LUDLOW – JANUARY 18
Last year’s corresponding toteplacepot dividend:
£465.20 (6 favourites – 2 winners – 1 placed – 3 unplaced)
Thursday's Placepot permutation at Ludlow:
Leg 1 (1.00): 1 (Melangerie) & 9 (Passing Call)
Leg 2 (1.30): 4 (Shaama Gris), 2 (Happy Diva), 1 (Copper Kay) & 3 (Midnight Target)
Leg 3 (2.00): 2 (Aubusson), 5 (Champagne At Tara) & 3 (Sego Success)
Leg 4 (2.35): 4 (Gortroe Joe), 10 (Master Tradesman) & 2 (Darius Des Bois)
Leg 5 (3.10): 1 (Mendip Express) & 2 (Now Ben)
Leg 6 (3.45): 9 (Gamain) & 6 (Allbarnine)
Suggested stake: 288 bets to 10p stakes
Overview for Thursday - please scroll down to the bottom of the page
1.00: James Bowen let the side down relating to his mount Percy Street at Newbury on Wednesday, though MELANGERIE looks a slightly more resolute type with which to go to war with, now accepting that the jockey’s ratio for Nicky Henderson this season has slipped to 5/10! MELANGERIE came good at the third time of asking over course and distance timber under similar conditions the last day, with connections probably having most to fear from PASSING CALL who represents Alan King who has a decent record at the venue, as you can determine at the foot of the column.
Favourite factor: This is a new race at Ludlow with which to open proceedings.
Record of the course winner in the opening event:
1.30: Putting the words mares, novices and steeplechase together does not install a great deal of confidence, especially when contemplating a ‘win only’ event. The 14/1 quote about Midnight Target is not even off-putting (Paddy Power are well over the top early doors this morning – as short as 8/1 elsewhere), especially as John Croucott’s mare is the only course winner in the line-up representing a trainer whose record here is better than at most other venues. Yes, the other trio boast more obvious winning claims, though not enough to leave the outsider out of the Placepot mix. For the record, the ‘main contenders’ are listed in marginal order of preference as SHAAMA GRIS, HAPPY DIVA and COPPER KAY.
Favourite factor: Last year’s inaugural even money favourite duly prevailed.
Record of the course winners in the second race:
1/8—Midnight Target (good)
2.00: Four of the last seven runners saddled by Nick Williams have won, stats which include a 167/1 treble yesterday when Nick’s fourth contender on the day secured a silver medal. Nick’s only two runners today run on this card, the first of which is AUBUSSON who is overdue another success to add to the four successes thus far, albeit the last of those victories was boasted over two years ago. The switch back to more conventional fencing following two cross country assignments might bring about a return to winning form. CHAMPAGNE AT TARA has been a similarly frustrating sort in recent times, whilst SEGO SUCCESS completes what I confess to being a ‘speculative’ trio against the remaining four contenders.
Favourite factor: This is another new race on the Ludlow programme.
2.35: Richard Mitford-Slade (two of his last four runners have won) is the latest trainer to take advantage of the outrageous five poind claim of James Bowen and it’s worth noting that the relevant horse MASTER TREADESMAN has been the subject of some overnight support at big prices. At the time of writing at least, the 25/1 quote in the trade press for the seven-year-old looks fanciful. Others of some interest in a disappointing event include GORTROE JOE and DARIUS DES BOIS.
Favourite factor: Last year’s inaugural 6/4 favourite finished nearer last than first when missing out on a Placepot position.
3.10: No matter which way you throw the dice in these amateur rider events, jockeyship is of maximum importance and with MENDIP EXPRESS and NOW BEN being ridden by good pilots with plenty of experience in the saddle, their respective Placepot chances are there for all to see, not that I would be having any other bet in the contest. Virak hit an official ‘dizzy height’ of 159 two years ago but just six subsequent assignments have seen his rating drop 20 pounds and until we witness a return to form by the Paul Nicholls raider, I will swerve the nine-year-old, despite the concession of weight by my two ‘selections’.
Favourite factor: The Hunter Chase event on the card is another new race at Ludlow today.
Record of the course winners in the fifth contest on the card:
1/2—Now Ben (good)
2/4—Tugboat (good & soft)
3.45: Given the Nick Williams stats offered in the third race, it would be churlish in the extreme to ignore the Placepot claims (at least) of GAMAIN who is due to carry five pounds in future, whatever result transpires this afternoon. ALLBARNONE is the first Gary Hanmer inmate to take to the racecourse in a while whereby the overnight support for the ten-year-old catches the eye, especially with a five pound claimer in the plate. The reserve nomination is awarded to THE SWEENEY in a race which will not take a great deal of winning, despite the number of runners facing the starter.
Favourite factor: Another new race to assess.
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 on the Ludlow card on Thursday – followed by their seasonal (in brackets) and career ratios at the track + profits/losses accrued on both counts:
5 runners—Nicky Henderson (3/14 +2) – 32/113 – loss of 21 points
4—Dan Skelton (4/17 +1) – 22/95 – loss of 8
3—John Groucott (0/7) – 4/36 +4
3—Philip Hobbs (0/14) – 28/127 – loss of 17
2—Rebecca Curtis (1/6 – level profit/loss this season) – 9/59 – loss of 30
2—Henry Daly (3/17 – loss of 6) – 23/133 – loss of 36
2—Nigel Hawke (0/3) – 2/22 +6
2—Alan King (1/5 +10) – 12/57 +12
2—Donald McCain (0/4) – 3/72 – loss of 45
2—Graeme McPherson (2/4 +20) – 2/28 – loss of 4
2—Jonjo O’Neill (1/14 – loss of 6) – 10/102 – loss of 55)
2—John O’Shea (0/1) – 0/32
2—David Pipe (1/10 – loss of 4) 10/65 – marginal loss
2—Katy Price (0/2) – 1/7 – loss of 3 points
2—Venetia Williams (0/11) – 21/162 – loss of 71
+ 26 different trainers who each saddle just one runner on the card
53 declared runners
General overview - Corresponding Placepot dividends from last year:
Wincanton: £96.80 – 6 favourites – 2 winners – 1 placed – 3 unplaced
Chelmsford: £87.30 – 6 favourites – 1 winner – 3 placed – 1 unplaced – 1 N/R
Southwell: £250.40 – 6 favourites – No winners – 3 placed – 3 unplaced