SANDOWN - DECEMBER 9
Last year’s corresponding toteplacepot dividend:
2016: £89.90 (6 favourites - 3 winners – 1 placed – 2 unplaced)
Saturday's Placepot permutation at Sandown:
Leg 1 (12.05): 7 (Whatswrongwithyou), 3 (Just A Sting) & 1 (Ainchea)
Leg 2 (12.40): 3 (Ellens Way), 7 (The Wicket Chicken) & 1 (Whauduhavtoget)
Leg 3 (1.10): 6 (Connetable), 8 (Monbeg Oscar) & 1 (Beat That)
Leg 4 (1.45): 1 (Brain Power) & 4 (North Hill Harvey)
Leg 5 (2.20): 6 (Jenkins), 10 (Exitas) & 8 (Fidux)
Leg 6 (2.55): 3 (Fox Norton) & 5 (Politologue)
Suggested stake: 324 bets to 10p stakes
Overview for Saturday - please scroll down to the bottom of the page
12.05: Novice hurdle races produce the best record in the sport for winning favourites, and this opening event is a great example given the results during the last 18 years (see below). Four and five-year-olds have equally shared ten of the last eleven renewals between them, whilst Nicky Henderson has secured seven of the last eight renewals, whereby the 14/1 starting price of the winner three years ago defied belief! I know that trends are there to be shot at and if it were the perfect science, I would not have to work every day for a living. That said, I'll take 14/1 winners any day of the week, especially given that Nicky's second (more fancied) runner finished second at 3/1, creating a 53/1 forecast. Don't always believe that I am in the minority for harping on about trainer trends, as the tote forecast (Exacta) paid less than twenty pounds, whereby many Tote punters homed in on Nicky's great record in the race. Nicky would have had any number of options for this opening event whereby the declaration of WHATSWRONGWITHYOU jumps off the page. If the four and five-year-olds are to dominate again however, the chances of the four-year-old representatives JUST A STING (Harry Fry saddled the winner last year) and AINCHEA are there to be seen via the form book.
Favourite factor: Favourites have a great record in this event, having won 12 of the last 18 renewals, with 15 of the successful horses having been returned at odds of 7/2 or less. 16/18 market leaders have secured toteplacepot positions. That said, investors from a win perspective should note that favourites have been beaten at 4/6, 8/11 and 4/5 within the last 15 years.
12.40: Handicap hurdle events beyond the minimum trip offer the worst record for favourites under either code of the ‘sport of kings’ year in and year out. Those were words I opened with two years ago and you can see the result for yourself in the 'favourite factor' section below. Five-year-olds have secured four of the nine available Placepot positions via three renewals, statistics which include the trio of winners at 14/1, 5/1 & 7/2. Four of the five representatives this year seemingly hold chances of extending the trend, the pick of which will hopefully prover to be ELLENS WAY, THE WICKET CHICKEN and WHATDUHAVTOGET.
Favourite factor: The inaugural contest set up a great Placepot dividend (£1,939.70), with the frame being filled by horses returned at 14/1-25/1-8/1. Only one of the joint 9/2 market leaders finished in the frame (without winning) the following year, though the 7/2 market leader prevailed twelve months ago.
Record of the course winner in the second race:
1/2—Loves Destination (heavy)
1.10: Paul Nicholls has saddled six winners on this corresponding card during the last five years whereby the chance of CONNETABLE is respected, especially as Paul’s winners scored at 10/1-9/1-9/1-8/1-13/2-5/1. Paul has secured three of the last nine renewals where his five-year-old gelding could be the value for money call, especially as vintage representatives have won three of the last six contests. The vintage stat also brings MONBEG OSCAR into the equation, with the highly rated five pound claimer Mitchell Bastyan in the saddle. Jonjo O’Neill will be slightly embarrassed by his 2/50 strike rate at Sandown during the last five years I’ll wager, whereby his only runner on the card (Terry The Fish) is swerved by yours truly, preferring BEAT THAT who represents Nicky Henderson who has saddled no less than 11 winners (yes eleven) at this corresponding (Saturday) meeting during the last five years!
Favourite factor: Five of the last eleven market leaders have finished in the frame (exact science), stats which include three winning favourites. Seven of the last nine gold medallists scored at a top price of 8/1.
Record of the course winner in the field:
1.45: Paul Nicholls has saddled five of the last 13 winners of this prestigious ‘Henry VIII’ Novice Chase event with the trainer represented by five-year-old Capitaine on this occasion. Vintage representatives have won five of the last seven contests whereby once again, Paul has shown his appreciation for statistics which have not let him down so far in his career! That said, this looks a tough (and intriguing) renewal, with BRAIN POWER, FINIAN’S OSCAR and NORTH HILL HARVEY all boasting obvious claim for one reason or another. There is a nagging notion that this event might just run the feet off Finian’s Oscar, whereby I will opt for the other pair, without totally discarding the chance of the fifth runner in the field (Sceau Royal) in any shape of form. A typically wonderful Sandown event which demonstrates perfectly why this racecourse runs Cheltenham so close to being my favourite NH venue.
Favourite factor: 15 of the last 18 winners have won at odds of 7/2 or less (14/1, 13/2 and 5/1 winners in three of the last four years spoil the trend to a fashion), statistics which includes seven clear market leaders and two joint favourites.
Record of the course winner in the fourth contest on the card:
1/1—Brain Power (good to soft)
1/1—Finian’s Oscar (soft)
2.20: 13 of the last 18 contests have been won by horses carrying weights of 10-13 or less, whilst four-year-olds have claimed six of the last sixteen renewals. FIDUX is the only runner in the field with ticks in both boxes (thanks to a jockey claim), though Alan King has been struggling for gold medallists of late (recent stats of 1/32) whereby JENKINS is preferred in terms of naming the actual winner. Nicky Henderson looks to have laid out his five-year-old Azamour gelding for this contest and with the trainer having saddled four of the last seven winners, JENKINS is my each way nap on the card. A winner of three of his six races to date (2/4 over timber), JENKINS looks to have plenty going for him and the 7/1 quotes by Betfair and Paddy Power make for attractive reading. I do not anticipate that price being available by the time that the phones start ringing in their respective offices later this morning. Connections might have most to fear from EXITAS if taking Alan King’s recent negative winning record into account. Crossed My Mind is the ‘unknown factor’ in the field but I would rather stick closer to home given the potential of Jenkins, especially as Nicky won this with a particularly progressive type in Brain Power twelve months ago.
Favourite factor: 14 of the last 19 favourites have been beaten in this Listed hurdle event, though 13 of the last 16 winners have been returned in single figures. Eight of the nineteen market leaders have finished in the frame.
Record of the course winner in the fifth race:
2/7—Rayvin Black (soft & heavy)
2.55: Three of the last five winners of this event have gone on to win the 'Queen Mother' at Cheltenham in the same season, whilst last year’s Gold Medallist was aimed at the ‘Ryanair’ at the festival and Un De Sceaux duly obliged. Paul Nicholls has saddled eight of the last 17 winners of the ’Tingle Creek’ (including seven of the last 12) and the stable is represented by POLITOLOGUE on this occasion, though it would a big surprise if FOX NORTON failed to become the fourth seven-year-old to win this event in what would be the last nine years. Colin Tizzard’s raider put on a masterclass at Cheltenham the last day despite looking as though the run would put him 100% right and whatever scope Paul’s horse has for improvement, it’s unlikely to upset favourite backers here, albeit I expect POLIOLOGUE to account for the other five entries, the best of which should prove to be CHARBEL is you want to have a speculative each way punt to small stakes.
Favourite factor: Five clear market leaders and two joint favourites have won this ‘Tingle Creek’ event, whilst the last 17 winners all scored at odds of 9/1 or less.
Record of the course winner in the Placepot finale:
2/3—Our Mad (2 x soft)
All place details offered on my pages relate to an 'exact science', whereby horses that finish third in 5/6/7 runner races (and other such scenarios) are not 'placed' regarding my statistics.
Trainers with their relevant number of runners (two or more) on the Sandown card on Saturday – followed by their five year totals of winners at this corresponding ‘Tingle Creek’ meeting:
7—Paul Nicholls (6 winners)
5—Nicky Henderson (11)
4—Alan King (2)
3—Harry Fry (1)
2—Phil Middleton (1)
+ 21 different trainers who each saddle just one runner on the card
59 declared runners
General overview - Corresponding Placepot dividends from last year:
Aintree: £637.90 – 7 favourites – 1 winner – 2 placed – 4 unplaced
Chepstow: £91.80 – 9 favourites – 3 winners – 1 placed – 5 unplaced
Wetherby: £57.40 – 7 favourites – 3 winners – 2 placed – 2 unplaced
Wolverh’ton: £236.20 – 6 favourites – No winners – 2 placed – 4 unplaced