Saturday's pick was...
3.40 Ascot : Defoe @ 4/1 BOG WON at 11/4 (Held up in 6th on outside, pushed along 3f out, switched left and headway towards outside over 2f out, 2nd inside final 2f, went right and led over 1f out, ridden and stayed on well)
Monday's pick runs in the...
Before I post the daily selection, just a quick reminder of how I operate the service. Generally, I'll identify and share the selection in the evening before the following day's race and I then add a detailed write-up later on that night/next morning.
Those happy to take the early price on trust can do so, whilst some might prefer to wait for my reasoning. As I fit the early service in around my family life, I can't give an exact timing on the posts, so I suggest you follow us on Twitter and/or Facebook for instant notifications of a published pick.
Graceland @ 3/1 BOG
...in an 8-runner, Class 4 Mares Handicap Hurdle for 4yo+ over 1m7½f on Good ground worth £4094 to the winner...
This 7 yr old mare has three wins and a place from her five efforts over hurdles this year and comes here on a hat-trick since a wind op was followed by comfortable made all wins at Cartmel 30 days ago and then again at Stratford last time out on Tuesday of last week (I had a few quid on her that day too, so she owes me nothing).
Both wins were comfortable affairs leading from the front, both were at Class 3, both under jockey Brian Hughes and she was wearing a hood on both occasions. Brian and the hood are in situ once again, but she now drops in class and carries a top weight of 12-3 here today. Some might say the weight could be an issue, but I'm not in that camp, as I'll explain shortly.
Brian Hughes is in decent touch right now, winning 13 of 58 (22.4% SR) for 14.8pts (+25.5% ROI) in the past 30 days, whilst trainer Donald McCain has also had a good time of it recently with his own 30-day record standing at 13/51 (25.5% SR) for 25.5pts (+50% ROI) and it's fair to say both the trainer and jockey's recent successes have been fairly co-dependent as the partnership is 8 from 21 (38.1% SR) for 17.2pts (+81.9% ROI) in that 30-day time frame including 6 from 12 (50% SR) for 16pts (+133.3% ROI) over hurdles.
Now, back to the elephant (or top weight horse) in the room, namely the position of Graceland at the top of the racecard, where you might (or might not) be surprised to read that since the start of 2014 in UK Class 4 handicap hurdle contests, horses aged 7-9 yrs old with the clear top OR and weight carried in the race are 23 from 83 (27.7% SR) for 28.4pts (+34.2% ROI) when asked to carry 12 stones or more and these include of relevance today...
- 22/45 (48.9%) for 58.14pts (+129.2%) at sub-6/1 starting prices
- 12/22 (54.6%) for 27.52pts (+125.1%) as LTO winners
- 12/40 (30%) for 16.87pts (+42.2%) from 7 yr olds
- 12/42 (28.6%) for 21.25pts (+50.6%) from those with an OR of 115-125
- 11/28 (39.3%) for 20.5pts (+73.4%) had raced in the previous fortnight
- 11/34 (32.4%) for 25.86pts (+84%) on Good ground
- 7/20 (35%) for 14.99pts (+75%) over trips of 15.5 to 16.5 furlongs
- 5/14 (35.7%) for 10.46pts (+74.7%) in May/June
- 3/4 (75%) for 3.54pts (+88.5%) here at Southwell
- and 3/8 (37.5%) for 7.05pts (+88.1%) from female runners
...whilst 7 yr old LTO winners sent off shorter than 6/1 are 6 from 10 (60% SR) for 14.75pts (+147.5% ROI)...
And finally (phew!), I want to touch on the subject of the pace tab on our racecards , as I did on Saturday with Defoe. Matt and I often get asked about the relevance of pace in NH races and whether it's really as important as it is on the Flat. Well, the simple answer is that yes, it can be as important and Graceland was flagged up on one of my saved pace-related angles on the Geegeez Query Tool...
...basically over the last 6 months, 5-9 yr olds carrying 12st to 12st 5lbs in UK Class 4/5 NH handicaps on any ground other than heavy are 14/50 (28% SR) for 7.2pts (+14.4% ROI) when showing a previous average pace score of 4 (ie likes to lead/make all), from which those sent off at odds of 5/4 to 7/1 are 13/35 (37.1%) for 20.63pts (+58.9%). These are based on Industry SP and can of course be beaten by Betfair SP and/or BOG odds.
And having a pace score of 4 in each of her races this year, I would expect her to attempt to make all and win from the front once again...
...giving us... a 1pt win bet on Graceland @ 3/1 BOG as offered by Bet365, BetVictor, Coral & Ladbrokes at 6.10pm on Sunday. To see what your preferred bookie is quoting...
Don't forget, we offer a full interactive racecard service every day!
REMINDER: THERE IS NO STAT OF THE DAY ON SUNDAYS
P.S. all P/L returns quoted in the stats above are to Betfair SP, as I NEVER bet to ISP and neither should you. I always use BOG bookies for SotD, wherever possible, but I use BFSP for the stats as it is the nearest approximation I can give, so I actually expect to beat the returns I use to support my picks. If that's unclear, please ask!