24th March Clonmel fancy

24th March Clonmel fancy Sports Betting Stars


3.00 Dreamy Leamy 14/1

Dreamy Leamy ran a fine race in a hot looking 0-116 handicap LTO in just his 2nd handicap bow, he was given a patient ride and wasn’t pushed hard but came into the race menacing well under just hands and heels and by the looks of it not touched by the whip, today he drops into a much easier 0-95 race and would of learned a lot from what looked a schooling run.

21st March Thurles Tip

Al Boum Photo


3.40 Crazyheart 9/1

There was a lot to like about Kavanaghs Corner last win, in what looks a strong form race, the 3rd Western Sea brought in strong consistent Thurles form and looked the winner when jumping the last but quickly emptied, the 2nd Crazyheart too also impressed with a return to form and looking back he records his highest marks this time of year to show to be a  spring horse, he was beaten by under 3 lengths by Kavanaghs Corner while carrying 11lbs more with claimers included, today he only carries 5lb more, so has a 6lb swing with Kavanaghs which would of reversed the form LTO between the pair. Trainer Paul Nolan has a strong 15% career strike rate at Thurles over fences and is good current form even if not too many winners to boast about, likewise claiming jockey Sean O’Keefe is riding very confidently with a couple of wins and plenty of places in big races.

Russell Blair.

One takes the eye at Dundalk 20th March

One takes the eye at Dundalk 20th March Sports Betting Stars


4.00 Touch Of Gold 14/1

The mare has been away from the track for a little over 5 months after a consistent stint over hurdles even if not winning too many and may need this outing, but if fit she’ll be very well in on a return back to the flat, her last 2 runs on the flat was over this C&D around this time last year off a mark of 77 in tougher races than this with today’s jockey onboard, if she ran off today’s mark of 71 in both of them races then at the weights she would of had her head in front, her mark of 71 also equals her last winning one, so fit or not, she deserves more respect than her odds of 14/1 give her.

Russell Blair.

31st August betting tips and preview

31st August betting tips and preview Sports Betting Stars


2.25 1m2f Class 2 Handicap – Ventura Knight 12/1

Really impressed LTO in a hotter race than this in first time blinkers, although beaten well by an unexposed Forest Of Dean who clearly looked a Group horse in a handicap, Ventura looked best of the rest back in 3rd, he was held up off the pace and came with a powerful run in a race not to suit and Ryan Moore didn’t go hard on him close home.

Today as mentioned looks an easier race, he hasn’t ran at Sandown before but loves galloping courses, he does go up a lb for his last effort which for a distant 3rd doesn’t make complete sense, but nothing to worry about and is still 5lb under last winning mark he recorded under similar conditions in July last year.

Ryan Moore is back onboard who is in great current form, he hit a treble at the Curragh yesterday and has a great record with Mark Johnston the last 5 seasons, Mark himself is having a great season and sends his usual feast of chances out on a Saturday but just the one to Sandown.


3.50 5f Class 5 Handicap – Atyaaf 9/1

Favourite Sheepscar Lad ran another good race in defeat LTO and did have traffic problems but so did Atyaaf who also had 2nd run and was stronger through the line, Atyaaf is only a lb higher than Sheepscar today which does bring them closer together and surely will be a close race if both get a clear run, but at the odds with Atyaaf nearly double the price it pays long term to back the bigger.

Paddy Mathers is back in the saddle who knows the gelding well, he has just the one ride to focus on, just like the trainer Derek Shaw too.

They have a great draw in stall 2, the ground currently good to soft is perfect and also won’t mind it drying any, but one of the biggest plusses is the early speed with Billy Dylan and Archimedes who although is drawn wide, did make all from a bad draw at this course last week, so I’m confident both will make it a real quick tempo and set it up for closers like ours.

Russell Blair Racing.

28th August betting tips and preview

28th August betting tips and preview Sports Betting Stars

Been a great time to follow the blog recently with 3 wins from the last 3 posts at 33/1, 16/1 & 8/1, just the one today that could bounce back at a price.


2.40 5f Class 4 Handicap – Nicki’s Angel 12/1

There’s a couple I like in this at big prices, Economic Crisis looks well treated, she won this race in 2016 off a mark of 75, she’s a little longer in the tooth now at the age of 10, but around this time last year won a good race at Ayr easily off 70 and was rated 75 at her highest, a losing run of 16 races since seen her mark plummet to a low 54 where she took full advantage of not just her mark but also of the summer months which clearly brings her best form, she won very easily at Catterick in June and when last seen was even more impressive when making all over this C&D off a mark of 58 with the 6+ lengths back in 4th winning NTO boosting the form, she goes up 8lb effectively for this race, 6lb rise plus is 2lbs out of the handicap to race off 66 which on last seasons best performances she’s still well in, in great form and looks a juicy price to win this race again.

At an even bigger price is Nicki’s Angel, she won on debut over this C&D last year and ran some good races in some hot Listed and Group company to be rated 90, she’s returned this season well below form and has been beat decisively in all 6 races where she’s now dropped to a very appealing mark of 75, she gets the aid of a first time visor which may spark her past 2yo form plus is the first time over this C&D since her win.

Trainer Richard Fahey is in decent form at present, he excels with his sprinters plus has a good record at Musselburgh with a 18% strike rate compared to his average of 12% and has a great +£26.80 level stake profit, he has a good set of chances here today, most notably half sister to Nicki’s Angel, Maggies Angel runs in the 3.40 and may tempt you to a small muggy double.

Russell Blair

26th August betting tips and preview

26th August betting tips and preview Sports Betting Stars


4.20 7f Class 6 Handicap – Miss Icon 6/1

Had just the one win to her name before this season and doubled her tally from what looked a very dangerous mark on her penultimate run.

She was rated as high as 73 after her win in a maiden on her 3rd start, however she didn’t progress on that into her 3yo career but did place 3rd off a mark of 70 before a season of up and down performances in 2017.

That looked to be the end of her career and maybe went to the breeding barns or she picked up a injury, not quite sure, but either way she wasn’t seen for 20 months and returned in June off a dangerous mark of 56 at Lingfield where she understandably was in need of a run.

From here her mark dropped to an even more dangerous 53, 20lbs under her highest rated mark and she took full advantage over this C&D and was well backed beforehand.

Her victory of just half a length isn’t a true reflection of her dominance, the eventual 2nd got a good first run advantage and after Miss Icon drew level Liam Keniry just coaxed her over the line with the rest of the field well strung out.

She was raised 4lbs for the win and was tried on the AW when last seen where she doesn’t look as well suited in the past but she still put in a gallant effort finishing 2nd under William Carver riding her for the first time, the eventual winner had fist run on her and Miss Icon was closing all the time, but not quick enough.

Tomorrow not only does she return back to the turf and on fast ground which she thrives on, but also back at Chepstow with Liam Keniry back on which are both big positives, she does go up another 2lbs but she’s still 14lbs under her highest career mark and visually still looks very well treated.


5.00 3m1f Class 2 Handicap Hurdle – Dr Robin 13/2

Has been in serious form and recorded a hat trick winning sequence last month, once over hurdles and twice over fences.

His penultimate run and win was in a good 0-125 race at Ffos Las where he made all and jumped really well with plenty in hand, more than the 2 length victory gives him credit for, the 8 length 3rd won NTO boosting the form.

He was raised 7lbs for the victory and raced in a better 0-140 when last seen over this C&D where again making all from the front, for one moment he did look a bit in danger when the eventual 2nd Red Giant got close to him when entering the straight for the long run in but Dr Robin had plenty to give and pulled away impressively to win by 6 lengths.

He again switches back to hurdles and faces his hardest task to date in a class 2 effectively off 119 being 2lbs out of the handicap, but his in the form of his life and to my eye looks capable of the step up, also it’s a case of striking while the irons hot.

Trainer Peter Bowen loves Cartmel with a 27% career strike rate here and a big +£51.90 level stake profit, he has a good book of runners tomorrow and all with Sean Bowen onboard, brother James was on the last 3 wins but Sean Bowen is just as good and actually has more wins and experience on Dr Robins back and also rides Cartmel well with a cool 29% strike rate.


5.25 1m Class 4 Handicap – Plunger 5/1

Another case of strike while the irons hot, he won off 82 at the age of 3 at Leicester and ran 2 fine races after a gelding operation finishing 3rd in both in good class 3 races.

He hadn’t returned in the same sort of form this season with 5 below par runs but bounced back to form in a big field claimer in France setting a good time in the process.

He returns back to British soil in good spirits and still 2lb under his last winning mark, he loves fast ground which with the fast drying ground it should be rattling quick around race time.

Trainer Paul Cole is in good current form and sends just the one to Epsom and has a great 24% strike rate there in the last 5 years with positive LSP and books inform Pat Dobbs who also likes Epsom and has a nice +£19.5 LSP here the last 5 years.

Russell Blair

25th August betting tips and preview

25th August betting tips and preview Sports Betting Stars

An excellent 28/1 that went off 33/1 starting price winner today.


2.50 1m2f Class 2 Handicap – Protected Guest 16/1

Certainly more of a punt than a confident bet on this one but his course form of 1311 makes him look overpriced and intriguing, he bolted up in this race last year off 81 albeit beating just 3 rivals, but the form was boosted with the 4 lengths back 2nd winning a good race NTO and Protected Guest also followed up over a slightly further trip here 6lbs higher in the handicap NTO. He went up a further 5lb to 92 where he’s looked to of struggled off his new mark, but just 3 runs to his name since and one of them on unsuitable soft ground and another over a unsuitable sharp mile doesn’t do him justice and now dropped to a more suitable mark of 89 and back over his favoured course he could easily bounce back to form. Jockey Tom Queally has been on the avoid list for most of the summer, but he’s recently come in to form with 2 winners in the last week and is a little safer to back with a bit more confidence ATM.

5.40 7f Class 5 Handicap – Tulloona 7/1

A six race maiden that done his best work over 7 furlongs earlier in the year, he’s recently been tried over 6 furlongs where he’s really taken the eye over a trip that was clearly too sharp, he was slowly away but quickly and effortlessly caught up to mid pack where he shaped well for most until 2 out where he was outpaced but he stayed on well in the closing stages to claim a good 3rd in a good form race. Today he goes up in trip which will be a big plus, he’s handily dropped a little by the handicapper and he also gets the services of first time cheek pieces which will help his concentration and looks like it will be a great move. Jockey Jack Mitchell whose having a great season and is in excellent recent form with 8 winners the last fortnight, an impressive 25% strike rate and to boot has a +£31.67 LSP at Yarmouth in his career.


3.00 1m2f Class 2 Handicap – Great Example 5/1

Bolted up at Ripon in what’s turned out to be a great form race leaving his mark of 91 looking very lenient, from there he went to Salisbury over 1m4f in a first time handicap clearly not getting the trip at a stiff course, he sensibly was dropped back to 1m2f at a more suitable Nottingham course where he took full advantage of his exposable looking mark to win by a very easy 2+ lengths eased down and even hanging badly, again proving well ahead of the handicapper, he goes up just 6lbs for that dominant display and this is a step up in grade but to my eye he should take that in his stride. Trainer Saeed bin Suroor is in great current form with 7 wins from 24 runners the last 2 weeks plus a further 8 places, including a close 2nd in today’s Ebor, a very impressive 62% win and place strike rate. Jason Watson has been booked once again who was on LTO and has a great partnership with SBS with a 32% strike rate and a positive level stake profit with trainer and at Goodwood.

Russell Blair

24th August Ebor betting tips and preview

24th August Ebor betting tips and preview Sports Betting Stars


2.25 1m6f Melrose Class 2 Handicap – Just Hubert 20/1

The yard think a lot about this colt, they consider him a Melbourne Cup horse for next season and has come into form winning his last 2 races impressively, the first at Ripon on good to fast ground, he didn’t take the right handed bends too well and was last entering the straight looking to be struggling when being pushed along but he stayed on well to just get up close home in a 3 way head bopper, he was screaming out for further that day and got his wish when upped to 1m6f when last seen at Sandown, he was only raised a handy lb for his last victory and was entered against a good young field, he took the right handed bends much better and settled off a blistering pace which certainly helped his chances, he was powerful through the line even if nearly throwing his chances away close home when swaying badly but quickly picked up momentum to break the course record at the same time. He goes up 5lb for that victory and this obviously a tougher race but he’s progressing well and the yard clearly think he has the quality to be in the mix and a future star.

3.40 1m6f Class 2 Ebor Handicap – Cleonte 50/1

Not my first choice but a big price and worthy of a each way bet is Cleonte with bookies that are paying out 5 places, or a better alternative maybe 40/1 with skybet who are paying 8 places. He finished a close 3rd in the 2m2f Cesarewitch late last year and looking likely more to come which he proved this season when winning the gruelling 2m5f Queen Alexandra at Royal Ascot, he did race again since just 2 weeks later in a listed at Sandown which looked to come a bit too quick but he still ran with plenty of credit over 2 miles. He drops further in distance today to 1m6f which does look on the sharp side a little, but they always go a good gallop and quicker than they should which will suit stayers like Cleonte in the finish and if he gets in running luck from his draw in stall 1 then expect him to come with a late powerful run picking off his rivals on favoured ground to get a lot closer than the market gives him credit for.


5.10 2m1f Cartmel Cup Handicap Hurdle – The Steward 28/1

A interesting contender, he’s rated 96 on the flat and was a winner off 92 over 2 miles at Wolverhampton, however his form hasn’t quite crossed over to his hurdling ability but there’s plenty of positives to take from a handful of rides at this course i.e the 2nd to Beach Break in July last year who went to confirm the form when winning his next 2 races and be rated as high as 126, he also was 2nd twice to Clemento last year who was rated 125 and the most recent positive piece of form was in December when again another 2nd to this time Arthur Mac who went on to run a huge 5th in the Group 1 Novice Sefton at Aintree and is now rated 136, so I’m sure you’ll agree that The Steward’s mark of 110 is very exploitable and interesting in his first try in a handicap.

Russell Blair

17th August betting tips and preview

17th August betting tips and preview Sports Betting Stars


1.15 1m2f Class 4 Handicap – Hazm 11/1

Won a bumper on debut this season in good style before highly tried in a Grade 2 at Aintree, from here he was tried on the flat while not making an instant impact he took a big upswing on form on his latest run when a big 50/1 2nd behind St Leger listed Global Hunter, the 3rd who was a further 3 lengths behind won NTO and now rated 80, also the 4th and 5th won NTO whom are rated between 76-79 giving the form a huge boost, Hazm is given a mark of 81 which is very lenient and on that form is 6lbs well in, plus he’s very unexposed with just the 3 runs on the flat to his name. His latest form was on fast ground but on breeding there’s plenty of hope he’ll relish the soft ground, his sire Shamardal a 4 time group 1 winner won 2 of them on soft ground, the dams sire Galileo won on soft, plus the dam won with yielding in the description. Tom Marquand is booked who is having a fantastic season and has a incredible +£88.73 level stake profit with his 4+ year olds this season in turf.


2.45 6f Class 4 Handicap – Zumurud 9/1

Been running consistently well this season and was really well backed when winning his last race at Catterick last month, it was a workmanlike performance off top weight giving away 17lbs to the runner up which in the end looked very easy considering and with the rest of the field well strung out, he goes up 5lbs for the win and since has been saved and aimed for this unique race. The ground will be much softer than his latest win but his won on good to soft in the past and one of his best performances to date was on soft, so no concerns on ground as he’s versatile. David Probert is booked in the saddle, he’s in great recent form with 7 winners in the last week which included a hat-trick last Sunday, he has a great record when teaming up with Rebecca Bastiman the last 5 seasons with a 21% strike rate and positive LSP, he also rides the July course very well.


3.15 6f Great St Wilfrid Stakes Class 2 Handicap – Citron Major 22/1

A great competitive race with a lot cases to be made about most, main choice would be Great Prospector who on pick of best form in some hotter races last season leaves him looking very well treated and finally getting his chance over this trip on soft ground which his looked to crying out for, for some time now excites me, but if I had to choose another especially at this point, then a stand out at the odds would be Citron Major, he isn’t blessed with the best draw in 1 on stats but I don’t think it’s a bad place to be when the grounds soft plus he’s a hold up horse, so a positive he can drop in wide rather than drawn in the centre and having the whole field in front of you which needs you needing a lot more luck, all form is on fast ground, but has only raced once with soft in the description where he ran with plenty of credit when 3rd in a strong class 2 at Doncaster last season when at the time a 3yo against his elders in a race that historically bad for younger horses, plus his sire went well on soft ground and plenty of positives on the dams side too to say testing ground won’t be a big issue. He’s latest run was very impressive when entering the final furlong in last he picked up to take his rivals one by one to get up close home looking to have more to give, he only goes up a lb for the victory and has the aid of first time cheek pieces which could bring more improvement and is already a C&D winner, so well over priced IMO.

Russell Blair

10th August betting tips and preview

10th August betting tips and preview Sports Betting Stars


1.05 5f Class 2 Handicap – Lancelot Du Lac 14/1

Will go on any ground, one of his stand out performances was 3rd in the Wokingham on fast ground over this C&D off 108 back in the day but also won the Stewards Cup at Goodwood off 104 on soft ground 2 years ago, so no worries if the ground stays in the fast side or whether more rain gets into the ground. His last race was pleasing and looked a little unlucky not to be closer than he was because of traffic problems and picking an in running injury, so that performance certainly needs marking up, that was on the AW where he has a tough mark of 107, his mark on the turf is just 99 and while stats point out his better on the AW but realistically he races in much more competitive races when tried on the turf and his form on both surfaces are a lot closer than a glance reveals. Not only does this look the weakest race his competed in for a long while but also faces it on his lowest mark for 5 years. There is a couple of negatives this is his first run back from the previous mentioned injury, but if fit he has a excellent record when running fresh with 3 wins to his name and a further 2 runner up spots so a good time to catch him in fairness and the other negative is jockey Hayley Turner, I’m not the biggest fan of hers but she does seem to do well at the Shergar Cup and has a positive level stake profit at Ascot from the last 5 years, plus trainer Dean Ivory won this race in 2017 and is excellent current form.

3.25 1m4f Class 3 Handicap – Yellow Tiger 25/1

Absolutely friendless in the market which doesn’t inspire confidence but he certainly interests me no less, an ex French colt that impressed when winning on British debut for Mark Johnston on fast ground in a Carlisle maiden, he had a lot more in hand than the bare result states after idling when comfortably having the race in the bag, he was snapped up at the tatts straight after and his mark of 83 looks very exploitable on that winning piece of form, he moved to Ian Williams after the sale and was applied with cheek pieces which looked a good move to keep up his concentration but was given the usual Jamie Spencer treatment and was ridden far too cold which clearly didn’t suit and had to come widest to mount a challenge which also was against, that effort can have a line through it for me and a better positive ride will see him in much better light. Ian Williams is good current form and books the controversial Australian jockey Jamie Kah who has a fantastic record down under and hopefully one we’ll see more of in the future.


2.30 1m Fillies & Mares Listed – Maid For Life 18/1

Made a pleasing winning debut on turf after starting her career on the AW, she had in running troubles, caught in a pocket and wanted go a little quicker than the wall in front travelled seen her pull a little bit and when mounting her challenge the at the time leader crossed her path which forced her switch her path a couple of times but she still got up with a strong powerful finish certainly with more to give, that was her first try at a mile and looks like further in time will suit even more too. This is a big step up in class but looks capable of building on that and very unexposed with just her 2nd run on turf and first on soft ground which on breeding could be a big positive with her sire Nathaniel whose made a very promising start to his stud career with the likes of superstar Enable, Nathaniel himself was a double Group 1 winner that excelled on soft ground and was even half a length behind Frankel on debut on soft ground and again wasn’t far behind the legend on soft in the Champion Stakes.

Russell Blair Racing