EPSOM - JULY 20
Last year’s corresponding toteplacepot dividend:
2016: £52.50 (8 favourites – 3 winners - 1 placed - 4 unplaced)
Thursday's Placepot permutation at Epsom:
Leg 1 (6.00): 5 (Ravenhoe), 7 (Zaria) & 4 (Midnight Whistler)
Leg 2 (6.30): 3 (Dichato) & 4 (Doublet)
Leg 3 (7.00): 8 (Archer’s Arrow), 5 (Frank Bridge) & 3 (Handytalk)
Leg 4 (7.35): 6 (Sputnik Planum), 2 (Star Of Lombardy) & 1 (Sureness)
Leg 5 (8.10): 4 (War At Sea), 2 (First Up) & 1 (Thundering Blue)
Leg 6 (8.40): 7 (Lesanti) & 2 (Pinnata)
Suggested stake: 324 bets to 10p stakes
Overview for Thursday - please scroll down to the bottom of the page
Epsom meeting – five year study:
30 races – 9 winning favourites – all 30 winners scored at a top price of 14/1. The average Placepot dividend: £154.68 – Highest dividend: £435.20 (2015) – Lowest dividend: £18.50 (2013).
Best trainer record: Mark Johnston – 4 winners at 7/2, 3/1**, 15/8** & 7/4.
6.00: RAVENHOE is a typical Mark Johnston type who battles and tries as hard as he can on most occasions and with the trainer having ruled the roost at this meeting in recent years, Mark’s four-year-old is the first name on the team sheet. ZARIA (good record at the track) would benefit if there is any pre-race rain in the Epsom area, whilst MIDNIGHT WHISTLER completes my trio against the field in this potential ‘dead eight’ contest.
Favourite factor: Last year’s inaugural 4/1 favourite finished just out of the frame behind horses which were returned at 6/1, 9/2 & 7/1.
Draw factor' (eight and a half furlongs)
1-4-9 (9 ran-good)
6.30: Mark Johnston is the first name in the frame again having saddled two of the last four winners of this juvenile event, with DOUBLET representing the yard this time around. Finishing sixth on debut over course and distance a few weeks ago, Mark’s March foal was only beaten a couple of lengths and the experience gained over these undulations is an added bonus. Whether that ‘edge’ will be enough to overhaul DICHATO remains to be seen, especially with John Gosden having sent out his last two runners to winning effect, whilst John’s more detailed recent record stands at 4/12.
Favourite factor: Seven of the nine favourites (three being winners of their respective events) have secured toteplacepot positions to date.
Draw factor' (seven furlongs – most recent renewal shown first):
3-5 (6 ran–good)
1-2 (5 ran-good)
5-4 (5 ran-good to firm)
2-4 (7 ran-good to firm)
8-7-1 (8 ran-good to soft)
13-6-2 (12 ran-good)
2-3-1 (8 ran-good)
5-2-4 (9 ran-good)
7.00: It’s a tad disappointing that the name of dual Derby winning trainer Arthur Budgett has been dropped from this event. Arthur scored with Blakeney (1969) and Morston (1973) and aside from everything else, what set Arthur apart, is that the winners scored in Arthur's own colours on both occasions. Trelawney was another favourite (as memory serves) of mine for this gentleman of the turf. Back to modern day stats by informing that all eight winners have carried a minimum burden of 9-4 and I expect the trend to continue with FRANK BRIDGE and HANDYTALK having been declared to run from the ’superior’ sector of the weights in another 'dead eight' contest on the Epsom card. I dislike backing against my trends but ARCHER’S ARROW makes plenty of appeal down the bottom of the handicap, especially with five pound claimer David Egan in the plate. It’s worth noting that PP go out on a limb with Saeed Bin Suroor’s mount at 11/2 at the time of writing, with 9/2 looking to be a realistic offer, especially with the trainer boasting recent stats of 7/17.
Favourite factor: Five of the ten market leaders have finished in the frame via eight renewals, statistics which include two successful market leaders and a further pair of joint favourites.
Draw factor' (seven furlongs):
6-8-4 (8 ran-good)
8-4-3 (8 ran-good)
2-6-5 (8 ran-good to firm)
5-2-1 (8 ran-good to firm)
7-4 (6 ran-good to soft)
7-11-4 (9 ran-good)
9-7-1 (10 ran-good)
5-4-3 (9 ran-good)
7.35: Handicap newcomer SPUTNIK PLANUM has been offered a decent enough mark to become competitive I’ll wager, whilst the form of trainer David Lanigan offers some encouragement. Although ‘only’ two of his last seven runners have won, two more have secured silver medals during the period and in a race which might nor prove difficult to win, Tom Queally’s mount is offered the marginal call over STAR OF LOMBARDY and SURENESS.
Favourite factor: Contrasting results for the two favourites to date, with the inaugural 3/1 mark leader finishing nearer last than first before last year’s 1/2 hotpot evened up the score.
8.10: If you care to look at the favourite factor below, you might wonder why I am running scared of this event, especially given just five entries with rain falling freely here in the west of the country as I compile this column. If any of the wet stuff travels in an easterly direction, we could well have a ‘win only’ scenario on our hands whereby three selections might still not be enough to get through to the Placepot finale! In no order of preference (there is no order of preference), I’ll offer the tentative trio of WAR AT SEA, FIRST UP and THUNDERING BLUE and hope for the best.
Favourite factor: Only one of the five favourites have finished in the money and even then, the 1/2 chance could only muster a silver medal. The four winners have been sent off at 14/1, 10/1, 6/1 & 4/1 thus far.
8.40: Tonight’s card is the perfect example of why you should look at the non-runner board before offering your Placepot wager. The biggest single influence of a great dividend is when vulnerable favourites finish out of frame and this is especially important on days (potentially like this) when the units on withdrawn horses automatically get transferred on market leaders. Ignore this golden Placepot rule at your peril. Upwards and onward by suggesting that LESANTI and PINNATA should snare the dividend between them if of course, we were live going into the final leg of our favourite wager.
Favourite factor: The Placepot finale is a new race on the Epsom card.
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 Epsom card on Thursday – followed by their ratios at the track this season + profits/losses accrued:
4 runners—Mark Johnston (3/19 – Slight profit)
3—Pat Phelan (0/1)
2—Ralph Beckett (0/6)
2—Jim Boyle (0/3)
2—Mick Channon (0/2)
2—Paul Cole (0/1)
2—Richard Hannon (2/14 – loss of 6 points)
2—Stuart Williams (0/3)
+ 24 trainers who have one runner on the card
43 declared runners
General overview - Corresponding Placepot dividends from last year:
Chepstow: £193.70 – 7 favourites--No winners – 5 placed – 2 unplaced
Doncaster: £115.70 – 6 favourites--2 winners – 1 placed – 3 unplaced
Hamilton: £5.60 – 8 favourites--4 winners – 3 placed – 1 unplaced
Leicester: £28.30 – 6 favourites--2 winners – 2 placed – 2 unplaced