After a busy Boxing Day programme, Mal Boyle has recharged his batteries and turned his thoughts to the final meetings of the year, as well as a very busy New Year's Day this coming Sunday.
Let's see what Mal's picked out for us this week:
General note for this week: There are generally fewer trends around at this time of year as ‘new meetings’ (or those with very little history) emerge because of the timing of Christmas. Meetings are ‘lost’ from year to year because of the different days that the Bank Holidays fall on, bearing in mind that all is put right once the New Year is reached which is confirmed by Sunday’s six venues!
General stats: Mahfal might be worth a small each way punt in the opening event as trainer Brian Ellison has won with four of the ten horses he has saddled at Catterick during the study period, producing a level stake profit of eighteen and a half points into the bargain.
2.50: The four favourites to date have secured two gold and one silver medal thus far.
3.25: Heather Glen must be on the short list for this event as trainer Sue Smith has won three of the four contests to date.
General stats: All of Nicky Henderson’s three runners on Wednesday run at Leicester which is hardly surprising, as the trainer boasts a strike rate of 48% at the track during the last four years, winners which have yielded nine points of level stake profits.
1.00: Two of Paul Webber’s last three runners in this race have won whereby Edgebury gets the call in a tight contest.
1.30: All eight horses to have claimed toteplacepot positions in this event have carried weights of 11-3 or less.
General stats: Natalia Gemelova remains good value for her three pound allowance, notwithstanding her boasting an LSP figure of over fifty seven points at Lingfield. Natalia’s only booked ride on Wednesday at the time of writing was Clear Ice (2.40) for Gay Kelleway who always saddles winners in December.
1.40: The last three favourites have finished in the frame (one winner).
2.10: This is the second division of the previous race whereby the same favourites stats remain in place.
3.45: Horses carrying weights of 9-2 or more have secured the last six available toteplacepot positions.
General stats: Sir Mark Prescott and David Barron have remarkable LSP figures (aggregate of 97 points) given that they have saddled seventy seven winners between them at this venue during the last five years at almost an identical strike rate around the 22% mark. Other trainers boast better figures but from nowhere near as many runners.
General stats: Tony Carroll held two options on the card at the five day stage, boasting a strike rate of 5-15 at the time of writing, stats which have secured an LSP of forty points on Town Moor.
General stats: Lucinda Russell offers a thoroughly commendable LSP figure of twenty points which only two other potentially represented trainers on Thursday can better at Kelso. Couple the effort with the fact Linda has saddled many more runners than the relevant handlers (notwithstanding twenty two winners for good measure); whereby her stats at the Scottish venue hold up to fine effect.
General stats: Readers looking for a decent priced winner to get them out of jail if the holiday results have gone against them could do worse than consider Holyfield Warrior if Michael’s Atwell’s raider is given the green light. Pilot Mark Coumbe boasts an LSP figure of fifty two points at the track and the ‘selection’ was his only mount at the time of writing.
General stats: Although Deborah Sanders on has only saddle two winners at Southwell, her LSP figures reads positively at forty three points. Bitaphon was her only entry at this meeting at the time of writing.
General stats: Although Donald McCain is always a man to look to at Haydock given his healthy strike rate and LSP figures, though it’s worth noting that Caroline Bailey held two entries on the card at the penultimate entry stage. Caroline has saddled four winners via just eight runners at the track whereby you ignore nay of her runners at your potential peril. It’s also worth considering the fact that three of Caroline’s last seven runners have won as I pencil these notes into the ‘Well I Declare‘ equation.
Two and a half mile handicap chase event scheduled for 12.50: The 2004 favourite (winner) was the only market leader of four to date to secure a toteplacepot position.
Two mile NH hurdle qualifier scheduled for 1.25: Four-year-olds come to this year’s gig on a four timer, whilst favourites of one description or another have won four of the last contests.
Two and a half mile novice hurdle vent scheduled for 3.10: Only one of the last six renewals was secured by a favourite, whilst three five-year-olds have scored during the period.
General stats: Both Alan McCabe (LSP of 130 points) and Tom Dascombe (LSP reading of 61) have saddled thirty winners here at Lingfield in recent times, boasting an aggregate strike rate of 20% in the process.
Six furlong Nursery event scheduled for 1.00: Five clear market leaders and one joint favourite have prevailed via the last seven renewals of this two-year-old handicap event.
3YO ten furlong maiden event scheduled for 2.45: Only two favourites have won via the last nine contests during which time, four winners have been returned at odds ranging between 11/1 and 50/1.
One mile Class 4 handicap scheduled for 3.20: Four of the six contests have gone the way of punters to date, whilst four-year-olds lead the junior raiders 4-2 thus far.
Seven furlong handicap scheduled for 3.50: Three of the four renewals have been won by favourites thus far, whilst one of the two joint market leaders was beaten half a length on the other occasion.
General stats: John Ferguson’s last two runners have snared gold and silver as I write, whilst the trainer has won with both of the runners he has saddled at Taunton to date.
Seventeen furlong handicap hurdle event scheduled for 2.20: Winning favourites are conspicuous by their absence via the last nine contests, whilst four-year-olds have secured five of the last seven renewals.
Two mile seven and a half furlong handicap chase scheduled for 2.55: Eight and nine-year-olds have secured an aggregate of seven victories during the last decade during which time, three favourite have obliged.
General stats: Dominic Ffrench Davis is not a trainer that hits the headlines too regularly, though it’s worth pointing out the fact that Dominic has saddled seventeen winners at Wolverhampton in the last five years. Taking into account the fact that his best haul at any other venue stands at four during the same period, Dominic’s runners here are worth a second glance, especially given his LSP figure of sixty three points.
General stats: Pat Phelan has saddled two of his eight runners this month to winning effect and boasting an LSP figure of fifty eight points here at Lingfield, Pat’s potential runners are worthy of consideration at the very least.
Seven furlong Nursery event scheduled for 1.05: Just one favourite has prevailed via five contests to date.
Five furlong Class 6 handicap scheduled for 2.45: All five winners carried weights of 9-3 or less, with four gold medallists burdened with a maximum of 8-12.
General stats: Nick Williams has won with seven of the twenty eight runners he has saddled at Newbury in recent times and his novice chaser For Non Stop held two entries on the card at the five day stage.
Two and three quarter mile handicap chase scheduled for 12.20: Six-year-olds have secured six of the nine available toteplacepot positions, stats which include two of the three winners which were returned at 16/1 and 5/1.
Juvenile hurdle scheduled for 12.55: Favourites have secured three of the last four events.
Introductory hurdle scheduled for 1.30: Nicky Henderson had to be content with a third placed representative last year, having won the four previous renewals. Nicky is obviously intent of reverting this event to type, having held six options for the contest earlier in the week.
Two and a quarter mile novice chase scheduled for 2.05: Paul Nicholls has saddled five of the last nine winners whereby his lone representative at the five day stage had to be taken seriously, namely Criqtonic with Daryl Jacob already booked to ride. That said, six-year-olds have won the last four renewals, whilst the biggest priced winner during the study period was 7/2, stats which include five successful market leaders.
Grade 1 Challow Hurdle scheduled for 3.05: A whole host of very good horses have won this race in recent years, including Denman, Diamond Harry, Wichita Lineman, Classified, Coolnagorna and Cornish Rebel. Five favourites have scored during the last decade during which time, the biggest priced winner was returned at 7/1.
General stats: Although Jeremy Scott is not turning out winner after winner as was the case a few months ago, his horses are still running well from an each way perspective with Jeremy boasting a 25% strike rate (6/24) at Uttoxeter. Clash Duff was his only entry on the card earlier in the week.
Three mile handicap hurdle event scheduled for 3.00: We still await the first successful favourites following four contests.
Bumper event scheduled for 3.30: All nine available toteplacepot positions to date were claimed by horses carrying weights of 11-2 or more.
General stats: David Pipe held four entries at Warwick at the time of writing, a venue which has been kind to the trainer in recent seasons. David backs up a 25% strike rate (13/52) with an LSP figure of twenty nine points.
Two mile three furlong handicap hurdle scheduled for 12.35: All six winners have carried 11-3 or more, whilst six-year-olds have secured four of the last five contests. Just one favourite has obliged to date.
Three mile one furlong handicap hurdle event scheduled for 1.10: All six winners to date have carried weights of 10-11 or more (five have been burdened with 11-1+), whilst seven-year-olds have won four renewals. Favourites come into the race on a hat trick having won three of the last four contests.
Three mile handicap chase scheduled for 2.20: Call it a coincidence if you like, but nine-year-olds have won four of the six contests thus far, with vintage representatives coming to the party on a four timer on this occasion.
Bumper event scheduled for 3.50: Five-year-olds lead the four-year-olds 3-2 to date, with three winning favourites being registered thus far.
General stats: Alan Swinbank boasts a 26% strike rate via figures of 10/38, stats which have secured an LSP reading of nine points. Keith Reveley is the other trainer which must be mentioned in despatches in more general terms.
General stats: Colin Tizzard held four entries on Cheltenham card and with an LSP of 67 points via eleven recent winners at the home of the NH version of the sport, Colin’s runners are invariably worth a second look.
Two mile five furlong novice chase event scheduled for 1.05: Favourites have won four of the last eight renewals during which time, seven gold medallists were returned at odds of 4/1 or less.
Three and a quarter mile handicap chase scheduled for 1.35: Only one of the nine favourites has prevailed during the study period. Seven of the last eight winners have carries weights of 10-11 or more.
Grade 3 two mile five furlong handicap chase scheduled for 2.10: Identical (poor) favourite stats to the previous race, whilst the last six winners have carried a minimum burden of 10-11.
Three mile handicap hurdle scheduled for 2.45: Winning favourites have been conspicuous by their absence via nine renewals during the study period with three of the last five gold medallists scoring at 20/1-10/1-10/1.
Class 2 two and a half mile hurdle event scheduled for 3.20: Nicky Henderson comes into the race on a hat trick and his only potential runner earlier in the week was Oscar Whisky. Six renewals have slipped by since a winning favourite was recorded.
Listed Bumper event scheduled for 3.50: Favourites have won five of the eight contests thus far.
General stats: Vic Dartnell boasts the same positive figure of twenty two relating to his strike rate and his LSP reading.
Beginners’ Chase scheduled for 1.45: Six-year-olds have won three of the last four contests, identical stats to those of the market leaders.
Three mile handicap chase scheduled for 3.25: Seven and eight-year-olds have equally shared six of the last seven renewals of this event.
General stats: The Norfolk venue is a long way from the Welsh stable of Evan Williams but that does not stop the trainers sending plenty of runners to the venue. Evan possesses a strike rate of 12/43, stats which have produced an LSP figure of fifteen points.
General stats: Kate Walton held three options on the card at the time of writing. Kate boasts figures of 3/13 during the last five years whilst securing a level stake profit of seven points.
General stats: Hughie Morrison’s LSP of twenty eight points emerges from a 24% strike rate at Southwell.
Eleven furlong maiden event scheduled for 12.15: Four-year-olds have won seven of the last nine renewals with vintage representatives coming to this year’s gig on a four timer.
Five furlong handicap event scheduled for 1.20: The last five winners carried weights of 8-13 or less.
One mile handicap event scheduled for 2.30: Reve De Nuit potentially comes into the race on a hat trick if offered the green light this time around. Only one of the last seven favourites has prevailed.
One mile handicap event scheduled for 3.35: Four-year-olds have won four of the last five renewals during the which time, winning favourites have been conspicuous by their absence.