. On day two the shortlist had all horses either winning or placed, which meant a five-fold each-way accumulator paying out just over 480-1. If Katgary hadn’t have been hampered that would have been closer to 1500-1. Members were sending rather a lot of thank you’s, which is always very much appreciated as I go to great effort to ensure I make winning selections, predominantly for me to back and then share with HorseSpy members.

Captain Ramius winning the Ayr Gold Cup

4. Captain Ramius (22nd September 2012) 18-1 – The Ayr Gold Cup is a race that I have a history of winning and this one was driven by an extraordinary pace bias that nobody else seemed to have noticed, apart from one other? Johannes and Pintura we identified as potential pace setters, with a number of other horses that side of the draw getting into the front and it was evident that they would give Captain Ramius, and any other horse as good as him a decent tow into the final furlong. Matching his run in the Bunbury Cup and the Wilfred meant that he was definitely ahead of most of the field on the heavy ground, and when the prices presented Captain Ramius at 18-1 we were so astonished by the underestimation of the bookmakers and the market that this was a give away as we expected placed as an absolute minimum. We learned afterwards that Pricewise also put this up in the RP that day highlighting almost exactly the same, which illustrated that we were at a level now where we were competing, and agreeing with, more established names in the business. We spotted this, so did Tom Segal. Fortunately, the market didn’t hence the big price. Unbelievable value for what should have been on paper a 7-1 chance or lower.

3. Makhzoon (10th June 2012, Perth) 16-1 – The first bet we shared after opening HorseSpy membership on 1st June and our first big winner. Nothing much to speak about, but the price and the achievement of 1 bet 1 win was a memorable moment.

Danchai just sees off Stencive to win the John Smiths Cup at York

2. Danchai (13th July 2013, York) 16-1 – We had followed Danchai since his last two runs and at Ascot noticed that he got slightly outpaced and then hampered on numerous occasions. A pace analysis of the John Smiths Cup suggested that the pace would be slow and therefore help his chances later in the race. As he was primed for Ascot and didn’t really get chance to deliver it was an easy bet to take the massively overpriced 16-1 early on. On arriving at the course and after watching Sun Central coast in, the profits went into funding another bet with a bookmaker that was daft enough to put 16-1 on the board. His face when we collected was a picture. York is my favourite course, thanks to mis-spending many days on the Knavesmire whilst supposed to be in lectures at York Uni. To see a grown man jumping up and down willing Danchai to hold on was probably not one of my finest moments but the analysis of the running of the race was absolutely spot on as many of the bigger chances were pulling for their heads early on, unnecessarily wasting energy. Danchai was nicely settled at the slower pace and made his move to go and win the race at about 2 1/2 furlongs out. We had Stencive his stable mate also on our shortlist so it was no surprise to see him closing him down, but he held on narrowly to produce the biggest payout of the year. HorseSpy-wise we netted another big-priced winner.

Kingsbarns wins the Racing Post Trophy and completes a 374-1 treble for HorseSpy members1. The amazing treble at Doncaster: Jack Dexter 7-1, Hazel Lavery 12-1, Kingsbarns 5-2 (27th October 2012, Doncaster) – Jack Dexter needs no introduction, and as the ground had changed to the soft side further helping his chances we knew this was a horse that had to be followed seriously. At this time he was still both well-handicapped and progressive. The 7-1 was a mind-blowing price. We also identified Hazel Lavery as a decent chance that was also underestimated by the bookmakers. Town Moor tends to favour horses coming from off the pace, and to see the race pan out she ran exactly as predicted. We’d also identified that Kingsbarns was Derby material and really ought to have been winning the Racing Post Trophy on this day. The early 5-2 was way too big a price as we felt that other youngsters in the race had been too heavily raced and would be tired from a relatively busy season. The O’Brien team ran it to perfection. We had also suggested to members and family that the 374-1 each-way treble was well within reach and was worth more than a tenner to play on. After they all won we received loads of comments and thanks from members but it also lifted us onto another level. We backed that weekend up with 3 more winners a day or two later with Dorry K (29th Oct, 13-2 Redcar), Half A Billion (30th Oct, 8-1 Catterick) and Boonga Roogeta (30th Oct, 11-2 Yarmouth) rounding off an extraordinary month resulting in a 115.99 point profit; and we didn’t include the 374-1 treble in the accounts of course.


Although these are our best and most memorable moments there have been occasions where we’ve made a bet that should never have been made. We’ll also create a top 10 worst bets to illustrate that it hasn’t been all this good!

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