Saturday's free feature is the excellent Trainer/Jockey combo stats report whilst the free races of the day are...
- 12.50 Lingfield
- 2.40 Haydock
- 5.30 Newcastle
And it's the Trainer/Jockey combo stats report that I'm looking at today, using the one year from option to see if we can find an E/W bet for ourselves from one of these two runners...
Potters Legend runs in a Grade 3 handicap chase over 3m4.5f, whilst Potters Hedger tackles a Class 2 handicap hurdle over 3m0.5f.
From a place perspective, recent trainer form offers some hope as Lucy Wadham's chasers have won 4 and placed in 4 of the last 17 races for a place strike rate of just under 50%, whilst over the last five weeks, her hurdlers have finished 1211P12. The chase comes first at the meeting and it's a tough race...
This 11 yr old is having a decent season so far since returning from an eight month break back in November, when winning on his seasonal debut over 3m0.5f in a Class 2 chase at Warwick. He was then only beaten by a length in an attritional Grade 3 contest at Cheltenham three weeks later.
He then had three more weeks rest prior to running at Sandown, but ended up almost 10 lengths off the pace, partly but not wholly down to being badly hampered on the bend and his last appearance came here at Haydock almost a month ago when a runner-up in a heavy ground 3m2f Grade 2 race. He was admittedly some 16 lengths behind the impressive hat-trick completing Royale Pagaille that day, but had the three other finishers 7, 22 and 54 lengths further back
He won't be meeting a 156-rated runner here today, this is a slight drop in class and he has been eased a couple of pounds in the weights.
Stat-wise, his place record under similar conditions to today look like this..
In addition to the above , he has made the frame 10 times from 20 races within a month of his last run, in 8 of 13 during the months of January to March and in 4 of 9 with Jack Quinlan in the saddle.
In the longer distance contests here at Haydock in the mud, it has been more tactically astute for horses to be up with the pace and the further back in the field that a horse sits, the more difficult they find it to win.
Sadly for Potters Legend, here's where he might come unstuck (as well as this being a decent contest), as he has been held up in six of his last seven outings, this pace map of the race doesn't make good reading for his chances...
And now kick forward 70 minutes for the second "Potters" horse...
Two wins, two places and two "miles off" finishes for this one in his past half dozen contests suggests he's either going to be there or thereabouts or he's going to be well beaten.
A 10-length winner over 3m2f on soft ground at Warwick (Class 3) last March was his swansong for the season before being rested for eight months. He hit the ground running upon his return going down by just half a length at Lingfield (2m7f, C3, soft) in a race that has worked out fairly well since, as the first four home that day have 5 wins and a place from 10 outings, including two wins and a place from five in this Class 2 grade.
After that narrow defeat, he had a bit of a stinker up at Class 2 off a mark of 127 at Sandown, but bounced back well next/last time out when winning here at Haydock off the same mark (albeit at Class 3) over 3m1f on heavy ground. He slightly down in trip here, but does carry 5lbs more for that win LTO when visored for the first time.
His place record under today's conditions includes...
...plus 11 places from 20 over hurdles, 9 from 13 going left handed, 6 from 11 under Jack Quinlan, 6 from 10 within a month of his last run, 6 from 9 during Jan-March and if it gets heavy he has been placed in 4 of 5 runs on heavy ground. The visor is retained here and he won (here LTO) the only other time he wore it.
I already mentioned earlier above pace/race positioning and here's how this group normally run...
...which means he could be well placed to make the frame if nothing else. The key here might be not letting Bushypark run away with it.
Jack (Quinlan) and Lucy (Wadham) team up with two "Potters" here at Haydock, but I don't see either winning, if I'm honest. Of the two, the latter (Hedger) stands the better chance and I'd not be massively surprised if he squeezes into the frame. Things might need to fall his way a little and I think he might not quite be as good as the likes of Everglow or Farrants Way, but yes Potters Hedger could make the frame.
As for Potters Legend, I like him, but not for this race. He's decent, but this is a Grade 3, so they're all decent. I think if he finished fifth, the team could be happy with their work, but I don't see him making the frame. If I did have a punt in this race, I'd side with Venus Williams' Achille, who looks a bit long at 9/1.