LW Blog


Cheltenham Festival 2018 – Hotpots – Should you be a backer or a layer?

With only four weeks until the famous roar signals the start of the festival, its a good time to take a look through the markets and pick out a few contenders at the front of the betting who are over-priced and worthy of a wager, or overrated in the market and worth taking on..

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We'll have tips for every race. Last year's winners included 16/1 shot, Willoughby Court.

Footpad - Arkle (11/10)
At first glance the price may look short but when delving a little deeper i would suggest he should be no bigger than 4/5 at this stage. He has been very impressive in all wins over fences and its difficult to see which of the entered rivals can beat him. He readily brushed aside Petit Mouchoir last weekend and although he's sure to improve for the run its hard to see him reversing the form at Cheltenham.

Sceau Royal in the same ownership as the Fav has done well so far over fences but the form falls below what's required and although he has won at Cheltenham, the suspicion is he's better on a flatter track. He was beaten at Cheltenham by North Hill Harvey in October and that form although respectable, wouldn't be good enough to beat Footpad.

Verdict = BACK

Un De Sceaux - Ryanair (7/2)
Un De Sceaux won a weak renewal last year at the festival and although he has a phenomenal record on paper, I believe this is just as much down to trainers placement as it is the horses ability. Although he is clearly very good i believe the price is far to short in what is already shaping up to be a stronger more competitive renewal.

Although he handles all ground his best performances have come on soft ground which at this stage is still in the lap of the gods.

Verdict = LAY

Apples Shakira - Triumph (3/1)
As things stand 6 weeks out from the start of the festival, she rates the worst value of all the favorites in the antepost markets. This price has been built on reputation and the fact she is related to Apple's Jade rather than achievements on the track. All wins at Cheltenham this year have been in very soft ground in small fields against significantly inferior opposition.

I have also spoken to someone very close to the Henderson yard and they believe that 'We Have A Dream' (8/1) is the better of the two which for me backs up the fact that the price is far to short.

Verdict = LAY

Might Bite - Gold Cup (7/2)
The more i look at the Gold Cup market the more i'm coming round to the fact that Might Bite is by far the most likely winner and probably value at 7/2. At first glance it looks a wide open market but as you delve more deeply into the form it becomes apparent that he is the standout horse. The races in Ireland this year have thrown up more questions than answers and perhaps they don't have a standout contender.

Might Bite was value for more than winning distance in King George and he would have beaten Whisper by half of Prestbury Park last year in RSA without his antics. These appear to have been ironed out as the horse matures and i think its his Gold Cup to lose.

Verdict = BACK



‘ave a go all you like – there’s no argument over who was the World’s Best Racehorse in 2017

Racing is having an identity crisis. At the Longines Awards, the annual event held by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities, an argument which has been simmering along for months boiled over once again.

"...how can a horse whose summer campaign featured three defeats for an aggregate 22 lengths continue to be awarded 'Horse of the Year' titles?"

The answer is straightforward, but is it satisfactory?

First, let's journey back to March 2017.

Arrogate announced himself to the world with a 13 length victory in the Travers Stakes, and upheld that form by being the first horse to overcome California Chrome for nearly two years. There was no question that his 2016 mantle was vindicated.

Arrogate was kept going, winning the Pegasus as California Chrome's career finished with a whimper, and took his place in the 2017 Dubai World Cup at Meydan.

It was a performance that left most wondering where his seat was on the table of all time greats.

"I don't think I'll ever witness a race like it again," said legendary trainer Bob Baffert "That was the single best performance I have ever seen. That was incredible."

The World's Best Racehorse

It was judged by the IFHA to be the best performance since Frankel hung up his hooves and - as the award is given to the horse with the best individual piece of form in the calendar year - he was duly awarded the 2017 award for the World's Best Racehorse.

The irritation and confusion is mostly driven by the terminology. For many, Arrogate was palpably not the 'Horse of the Year', in fact, he wasn't even in the conversation.

So why do the IFHA refuse to change the name to something more accurate, such as, 'Best Individual Performance of 2017'?

Because this is how racing works.

Racing is a game of pounds, ounces, inches and stopwatches. Fans are obsessed with quantifying quality of form, and pontificating upcoming, or past & future mythical contests. It's the essence of the sport to wonder who would win.

To do this, all sorts of ratings are compiled. Practical, day to day, ratings will quickly adapt and move with a horse's current ability. But when reflecting on a career, racing will - commendably - honour the horses's high water mark, rather than a moving average.

You don't judge a career by how it finished, you judge it by how high it peaked.

In the same way, when considering a yearly award, it's right that only the peak performances are considered.

On the 25th of March 2017, Arrogate ran to a level of form which no other horse could match over the entire twelve months, and he thoroughly deserves to be crowned the world's best racehorse of 2017.

'Horse of the Year'

There is a more practical, and potentially cynical, reason why the IFHA refuse to rename their flagship award. (They're clearly not adverse to change as they introduced a completely new award in 2015, to honour the year's best race).

Crowning Arrogate with 'Best Individual Performance' of 2017 would create a vacuum. It begs the question, 'well, who was the best horse of 2017?'.

The suspicion is that quantifying such a subjective argument is simply too hard. They have an index for Jockeys, but this seems to have too much emphasis on consistency, and almost all top horses are campaigned incredibly sparingly.

It's this last fact that creates the discontentment with the award. In Australia, Winx has sledgehammered her way in to the hearts and minds of the population with a crushing 22 race winning sequence.

The public warms to consistency, it's why most UK racing fans still rank Enable over Cracksman even if the handicappers don't agree. (just don't get me started on Battaash)

They also warm to versatility. Personally, Enable would just edge out Winx on my 'Horse of the Year' award. She improved consistently through the season, taking five G1s in three countries, winning the biggest races against colts in devastating style, but what I love the most is the fact she never raced on the same course twice.

Winx ran over a variety of distances, going - and had some spectacular moments after acquiring a habit for missing the break - but rarely ventured outside of metropolitan Sydney.

“You can't stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.”

Winx doesn't need to travel to prove herself to be the best racehorse in the world, but it will always be held against her if she doesn't.

After all, her best race of the 2017, ironically - also back in March, was good enough to retain her crown as highest rated turf horse (ahead of Cracksman, Enable..).

Simon Rowlands wrote a fascinating piece for Timeform about this very subject - which as fun as it was to read and imagine the contest - only really proved how difficult the exercise is.

Racing is a sport which creates fierce debate, and this is an annual dialogue that we should take great pleasure in. After all, it's an excuse to relive all the highlights of the season just gone.

But to argue that the IFHA need to change their awards is unnecessary.

If you're in any doubt, just scroll up and hit play again.

~ George


Golf Betting Tips: Profit Summary

At Love Winners we've a long established pedigree over a wide range of sports, but one of our mainstays continues to be tipping on golf. Our Golf Betting Tips cover the PGA Tour, all four Majors and the Ryder Cup.

Six Years of Tipping - Six Years of Winning

Year PnL to £5 ROI %
2012 £777.03 8%
2013 £213.83 3%
2014 £352.55 5%
2015 £571.88 11%
2016 £422.00 16%
2017 £413.15 7%
Total £2750.43 7%

Golf tips first appeared in 2012 and have turned a healthy profit every year.

Two Ways to Win - and win BIG

Type PnL to £5 ROI %
Golfers to Follow £1055.43 16%
Golfers to Oppose £1695.00 5%
Total £2750.43 7%

If you like booting home big priced winners and bragging about spectacular returns on your investment, then backing our 'Follow' golfers each week is the service for you, with a lifetime average ROI of 16%.

We've had winners at 66/1, 50/1 ... in fact we've tipped TWELVE winners at 33/1 or greater. We're knocking on the door for even BIGGER wins though, as last year alone we had golfers place at triple figures (100/1, 150/1, 100/1).

If you prefer to sit on the other side of the fence and churn out regular & consistent profits by laying then we provide five Golfers to Oppose each event. As with all laying, the ROIs are lower - but the gross profits earned have been fantastic - with £1700 earned to just £5 stakes.

In the last three years we've opposed 241 golfers and only laid THREE winners (33/1, 7/1, 8/1).

2018 Starts Today

Our Golf tipster is on the tee and ready to take his first swing at 2018. He's already published his tips for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.

Don't miss out on any more winners - Join Today ->



National Hunt Season 16/17: Our Five Most Memorable Moments

Jumps jockeys are a hardy lot.

Their 'season' goes all year long, with barely one day's break between finishing on Sandown's Gold Cup day, and starting all over again the day after. Such a long season inevitably creates dozens and dozens of incredible moments - even if this time we were to enjoy our sport without regular sightings of superstars Vautour, Faugheen, Annie Power, Douvan and Don Cossack.

Still, it was another remarkable season of National Hunt racing and here are our five most memorable moments.

Had enough of the Jumps? Click here to read our 2,000 Guineas betting preview.

National Hunt Season 16/17
The Most Memorable Moments

Might Bite stops at the concessions stand before winning RSA

Even for Cheltenham - a course famous for heart stopping drama - this dash for the line was one of the most remarkable finishes in the sport's history.

The famous hill has broken many a superstar, and you just never see a horse able to regain speed after faltering - yet that's exactly what Might Bite did.

Nearly at a standstill on the run in, Nico de Boinville was losing his battle keep the quirky son of Scorpion to his task.

He'd hinted at having dramatic tendencies when falling at the last in the Kauto Star Novices Chase at Kempton while miles clear, when we were on at 8/1.

It seemed to be the loose horse that did the trick, causing Might Bite to regain focus just in time to regather himself and reel in the brave Whisper on the line.

No more than half an hour earlier Willoughby Court - tipped here at 16/1 - had held off Neon Wolf in a race that on an ordinary day would have been hoarding the superlatives for itself.

Instead, it had been quickly & thoroughly trumped by scenes racing fans will never forget.

Such is the unrelenting drama of the Cheltenham Festival!

Many Clouds & Thistlecrack's Costwold Chase Duel

No sport calls on such range or depth of emotions as Jumps Racing, and the 2017 Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham had the lot.

Many Clouds was a popular Grand National and previous Cotswold Chase winner - owned by the likable Trevor Hemmings.

Yet the story leading in to the race was the story dominating the National Hunt season.

Was Thistlecrack going to win the Gold Cup?

He'd already earned his stripes outside of Novice company, when beating Cue Card in the King George at Kempton, and this seemed like an easy opportunity to gain valuable chase course experience before the big one.

Many Clouds led them turning for home and jumped every fence like a stag. Thistlecrack was making mistakes - reminding us he was still a novice - but he still cruised up and looked the winner jumping the last ... and then again on the run in ... but Many Clouds was refusing to be beaten. Leighton Aspell surged home and got up by a head, tipped by our team at 8/1.

Even without the tragic events that followed, this race would have lived long in the memory, but with the passing of Many Clouds it has been cemented in to the folklore of the sport. Thistlecrack also wore the wounds of battle - unable to run again that season.

From euphoric highs to shattering news of a fallen hero in a matter of moments - no afternoon greater defined the sport. As Tom Kerr wrote, 'we came to celebrate one champion, and left with tears for another'.

Many Clouds swamped the vote and was named National Hunt Racehorse of the Year by the Racing Post, the second time he'd won the award.

Labaik; Laytown languishing to Festival flourishing

If quirky types are your thing then the 16/17 National Hunt season had plenty to keep you entertained.

In October he stood still in a Laytown Maiden.

In September he won a charity race at Leopardstown under Sheikh Fahad Al Thani.

In November there was a glimmer. A Grade 3 at Navan was decent form, but his tilt at the Champion Hurdle seemed far fetched after refusing to race all three occasions since.

At the tapes in March he was a 25/1 chance, half a furlong later he was 8/1.

Melon had been the Mullins hype machine all winter and Ruby must have thought the race was his turning for home - but the distinctive grey and orange flashed by in emphatic fashion.

Labaik did eventually frank the form with a 2l fourth in the Irish Champion Hurdle, but suffered a serious injury which threatens to bring his remarkable racing career to an abrupt halt.

One for Scotland

Gold Cups and Grand Nationals are regular highlights of the National Hunt calendar, and Sizing John is unlucky to miss out here.

The Irish Gold Cup especially was a fantastic race at a meeting full to the brim with breathless finishes.

Robbie Power swept the boards at all three Spring Festivals, much like our Horse Racing Tipster did at Punchestown, but for me the 2017 Grand National was the more memorable.

Actually, it was the 20 minutes following the great race, rather than the race itself.

It was so easy to be completely won over by the warm, genuine nature of the connections of northern raider, One For Arthur.

Lucinda Russell, and especially the 'Two Golf Widows', were a joy to behold - and represented much of the every day appeal of National Hunt racing. It was the human, affordable, likable side of the game - and it was a genuine pleasure to share their success on racing's biggest day in the calendar.

Tea for Two winning the Aintree Bowl under Lizzie Kelly

Often the Aintree Festival can feel like the consolation race, the second division of the opening handicap on the card and, Grand National aside, rarely has much of an impact on these sorts of lists.

However, Lizzie Kelly's story stands out and sneaks in to our top five.

The first lady to win a Grade One chase, Lizzie Kelly added another on the same horse - this time outside of Novice company.

The pair parted ways after just two fences in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, so to see off Cue Card by a neck after a well judged ride was an especially heart warming moment....even for Cue Card backers!

What was your favourite moment of the year? Join the conversation.



Cheltenham Festival 2017 – Review

Cheltenham Festival is over for another year and before we focus on Aintree and Punchestown, let's take a look at a number of horses who caught our eye for future success.

1. River Wylde - An excellent 3rd in the Supreme Novices, described as immature by trainer in the lead up to the race and yards representatives often go on to better things, e.g. Buveur D'Air & Sprinter Sacre. (Champion Hurdle @ 33/1 - generally)

2. Neon Wolf - Highly regarded and impressive in the build up to the festival. Lost nothing in defeat to determined and high class rival and may have even won for pecking after the last. One to follow over fences next year.

3. Might Bite - Impressive and quirky when winning the RSA Chase at Cheltenham, looks one to follow, especially if heading back to Kempton for The King George on Boxing day. (King George @ 5/1 - Hills, Betfred)

4. Yorkhill - Impressive winner of the JLT, still plenty to learn over fences but huge engine and agree with jockey who rates him as a Gold Cup horse next year. (Gold Cup @ 8/1 - Several)

5. Artic Fire - Returned from a lengthy absence to run out an impressive winner of the County Hurdle off top weight. No surprise if turned out again at Aintree or Punchestown and fancied to go be seriously competitive back in graded company.

6. Native River - Lost nothing in defeat when 3rd in Gold Cup, interesting that yard weren't firing and the ground had got quick enough. He's all about stamina and looks one to follow in next years staying chases when getting his conditions.


Betfair Hurdle

The Betfair Hurdle can throw up some decent winners including 'My Tent Or Yours' & 'Zarkandar' in recent years and this years renewal looks interesting rather than vintage. Here are the main contenders and our verdict on Saturday's race:-

Ballyandy (5/1)
Last season's Champion Bumper winner hasn't quite lived up to expectations over hurdles this season, however, trainer believes he has been let in lightly on handicap debut, can see running in first three but no steal at the prices. 

Movewiththetimes (11/2)
behind Ballyandy in November at Cheltenham but in good hands and looks the type to improve with racing.

Clyne (11/2)
Winner in the fog in Dec and career best last time, all three of those runs came at Haydock on v soft ground and others preferred here.

William H Bonney (9/1)
Good winner at Cheltenham last time and value for more than winner margin, fancied to go well and 9/1 looks value EW.


Conclusion: - At the prices 'William H Bonney' looks overpriced, was value for more than winning margin at Cheltenham last time and fancied to go close.



Caspian Caviar Gold Cup

It's back to the home of NH racing this weekend and the feature race is the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup, many contested the BetVictor Gold Cup here in November which provides a solid form line.

Village Vic (7/1)
Won the race last year off 136, much higher in weights now but  fancied to make bold bid from the front.

Buywise (10/1)
Has threatened for long time to win a big one but always seems to run on to late when the winner has flown, solid EW chance but opposable for win.

Aso (9/1)
Arguably could have finished closer when 4th in the BetVictor Gold Cup, best form is on soft ground and unlikely to get that here, opposable unless rain arrives.

Bouvreuil (6/1)
Tricky ride who has high head carriage, well backed this week but others preferred.

Thomas Brown (10/1)
More unexposed than most, won well last time at Ascot and fancied to go well. Slight concern is that didn't run very well over course in March.

Conclusion: - This doesn't look quite as strong as the BetVictor Gold Cup in November, where Village Vic lead everywhere but the line. Although vunerable to a better handicapped unexposed rival, he will make a bold bid from the front and give you solid run for your money.