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Stat of the Day, 24th May 2014

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 24th May 2014

Strike A Light was a 7/2 winner yesterday, the very same price as we'd advised. The 3yr old grey filly was kept in a handy position until hitting the front with a furlong to go. Despite looking like she was carrying her head a bit strangely, she warmed to the task, stayed on and won by a neck, doing just enough and with probably a bit held back if needed.

She was a horse you couldn't back purely on her past form/performances, and that's where the stats come in, as trainers are creatures of habit who stick to methods that serve them well. More of the same hopefully today in a competitive-looking...

2.50 Catterick:

Where there are some similarities to yesterday's selection and reasoning.

The trainer in focus today is Philip Kirby who, like Rae Guest yesterday, has been very profitable to follow in recent times.

In fact had you backed every single one of Philip's 275 handicap entrants on the Flat in the last four years, you have collected from the bookies on 45 occasions, with that 16.4% strike rate netting you a cool 90.8pts profit to 1pt level stakes bets, an ROI of a shade over 33%.

It isn't however, really that viable to back Mr Kirby's runners when the money is down for them and if we discarded the 23 runners priced below 5/2 (not that we'd generally back them for SotD anyway!), we would admittedly lose 7 winners and reduce our strike rate down to 15.1% (38 winners from 252), but the overall profits rise to 95.8pts, or 38% of stakes. And that to me, is a wise move.

Those figures obviously include all runners priced at 5/2 and above and we therefore need to check the numbers aren't skewed by a big winner or two, but I've had a look at the rae data and it tells me that his runners are profitable in a whole range of odds brackets, as I'll show you now...

5/2 to 20/1 : 38/207 = 18.4% SR for 140.7pts (+68% ROI) profit
5/2 to 12/1 : 32/157 = 20.4% SR for 77.3pts (+49.3% ROI) profit
5/2 to 8/1 : 26/103 = 25.2% SR for 61.0pts (+59.2% ROI) profit

Incidentally over 52% of the lower bracket horses were placed, opening up the possibility of an E/W bet, should we need/want one.

Mr.Kirby's runner in this contest today is Just Paul and like yesterday's selection, he is the trainer's only runner of the day. Philip Kirby is also one of those trainers with a very good record on those occasions when he has just one horse to run, with 21 winners from 77 ( 27.3% SR) over the lat four years generating 103.5pts (+134.5% ROI) profits.

We can drill down further into these solo runners and find that those sent off at odds of 7/2 to 20/1 won 17 of 51 races, a 1-in-3 record producing excellent profits of 119.4pts or 234.1% of stakes invested, whilst those priced between 7/2 & 10/1 were the winners of 13 races from 32 (40.6% SR) for level stakes profits of 57.6pts (+180% ROI).

Just Paul comes here in good nick, having won last time out at Musselburgh three weeks ago. That was at this same Class 3 level and over today's 7f trip on similarly good to soft ground as he'll encounter today. Prior to that, he was 3rd at Redcar (5 weeks ago now) on his seasonal reappearance after a 23 week absence. He was only beaten by two necks over a mile that day.

He has a course and distance win to his name already and his overall record is decent, with 6 wins from 18 so far and a 50% place strike rate. All six of his wins to date have come from his 12 attempts at today's 7f trip and he's two from two on good to soft.

If his 6/18 record wasn't good enough, then we should note that he was 0/5 before switching to Philip Kirby's yard and I fancy him to go well again today, despite a 5lb rise in the weights.

When I wrote this, not all the firms had priced the race up, but from those who had, I saw there was just about enough juice in a safety-first approach, so the call is a 0.5pts E/W bet on Just Paul at 13/2 BOG. That price is currently offered by PP & BetVictor, so take your pick! The other eight firms with a book open were at least half a point shorter at the time of press (just before 1am!), as you'll no doubt see when you...

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Here is today's racecard.

Double Dutch, 5th March 2014

Double Dutch

Double Dutch

Double Dutch, 5th March 2014

After a string of near-misses where we kept finding just the one winner, we had a much better day yesterday. Rhymers Stone was backed in from our advised 5/2 and was sent off at 15/8 and the market was proved right, as he stayed on well to win by half a length, taking his record on soft ground to 3 wins from 4.

Race 2 was a strange, but satisfactory affair though.On the turn for home, the eventual winner Rugged Jack was way off the pace in last of the 5 still running and at least 25 lengths behind the leader, whilst Revaader was the only horse not being driven. As they approached the 3rd from home, Revaader was travelling really well and looked a shoo-in to finally break her duck at the 17th attempt.

She was a good six or seven lengths clear and coasting, but her front legs buckled under her on landing and the race was gone. Rugged jack, meanwhile found something from nowhere and outstayed the others to get home by two lengths. The icing on the cake was a drift from our 9/4 price out to 11/4, making for a nice 12.13/1 double.

The cherry on the icing on the cake was Stat of the Day's earlier 6/1 winner (reduced to 5.4/1 after Rule 4) and I mention this, because I know that many of you like to do the treble and yesterday's was settled at a very attractive 83/1 and SotD also highlighted another 4/1 BOG winner to boot.

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Tuesday's DD results were as follows:

Rhymers Stone: won at 15/8 (adv 5/2)
Light The City: 3rd at 11/4 (adv 3/1)
---------------------------------
Rugged Jack: won at 11/4 (adv 9/4)
Revaader: fell at 11/10 (adv 2/1)

Results to date:
169 winning selections from 598 = 28.26%
56 winning bets in 158 days = 35.44%

Stakes: 312.00pts
Returns: 354.19pts

P/L : +42.19pts (+13.52% ROI)

We're back above he 40pt barrier again and I hope to climb towards 50pts with these two chases in North Yorkshire:

2.45 Catterick:

Tiny Dancer is the current 15/8 BOG favourite with Stan James to land this contest and it's not hard to see why. He was last seen three weeks ago putting himself 24 lengths ahead of his nearest rival at Ayr and although this is another half mile further, he has already demonstrated that he stays this far by finishing second at Carlisle over this trip on his penultimate outing. His jumping was admittedly, a little sketchy that day, but it was his first effort over fences and he's entitled to come on for the experience.

If his jumping lets him down today, though, I'd expect Harris to be the one to take advantage. This one is coming into some decent form and won a hurdles race over today's track and trip a week before Christmas, before making his chase debut here over course and distance just over three weeks ago. he was fairly well beaten (22 lengths) that day, but stayed on well to hold on to second place with the winner Pinerolo going on to win again next time out at a higher level (Class 2).

He's another whose jumping is expected to improve for the benefit of a second crack at fences and prior course experience might be telling factor here today and Harris can be backed at 9/4 BOG with Boylesports.

*

4.15 Catterick:

Dark And Dangerous is an interesting entrant here, running in a handicap chase for the first time (but not his first effort over fences) and despite going off the boil in five hurdles races since finishing 1st and then 2nd ten months ago, could well have found a way back to form. He ran second at Newton Abbot last May off a mark of 119 on the back of a Ffos Las win off 115, but is rated at just 105 here today, some 23lbs lower than when contesting the Fred Winter almost two years ago. The fact he was even there shows there's ability about him and at 11/4 BOG, he's probably one of the better options in what looks a pretty poor contest.

The best recent form, however, comes from Endeavor, who would be my fancy here at 5/2 BOG. He has won 10 races to date, which is more than his four rivals have done between them and was a very creditable fourth at Musselburgh last time out. He was beaten by less than 9 lengths in total that day 3 weeks ago despite weakening late on. The drop back by 4 furlongs should help a horse who has already won here at Catterick albeit over hurdles and his best form comes at these shorter trips on good to soft ground, so conditions should be ideal for him here.

4 x 0.5pt BOG doubles, as follows:
Tiny Dancer / Endeavor @ 8.63/1 (7/4 & 5/2 : BetVictor)
Tiny Dancer / Dark And Dangerous @ 9.31/1 (7/4 & 11/4 : BetVictor)
Harris / Endeavor @  9.50/1 (2/1 & 5/2 : generally)
Harris / Dark And Dangerous @ 10.25/1 (2/1 & 11/4 : generally)

Stat of the Day, 25th February 2014

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 25th February 2014

Do you ever get that feeling that you've wasted your time? I felt that way with Monday's SotD, if I'm honest. Monday racing is generally pretty poor and I often find it difficult to find a horse with decent stats at a decent price.

However, King's Grace seemed to fit the bill and I got a reasonably good value 3/1 about him, only to see the field decimated by no less than 7 of the 10 runners being withdrawn.

This made for a farcical situation, my 3/1 was eroded to 6/5, a price way too low for SotD and then the bugger got himself turned over at even money. There was however, a silver lining to the cloud over proceedings in that my R4-affected bet was still priced up at 20% above SP and as Matt rightly told us all yesterday: value is key to success.

More chase action today, as we visit North Yorkshire and more specifically, the...

3.50 Catterick:

Where this Class 4 Handicap Chase over the minimum trip sees George Moore's Turf Trivia attempt to complete back to back wins inside five days.

I'm not too concerned about him being turned out again quickly in a bid to keep him running well whilst confidence is high, as past stats suggest he'll go well.

Over the last five years, NH handicap races at the sharper end of trip ie 2m to 2m2f have been good to horses running for the second time within eight weeks, whose last run was four or five days ago. In fact of those turned back out so quickly, regardless of their last result, have won 98 of 340 races (28.8% strike rate) when priced at 12/1 or under. This has resulted in level stakes profits of 200.8pts over the five-year period, a 59% rate of return.

Of those 340 runners, 71 out of 188 were top three finishers last time out with that 37.8% strike rate yielding 123.5pts (+65.7% ROI) profit, whilst those finishing in the top three of a chase went on to win 24 of 58 races (41.4% SR) for 53.3pts (+91.9% ROI).

In fact, LTO winners have a very good record overall in handicap chases when turned out within five days of a win, especially at the sharper (and SotD!) end of the market. If we applied a 6/1 cap to such horses, history tells us that they go on to record the double 38% of the time in fields of 6 to 14 runners. This is courtesy of 93 winners from 245 races and is responsible for excellent profit figures of 97.5pts (+39.8% ROI).

Those are actually long-term figures, but they aren't skewed by some good results several years ago. In fact the recent record stands up to scrutiny with 26 winners from 67 in the last three years achieving a strike rate of 38.8% for level stakes profits of 23.2pts, or 34.6% ROI. These short-term numbers are very similar to the historical data, which is always a good sign.

Turf Trivia fits both the criteria nicely and he has been running well of late. He was a decent enough third at Newcastle almost six weeks ago, before winning well at Sedgefield lat Thursday. The stats will say he only won by two and three quarter lengths that day, but he was never troubled and won comfortably easing down once the race was won. Regular jockey Barry Keniry (on board again today) never had to touch him with the stick, just a quick shake of the reins was enough that day.

The horse has been raised 7lbs for that win, but he wasn't overexerted nor asked for an effort, so should be able to carry the extra burden here. I'd expect to see him around the 9/2 to 5/1 mark yet again, so I'm taking advantage of a larger price which appears to offer some value with a 1pt win bet on Turf Trivia at 13/2 BOG with BetVictor. Feel free, however, to...

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Double Dutch, 10th February 2014

Double Dutch

Double Dutch

Double Dutch, 10th February 2014

It was, as expected, tight between Tidal Bay and First Lieutenant in the Lexus yesterday with just half a length separating the two. Unfortunately for us and many others, nobody had really given Last Instalment a second thought, yet the 8/1 shot virtually made all and pretty much hacked up by almost nine lengths!

That rendered our earlier 9/4 success with Vibrato Valtat irrelevant, I'm afraid, although we should note that he won comfortably in decent enough company and could be one to watch. That aside, we still lost our 2pts staked!

Yesterday's results were as follows:

Vibrato Valtat: won at 7/5 (adv 9/4)
Chocala: u/p at 2/1  (adv 13/8)
---------------------------------
First Lieutenant: 3rd at 5/4 (adv 5/2)
Tidal Bay: 2nd at 5/2 (adv 3/1)

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Results to date:
145 winning selections from 511 = 28.38%
48 winning doubles in 136 days = 36.02%

Stakes: 268.00pts
Returns: 295.05pts

P/L : +27.05pts (+10.09% ROI)

The profit levels are still looking healthy, but I'll be looking to top them up some more today, despite it looking pretty dire fayre!

3.50 Catterick:

There's little to separate Real Milan and Union Jack D'ycy here in my opinion and the bookies seem to agree, for they can't quite who is the favourite for this one. They both act well on heavy ground and Union Jack D'ycy is probably my marginal pick here, but it could and should be tight. This one has a record of 4311 on heavy ground and was a triple chase winner in France before joining Venetia Williams whose chasers tend to go well here. This one is currently available at 3/1 BOG with Stan James.

Real Milan was impressive enough when chasing home the very well treated Rose of the Moon last time out and with only a 2lb drop in the weights despite that effort, looks set to be a major player here too. He stays all day long, he's 1411 on heavy ground and his yard are 5/9 with chasers on this track. All of which makes him a very good candidate at the 11/4 BOG currently on show at BetVictor.

*

5.00 Wolverhampton:

James Tate has a good record here at Wolverhampton and sends out Secret Suspect as his sole runner today. This one broke her duck last time out over 7f at this very track and they way she stayed on towards the finish suggested that the step up in trip today could play to her strengths. She beat Excellent Royale by three parts of a length last time and ER then went on to score by 2.25 lengths next time out, which means a follow up off a reasonable mark of 70 shouldn't be beyond her, which probably explains the 7/4 BOG odds.

However, I have a slight preference for the 5/2 shot Filament of Gold. Joe Fanning is in the saddle for Mark Johnston here and the pair are 9/13 together at Wolves this year! This horse is better than his 5th place at Kempton looks on paper. He was only beaten by 3.5 lengths that day and it was a far better quality contest than today's race.

He has also been dropped 2lbs since that run and will come here fresh from a break of almost 4 months. We should also note that Mark Johnston's horses tend to perform best when returning from a break of 2 to 6 months, which makes his current odds of 5/2 BOG look very appealing.

4 x 0.5pt BOG doubles, as follows:
Union Jack D'ycy / Secret Suspect @ 10/1 (3/1 & 7/4 : Stan James)
Union Jack D'ycy / Filament of Gold @ 13/1 (3/1 & 5/2 : Stan James)
Real Milan / Secret Suspect @ 9.31/1 (11/4 & 7/4 : BetVictor)
Real Milan / Filament of Gold @ 12.13/1 (11/4 & 5/2 : BetVictor)

Double Dutch, 22nd January 2014

Double Dutch

Double Dutch

Double Dutch, 22nd January 2014

And back down to earth with a bump! After a run of 4 winning doubles in 7 days, I suppose a bad day at the office was almost overdue!

The best I could manage was the one length defeat of Columbian Roulette, who had been backed in from 2/1 to an SP 0f 5/4, but failed to catch the winner.

This was probably just as well, since the second race was a personal disaster. Carli King beat Grey Wulff home by some 53 lengths, as the pair finished 4th and 5th in a five horse race and despite CK putting that distance between him and GW, he was still a good 25 lengths behind the winner. Moving on is our best bet here!

Yesterday's results were as follows:

Columbian Roulette : 2nd at 5/4 (adv 2/1)
Frankthetank : 5th at 4/1 (adv 3/1)
---------------------------------
Carli King : 4th of 5 (adv 11/4)
Grey Wulff : 5th of 5! (adv 2/1)

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Results to date:
126 winning selections from 436 = 28.90%
41 winning doubles in 117 days = 35.04%

Stakes: 232.00pts
Returns: 248.04pts

P/L : +16.04pts (+6.91% ROI)

A quick return to winning ways is hoped for from these:

1.40 Catterick:

Dianne Sayer trained the winner of the last running of this race and she'll fancy her chances of repeating the feat with Newdane Dancer who won over course and distance when dropped into a seller almost four weeks ago. This may be a Class 5 handicap, but the reality is that it's of no better quality than that seller. She stayed on strongly to win that day and seemed to have plenty in hand. She is, admittedly, up 8lbs for that win, but still receives chunks of weight from most of her rivals here.

Newdane Dancer is 2 from 4 on soft ground and is the only course and distance winner on the race and I expect her to "double" up at 7/2 BOG today with the most likely threat coming from Logical Approach, who was 3rd here three weeks over 2m3f and ran very well before running out of steam late on and it is expected that he'll be happier at this shorter trip in a race that looks far less competitive than his New Year's Day appearance.

First-time blinkers seemed to help him that day and they are reapplied here in the hope that at 5/1 BOG, he can offer a real alternative to the main selection.

*

3.55 Southwell:

Millers Reef was excellent last time out when he handled the soft ground superbly to win by five lengths over a similar trip to today. It's soft yet again here and this could develop into an attritional battle. That run four weeks ago seemed to be what he's been looking for and took it in his stride on his first attempt at a trip 5 furlongs further than ever before. A 7lb rise shouldn't stop him from putting in another big effort and he looks a decent bet at 2/1 BOG.

Bold Tara has really upped her game of late and finished second over course and distance here five weeks ago, before following up with a win her a fortnight ago over a shorter trip on heavy ground. She's up 10lbs for that win, but has a 7lb claimer on board which should help her on her 4th visit to Southwell, having won once and been placed on her other two runs, which were both over this trip and on soft ground. She could be a danger at 9/2 BOG.

4 x 0.5pt BOG doubles with Bet365 as follows:
Newdane Dancer / Millers Reef @ 12.50/1 (7/2 & 2/1)
Newdane Dancer / Bold Tara @ 23.75/1 (7/2 & 9/2)
Logical Approach / Millers Reef @ 17/1
(5/1 & 2/1)
Logical Approach / Bold Tara @ 32/1 (5/1 & 9/2)

Double Dutch, 1st January 2014

Double Dutch

Double Dutch

Double Dutch, 1st January 2014

We closed out 2013 with another winning day, but a dead heat in race 2 dramatically reduced our profits.

The day started well with a 1-2 finish at Uttoxeter with our selections finishing within half a length of each other with the next horse over 20 lengths adrift. Forecast backers were treated to a 6.8/1 return from this one.

In race 2, Mrs Jordan was well backed from our 5/4 into 5/6 at the off, but she didn't have enough left late on and could only manage third place. Tickity Bleue, however, travelled strongly until getting caught on the line by a flying finish from Molly's A Diva. Our selection did just enough to hold on for a share of a lead for a dead heat.

This meant a return of 3.05pts as opposed to the 6.1pts expected, but it's still a profit of 52.5% on the day.

Yesterday's results were as follows:

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Tresor de Bontee: won at 9/4 BOG (adv 85/40)
Lord of House: 2nd at 3/1 adv (SP 5/2)
(The forecast paid £7.80 here)
---------------------------------
Tickity Bleue: Dead Heat 1st at 11/4 BOG (adv 9/4)
Mrs Jordan: 3rd at 5/4 adv (SP 5/6)

Results to date:
105 winning selections from 356 = 29.49%
33 winning doubles in 96 days = 34.38%

Stakes: 190.00pts
Returns: 205.45pts

P/L : +15.45pts (+8.13% ROI)

We kick off the New Year in a position of relative health and hope to press on with these:

12.30 Tramore:

Which I expect to turn out to be a match between Federici and Billybuster.

Federici looks a progressive sort and was a winner over 2m2f on heavy ground three days ago. Provided this race doesn't come too soon for him, there's every chance he can go in again at odds of around 11/8. He drops back in trip to the minimum 2m, which should help to reduce the impact of the 6lb penalty shouldered for Sunday's win.

Billybuster, however, is a real threat and probably offers a little more value at 5/2. He's 2113 over hurdles this winter campaign, as he followed up a course and distance win in October with another good victory at Wexford 16 days later. He ran creditably in defeat, when 3rd last time out, 18 days ago at Fairyhouse. He was beaten by 6 lengths that day, with Luke's Benefit (Yesterday's SotD winner!) taking the spoils.

*
1.05 Catterick:

Just four go to post for this one and I'm immediately going to discount the 14/1 rank outsider Cara Court, leaving me the task of omitting one of the more fancied runners.

The one I'm avoiding is the 7/4 favourtie Desert Lord, mainly because the price offers no real value for a horse that seems to finish weakly. The ground is going to be testing today and we need to be on one that stays on, rather than folding tamely. There's no doubting his ability, but he's not for me today.

This leaves Bocamix and Forestside as our selections. Bet365 offer 3/1 BOG about Bocamix and he's be my preferred option, despite being 0/9 over fences. He ahs been running very well recently, finishing 2nd at Sedgefield in better company than this and he looked set for another good run when unseating his rider ast time out. Conditions should suit him in a race that shouldn't take much winning.

Forestside is another chase maiden (0/17!), but has been getting closer of late with finishes of 332 in hs last three efforts. He was a decent second over course and distance a fortnight ago and he now drops to a career-low mark, making him quite dangerous to our selection. Forestside can be backed at 9/4 with Stan James.

4 x 0.5pt BOG doubles as follows:
Federici / Forestside @ 6.72/1 (Stan James 11/8 & 9/4)
Federici / Bocamix @ 17/2 (Bet365 11/8 & 3/1)
Billybuster / Forestside @ 19/2 (Bet Internet 5/2 & 2/1)
Billybuster / Bocamix @ 13/1 (Bet365 5/2 & 3/1)

Double Dutch, 28th December 2013

Double Dutch

Double Dutch

Double Dutch, 28th December 2013

No 5-timer yesterday as our festive winning run finally came to an end. The day started well enough with a 1-2 finish and a 9/1 forecast as Baile Anrai just got up ahead of the visibly tiring Christopher Wren, who had looked like landing us a nice 4/1 winner to begin proceedings.

The second race was a let down, though, as Majala fell three from home, but was already looking beaten and this left King of the Wolds in 2nd place, a position he was unable to improve, finishing a good 11 lengths behind the easy winner.

Yesterday's results were as follows:

Baile Anrai: won at 5/2 adv (SP 15/8)
Christopher Wren: 2nd at 4/1 BOG
(The forecast paid 10.03)
---------------------------------
King of the Wolds: 2nd at 11/4 adv (SP 13/8)
Majala: fell at 5/2 adv (SP 9/4)

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Results to date:
98 winning selections from 340 = 28.82%
30 winning doubles in 92 days = 32.61%

Stakes: 182.00pts
Returns: 190.55pts

P/L : +8.55pts (+4.49% ROI)

My personal target is a 1-in-3 strike rate for these doubles, so a winner from these today will even that out:

3.00 Catterick:

I expect this to develop into a two-horse race between the 7/4 favourite Twice Lucky and the 5/2 shot Allanard. Twice Lucky ran well in defeat last time out, finishing second at Newcastle when stepping up half a mile in trip. Finishing three miles that day will help him here and the fact he's only carrying 10st 1lb less a 5lb jockey claim could be decisive here in what looks to be a severe stamina test for the five runners.

Allanard is proven to get both trip and conditions and looks reasonably treated if running to anything like his best form. He looked more like his old self two starts ago, when second at Hexham, but did flop at Wetherby last time out. It is hoped/expected that the fitting of blinkers will help today and he's probably the best alternative to the favourite in what looks to be a dour affair.


3.25 Newbury:

Only five go here too (too much racing at this time of year and not enough decent horses to go round, in my opinion anyway!) and yet again I can't see this one not going to one of the two market leaders. So much so, that I've already backed the forecasts at 15/8 BOG with Bet365, but the official play will be the two singles.

My marginal preference is the Henderson/McCoy partnership with Stand To Reason, who was a useful runner on the Flat before changing hands for over £100,000. He won with plenty to spare on his hurdling debut and looks well set to go in again at 5/4 for a yard that has won this race on six of the last seven renewals.

Wilde Blue Yonder is, however, a real big danger to the selection and it's only because his win LTO wasn't as impressive that I make him my second choice. He won a soft ground bumper at Uttoxeter, before landing a hurdles event at the first time of asking over course and distance here and if this race becomes a bit of a battle up front, he may well prevail at odds of up to 11/8 (BetVictor).

4 x 0.5pt BOG doubles as follows:
Twice Lucky / Stand To Reason @ 5.19/1 (Coral 7/4 & 5/4)
Twice Lucky / Wilde Blue Yonder @ 5.19/1 (Coral 7/4 & 5/4)
Allanard / Stand To Reason @ 7.25/1 (Stan James 11/4 & 6/5)
Allanard / Wilde Blue Yonder @ 7.32/1 (BetVictor 5/2 & 11/8)

P.S. If you want to do the forecast in race 2, the Bet365 double is 9.08/1 using Allanard and 5.84/1 with Twice Lucky.

Stat of the Day, 28th December 2013

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 28th December 2013

Utopie des Bordes showed she had the stamina to get over 3 miles on soft/heavy ground yesterday, but she lacked the necessary pace late on to keep up with the leaders and had to eventually settle for 4th place.

She was sent off at 3/1, a good deal shorter than outr advised 9/2 odds, so we did at least beat the market. All well and good for the traders amongst, but for most of us, it's a 1pt loss.

A loss I aim to recoup in the...

12.55 Catterick:

With Donald McCain's recruit to hurdling, Zip Wire....

Mr McCain's horses are in a rich vein of form at the moment with an almost 1-in-4 strike rate over the last two months and more tellingly: 11 winners from 34 (32.4% SR) in the last fortnight forming part of a 50% place strike rate.

He has a good recent record here at Catterick with 13 winners from his 38 runners priced at an SP of 6/1 or under during the last two years. That's a strike rate of 34.2% responsible for a profit of just under 11pts or 28.7% of stakes. His last eight such runners here have finished 11113112.

Zip Wire will be ridden by Jason Maguire today, so he's in good hands under a jockey who is already 4/8 at this track this month.

Today is Zip Wire's first outing for the McCain yard, having been recruited from Irish Flat racing, but I would let that put you off. In the last three years, Donald McCain has given 145 horses, aged 4 to 6, their NH debut on their first outing for the yard. The results are pretty impressive too.

37 of the 145 have won (25.5% SR) for a level stakes profit of 49.2pts, and ROI of 33.9% and you can be sure this horse will have been prepared properly for this run.

As for the horse himself, he didn't actually win any of his seven outings on the flat, but made the frame in 5 of his last 6 races and looked a better horse the further he went and the softer the ground was. In fact, his best effort was probably his last start for Edward Lynam. He made a slow start that day and was a good distance behind the leaders but stayed on strongly to finish third over 1m5f on soft ground.

He managed to make up enough ground in the latter stages to get within 3 lengths of the winner, Quick Jack, who has since made a winning switch to hurdling, landing a Class 3 handicap on his jumping debut at Cheltenham six weeks ago.

I don't think the ground will trouble him unduly and I'd expect the team to have him ready, therefore I think there's a decent chance he can get up on debut here today. So, it's a 1pt win bet on Zip Wire, who trades as low as 11/4 in places, but there's still plenty of 7/2 BOG on offer too. I'm on with Bet365, but to see who else is offering the same price...

Click here for the latest betting on the 12.55 Catterick

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Stat of the Day, 17th December 2013

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 17th December 2013

Makethe Mostofnow was sent off at 15/2 (from our advised 10/1) and although he never looked like troubling the winner, he did stay on well to snatch 3rd on the run in.

We'd gone E/W about a horse who loves the tough going at Ffos Las and he netted us a small, but welcome 0.5pts profit from the race: a sum I'd settle for every day if truth be told.

Today's quest for profit leads us to the...

3.10 Catterick:

Irish trainer Stuart Crawford has a remarkable record in bumper races with 18 winners from 57 runners since May 2009. That represents a strike rate of almost 31.6% and has produced level stakes profits of some 44.27pts, or 77.67 pence in the pound!

There's no big winner skewing the returns there either, as his record with runners priced at 6/1 or under is 16 wins from 38 (42.1% SR) for 40.87pts (+107.55% ROI). And from those 38 runners, four have raced here at Catterick at odds of 6/1 or under, finishing 1212 for 4.5pts profit.

Stuart is represented is this contest by Beatu, who showed plenty of promise when 3rd over this course and distance on his debut under Rules thirteen days ago. He was held up for a run that day before staying on well to finish five lengths shy of the winner. he'd have got much closer had he raced a little more prominently.

That said, he still put 7 lengths daylight between himself and the next horse home. The booking of "the Champ" AP McCoy is interesting here for sure. I'm pretty certain that his amateur handler gave it his best shot last time out, but I'd expect better with AP doing the driving on a horse sure to have benefited from the run over course and distance.

Beatu is a half-brother to the useful Dani California who won four times over today's trip, including the 2009 Irish Cesarewitch. He definitely needs to improve to land that first victory, but conditions seem right for him here.

I'm staking a 1pt win bet on Beatu and I'm taking the 7/2 BOG on offer from SkyBet (this is also available at BetVictor), but as always the advice is to...

Click here for the latest betting on the 3.10 Catterick

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Double Dutch, 8th October 2013

Double Dutch

Double Dutch

Double Dutch, 8th October 2013

I'd narrowed yesterday's first race down to three contenders and thankfully discarded the right one as Oasis Fantasy beat Throne Room home in another 1-2 for the Double Dutch.

Unfortunately, we were unable to secure the double, as both Train Hard and Inherited made the frame, but were ultimately thwarted by a surprise 12/1 winner who stayed on dourly and refused to be caught, denying us an 18.25/1 double in the process!

Yesterday's results were as follows:

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Oasis Fantasy: won at 9/2
Throne Room: 2nd at 6/4 (SP evens)
(The Exacta paid £12.50 here to a £1 stake!)
---------------------------------
Train Hard: 2nd at 5/2 (SP 9/4)
Inherited: 3rd at 5/2 (SP 15/8)

Trial to date:

31 winning selections from 118 = 26.27%
8 winning doubles in 33 days = 24.24%

Stakes: 64.5pts
Returns: 49.78pts

P/L : -14.72pts (-22.82% ROI)

Back to back UK flat action today, starting in the...

3.20 Brighton
Caridadi and Desert Society hold the best pieces of form on show in this maiden of those who have previously run and the market doesn't really support any of the debutants here. Caridadi is currently 7/4 (BetVictor) and was only beaten by a length and a half into third at Haydock last time out, despite running green for much of the race. He's sure to have come on for that effort and is entitled to step up here today.

Desert Society went one better on his debut finishing second in a very promising run at Kempton. He travelled strongly that day and looked like he needed further than the 7f on offer there. Today's mile trip should suit him better and he looks a decent prospect at 3/1 (generally)

3.30 Catterick
King of Macedon is even money with Paddy Power and it's easy to see why. he impressively beat The Hooded Claw (subsequently 5th in Listed class) on debut at Ripon 10 days and wouldn't need to improve to take this too.

The main danger is likely to come from Ventura Quest who has already won once and made the frame once in three starts. The 4/1 on offer from Stan James is interesting, as he's far less exposed than any of the other rivals to the favourite.

4 x 0.5pt BOG doubles as follows:
Caridadi / King of Macedon @ 5.25 with BetVictor, Boylesports and Paddy Power
Caridadi / Ventura Quest @ 13.15 with Stan James
Desert Society / King of Macedon @ 8.00 with Paddy Power
Desert Society / Ventura Quest @ 20.00 with William Hill

Double Dutch, 21st September 2013

Double Dutch

Double Dutch

Double Dutch, 21st September 2013

Not for the first time, and for the second successive day, we bombed out in race 1, but had the 1-2 in race 2. This time, neither of the two marktet leaders, Diplomat and Shamar, even made the frame despite SPs of 6/5 and 9/4 respectively.

This, of course, meant that whilst we got the first two home in race 2, both at significantly lower odds than we'd advised, it was another disappointing day. There was, however, a little light relief for those of you doing the forecasts/exactas, as a £1 Exacta paid £9.50, which isn't bad considering the SPs were 7/4 & 9/4.

Yesterday's results were as follows:

Diplomat : 4th
Shamar : 5th
---------------------------------
Horsted Keynes : won at 11/4 (SP 7/4)
Invisible Hunter : 2nd at 3/1 (SP 9/4)

Trial to date:

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14 winning selections from 59 = 23.73%
2 winning doubles in 16 days

Stakes: 31pts
Returns: 11.66pts

P/L : -19.34pts (-62.39% ROI)

It's all well and good me saying that we're not a million miles away from having a decent crack at this, but unfortunately results have been poor and I need a better outcome from today's races which start with the...

3.55 Catterick:

A handicap mark of 82 allotted to a runner in an ordinary maiden suggests that Red Warrior should be taking this quite easily: last year's winner had an OR of 70. He has already beaten a couple of today's rivals in the process of finishing just a length and a half behind the winner at Newcastle last time out.

I expect him to handle the drop in trip today and he'll probably keep himself towards the head of affairs and the 6/4 price tag is probably about right.

The main danger is likely to come from lightly-raced Dawn Calling, who acquitted himself well enough to finish third on debut at Ripon (beaten by 10l), before repeating that placing at Kempton last time out. He's a £100k Shamardal half-brother to 9.5f/1¼m winner Chatterer and he's expected to show further improvement today at odds of 13/8.

 

7.20 Wolverhampton:

The winner from this race should come from the first three in the market. Song of Rowland is quite rightly favourite at 6/4 and really should be taking this one. This is a Class 6 race and he has a Class 4 win under his belt just three starts ago and has run at 3 and 2 since, so this is a major step down for him today. The only slight worry is whether he takes to the surface, which might open the door for...

...either Kodafine or Hickster. Kodafine has some ability at this level, but suffers from real temperament issues. So much so, that she reared at the start at Lingfield last time out and put jockey Richard Hughes on the floor: Mr Hughes has now jumped ship onto the favourite! The concerns about that filly's attitude will unfortunately override the undoubted ability she possesses, so I'll give her a wide berth and go with Hickster at 5/1.

Hickster was sparked into life with the application of a visor last time out at Kempton at double-digit odds behind Morally Bankrupt, who has since stepped up in class and won again. If the visor repeats its effectiveness and Hickster runs to his best, he could push this favourite all the way.

4 x 0.5pt BOG doubles as follows:
Red Warrior/ Song of Rowland @ 5.95 with BetVictor and/or Hills
Red Warrior / Hickster @ 15.00 with BetVictor and/or BoyleSports
Dawn Calling / Song of Rowland @ 6.25 with Hills
Dawn Calling / Hickster @ 15.78 with Stan James

Stat of the Day, 24th April 2013

Stat of the Day: 24/04/13

Stat of the Day: 24/04/13

Stat of the Day, 24th April 2013

We got back on the winning trail yesterday, as our 13/2 shot Chill Factor eased home at a well supported 9/2. Rachael Green gave the horse a lovely ride and the seven lengths winning margin could have been much more if she'd wanted it.

It's a Class 6 handicap on the flat today, where 15 runners tackle the 7 furlong trip in the...

2.35 Catterick:

Where my selection is Bernardino, trained by David Barron.

Mr Barron's horses have a good record in April handicaps over the shorter trips. Over the last five seasons, he has produced 17 winners from 74 April handicappers in races between five and ten furlongs. This excellent 23% strike is responsible for 76.75pts profit at level stakes = 103.7% ROI. There's also some relief for E/W backers too, as 35 of the 74 (47.3%) have been placed generating E/W returns of 114.6pts (+77.4%).

Bernardino makes his handicap debut today after three promising but unspectacular runs, but one suspects that his trainer has him very ready for this and any market support later in the day would prove very interesting indeed. He has run all three races over 5 and 6 furlongs, so the step up is also seen as a training ploy.

It would come as no surprise to see Mr Barron pull another winner out of the bag today, his record with handicap debutants is two wins and a place from five runners, when that debut is in April, so both the trainer and I will be hoping for an improvement on that 60% place strike rate at the least.

As of 10.10am the best price available was 6/1 BOG with both Coral and Stan James. In a larger field, E/W is the safer option, so it's a 0.5pts E/W bet on Bernardino today. For your preferred bookie, please...

Click here for the latest betting on the 2.35 Catterick

Monday Placepot: Catterick 11th Feb 2012

Placepot Picks

Placepot Picks

It's off to Catterick for the placepot today, and with a four runner and a seven runner race, things might get interesting. Let's hope so. It kicks off at 14.05...

2.05

A novice hurdle which is ostensibly a four horse race, despite ten going to post. Nice and simple, we'll side with Abbey Storm, who should stay this far, and looks a nice prospect.

A - 2

2.40

Trappy. Just how I like it. Trend Is My Friend gets to handicaps pretty quickly, and makes A. Amok won on good to soft and also makes A. Alba King doesn't have any evidence of enjoying soft ground and is overlooked. A couple of rags on B, starting with Zazamix, for whom conditions are optimal if he can put a bad run and a tumble over fences behind him on this reversion to hurdles. Molaise Lad ought to be staying on at the end here and might pass enough to make the frame for B tickets.

A - 2, 4
B - 5, 6

3.10

Four novice chasers in a handicap a reliable punting proposition does not make. It is sensible to cover all four, but in the interests of expediency I will cover only three and may save on the other one if something good happens in the 2.40 race.

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I'm going to take a big chance and swerve Dannancey's Hill, who looks a very one paced fellow. This does seems a bit easier than his most recent race, but still he seems to find one too good at the end. When you're win only, that's no good.

A - 1, 2
B - 4

3.40

Competitive stuff, and plenty with some sort of chance. Optimally suited are Fairy Nuff and Amir Pasha and they will represent the primary hopes. Supporting them on B is the trio of Mount Hope, Knight Valliant, and Silas Mariner.

Both Glencree and Charlie Crab could outrun their odds but are not sensible placepot plays.

A - 4, 13
B - 2, 3, 9

4.10

A cracking race. Lease Lend looks to have everything in his favour and is super-consistent. I'm going to bank on him here. If the placepot is shaping up nicely enough, I may look to lay him for a place on Betfair to cover my stakes.

A - 1

4.40

An unbeaten favourite and a very well supported unraced second favourite... that's A sorted with Legacy Gold and Delta Forty respectively. In a race where a lot is taken on trust, it's worth adding some ballast on B in the hope of a surprise result. As such, Dancing Lamb and Falcon's Present join the placepot party.

A - 1, 2
B - 3, 8

Basic Version, A’s only

1 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 1 x 2 = 16 bets

Basic Version, A’s and B’s

1 x 4 x 3 x 5 x 1 x 4 = 240 bets

Advanced Version, using ticket builder

This is using 20p base stakes (x4 for all As, and x2 for 5A1B combo's), but could be done for as little as 5p stakes in the betting shops.

Monday Placepot from Catterick

Monday Placepot from Catterick

Good luck!

Stat of the Day, 30th October 2012

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 30th October

And the barren spell continues. While Barista never looked like winning yesterday, just a neck and a short head separated him from second spot and a 7/5 place return. Onwards and downwards we go and today it's the Garrison for us, and the…

1.20 Catterick

We're nothing if not persistent here at SotD, and today I've found another 'bombproof' (ahem) place pick, soft ground specialist, Blue Shoes.

This fellow loves mud like I love Guinness, and he's hit the board seven out of eight times on soft ground. Alas, as yesterday, that sequence includes only one win, which tempers enthusiasm, but we need to get a return and this fellow promises price and prospect.

Blue Shoes has also hit the frame ten from thirteen starts at six furlongs, and that run contains three gold medals. Moreover, he's been in the frame in each of his four starts at Catterick, and has no truck with the grade either.

We're due a change of fortune and this chap could just be the one. He's 9/1 BOG with Ladbrokes, and that’s worth taking each way.

Click here for the latest odds on the 1.20 Catterick.