Saturday's Result :
2.20 Thirsk: Final Venture @ 7/2 BOG Unplaced at 15/8 (Disputed early, not clear run and headed over 2f out, eased final furlong)
Saturday went the same way as Friday: well backed horse (Friday 11/2 into 4/1, Saturday 7/2 into 15/8) from an ostensible good draw (both on the rail) that trapped reasonably well but got chopped in its run, and was eased out of things.
Without suggesting either would have won, and not saying they wouldn't either, the bare results look a lot worse than they performed. Both are worthy notebook material under similar conditions. In any case, we move on to Monday, where the pick lines up in the...
When is a trainer stat not a trainer stat? When it's a horse stat, of course. Trainer James Hodge has very few horses. Indeed, in the last three years he has had just fifteen runners, assembled from four horses.
Comfortably the most successful has been the old boy, Flaming Thistle. Now twelve, he's won three of his last six races. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
The trainer stat, today's Stat of the Day, is Hodge's three from eight record at Hexham in the last five years. He's also had two placed runners from that octet. Now here's the thing: all three wins and both second places were achieved by the same horse, Flaming Thistle.
The old boy has form figures around Hexham of PP210112. However, the pair of P's were achieved for a duo of different trainers, meaning the selection's form for his current trainer at Hexham is 210112. His heavy ground Hexham form is 11, including a win over course and distance - in a higher grade - this time last year.
Conditions are perfect - Flaming Thistle is a dual course and distance winners, a triple course winner, a dual going winner, and a dual class winner (with that Class 4 victory chucked in for good measure) - and he seems as good as ever based on a second placed effort three weeks ago.
He re-opposes Gibbstown, his last day vanquisher here, on nine pounds better terms, and on more testing ground that can make the difference.
Flaming Thistle is 4/1 with Ladbrokes, who appear to offer something called BOG+. As fas as I can tell, that means if the SP is bigger than the price you take, they'll pay out at the next price after SP. [Example: we bet at 4/1 early, and the horse wins at 5/1. We supposedly get paid at 11/2, the next odds increment after the starting price of 5/1].
This is my first test of BOG+, so don't quote me on any of the above. What I can tell you is the advice is one point win, at 4/1, with Ladbrokes.
To see what your bookie is offering, simply...
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REMINDER: THERE IS NO STAT OF THE DAY ON SUNDAYS