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Hambleton on a high after Glen Shiel’s breakthrough win

Members of the Hambleton Racing syndicate can finally take in what it means to be Group One winners, following Glen Shiel’s breakthrough success at the highest level at Ascot.

Having gone close in the Haydock Sprint Cup, Archie Watson’s charge was surprisingly overlooked in the betting under Hollie Doyle on Saturday.

However, Doyle was on the crest of a wave after winning the opening race on Champions Day on Trueshan – and she took the early initiative before holding off the late lunge of Kevin Ryan’s Brando by the narrowest of margins in the Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes.

“Saturday was a massive moment for us,” said Hambleton’s Simon Turner.

“Our blueprint has always been to buy in the more affordable area of the market with top trainers, and try and compete at the highest level possible.

“At £45,000, Glen would be one of our more expensive purchases – but he seemed ridiculous value at that level. He’s been a revelation since dropped back to sprinting, and has been superbly handled by Archie Watson, who is destined for the very top of his profession in my opinion.

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“Archie’s numbers are simply superb. Some have him pigeon-holed as two-year-old trainer, but there are countless examples of Archie achieving superb results with cast-offs from other yards too, many of them cheaply acquired.

“On a personal level, to win a race at the highest level with Hambleton Racing makes me very proud. We owe much of our success to Kevin Ryan, who has always looked after us exceptionally well and has provided us with any number of good horses along the way.

“I regard Kevin as a good friend, and it was no surprise he was the first on the phone on Saturday to congratulate me, despite the fact he’d just missed out with Brando. That’s the mark of the guy – he’s not just a just an outstanding trainer, but a true sportsman too.”

There are many different business models that syndicates adopt, with some offering shares for as little as £50, but Hambleton Racing hope theirs is one of the more robust on the market – with the loyalty shown by members as living proof.

Turner said: “Owning with us isn’t cheap – typically an owner will spend between £2-4,000 on their share and another £3,000 on the annual costs.

“We’d be among the more expensive syndicates but operate with some old-fashioned values. We certainly don’t penalise owners when their horses do well, so won’t be taking a penny of the £275,000 that Glen Shiel has won for his owners this year.

“We’re very proud of the fact many owners have been with us for over 10 years, which must mean we’re doing something right.

“I don’t think we’ll suddenly change our approach and start spending twice as much at the sales now. We’ll continue to seek out the best value we can at the sales. Thankfully, there seems to be a lot of value around at the moment.”

While most of the publicity around Glen Shiel’s win concerned Doyle, given it was her first Group One win, the same also applied to Watson – who was understandably delighted.

“I’m so proud of Glen Shiel, Hollie, and the whole team after the Champions Sprint,” said the Lambourn trainer.

“Hollie gave him a fantastic ride, and he was so tough. He hasn’t stopped improving all year, and to win a Group One is unbelievable.

“I am so pleased for Hambleton Racing, who are such huge supporters of ours, and for all his owners.

“Huge credit must go to Tom Biggs, who bought Glen Shiel for just £45,000 as a five-year-old horse in training last year.”

Archie Watson thrilled to send out first Group One winner

Plenty of plaudits will rightly be attributed to Hollie Doyle following her breakthrough Group One success aboard Glen Shiel at Ascot – and it should not be lost it was also a first victory at the highest level for trainer Archie Watson.

In the four years that he has held a licence, Watson has made giant strides, enjoying plenty of success both at home and abroad, and since teaming up with Doyle, who turned 24 last weekend, he has now formed what is fast becoming a formidable partnership.

Seeing the pair notch doubles together at tracks like Wolverhampton and Lingfield has become a common sight, and the duo finally enjoyed glory on the biggest of stages thanks to the victory of the Hambleton Racing-owned gelding in the Qipco British Champions Sprint.

Watson said: “That is my first Group One winner and it is absolutely amazing. He is some horse and there aren’t many Group One horses that are picked up for £45,000 at a horses in training sale. He has just improved throughout the year.

“I was delighted to see Hollie get her first Group One winner as she is such a hard-working rider. I’m so pleased that I was able to give her that breakthrough Group One as we have had so many winners together. Her being on this winner means a lot to me and the yard.

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“I’ve been knocking on the door at Group One level with the likes of Soldier’s Call, Snowy Winter and Absolute Blast, who were all Group One-placed. For him to get his head in front is massive for the yard, as we’ve only been going just over four years.”

Making the decision to purchase Glen Shiel at the Goffs UK Spring Horses In Training/P2P Sale was a shrewd decision by Watson, but equally as important to helping the six-year-old realise his potential was reverting him back to sprinting this campaign.

Watson said: “We always intended to drop him down in trip, as when we first got him we raced him over a mile and a quarter. Since he has dropped to six furlongs he has just improved.

“He has been so consistent and he hasn’t been out of the first two over six furlongs. He has gone from winning off big weights in handicaps into conditions races and now into stakes races.

“He has only run in four Group races and he has improved in all of them, having learnt how to race over the trip.”

Though now able to celebrate the victory Watson, who watched the race away from the track, admits he was on edge awaiting the outcome of the result.

He said: “Waiting on the photo-finish was not good for me, but I thought he just held on. As it was literally a bob of the heads, you can never be confident in a situation like that.

“While I’m delighted to give Hollie her first Group One, I’m also delighted for his owners Hambleton Racing as they have been big supporters of mine.

“A lot of credit needs to go to Tom Biggs, who spotted him at the sale with me – he buys all these horses and puts me in the privileged position to train them.”

Having kept Glen Shiel busy since the start of the year, Watson intends to give his new stable star a well-deserved break before taking aim at all the major sprint races over six furlongs next year.

He said: “Everything has gone fantastic today and he will have another holiday now. I think straight tracks really play to his strengths, so he won’t be going to the Breeders’ Cup or Hong Kong. We will look at all those six-furlong races in Europe for him.

“I hope there are still more big wins in him, there will not be too much difference in him from being a six-year-old to a seven-year-old. He has been in such good form and it has been great to strike while the iron has been hot.

“Hopefully there is still more to come and he can be very competitive in these sorts of races next season.”

Glen Shiel gives Hollie Doyle landmark first career Group One victory

Hollie Doyle landed her first Group One success when snatching the verdict on Glen Shiel in the Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes at Ascot.

Just 35 minutes after Doyle had become the first female rider to win on British Champions Day in the opening Long Distance Cup on Trueshan, the 24-year-old broke yet more new ground in a record-breaking year.

Doyle and connections of the Archie Watson-trained six-year-old had to wait a few anxious moments for the result of the photo-finish before it was confirmed Glen Shiel (16-1) had beaten the veteran Brando by a nose.

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Glen Shiel was always in the front rank after being smartly out of the stalls and was joined three furlongs out by Oxted. The July Cup winner took the lead, but had nothing more to give in the final half-furlong.

Glen Shiel kept on giving back in front – and just held the very late challenge of 80-1 outsider Brando. One Master was half a length away in third place.

Doyle said: “I’m in a state of shock right now. I didn’t think I’d won, so to have had the result we have was incredible. We had a good old battle with Oxted from the three-pole and I thought that I would be doing well to hold on like I did, but he is such a game horse.

“He is incredible. He has got quicker with age. When we first got him, he was running over 10 furlongs in France and didn’t show a whole lot of speed, but the further we dropped him back, the quicker he has got.”

She added: “It’s not about me it’s about Archie Watson, he has campaigned this horse unbelievably. No one else would have won a Group One with this horse.

“It is a dream come true, a massive dream come true, especially on this horse. Everyone in the yard adores him. My aim at the start of the year was to ride a Group winner and I always said a Group One one day, but I didn’t think it would come this year.

“I don’t get too carried away, but I’m a bit delusional as to what is going on at the moment as it has all been a bit of a whirlwind. It has been a great few years.

“It feels really unusual as for someone like me it doesn’t normally happen, but it has done today.”

Glen Shiel hangs on from Brando
Glen Shiel hangs on from Brando (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

The Kevin Ryan-trained Brando was ridden by Tom Eaves, who said: “He has run a stormer. You are always gutted finishing second, but he has run a great race. It was a bob of the heads. I’m delighted, but gutted at the same time.

“He has been running OK. He ran well at York last Saturday and that probably put him right. York has never been his sort of track. He likes it here on this big, stiff track. It is a great training performance.”

Stat of the Day, 30th July 2020

Wednesday's pick was...

2.45 Goodwood : Sardinia Sunset @ 9/2 BOG 6th at 4/1 (Took keen hold, tracked leaders, ridden over 1f out, faded inside final furlong) 

Thursday's pick runs in the...

1.10 Goodwood :

Before I post the daily selection, just a quick reminder of how I operate the service. Normally, I'll identify and share the selection between 8.00am and 8.30am and I then add a more detailed write-up later within an hour or so of going "live".

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.

Who?

Electric Ladyland @ 9/2 BOG

...in a 9-runner, Class 3 Flat handicap for 3yo over 5f on Good ground worth £9,452 to the winner...

Why?...

Another crack at landing a Glorious Goodwood winner, but not quite at the same level as yesterday's contest, but every race has a winner so let's see what the racecard tells us at first glance......

So, briefly from above, a yard in form with a reasonable enough record at this track from a small number of runners and the yard also does well in sprints and also with LTO winners.

The horse looks like one of the speedier ones, according to the SR figures and whilst Hollie Doyle has no form icons by her name on the card, there's no doubting her talent and she tends to ride the Archie Watson horses well as I'll hope to highlight shortly.

But first, the horse herself, a 3 yr old filly, who has three wins and three places from her last seven starts and a good overall return of 5 wins from 14 so far, including of relevance today...

  • 5/12 at 5f, 5/8 at odds below 9/1 and 4/6 at Class 3-5 (but also has won at C2)
  • 2/5 in cheekpieces, 2/2 under Hollie Doyle's steering and 1/2 here at Goodwood
  • 1/2 on good ground and 1/2 over course and distance (also at Class 3)

And now, I'll finish off with a quick look at the afore-mentioned record of trainer & jockey together. In the context of this race, I'd tend to focus on the Watson / Doyle combination in Class 3-4 handicaps with runners sent off at 8/1 and shorter and doing so gives me 18 winners from 49 (36.7% SR) for 36pts profit at an ROI on 73.4%, including at play today...

  • 15/37 (40.5%) for 36.83pts (+99.6%) during the 6 months from May to October
  • 10/21 (47.6%) for 25.41pts (+121%) at 21-45 days since last run
  • 8/17 (47.1%) for 22.36pts (+131.5%) during May-Oct at 21-45dslr (*this looks like an MO)
  • 5/16 (31.25%) for 15.64pts (+9.7%) from female runners
  • 5/14 (35.7%) for 8.15pts (+58.2%) from LTO winners (better than the yard's overall LTO winners) 
  • 4/15 (26.7%) for 9.43pts (+62.9%) at Class 3
  • and 1/1 here at Goodwood from this horse's 6/1 win three starts ago

...giving us... a 1pt win bet on Electric Ladyland @ 9/2 BOG as was widely available (inc at least a couple BOGs, whilst Bet365 were a standout 11/2 BOG!) at 6.20am Wednesday, but as always please check your own BOG status (*some firms are not BOG until later in the morning)To see a small sample of odds offered on this race...

...click here for the betting on the 1.10 Goodwood

Don't forget, we offer a full interactive racecard service every day!

REMINDER: THERE IS NO STAT OF THE DAY ON SUNDAYS

Here is today's racecard

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!

P.P.S. Please note I left for Greece on Monday 20/07 for two weeks to look at some hotels for my travel agency business and to get some R&R, so whilst I'll still be posting each day (except 04/08 when cover has been arranged), the timings may well be different to normal.

Stat of the Day, 11th July 2020

Friday's pick was...

6.05 Bath : Pink Flamingo @ 3/1 BOG 5th at 7/2 (Held up towards rear, pushed along over 1f out, stayed on final furlong, nearest finish)

Saturday's pick runs in the...

4.50 Newcastle :

Before I post the daily selection, just a quick reminder of how I operate the service. Currently, I'll identify and share the selection between 8.00am and 8.30am and I then add a more detailed write-up later within an hour or so of going "live".

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.

Who?

Canagat @ 5/2 BOG

...in a 9-runner, Class 4, A/W handicap for 3yo over 1m on Tapeta worth £4,690 to the winner... 

Why?...

According to the racecard, this 3 yr old colt takes a drop in class from his last run 17 days ago and is of immediate interest, because...

He's drawn is stall 4 today and a quick glance at the pace/draw heat map shows...

I don't think any of the above needs explaining (but please do ask if something is unclear, I don't bite), whilst the horse himself has already proved to like an artificial surface...

He has finished 311 on the A/W so far, including one here at Newcastle (also Class 4 with Hollie Doyle on board, but over 7f two starts ago).

And the only thing I'm going to add to all of the evidence above is that of the Trainer/Jockey record of 6 wins from 13 here at Newcastle over the last year, seven of those races were handicaps over trips of 6 to 10 furlongs and the results are astonishing at 1111211 including Canagat winning here on the 2nd June, the same day as Glen Shiel was the only loser in that sequence, although he has won here at Newcastle since (Class 2 under Hollie Doyle!)...

...all of which steered me towards...a 1pt win bet on Canagat @ 5/2 BOG as was widely available at 8.20am Saturday (although a couple of firms were at 11/4), but as always please check your BOG statusTo see a small sample of odds offered on this race...

...click here for the betting on the 4.50 Newcastle

Don't forget, we offer a full interactive racecard service every day!

REMINDER: THERE IS NO STAT OF THE DAY ON SUNDAYS

Here is today's racecard

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!

Stat of the Day, 12th March 2020

Wednesday's pick was...

1.55 Lingfield : Subliminal @ 13/2 BOG 4th at 7/2 (Close up, pushed along and headway 2f out, ridden to chase winner when edged left inside final furlong, no extra and lost two places close home

Thursday's pick runs in the...

3.45 Doncaster :

Before I post the daily selection, just a quick reminder of how I operate the service. Generally, I'll identify and share the selection between 8.00am and 8.15am and I then add a more detailed write-up later within an hour or so of going "live".

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.

Who?

Premier D'Troice @ 11/4 BOG

...in a 7-runner, Class 4, Handicap Hurdle for 4yo+ over 3m84yds on good ground worth £3,769 to the winner...

Why?...

This 6 yr old gelding comes here on a hat-trick after winning over 2m4f at Punchestown on his last run for Sean Thomas Doyle, ahead of scoring in a Class 4, 3 mile contest on his yard debut for Archie Watson almost 4 weeks ago at Fakenham under today's jockey Brodie Hampson.

This horse now has 2 wins and a place from 3 efforts in handicap hurdle races, including a win and a place at 3 miles.

His trainer, Archie Watson, is probably best known for his exploits on level ground, but his small string of hurdlers are 5 from 11 (45.5% SR) for 16.56pts (+150.6% ROI) over trips of 2m4f to 3m1f, all of which were males ridden by Brodie Hampson and also include of note here...

  • 5/9 (55.6%) for 18.56pts (+206.3%) with 6 yr olds
  • 5/8 (62.5%) for 19.56pts (+244.5%) finished in the first three home LTO
  • 5/6 (83.3%) for 21.56pts (+359.3%) at 70-170 miles from home
  • 4/10 (40%) for 15.33pts (+153.3%) in handicaps
  • 4/7 (57.1%) for 6.22pts (+88.9%) at Evens to 4/1
  • 4/6 (66.6%) for 17.59pts (+293.2%) at Class 4
  • 3/5 (60%) for 17.7pts (+354%) during February to April
  • 3/5 (60%) for 3.94pts (+78.8%) in races worth less than £4,000
  • and 2/5 (40%) for 11.08pts (+221.6%) with LTO winners...

...whilst 6 yr olds travelling 70-170 miles to run in Class 4 handicaps after a top 3 finish LTO are 3 from 3, including 2 LTO winners, 2 at Evs to 4/1 and 2 in Feb-April...

...giving us...a 1pt win bet on Premier D'Troice @ 11/4 BOG as was available from BetVictor, Betway, SkyBet & Marathon* at 8.05am Thursday, but as always please check your BOG status. To see what your preferred bookie is quoting...

...click here for the betting on the 3.45 Doncaster

Don't forget, we offer a full interactive racecard service every day!

REMINDER: THERE IS NO STAT OF THE DAY ON SUNDAYS

Here is today's racecard

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!