It would be great to start my first day for Oddschecker with a big-priced winning nap and I have been desperately trying to find a horse at a price but simply can’t, and the best I can do is Celtic Intrigue in the handicap chase at 2.00.

As some readers may know I used to approach punting by compiling my own tissue to 100% and then simply backing those horses that were available at 15% bigger prices. However I have found in recent years that when I do this I often end up with prices very similar to the actual market and therefore no bet. My solution is to harness data to display angles that are proven to be profitable using the Proform database and then looking at the form of qualifiers via Timeform.

Celtic Intrigue is trained by David Bridgewater who is profitable in handicap chases, even more so in heavy ground chases, and when engaging Tom Scudamore under these conditions the strike-rate moves up to almost 50%, which is massive. It is hard to ignore that statistical edge despite his absence since the summer and there are more positives in his pedigree.

Celtic Swing’s progeny are getting on nowadays but the sire has long been a positive indicator on heavy ground but he also returns a profit when backing his runners in headgear and on easy tracks. Celtic Intrigue has not proven himself on very soft ground as yet but he would be unusual amongst his sire’s progeny if he didn’t handle it.

Take the Mick has positives especially the Venetia Williams angle in January but punters (and bookies) are well and truly onto that one and prices are tight. He is not a horse with a win rate big enough to take short odds about.
2.00 Ludlow - Celtic Intrigue - 2pts @ 5.0
Kerry Lee is the training star of this season and has been in brilliant form since taking over the family firm from her father Richard, already having won the Welsh National last Saturday. Itshard To Know (1.30) has an extremely tough task in the opener at Ludlow against The Gipper (who also has many positives) but might just be a big enough price to risk a bet.

Richard Johnson is an extremely positive indicator when taking over from a claimer (albeit this time the highly talented David Noonan) and the trainer's record in heavy ground is so far exemplary. If you can manage to get on each-way, it looks a thieving bet to next to nothing.
1.30 Ludlow - Itshard To Know - 1pt e/w @ 4.5