"I could walk 500 miles", dear reader, proclaimed, erm, The Proclaimers. And today I've got a system for you that is just that. No, not long distance schlepping, but rather professional claimers, i.e. Pro Claimers. Geddit?!
Ok, so perhaps I should leave the comedy for the upcoming Thursday Fun slot, but the stats space is mine, and here's what I've got for you today on day four of this week of freebie giveaways... (actually, I'll also have something for you on Saturday as well - an 'unadvertised bonus'. Unadvertised until now, that is...)
Now this system doesn't get a lot of qualifiers, but when there is one, it's worth backing. It's based on exactly the same logic as the seller system, i.e. favourites in low grade races (this time, it's claiming races), run on the turf. Only this time, we're looking for signs that they are fit and they were once considered a good bit better than this.
So, the rules are:
- Favourite in turf race claimer
- Last ran 31 days or less ago, and finished in the first 4 that day
- Has previously contested a race at Class 2 or higher
Of course, it's the last criterion that whittles the numbers down, and that's why I call this system Pro Claimers, because the qualifiers are typically ex-pro's now plying their trade in the Vauxhall Conference or whatever it's called these days... (sorry Blue Square, I know it's your Premier league...)
The results of this ickle system?
YEAR WINS RUNS STRIKE%Â LSPÂ Â Â Â LSP%
2004Â Â Â Â Â Â 5Â Â Â Â Â 12Â Â Â 41.67Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 4.25Â Â Â 35.42
2005Â Â Â Â Â 24Â Â Â Â Â 47Â Â Â 51.06Â Â Â Â Â Â 19.65Â Â Â 41.81
2006Â Â Â Â Â 11Â Â Â Â Â 25Â Â Â 44.00Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 5.34Â Â Â 21.36
2007Â Â Â Â Â 13Â Â Â Â Â 31Â Â Â 41.94Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 0.89Â Â Â Â 2.87
2008Â Â Â Â Â 16Â Â Â Â Â 40Â Â Â 40.00Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 3.46Â Â Â Â 8.65
TotalÂ Â Â Â Â 69Â Â Â Â 155Â Â Â 44.52Â Â Â Â Â Â 33.59Â Â Â 21.67
Like I say, there aren't loads of them, but they win almost half the time!
There are no sellers or claimers today. Incidentally, for those who may not know, a seller is a race where the winner is auctioned after the race and can end up changing owner or stable. I know this from bitter experience, as the first time I was ever a winning part-owner was when Love's Design won a seller at Lingfield (prize money Â£1,883) by 5 lengths, and we had to bid to 7,000 Guineas to retain him. Now of course, we didn't pay ourselves, but we had to pay the VAT and the seller's commission which came to... the prize money! Dear old Lover did go on to win another SIX races for us, so we were ultimately vindicated. Great days... was it really eight years ago?!
Claiming races are where each runner is allotted a weight according to the amount of money he is available to be claimed for (i.e. you can bid for any horse in the race). The more your claiming price, the more weight you carry. Because owners and trainers sort of 'self-handicap' their horses in these races, they're actually pretty fair usually. In fact, in the States, claiming races account for a large percentage of all races run.
But, unlike here, they have extremely valuable claiming races. For instance, just picking a race card at random, last Saturday's Belmont Park card, the results page shows four claiming races, with prize money up to $31,000 (about Â£20,000)...
Horses change stables much more frequently as a result of these more mature race parameters, and you never hear owners moaning about 'losing their horse'. For those in the UK who moan, it's quite simple: if you don't want to lose your horse, don't run it in a claimer or seller, because those are the rules!!!
Thursday Fun time. And actually, I wanted to show you the two best US 3yo's in training at the moment. These guys will have their paths to Santa Anita in early November tracked closely, and - for different reasons - they both ran amazing races in this, the Preakness Stakes. Rachel Alexandra had a nightmare draw on the complete outside, and overcame that to lead at fast pace fractions.
Opposing her was Mine That Bird, incredible longshot winner of the Kentucky Derby, and bidding to prove that was no fluke. The way he rallied from an impossible position was mightily impressive again, and he looks a certainty (ahem) for the Belmont Stakes, which is over a longer trip and on a wider oval.
Anyway, enjoy what is an excellent horse race between a super filly and a much maligned gelding (yes, despite winning the Kentucky Derby, the Bird has been de-coupled already - you couldn't even run in the Epsom Derby without 'em!)
[And note also that if a horse rears in the stalls, the vet takes a look at him before he runs. British stalls chaps take note! And also note the relative positions of the winner and runner-up at the first turn. Winner in front, runner-up stone and distant last!!! Every time I watch this race, I'm more impressed with the second horse, who looks amazing - watch him make his move from the back straight turn - you might need to go full screenÂ (little button in the bottom right with the square inside the square - hope that makes sense.)]
Back tomorrow with three trainers and a couple of jockeys to take note of currently...