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Stat of the Day, 29th November 2017

Tuesday's Result :

1.10 Southwell : Kaaber @ 7/2 BOG 13th at 5/2 Mid-division, weakened halfway.

Next up is Wednesday's...

3.55 Wolverhampton :

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.

Who?

Skyva @ 6/1 BOG

A Class 6, 2yo A/W Handicap (Nursery) over 6f on Tapeta worth £2588 to the winner.

A fairly simple and straightforward one today...

Trainer Brian Ellison's record here at Wolverhampton stands at 60 winners from 455 (13.2% SR) for 39.2pts (+8.61% ROI) and whilst those returns seem a little low, to return over 8.5% from blindly backing over 450 runners is actually pretty good going.

To improve those numbers, we will of course introduce some simple yet logical filters that are relevant to today's contest, such as...

  • males are 52/360 (14.4%) for 70.9pts (+19.7%)
  • in handicaps : 40/330 (12.1%) for 35.6pts (+10.8%)
  • over trips of 6 to 9.5 furlongs : 41/284 (14.4%) for 68.2pts (+24%)
  • at Class 6 : 36/208 (17.3%) for 94.6pts (+45.5%)
  • over 6 furlongs : 8/61 (13.1%) for 21.4pts (+35.2%)
  • and those ridden by today's jockey, Ben Robinson are 4/12 (33.3%) for 26.67pts (+222.2%)

AND...from the above, males in Class 5/6 handicaps over 6 to 9.5 furlongs are 24/119 (20.2% SR) for 97pts (+81.5% ROI), from which...

  • at Class 6 : 16/74 (21.6%) for 71.7pts (+96.9%)
  • over 6f : 4/19 (21.1%) for 30pts (+157.7%)
  • and at Class 6 over 6f = 4/16 (25%) for 33pts (+206%)

...giving us... a 1pt win bet on Skyva @ 6/1 BOG which was available from Betfred, Marathon & Totesport at 5.50pm on Tuesday, whilst Bet365 were going half a point bigger at 13/2 BOG! To see what your preferred bookie is offering, simply...

...click here for the betting on the 3.55 Wolverhampton

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!

Monday Musing: Making Hayes

Today is not the first time I’ve felt obliged to moan about the difficulty I have in prising information out of the Racing Post statistics data bank, writes Tony Stafford. The new version has all but defeated my ham-fisted attempts. Bring back the old one, please.

Why today, you might ask? It’s all about an image from yesterday’s racing from Galway, which prompted me to undertake a little research. Trainer Brian Ellison and jockey Chris Hayes celebrated a second successive win for the Ellison-trained Dream Walker in the valuable Ahonoora Handicap, feature race on the Festival’s seventh and final day.

Ellison also employed Hayes on the horse for a similar last-gasp win a year ago, and was making it a personal four in a row as Baraweez, caught close home yesterday in an Ellison 1-2-3 completed by Be Kool, had won the two previous runnings, under respectively Donnacha O’Brien and Colm O’Donoghue.

At this point I wish to declare an interest. Back in early 2005, I was at the sales at Newmarket and sat down for an enjoyable coffee with former jockeys and, at the time, trainers Declan Gillespie and Charlie Swan. They both contended that Ruby Walsh was the best rider of either code they’d ever seen, but when I quizzed Declan, whom I’ve known well since his days as Jim Bolger’s stable jockey, as to who he rated the best young apprentice at that time, he had no hesitation in nominating Chris Hayes.

Hayes rode eight winners as a 16/17-year-old in 2004 after a successful pony racing career and was still short of his 18th birthday when he turned up at Hamilton station (if memory serves – it might have been Glasgow Central!) to await onward transportation to the track on April 25 2005.

His Irish weighing room nickname, then and now, was Chesney, as he had more than a passing facial similarity to actor Sam Aston, aged ten at the time and the face of Chesney Brown in Coronation Street. Hayes looked barely twelve when he rocked up in Scotland and first impressions were that it was unlikely he would fulfil Gillespie’s expectations - except that it was Declan.

We had two rides for him, the first on a filly named Ekaterina, named in honour of my future wife. The horse did not live up to even the modest expectations we had of her and after trailing home seventh of eight under Hayes, had only one more run before leaving Wilf Storey’s stable. Dimple Chad, once with Luca Cumani, performed a little better in fourth in his race, but again had no long-term future and was also soon on the way out.

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The most significant part of that day, though, was a conversation I had with Brian Ellison, suggesting he might want to employ Chris Hayes when he needed a decent claimer. He watched his two rides and took the opportunity a couple of weeks later when Chris was coming over again to ride Wilf’s handicapper Singhalongtasveer in a Beverley claimer.

That was the second race on the card and Wilf’s horse ran an excellent close second to a Martin Pipe winning favourite, ridden by Alan Munro. By that time, though, Hayes had already been in the winner’s spot after partnering Ellison’s 50-1 shot Seifi to a battling success in the two-mile handicap, going unbacked in this disbelieving quarter.

Twelve years on, the pair still team up occasionally, but of Ellison’s nine Galway runners over the week, Hayes came in for just the ride on Dream Walker.

I’ve still yet to go to Galway because of its direct competition with Goodwood and I’m sure there would have been plenty of those at the normally Glorious Sussex track who would have traded places with their Irish counterparts.

Luckily, I missed Sussex Stakes day, just like Churchill, whose connections, wisely I believe, chose not to subject him to the deluge that turned the ground to heavy. Ribchester, odds-on in the O’Brien horse’s absence, will have had no knock to his reputation after his brave near miss against Jim and Fitri Hay’s veteran Here Comes When in the feature in what was a great week for trainer Andrew Balding.

Instead I was up at Redcar for the belated debut of the boss’s three-year-old filly Betty Grable, who started her career in a quite competitive maiden over seven furlongs. This daughter of Delegator was always immature when with Hugo Palmer as a juvenile, indeed the trainer told me more than once that she was the typical model of a backward horse, with the back end much higher than the front.

With that conformational issue came occasional minor lameness and when she left Newmarket for Kinsale stud, the prognoses were far from optimistic. Eventually she went the way of a long line of Ray Tooth under-achievers, up country to Muggleswick, and the rather rugged grasslands of Wilf’s sheep farm.

Luckily, the Storeys detected after a while she had gravel foot and once they released the stinky build-up of ancient blood from the hoof, she immediately came sound and has never had a lame step since. From minute one she showed talent up the demanding Storey hill, and her debut, returned to Ray’s colours – “she was too good for me to take”, said Wilf – resulted in a promising sixth, a couple of lengths off third.

Of the 13 fillies that took part last week, only two are eligible for another seven furlong maiden there this Saturday, a median auction with a £28,000 ceiling. The only other qualifier is the filly that finished a tailed-off last at 250-1 on Wednesday.

Hopefully Paul Mulrennan, who especially liked the fact that despite an eight-minute wait in the stalls while three recalcitrant rivals refused to go in - she stood stock still, never budging, yet came out running - will be available. She’ll probably get much further in time – she is half-sister to the decent two-miler Gabriel’s King – but this race was too enticing to miss.

For me the highlight of Goodwood was the performance of Winter in the Nassau Stakes. Coming as it did just 24 hours after the trauma of Churchill’s late withdrawal from his objective, it must have taken plenty of soul-searching on the part of Aidan and the owners to let her take her chance on what was pretty much heavy ground.

The fact that she came through it in her first attempt against her elders on that going and over a new extended trip, spoke volumes for her ability and constitution. Pre-race scrutiny revealed she has done very well physically for her short break following her earlier Group 1 treble exploits. Those big feet would have helped her cope with mud, too!

In winning both English and Irish 1,000 Guineas and then the Coronation Stakes, she already has a unique set of big-race wins. This latest triumph must make it easier for the boys to accept that Minding is no longer around to win more Group 1’s. I would not be surprised if Winter were to exceed Minding’s tally of seven by the time she finishes.

- Tony Stafford

Stat of the Day, 9th December 2016

Thursday's Result :

2.40 Taunton : Winning Spark @ 4/1 BOG WON at 5/1 Held up, towards rear, headway to chase leaders after 3 out, every chance from last, stayed on strongly to lead last strides.

Friday's pick goes in the...

2.15 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 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.

Who?

Jac The Legend @ 7/2 BOG

Why?

This 7 yr old gelding is massively consistent, with 9 top 3 finishes (inc 2 wins) from his last 11 starts and has been running well at a higher level than this contest of late.

He was a decent enough third at Sedgefield 6 weeks ago, despite coming off a break of 215 days and today's drop in both class and trip should see him in an even better light, especially as he has two wins and a place from 3 runs at 3m1.5f to 3m3f.

The in-form (10 wins from 36 so far this month) Brian Hughes takes the ride for Brian Ellison today and the yard itself is also in good nick with 4 winners from 9 this month and over fences they have had 4 winners and 3 placers from their last nine runners.

Jac The Legend is another son of my favourite sire, Midnight Legend, from whom we have a myriad of profitable angles, but I'll just briefly give you an overview of how his offspring have performed in handicap chases since 2009...

In this sphere, we get 161 winners from 932 (17.3% SR) for 364.1pts (+39.1% ROI) profit from blind backing and in respect of this particular race, those 932 can be broken down as follows...

  • males are 128/725 (17.7%) for 298.9pts (+41.2%)
  • after a break of at least three weeks : 102/609 (16.8%) for 331.8pts (+54.5%)
  • on good ground : 55/347 (15.9%) for 172.4pts (+49.7%)
  • over trips of 2m7f to 3m4f : 47/300 (15.7%) for 196.2pts (+65.4%)
  • and at Class 3 : 39/272 (14.3%) for 105pts (+38.6%)

In addition to the recent form of the trainer/jockey/horse and his breeding, it's also worth noting that Brian Ellison's handicappers having just their second outing in a 90-day period and ran 11 or more days ago are 41/326 (12.6%) for 41.5pts (+12.7%) since 2010.

...backing up...a 1pt win bet on Jac The Legend at 7/2 BOG with Bet365 (preferred), Betway and/orHills who led the way at 6.10pm on Thursday. To see your preferred bookies' odds, simply...

...click here for the betting on the 2.15 Doncaster

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REMINDER: THERE IS NO STAT OF THE DAY ON SUNDAYS

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Stat of the Day, 14th October 2015

Stat of the Day, 14th October 2015

I feel like I must have run over a black cat or something, as I couldn't pick my own nose right now, but it's only form and as we all know, that does have a tendency to be temporary.

For as much as I refuse to get carried away when we're on a winning streak (and I do try to temper your expecattions in the good times!), I also refuse to get a losing spell get me down. After all, I've got the weather to do that for me.

SotD is, of course, a long-term project and the longer you go, the more ups and downs you suffer and we just crack on : there are no hiding places here at Geegeez, so we go again. Tuesday's runner Nomenklatura ran well, but not quite as well as the winner who beat us into second place after our runner was headed inside the final furlong (sound familiar?) at 3/1.

Jumping in Yorkshire is my next port of call for the...

4.25 Wetherby :

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.

Where the in-form Brian Ellison has a decent if not spectacular record and has a runner in the shape of Racing Europe who looks overpriced at the 7/1 BOG currently available from BetVictor, but before I move on to explaining the pick, let me assure you that this isn't me tilting at windmills looking for a big-priced winner to steady the ship. I just think he's too long at 7's.

Brian Ellison comes into this meeting on the back of a run that has seen him saddle up 5 winners from 10 NH runners in the last 10 days and that 50% strike rate has yielded 11.43pts at an ROI of 114.3% and he'll look to improve those numbers today.

His overall record here at Wetherby since 2009 shows a very healthy 18.7% strike courtesy of 23 winners from 123 and although the level stakes profits of 10.6pts equate to a return above stakes invested of "just" 8.6%, those are from blind backing with no thought required and it's certainly more than my bank give me!

And if we can make profit from blind backing, you know there'll be some angles to exploit for greater returns...

  • His male runners are 21/115 (18.3% SR)for 14pts (+12.2% ROI)
  • In 4yo+ races, his runners are 16/82 (19.5% SR) for 29.1pts (+35.5% ROI)
  • In handicaps, they are 96/68 (13.2% SR) for 20.3pts (+29.9% ROI)
  • Over trips of 2m4.5f to 2m6f, they are 7/25 (28% SR) for 36.92pts (+147.7% ROI)

His males in 2m4.5f to 2m6f, 4yo+ handicaps here are 5/11 (45.5% SR) for 45pts (+408.9% ROI) profit.

Racing Europe has finished 24112 in five runs on good to soft ground, so the conditions underfoot should be fine, he's 1 from 2 under today's jockey and any fears about his 180-day absence are allayed by a victory after a 266 day absence earlier in his career.

I've taken 7/1 BOG about Racing Europe from BetVictor; Ladbrokes are the same price non-BOG until morning, but I think he'll shorten before the race, so non-BOG should be OK, but that's your choice, as is whether or not to hedge your bet and go E/W.

It's win only for me, but I suggest that you...

...click here for the betting on the 4.25 Wetherby

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REMINDER: THERE IS NO STAT OF THE DAY ON SUNDAYS

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Stat of the Day, 16th February 2014

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 16th February 2014

Yesterday was our third consecutive winning bet, as Ruby Walsh steered home Willie Mullins' newcomer Florishwell D'Ete by the best part of three lengths at an SP of 4/7.

4/7? Yes, you read it correctly, it was returned at 4/7. The perfect explanation of why it is imperative to take the BOG prices we advise. 9/4 was our original advice and that itself is getting towards the bottom end of where we're happy to operate. But there was a later non-runner invoking a Rule 4 deduction.

This meant we got paid out at 9/5, which although a little measly was actually worth 315% of SP and not taking BOG means you're leaving money on the bookies' tables.

There's not much to work with today, as we seek the four-timer, I'm afraid. There's an A/W jumpers bumper card, a soft ground hurdles meeting in the UK and one on heavy in Ireland. So, we're going to attempt the...

1.50 Market Rasen:

Where Brian Ellison sends a total of four runners to the course in a bid to maintain his recent good record in Lincolnshire.

Since the start of 2010, 29 of his 72 runners here at Market Rasen have made the frame for a place strike rate of  over 40%, with 16 of them going on to win.This 1-in-6 record means that had you put £10 on each of them, you'd now be sitting on £573 profit, a return of 79.6% on top of your stakes.

There are, admittedly, a couple of larger priced winners slightly skewing the figures, but we just consider those runners in "normal SotD territory" ie 6/1 and under, we still have 9 winners from 29 for 17.63pts profit. That's a 31% strike rate producing a 60.8% yield, which I'd be happy with all day long.

From the original 72 runners, the record in hurdle events is 10/60 (the same strike rate as all his runners here) for 46.28pts profit with those hurdlers priced at 6/1 or under winning 8 times from 24 (33.33% SR) for 16.84pts (+70.2% ROI) profits. So it's a hurdler we want!

The first three races on today's card all have an entry from Brian Ellison and the one I'm going with is the 4/1 BOG chance Maison de Ville, who makes her first start for the yard after a consistent spell with David O'Meara.

She may not have won for her former trainer, but finishes of 232363 in her six outings to date provide encouragement that this 6yr old will win races and Brian Ellison has a good record at getting a bit more out of horses brought in from other yards.

Since the start of 2010, he has brought in 107 horses aged between 4 & 9 inclusive with at least three previous runs to their name at other yards. 25 of these 107 horses have won on their yard debut for a strike rate of 23.4% and a return of 55pts profit, or 51.4% of stakes. One large winner should really be omitted from those stats, leaving us with a 24/76 (31.6% SR) record with those priced at 8/1 or under, which in turn has generated some 55.05pts profit (+72.4% ROI)

And, of the 76 runners priced at 8/1 or under the record in hurdle races is 5/15 (33.33% SR) for 19.86pts (+132.4% ROI). All of which means that a 1pt win bet on Maison de Ville isn't a complete shot in the dark and I've taken 4/1 BOG with BetVictor. That price isn't exclusive, though, and to shop around, simply...

Click here for the latest betting on the 1.50 Market Rasen:

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Stat of the Day, 15th January 2014

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 15th January 2014

No joy yesterday as a 4th place finish at 3/1 (backed in from 9/2) was the best we could muster from a race where a 25/1 outsider took the rest of the field by surprise.

A little bit of a leap of faith today as we tackle the...

3.55 Newcastle:

An unraced mare out of an unraced dam competing in a mares-only bumper on heavy (soft in places) ground on a wet Wednesday in January isn't generally the first place you'd be looking for a winner, but I did say it was a bit of a leap (although there's no jumping involved today! :D) of faith with his one.

I'm talking about Brian Ellison's 5yr old Lochnell, who can currently be backed at 17/2 BOG with BetVictor, although I'd expect/hope she'll go off shorter than this later.

Brian Ellison's yard is in decent nick at present with four winners from eleven in the last week alone and he has a good record with his debutants: In the last three years he has had 27 winners from the 82 horses aged 4 to 9 running for him for the first time and sent off at 10/1 or under.

This excellent 32.9% strike rate has yielded profits of 61.5pts , an ROI of 74.95%. The record in NH fixtures reads at 10/29 (34.5%) for 31.8pts: a 109.6% ROI (3/9 on soft/heavy for =14pts to boot!)

Mr Ellison's runners also have a good record in the mud here at Newcastle too with a 15/54 (27.8% SR) with runners at 10/1 or under on ground officially described as soft/heavy or somewhere in between like today. Those 15 winners have produced level stakes profits of just over 28.1pts or 52.1% of stakes, making both his debutants and his soft ground runners of interest.

Brian only has Lochnell running today and there is, of course, no form to go off, but the Racing Post say this of her: "...10,000GP 3yo; first foal; dam unraced half-sister to smart bumper/hurdle/chase winner up to 3m1f Cornish Sett and useful bumper/2m-2m5f hurdle/chase winner Major Sponsor; likely to stay well (family of National winner Rhyme 'N' Reason)..."  which in turn gives me some hope.

It's not a particularly strong race, but the presence of a fairly short favourite will increase the odds of the other runners, making the current prices look quite attractive, so with this in mind: it's a safety-first approach today with a 0.5pts E/W bet on Lochnell at 17/2 BOG with BetVictor. You might get a better price by shopping around, so why not...

Click here for the latest betting on the 3.55 Newcastle

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Stat of the Day, 29th November 2013

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 29th November 2013

We got ourselves back amongst the winners yesterday as Milosam justified me taking a lower priced selection than usual by coming home the 2/1 fav (we'd taken 85/40 of course!).

I didn't actually see the race, but I believe he was left with a clear run home after his main rival fell at the second last, handing our pick a win by a massive 28 lengths.

The 2.13pts are a welcome addition to our bottom line which has performed really well in the back-end of the year and I hope/expect to add to it today after the running of the...

6.25 Wolverhampton:

Where Tom Eaves (the jockey, not the Bolton Wanderers reserve team striker!) will ride Dodina for trainer Brian Ellison at a current best price of 4/1 BOG with both Bet365 and Paddy Power for this Class 5 Handicap.

Today will be the first time Dodina has turned out for Brian Ellison after the 3 yr old filly had shown plenty of promise in her seven starts for Peter Chapple-Hyam with finishes of 3212653 and was very unlucky here last time out over course and distance, finishing 3rd and less than 2 lengths from the winner despite getting bumped and then denied a clear run.

With a little more luck in running, she can score on her yard debut here, an occurrence that Brian Ellison is getting quite accustomed to! If we look at horses making their debut for him after having had a least a couple of runs under their belt, the results are excellent. These horses invariably attract market support and most of them go off at an SP of 8/1 or under.

In the last three years, there have been 90 such runners yielding 27 winners (30% SR) and 46.5pts profit, a return equivalent to 51.6% of stakes.

As I said at the top, Tom Eaves takes the ride and these lower class races at Wolverhampton seem to play to his strengths. In the last three years, Tom has ridden 84 horses at 8/1 or under in Class 4 or 5 races here at Wolverhampton. Tom has managed to hit the line first in 22 of those races, a strike rate of 26.2% generating level stakes profits of 48.1pts: an ROI of almost 57.3%.

If we combine the trainer stats with the jockey stats and add in the promise already shown by the horse, then a 1pt win bet on Dodina at 4/1 BOG might just be a good thing. Someone else somewhere must also think so, as she has been backed in from an early 8/1 price, but I was unable to get to a PC until now!

Irrespective of that, 4/1 is still a decent bet in my eyes and I've gone with Bet365 for this one, but I strongly advise you to...

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Stat of the Day, 26th November 2013

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 26th November 2013

Dansili Dutch was friendless in the market on Monday afternoon, but the horses never know what price they get sent off at!

Our  selection was advised at 3/1 BOG, but eventually ran out a 5/1 winner, a shade cosier than the official one length margin of victory. We're staying on the all-weather today, as we tackle the...

2.40 Southwell:

Where the 4yr old USA-bred gelding Ever Fortune tackles a 1m4f Class 5 handicap and is currently a 5/1 shot.

This horse was formerly with Rae Guest, but is now under the eye of Brian Ellison, for who he makes his yard debut today. Brian Ellison has an excellent record from recruits from other yards with 24.8% of his immigrants scoring first time out. The raw stats are 23 wins from 118 runs in the last three years for level stakes profits of 54.4pts (+46.1% ROI).

It's also pretty well documented that some USA-bred horses go well here at Southwell. Males running in handicaps at trips of 1m6f or less in fields of 8 to 13 runners have won 20 of 67 races in that same 2011/13 timeframe, with the 29.9% strike rate yielding 126.9pts (+189.4% ROI) profit with 2013 seeing 4 winners from 15 for 27.7pts.

4yr old males go particularly well here too: 26 winners at all odds from 102 attempts is a 25.5% strike rate and the level stakes profits are very good too: 102.6pts or 100.6% of stakes with 15 winners priced under 6/1 from 51 runners (39.4% SR) These 15 have generated 14.6pts, a return of 28.6%.

There's three strong stats to back up Ever Fortune here, but it's a little surprising to see him as long as 5/1. I can only put it down to his A/W inexperience and the presence in the field of Golden Jubilee who looks too short for me at 7/4. The favourite is certainly consistent, but he's up in both trip and grade here and could well get caught out.

I think there's some value in the price of our selection, so it's a 1pt win bet on Ever Fortune at 5/1 BOG. This price is widely available, so please...

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Newmarket Trainer Stats 12th October 2013

Rowley MileAs we gear up towards the excellent Newmarket card this Saturday, Andy Newton gives you three yards that do well at the track, plus three that you might want to avoid..... Read more

Stat of the Day, 13th August 2013

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 13th August 2013

Well, I was right that there would still be a bit of value in backing Regal Silk yesterday, despite her being 6/4 when I posted the blog. In fact, she eventually went off as the 5/6 favourite, but was ultimately outpaced in the final furlong, having to settle for second place. No financial return for us, I'm afraid, but we did beat the market, as the price almost halved during the course of the day.

There were a couple of runners that I wanted to put up today that were even too short as a morning price to consider for SotD, but I'd expect both Brave Boy (5.35 race) and Fledged (6.35) to both win at Nottingham, but as there's not enough juice in the prices on offer (the double only pays 13/6!) for this particular part of the site, we're heading North to Cumbria for the...

4.15 Carlisle

Where we get a chance to take advantage of a micro system that has served us well in the past, as we put our faith in the Brian Ellison-trained Mixed Message. This 3yr old bay filly makes her 14th start today, but crucially this is her debut for the Ellison yard, who have a fantastic record with horses coming in from other trainers.

Since the start of the 2011 season, horses who run in a handicap for another trainer have won 19 out of 75 on their debut for Brian Ellison. This 25.33% strike rate has given up profits of 54.31pts = 72.41% return on stakes.

And these numbers are improved further to a strike rate of 39.47% (15/38) with horses priced at 6/1 or under. Those fifteen winners helping backers to achieve 34.3pts profit: an ROI of some 90.26% in the process.

Despite this already being Mixed Message's third home at the age of three, it's not an indication of her ability, after three runs in maiden company she has gone on to win twice and make the frame on a further four occasions from just ten attempts, giving her a win strike rate of 20% and a place strike rate of 60%. Backing her to level stakes in those ten races would have given you a profit of some 14.53pts, so she's coming to Brian Ellison with some decent potential.

If brian can work his usual magic and eke a little more out of her, then a 1pt win bet on Mixed Message could well be profitable at odds of 4/1 BOG, despite the 9/2 on offer when I started typing having disappeared! I've gone with BetVictor today, but the 4/1 is pretty widespread as of 10.30am, so why not...

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Stat of the Day, 5th August 2013

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 5th August 2013

Third place was the best we could muster yesterday, as Serenity Spa was finally overhauled inside the furlong and was eventually beaten by just over a length. Unfortunately jockey James Doyle had lost his whip and this may well have cost him/us the race, but ifs and buts don't pay the bills and we'll never really know whether it made enough of a difference to the outcome.

We need to be a little philosophical in cases like this and take a defeat on the chin. We can, however, take comfort in how well she ran until that point and also in the fact that we got 4/1 about a n 11/4 shot.

Truly awful racing today, but the show must go on, as we attempt to pick the bones of the...

8.30 Windsor

Where I'll cut straight to the chase and nominate Estinaad as a 13/2 E/W selection. This horse was available at 7/1 and 15/2 in the last half hour, so I'm putting it up straightaway, so we can all get a decent price on it. The 13/2 BOG is available with Paddy Power.

Estinaad is a three-year old bay filly who has yet to win a race in seven attempts for trainer Kevin Prendergast. She has shown glimpses of promise so far, but the trainer has been unable to get a win out of her. She finished 4th, 6th and 7th in three maidens, before being allotted an opening mark of 74 for her handicap debut.

It's not unusual for a horse to be unplaced in three maidens before going handicapping, but results in the two subsequent handicaps weren't much better after she'd been the runner-up on her handicap debut, with finishes of 6th and 8th.

All of this dropped her mark to 71, which she ran off last time out, back in maiden company at Gowran Park five weeks ago, when she was 5th of the 6 runners.

So, a form line of 4672685 from four maidens and three handicaps is hardly inspiring stuff, but...

...she has now switched yards and makes her debut for Brian Ellison today and he has a fantastic record of taking horses who have run in handicaps for other trainers and getting to fire on their debut for his yard. Since the start of 2011, he has given a start to 102 horses in handicap races that have raced at this level before. 28 of them have won on their debut for the yard, with that 27.5% strike rate generating level stakes profits of 66.8pts, an ROI of 65.5%.

If we then look a those horses with at least three previous handicap runs under their belts and priced below 8/1, we see an even better result: 26 wins from 70 (37.1% S/R) and 64.8pts (+92.6% ROI) with a total of 41 of the 70 making the frame for a place strike rate of over 58.5%, which is ideal for an E/W bet like today. In fact, backing the 70 horses E/W produced almost 64pts profit at SP.

Estinaad will be ridden by Miss J Lambert today, who will be able to take seven pounds on what already looks a fairly lenient mark of 70. I have no issues with backing a horse ridden by a 7lb claimer, as this race is for amateur riders only anyway. It should, however, be pointed out that Brian Ellison doesn't often use a 7lb claim for his horses, but in the last couple of years, he has a 20% strike rate with them and an ROI of 84.2% (4 winners from 20 for 16.84pts profit).

I think the extra weight taken off a fair initial mark could well make the difference today and Estinaad's breeding suggests she'll relish the prospect of stepping up to 1m 3.5f, a good couple of furlongs further than she's run previously. It does, on paper, look a fairly optimistic punt, but with the quality of racing being so low today, the possibility of Mr Ellison repeating his magic still makes Estinaad a decent E/W prospect at 13/2 BOG with Paddy Power. Who knows, she might even win! It will also be interesting to see how much support she gets in the market, after being cut from an overnight 10/1. You can, of course, keep yourself up to date if you just...

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Stat of the Day, 28th July 2013

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 28th July 2013

Gold Hunter ran well enough yesterday, but was beaten into 4th place by a length and a half. In fairness, nothing was catching the surprise runaway winner Lucky Beggar who made all and held on to win at 33/1. These things happen sometimes.

Ascot looks a bit of a minefield this afternoon and it's pretty poor fayre elsewhere stats-wise, but we do have a selection for you in the...

5.30 Carlisle

Short and sweet today, folks as we head North for a 7f handicap where Dream Walker is the selection.

Dream Walker is now trained by Brian Ellison after what is most diplomatically described as an uninspiring career under Ian McInnes, yielding just one win from nineteen attempts with that sole win coming on his handicap debut in May 2012. He has therefore failed to win any of his subsequent thirteen runs on turf, but he has made the frame in 6 of those thirteen, including a second placed finish at Yarmouth last October off a mark 8lbs higher than today.

Brian Ellison has a great record at getting handicappers to perform on their first run for him. In the last couple of years, he has given 100 horses their yard debut after they've previously run for other trainers. 25 of those 100 have won on their 1st run for him, giving a level stakes profit of some 51.35pts.

If those numbers aren't impressive enough, we can see that if there's market support for these runners, the numbers are even better. Of this 100 runners, 71 have gone off at odds of under 8/1, but those 71 runners have provided 24 of the 25 winners. That's a strike rate of 33.8% for profits of 49.4pts, an ROI of 69.6%

Dream Walker isn't as bad a horse as his bare results would suggest. He prefers some cut in the ground and today's soft ground at Carlisle should be right up his street.  On ground described as soft and/or heavy, his record is actually one win and three places from just seven attempts, which is a fair improvement on the rest of his career. I think it's fair to say he doesn't like quick ground.

Today will be his first outing on soft ground since a decent second placed finish at Newcastle in May and he runs here off the same mark, but in  weaker contest. This race represents his best chance of getting back amongst the winners of late and at 7/2 BOG with Paddy Power, he looks a decent prospect for us today.

You should, however...

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Alter egos 15: Upper Lambourn

Mandown gallops, Upper Lambourn

Mandown gallops, Upper Lambourn

When John Betjamin visited the Valley of the Racehorse, he captured his thoughts in a poem called Upper Lambourn. It’s probably not one of his best, and certainly not one of his better-known pieces. He takes us to the tomb of an unknown trainer who, in 1923, trained a hundred winners. Was it a real person or was his imagination at work? Probably the latter, as the poet had added a final “e” to the village name. Read more

York Trainer Stats

M Johnston

Johnston is Just 11-from-208 at York!

With the three-day York Dante Meeting this midweek Andy Newton highlights some yards to look out for, plus some high-profile stables that don’t have the best of records on the Knavesmire. Read more

Stat of the Day, 12th April 2013

Stat of the Day: 12/04/13

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 12th April 2013

Really frustrating yesterday as the normally super-reliable Luke Morris cocked things up quite badly, by going 'the brave man's route' up the inside. He got no run, snatched the horse up, pulled her out four horses wide, and ran on stoutly. In truth, I don't think she'd have won, but she'd surely have bagged a place with a clear run. Given that I - and I'm sure many of you - backed her each way (and I also had her in an each way trixie with the two Daily Dabble placers), that was disappointing.

Today, we're keeping our powder dry until the very last race of the day, the...

9.00 Wolverhampton

Another course horse tonight in Pelmanism. Brian Ellison's 6yo gelding is very consistent. Indeed, in eight career all weather runs, he's won thrice, been second twice, and third twice. On his only run out of the frame on the all weather, he was beaten just two and a half lengths, and everything points to him being thereabouts again tonight.

When I say 'everything', let me outline that in a bit more detail. Firstly, he's run in tonight's Class 6 five times, with form figures of 21312. He's run over tonight's six furlong trip on the all weather, he's 136112.

In just two runs here at Wolverhampton, he's 23 (the '3' being in a higher class and over a furlong further; the '2' being over course, class and distance. Brian Ellison's horses remain in good form (a winner on each of the last three days), and although Pelmanism has the worst of the draw, he's normally held up anyway, so should be able to sit in behind what ought to be a scorching pace, most likely set by Point North and Jawking.

He's a general 5/1 best odds guaranteed, and we'll take the coward's route. Each way please.

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