John Burke

I have a MA in International Politics and having spent a number of years working in political campaigning but I eventually I realised that politics was not the world where I wanted to work I had been interested in horse racing since the late 1980s but in the early years I was merely just betting and watching racing like most people as a bit of fun and a hobby, then the hobby becomes a passion and that’s what happened to me with horse racing. I soon realised that to make money from my hobby I had to learn as much as I could about the sport and betting in general. The whole process took time but after a number of successful years of betting, I decided in 2011 to take the plunge, gave up my full time day job and decided to bet on horse racing as a part time business and I haven’t looked back since. I like to specialise in the better class of races and I love to solve the puzzles posed by big field handicaps the latter races often provide punters with great value betting opportunities. Whilst most of my time is spent reviewing previous races I like to keep things as simple as possible as even the biggest field handicaps can usually be pruned down to half a dozen strong contenders with the right sort of approach.
  • Dec- 2018 -
    3 December
    Big Race Previews

    Weekly Eye-Catchers

    In recent years, the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle hasn’t had the quality of field you would like to see for a race of its history. On paper, this year’s renewal looked like the race of the season so far, with Champion Hurdle winner Buveur D’Air, and Cheltenham Festival novice hurdle winners Samcro & Summerville Boy all standing their ground.…

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  • Nov- 2018 -
    26 November
    Big Race Previews

    Weekly Eye-Catchers

    Well, I am back in the saddle so to speak, after a short break away. Plenty to go at this week. Saturday it’s the Ladbroke Trophy Handicap Chase, formerly known as the Hennessey Gold Cup, at Newbury, which is one of my favourite handicap chases of the season. Also on Saturday it’s the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle. The Fighting…

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  • 12 November
    Betting Knowledge
    horse racing

    Weekly Eye-Catchers

    Morning! Frost Returns To Wincanton I waxed lyrical about jockey Bryony Frost on a couple of occasions last year. The first time was when she won last year’s Badger Ales Trophy Handicap Chase on Present Man. It was a case of déjà vu as the combination returned to win the race again this year. Once again Bryony got the 8-year-old into a good…

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  • 5 November
    Betting Knowledge

    Weekly Diary – Horse Racing

    I have decided to take a break from jumps racing for just one week to look at the flat and, in particular, last weekend’s Breeders Cup and the upcoming Melbourne Cup.   There’s no horse for the tracker this week, but I have provided a Melbourne Cup selection and a Monday stat. There’s no better jockey for the big occasion than Frankie…

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  • Oct- 2018 -
    29 October
    Big Race Previews

    Weekly Diary – Horse Racing

    King Power Racing I start my weekend round-up on a sad note. The football and horse racing worlds are facing the possibility that Leicester City & King Power Racing owner, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabh, lost his life in a tragic helicopter crash outside the Leicester’s ground on Saturday evening. At the time of writing, there has been no confirmation of any deaths,…

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  • 26 October
    Betting Knowledge

    Weekly Diary – Horse Racing

    Champions Day was launched in 2011 to much ‘wailing and gnashing of teeth’, with commentators on racing forums predicting the end of flat racing as we know it. Champions Day would destroy the pattern. Ascot had got too big for its boots, and a few other things. I am sure you read them too. Well the modern-day Jeremiah’s have been…

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  • 15 October
    Betting Knowledge

    Weekly Diary – Horse Racing

    Mullins Maintains Grip on Staying Handicaps Jumps trainer Willie Mullins looks like he could have a stranglehold on all the big staying flat handicaps over the next few years, if Saturday’s Cesarewitch is any guide. The Irish handler had 7 of the 33 runners, but managed to have the winner in Low Sun, and the runner-up in Uradel. The winner was given…

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  • 8 October
    Big Race Previews

    Weekly Horse Racing Diary

    At the time of writing this, Europe’s richest horse race is about to be run. I am hoping that Enable will have shown why she remains one of the best middle-distance fillies we have seen in recent years, and win her second successive Arc. And she did! Watch the race live HERE On Saturday it’s the second leg of the…

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  • 1 October
    Betting Knowledge

    Weekly Diary

    Happy October! There’s a chill in the air, and we have entered a new month. We may have the Arc Weekend and Champions Day to look forward to this month, but you know winter isn’t far away, as later this month Cheltenham will be hosting its first jumps meeting of the season. Let’s take a look back at Saturday’s Newmarket…

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  • Sep- 2018 -
    24 September
    Big Race Previews

    Weekly Horse Racing Roundup

    This week I will be taking my usual look back at the weekend’s horse racing action, as well as highlighting a couple of trainers whose runners are worth noting at the Cambridgeshire Newmarket Meeting. Honours Shared in Ayr Gold Cup You could have cut the tension with a knife at Ayr, as punters awaited the result of the photo finish…

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  • 18 September
    Big Race Previews

    Weekly Diary

    First, to Doncaster for St Leger Day, and I can’t say it was a brilliant one from a punting perspective. Although I was surprised by the drift on Kew Gardens, who was being offered at 7/2 in places in the ring on Saturday. It would have been churlish not to have taken advantage of the bookmaker’s generosity. Apart from that,…

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  • 10 September
    Big Race Previews

    The Monday Diary

    Good Monday Morning to you! After some fairly low-key racing last week. This week’s sport steps up a couple of notches. Yesterday saw the start of a week’s racing at Listowel Harvest Festival. This Wednesday sees the start of four days’ racing on Town Moor with the Doncaster St Leger Festival. If that wasn’t enough for racegoers, next Saturday &…

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  • 3 September
    Big Race Previews

    An Angel on Your Shoulder?

    It was very much a case of ‘after the Lord Mayor’s show’ with last week’s horse racing. This week begins on a fairly low-key note, but it picks-up on Thursday, when we have then first of three days action at Haydock, culminating in the latest renewal of the Group 1 32Red Sprint Cup on Saturday. Ascot hosts two days of…

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  • Aug- 2018 -
    27 August
    Big Race Previews

    Teasing the tail…

    York Ebor Festival Reflections It’s not often that a summer racing festival lives up to pre-meeting expectations. However, York always seems to deliver – year on year. There were plenty of good performances and stories, and the narratives’ flow continued through the four days. This flat season has been a bit of a slow burner, with the classic generation only…

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  • 21 August
    Betting Knowledge

    Monday’s Weekly Roundup – Horse Racing

    As promised this article primarily looks at the upcoming Yorkshire Ebor Festival which starts on Wednesday. However, I will begin with a look back at last week’s racing action. Towcester must focus on the horses, not the dogs The most interesting story of the week took place off the track rather than on it with the announcement that Towcester racecourse…

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  • 13 August
    Betting Knowledge

    Monday’s Weekly Roundup – Horse Racing

    Plenty to get through in this Monday’s article. Firstly, I will take a very brief look back to Saturday’s action and with it, a horse for the notebook from Haydock. In the second part, I highlight a trainer whose runners are worth keeping on side this week, as well as taking a look at some trends/trainer stats for this weekend’s…

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  • 6 August
    Betting Knowledge

    Monday’s Weekly Roundup – Horse Racing

    Well, this is the first of my new Monday articles.  It’s an opportunity to take a look back at some of last week’s horse racing highlights and also look forward to the week ahead in the racing world. As ever there will be plenty of stats highlighted for you. Brilliant Battaash Blitz’s Rivals I am writing this at the end…

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  • Apr- 2018 -
    13 April
    Big Race Previews

    Grand National Analysis From The Eye-Catcher Pro – John Burke

    Now the Grand National is not race to be taken seriously from a betting perspective but it’s a bit of fun and that’s what betting on horses should be all about. The race has changed in recent years due to changes in the Aintree fences and the handicappers in encouragement of higher class horses running in the race. I don’t…

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  • Mar- 2018 -
    31 March
    Big Race Previews

    The Grand National

    I don’t need to say much here as there will be acres of writing on the background to the world’s most famous horse race.  As a spectacle, it’s the highlight of the National Hunt calendar and arguably the highlight of British horse racing jumps or indeed flat.  It’s a race that brings out office sweepstakes and people who have a…

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  • 21 March
    Horse Racing
    horse racing

    Weekly Eye-Catchers – Horse Racing

    Well, that’s another Cheltenham Festival done and dusted. Still jumps racing hits the accelerator button in the next month or so with the Aintree Festival and of course with it the Grand National. There is the Irish & Scottish Grand National’s, throw in the Punchestown Festival at the end of April and jumps fans have plenty to look forward to.…

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