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Newland sets Cheltenham assignment for Beau Bay

Beau Bay is set to take another step up in trip and go for the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase at Cheltenham.

Trainer Richard Newland believes the three and a quarter miles will suit the 10-year-old, after he stayed three miles well to score at Doncaster.

Beau Bay also holds an entry in the Randox Grand National, but it is highly unlikely he will make the cut because he was rated only 136 until after his win on Town Moor last month.

He was raised 6lb to 142 following that success, but it came after the weights for the Aintree spectacular were published.

He won the two-mile-five-furlong Grand Sefton Handicap Chase over the National fences in December, and it is possible Beau Bay could still be back in action there for the Topham Chase if conditions are suitable.

“The handicapper put him up 6lb for his latest win, but it was too late for the National. I’m sure he won’t get in so I’m not expecting to get a run there,” said Newland.

“He might run in the Topham, but the plan is to go to the Kim Muir at Cheltenham – and we’ll take a view after that. He’s had quite a busy season.

“If he runs respectably in the Kim Muir, I might say there’s a chance we’ll keep going to Aintree in case he got in the National -and the ground would have to be soft in the Topham. I think they will be a bit too fast for him in that race if it wasn’t.

“We’re going for the Kim Muir. I think stepping up in trip is the way to go, and we’ll see how he gets on.”

Beau Bay gives Newland another big day at Aintree

Beau Bay improved on his third place from 12 months ago to win the William Hill Grand Sefton Handicap Chase at Aintree.

Ridden by 3lb claiming conditional jockey Charlie Hammond, Beau Bay (20-1) jumped brilliantly throughout to see off the opposition and give 2014 Grand National-winning trainer Dr Richard Newland another winner over the famous fences.

Sir Jack Yeats made a brave bid to make all the running and he proved a tough nut to crack, but he was unable to hold the winner on the long run for home and was beaten five lengths at the line.

Modus was a length and three-quarters away in third place, with Flying Angel a further half-length back in fourth.

Newland said: “It’s a huge thrill. We absolutely love it here – it’s no secret. With Pineau De Re winning the National and Silver Adonis winning the Foxhunters’, it’s just about our favourite place.

“This lad is a stable star. He’s not getting any younger, but he was third in this race last year and seems to love these fences – it brings him alive and gives him that bit of improvement.

“We’ve seen other Grand National fence specialists do well today (Vieux Lion Rouge winning Becher Chase) and I’m so thrilled for the horse and so thrilled for Charlie Hammond, who has been with me since he had his first winner. He’s paid us back in spades.

“We had a question mark over the trip because he was walking on the run-in last year, but he’s actually finished strongly today.

“I think we’ve just caught him right as he’s in fabulous form and it’s all come off on the day.”

He added: “We could look at coming back here in April for the Topham, but realistically, that is another step up.”

Talking About You claimed a surprise victory in the williamhill.com Best Odds Guaranteed Fillies’ Juvenile Hurdle.

Twice a winner from seven previous outings over obstacles, Sean Curran’s youngster produced a career-best performance in the hands of Harry Bannister to score by seven and a half lengths from Her Indoors.

“I didn’t think she’d handle the ground as well as she did, but she’s a hard one to get past,” said Bannister.

“The lads said she would hate this ground, but Sean just told me to try to get in as many breathers as I could and see how we get on.

“It’s great for a small team like that to get a good winner here.”

Straw Fan Jack proved far too strong for hot favourite Dargiannini in the opening William Hill Extra Place Races Daily Novices’ Hurdle.

The latter was an 8-11 chance to follow up a runaway victory in a Sedgefield bumper in October, but Straw Fan Jack (15-2) made much of the running under Richard Johnson and passed the post with 30 lengths in hand.

The success continues an excellent run of form for Brecon-based trainer Sheila Lewis, who said: “I’ve been a small trainer for the last four or five years, getting between two and three winners a season – this is my ninth winner of the season, with six horses in training.

“This horse is my stable star. Richard said there wasn’t going to be much pace in the race, so he said he’d go out and make the running.

“I don’t really have any plans. Richard mentioned the Sandown final, so we might aim for that.”

The Nick Alexander-trained Clan Legend was a 12-1 winner of the Follow @willhillracing On Twitter Handicap Chase, with Danny McMenamin taking over in the saddle from the trainer’s daughter Lucy, who suffered a serious back injury in a fall at Newcastle last month.

“I’m absolutely delighted. He’s a fourth or fifth generation home-bred, that’s his 10th win and it’s a very special place to do it,” said the Kinross handler.

“Danny gave him a brilliant ride, but it would have been lovely if Lucy had been riding him, as she should have been. She’s had an operation on her back and is getting better, but if she had a sense of humour it would be stretched a bit.

“It’s lovely to see the horse still progressing at the age of 10. I did think about running him over the National fences in the Grand Sefton, maybe I should have!”

Tom Lacey’s Kateson (5-1) dug deep to see off Eternally Yours by a nose in a thrilling climax to the William Hill Play Responsibly Handicap Hurdle.

Winning jockey Tom Scudamore said: “He had some very good form over hurdles a couple of years ago – he was only beaten by Champ and Getaway Trump in the Challow Hurdle at Newbury.

“Things haven’t worked out for him since then, but he showed a great attitude today and the cheek pieces have helped.”

Newland back in hunt for big-race success at Aintree

Dr Richard Newland is seeking more Aintree glory on Saturday when he saddles Beau Bay and Caid Du Lin in the William Hill Grand Sefton Handicap Chase.

The Claines trainer – who saddled Pineau De Re to win the Grand National in 2014 – is giving Beau Bay a second try at the famous fences after finishing third in this race 12 months ago and he is keen to see if Caid Du Lin takes to them.

“Beau Bay is in good form. This has been his winter target. It doesn’t get any easier for him because he’s in a high grade,” said Newland.

Caid Du Lin (left) in action at Sandown
Caid Du Lin (left) in action at Sandown (Julian Herbert/PA)

“He ran a blinder in it last year. Charlie (Hammond) gets on well with him and it would be great to see him have another spin round Aintree.

“Whether he’s good enough that remains to be seen. It will be a good run if he gets round.”

Newland is hoping Caid Du Lin’s class might see him run a big race.

“He’s a talented horse on his day. He might enjoy the challenge. It’s 50-50 he might take to Aintree,” he said.

“He jumps a bit right-handed though and this might be the limit of his trip, but we thought it was worth a go as he has a touch of class.”

Might Bite at his peak won the King George at Kempton in 2017
Might Bite at his peak won the King George at Kempton in 2017 (Julian Herbert/PA)

Nicky Henderson feels the National obstacles may bring out a return back to form for Might Bite.

The once top-class staying steeplechaser has lost his way – but connections have not given up on him yet.

“He’s been in the wilderness,” said the Seven Barrows trainer this week, on a call hosted by Great British Racing.

“He won the RSA despite going via the car park, then went to Aintree and won. The following year he was second in the Gold Cup, but after that it hasn’t been easy.

“He lost that extra something special, his jumping wasn’t as accurate as it used to be and we even went cross-country racing last year, which he loved.

“His race at Ascot the other day, we and a lot of other people thought we saw serious glimpses of the old Might Bite, bowling along in front at a good gallop, jumping for fun, and a bit of fitness was all that caught him out.

“Nico (de Boinville) has always said he wanted to bring him back in trip, he can’t ride as he’s at Sandown. His biggest weapon is his jumping, he’s schooled over Aintree fences and he was a joy to watch.

“If he goes well who knows about the National, some of his owners had to be worked on to run in this! If he loved it you’d have to have a discussion.”

Donald McCain with his mum Beryl at the statue of his father, Ginger, at Aintree
Donald McCain with his mum Beryl at the statue of his father, Ginger, at Aintree (Martin Rickett/PA)

Donald McCain, who will always be intrinsically linked to Aintree, is expecting a decent run from Federici.

The 11-year-old is no stranger to these unique fences, having had five attempts.

He has finished fourth and fifth in the Becher Chase over further and McCain feels this distance might be a shade short for Federici.

“He’s in good nick this year – he’s won twice already and he loves the fences so he has plenty of experience over them,” said the Cheshire handler.

“Two-miles-six is just on the sharp side for him, but if it keeps raining it will make a big difference.

“He’s great round the fences, touch wood, and I think Brian (Hughes) is looking forward to riding him so fingers crossed.”

Huntsman Son had been set to be a leading player for Alex Hales, but the trainer did have ground concerns and he was declared a non-runner on raceday morning.

Rouge Vif puts down marker for two-mile championship honours

Rouge Vif staked an early claim for some of this season’s top-two mile chases with a stunning performance on his return to Cheltenham.

Winner of the Kingmaker Novices’ Chase at Warwick in February, the six-year-old was last seen finishing third in the Arkle Trophy at the Festival in March.

He appears to have improved significantly since, judged on an impressive weight-carrying performance in the Bentley Flying Spur Handicap Chase – travelling with enthusiasm and jumping with aplomb under Daryl Jacob on his way to a seven-and-a-half-length success.

Whittington was claiming the two-mile contest for the second year in succession, having saddled another stable star in Saint Calvados to secure victory 12 months ago.

“He was awesome,” said the Wantage handler.

“He has got a god ground action and is just so slick to jump out of it – on better ground you see him at his best.

“He was in his comfort zone there and has loved it today. I hoped he had improved for a summer break as I ride him myself most days and he feels a more powerful animal.

“He has obviously strengthened up a lot, but to win a handicap off a mark of 156 like that is impressive – he has slightly surprised me.”

Bookmakers were quick to slash Rouge Vif’s odds for both the Tingle Creek at Sandown and the Queen Mother Champion Chase back at Cheltenham.

Whittington is keen to let the dust settle before considering future plans, adding: “Today he looked like a proper two-miler. Daryl says he will stay two-and-a-half, but I don’t think we will be going up in trip yet.

“Coming back here for the Shloer Chase in three weeks’ time is a potential option, but we will have to get home and discuss and talk to Andrew (Brooks, owner), as it will be his decision and we will go from there.”

Trainer Dr Richard Newland and conditional jockey Cillin Leonard teamed up to land the squareintheair.com Handicap Hurdle for the second year in succession, this time with Captain Tom Cat.

The same combination claimed victory with Duke Street in 2019, and this year’s candidate appeared to hold excellent claims following back-to-back wins at Uttoxeter during the summer.

Always on the pace, the 15-2 chance kicked clear from the home turn and had enough in the tank to hold Debestyman at bay by two lengths.

Captain Tom Cat leads over the final flight at Cheltenham
Captain Tom Cat leads over the final flight at Cheltenham (David Davies/PA)

Newland said: “He won those two novice hurdles in the summer, I thought he was impressive in the second one and thought he might be reasonably well handicapped.

“We were actually going to run in the conditional jockeys’ race later in the day, but I just decided in the last week or two he would better suited to this as they’d go more of a gallop and the step up in trip has obviously worked for him.

“He’s got a lovely, big stride and a lovely way of doing things – he just gallops and jumps and will make a great chaser.

“It was a very good ride and a super performance from the horse today. There are plenty more races in him, but it is probably more likely over fences where it will get really interesting.”

Stat of the Day, 3rd September 2020

Wednesday's pick was...

5.00 Wolverhampton : Swiss Pride @ 11/2 BOG 2nd at 5/1 (Towards rear, switched right over 1f out, ran on final furlong, no threat)

Thursday's pick runs in the...

4.30 Southwell :

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?

Classic Escape @ 5/2 BOG

...in an 8-runner, Class 4,  Handicap Chase for 4yo+ over 3m1f on Good ground worth £4,289 to the winner...

Why?...

Again, the racecard holds all the clues for me today...

Essentially we have a trainer and a jockey with good course records (C5) and the trainer is also one of a list of trainers I keep an eye out for in Class 4 & 5 handicap chases.

So, let's start with the jockey, Sean Bowen. A closer look at his overall record here at Southwell shows that he has won 13 of 40 (32.5% SR) races for 45.92pts (+114.8% ROI) in handicap chases here since the start of 2016 when sent off at 12/1 or shorter and this includes a 9/23 (39.1%) for 30.1pts (+130.9%) return over trips of 3m to 3m2f.

And now to the trainer, Dr Richard Newland. Of his C5 record, I'm particularly interested in his runners sent off shorter than 4/1, as they are 10 from 18 (55.6% SR) for 6.32pts (+35.1% ROI) profit, whilst more generally he's one of a number of trainers that I look for in these type of events, as his record in Class 4 handicap chases since the start of 2016 stands at 22 from 75 (29.3% SR) for 12.76pts (+17% ROI).

So, a strike rate approaching 1 in 3 and a profit of almost 20p in the pound from blind backing? What's not to like?

Well, blind backing is what's not to like, as we should always seek to eliminate some of the losers where possible without affecting our returns and in this case, we should focus on the...

  • 18 from 44 (40.9%) for 9.72pts (+22.1%) at 3/1 and shorter
  • 15 from 41 (36.6%) for 13.02pts (+31.8%) with 6 and 7 yr olds
  • and the 11 from 27 (40.7%) for 27pts (+100%) at 11-20 days since last run.

The above 22/75 also includes a 35% strike rate (7 from 20) at 3 miles and beyond, whilst 6/7 yr olds at 3/1 and shorter at 11-30 dslr are 10/16 (62.5% SR) for 14.47pts (+90.5% ROI) and an A/E of 1.66 including 7 from 10 (70% and A/E of 1.68) from 7 yr olds...

...giving us... a 1pt win bet on Classic Escape @ 5/2 BOG as was available at 8.05am Thursday, 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 4.30 Southwell

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!

Punting Angles: Uttoxeter

After a recent focus on some of the UK’s All-Weather courses it’s time to adjust the radar to a little bit of National Hunt racing (I’ll return to the remaining AW tracks of Wolves and Lingfield in due course), writes Jon Shenton. For this edition, I’ve chosen the Staffordshire venue of Uttoxeter to focus upon, the reason being that, based on a quick query (run in Query Tool), this course has hosted the most races in the last few years. More races equals more data, and more data sometimes equals better inferences.

Uttoxeter is probably best known for the second longest race in the UK calendar, the 4m2f Midlands National. The course offers a year-round jumping programme, with 25 scheduled meetings per annum. The summer jewel in the crown is the prestigious and valuable Listed race, the Summer Cup.

Course Map

The course is left-handed and relatively sharp in nature.  It is seemingly synonymous with punishing winter ground meaning the track has a reputation for suiting stamina-laden types. Although, given its relative sharpness, speed is possibly an undervalued commodity, especially on the typically firmer ground during the summer. A single circuit is approximately 1 mile 3 furlongs in length, with an unusual kink in the back straight.

 

Uttoxeter Trainers

We start, as usual, with a perusal of trainer performance as a way into developing betting opportunities at the track. The table below shows the record of each yard that has had 50 or more runners at the track since 2012, at a starting price of 20/1 or shorter, and with a minimum of 10 victories over that period.

 

There is some promise in these numbers, with the trio at the top of the list possessing phenomenal records at the track. The IV data confirm that runners from these stables are approximately 2.5 to 3 times more likely to prevail than the average at this venue, and all at a healthy margin, based on A/E or plain old profit and loss.

The Sue Smith, Evan Williams and Harry Fry data also would merit further investigation should time and word count permit, which it doesn’t for this edition, sadly! 

Warren Greatrex

For Warren Gretrex, things aren’t quite as rosy as they might seem from the headline figures, as will become clear below. Firstly, it is notable that his yard hasn’t had a single winner at the course at odds above 10/1. I haven’t shown workings but if you can take that on trust, of the remaining 78 runners we get the following profile by splitting the info by calendar year.

 

 

As can be seen, performance has dipped in 2018, and thus far in 2019. In fact, there was not even a solitary placed animal this year until Elleon won on the 16th November at a welcome SP of 15/2. [As was noted in this article, the Greatrex yard suffered a big dip in fortune last campaign, and will hopefully revert to type this term].

Any projected angle from this high-level data comes with a wealth warning then. Taking the overall data at face value, 24 winners from 78 runs, a strike rate of over 30% and a reasonable return all appears to be a rock-solid no-brainer. But two victories from 22 over the last couple of years removes some of the lustre of the overall picture.

Of course, it’s possibly attributable to the usual variance and randomness (as could the over-performance of earlier years be) given the acutely small sample size. It’s the beauty / challenge / pointlessness of using data such as this to base punting on depending on your viewpoint.  I’m firmly in the beauty & challenge camp if that’s not clear enough already.

Presenting the data differently gives an alternative view.  The graph below shows the cumulative return if you had put a £1 win single on every Greatrex runner with an SP of 10/1 or shorter at Uttoxeter since 2012.

It’s not a bad picture is it? In the context of the overall numbers the relative downturn in 2018/19 of 2/22 winners doesn’t look too damaging. The key question is, what is going to happen from today onwards? Clearly nobody knows for sure, but I’d be inclined to treat this data positively, at least for the time being, and especially in light of the recent winner.

However, if that’s not convincing enough, by looking a bit deeper under the surface there are opportunities to potentially improve the chances of success and lessen the risk based on historical data.

The table below shows track performance by the race code/type data for the yard at the course.

 

Did you spot it? One of those lines is very striking indeed! Chase numbers are fine; hurdle data are competitive, but not micro material. However, the National Hunt Flat race data is exceptional and irrefutably worth tracking. Sadly, for us, the aforementioned Elleon delivered the goods recently meaning a good betting opportunity was missed. The SP of 15/2 is the largest priced winner in the dataset just to add a little bit of salt to the wound!  It does mean that for angle purposes a cap of 8/1 on SP will be used for Uttoxeter runners.

The Greatrex bumper (NHF) record at Uttoxeter is particularly strong, so it is a sensible step to check if the yard performs well in such races generally, or particularly at the Staffordshire venue. Analysing results by course suggests there is some definite further interest.  The below table offers insight:

 

 

There is no doubt that performance is strong at the top four listed tracks, arguably five if including Ffos Las. A/E’s of the quartet at the head of the table are all above or equal to 1.22, a nice benchmark.

Is it interesting or coincidence that it could be argued that the top three are all geographically close to the trainer's base (in relative terms)?  Or is it interesting that all the high-performing tracks have similarities in being left-handed sharpish constitutions? Indeed, all of the top five are left-handed circuits.

The absolute, sacrosanct rule on angle building is that every filter used to compile the angle is explainable and must make at least some degree of sense. I am aware enough to recognise entirely that the above conjecture may be stretching that point, but I have the gut feel that there is something worth noting here. Probably more based on the track layout similarities than location; after all, Lambourn to Uttoxeter is a bit of a schlep.

However, I’ll be watching Greatrex bumper entries at these tracks with great (and probably financial) interest over the coming months.

Incidentally no winners have been delivered at SP’s of greater than 15/2 in this data. While that’s risky and arguably somewhat convenient, for pure angle building I’m only going to consider those runners at 8/1 or shorter (but will personally monitor all).

 

 

The bottom line is, as always, that it is your call how - and indeed if - to play:  the numbers presented are factual, but whether they are strong enough or reasoned enough for you to part with your hard earned is your choice. Caveat emptor!

Suggestions

  • Back Warren Greatrex horses at Uttoxeter in NHF races where the SP is 8/1 or shorter
  • Take note of all other Warren Greatrex runners at 10/1 or shorter at the course
  • If you feel so inclined, track or back Warren Greatrex runners in NHF at SP’s of 8/1 or shorter in races at Warwick, Stratford and Bangor in addition to Uttoxeter

Dan Skelton

It’s hardly new news that the Stratford-based operation has a prolific and rewarding record at the not-too-distant Staffordshire track; however, it’s always worth delving to establish if any deeper insights can be attained. The first port of call in this instance is by market price (it’s usually the first item I look at), and in the case of this intel there is some enthusiasm for a deeper dive.

 

 

The data tell us that  shorter-priced animals outperform the market in terms of A/E, IV and profit (look at that 5.3 IV for animals sent off shorter than 2/1!), whilst the entrants who start at prices of 11/2 or greater just about hold their own. Shorter priced the better, then.

If a lower SP is counter-intuitively a good thing then analysing performance based on market position is a sensible step.  There may be an angle containing the favourite, rather than just short priced animals.

 

An odds rank of 1 relates to the favourite, 2 is the second favourite and so on.  It is crystal clear that a Skelton jolly at Uttoxeter is a very serious contender, with over half of them delivering, and recording an A/E of 1.29 to boot. Impressive stuff at such apparently such short prices.  It proves that there can be value when fishing at the top of the market on occasion.

Obviously, knowing whether a horse is going to start at the top of the market is a bit of guesswork if you generally back the night before or early on the day of the race, but invariably you win some, you lose some and such things even themselves out over time.

Suggestion: Back Dan Skelton horses at Uttoxeter when they are positioned as SP favourites

 

Dr Richard Newland

Third on the trainer table is Dr. Richard Newland. The former GP and Grand National-winning trainer (2014, Pineau De Re) has an impressive record at Uttoxeter. However, focusing on the time of year gives a lot of clarity regarding when the real spotlight on his runners should occur.

The graph illustrates the volume of Newland runners at Uttoxeter, as well as the number of winners.  There’s a pronounced focus on summer jumping at the track, particularly in the months of June and July.

This table shows the same data in more traditional format, with the usual supplementary info, as provided by geegeez.co.uk's Query Tool:

Admittedly, highlighting summer jumping prowess at this point in the year is terrible timing, but it’s worth keeping in cold storage until the warmer temperatures return to these lands. Again, Query Tool is your friend!

The summary version of all runners from May-Sep (inclusive) results in the below output.

That’s good enough but further optional sharpening could be attained as there is no runner that has won at odds of greater than 15/2 SP, albeit only from nine attempts (three of which placed).

I get a strong impression that there is more to find with this trainer. From a relatively small number of horses in training this is a yard worth tracking closely and getting to know in closer detail.

Suggestion: Back Dr Richard Newland horses at Uttoxeter over the summer months (May-September) at odds of 15/2 or shorter

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Distance nuggets

As ever, let's have a quick hack around some of the race dynamics at the course.

Hurdle races – 2 miles

I’ve concentrated on hurdles primarily due to the volume of data; the chases are a little sparser in frequency so harder from which to draw even moderate conclusions. Initially, then, let's pick up the two-mile distance for larger field sizes (nine or greater) the following profile is generated:

The table illustrates the Impact Value (IV) performance of horses by the various underfoot conditions and by pace profile. The column “races” simply contains the number of races that relate to those going descriptions. This is included primarily to demonstrate the sample size of each data set so you can draw your own conclusions to the relevance when assessing a race.

The data clearly shows that front end pace is important and it’s better to be at the head than biding time in the relative back positions. This is a general truism for all races on all goings at all courses.

There is a suggestion that racing prominently is of greater importance as the ground becomes more testing, with the strongest two numbers in terms of IV relating to leading in Soft (1.81) and Heavy (2.55) conditions, abeit on smaller sample sizes. Making up ground from the cheap seats is tough in all conditions, especially so in the sticky stamina-sapping Staffordshire mud.

 

Hurdle races – 2m 4furlongs

The data for the two-and-a-half-mile trip is reasonably similar to it’s shorter two-mile counterpart, namely that leaders and prominent racers are generally favoured. The green-tinged data is on the right-hand side of the table where the speed is, the redder/orange numbers relating to horses who are ridden patiently is towards the left. There isn’t the same profile in terms of front-running mudlarks getting an even better time of it, perhaps stamina becomes of greater importance than track position over the extra half-mile. Irrespective of reasons or rationale, backing a horse that is likely to be in the leading ranks seems a sensible approach when assessing a race at this distance.

 

Hurdles - 3 miles

Finally, a focus on the longer distance of the 3-mile trip. The first thing to say is that there are fewer races at this distance, but there is no doubt that based on the information available, the box seat seems to have shifted towards the prominent racers, not the horses who cut out the running.

Whilst the front runners perform perfectly well on average, it seems logical that to lead without cover for this longer distance is a more difficult proposition. The low sample sizes do not help, but there is a flavour of it becoming increasingly difficult to make all as the ground gets more testing.

Broadly speaking the optimum position is tucked in nicely behind the leaders; however, based on the overall sample sizes it is not a strong conclusion. Taking the good ground data (where there is the biggest sample, 71 races) the pace profile is relatively flat in comparison to some of the numbers we’ve seen on other tracks. However, caution is advised on likely leaders in deeper underfoot conditions.

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I hope that is of some use to you over the winter and beyond. Forget the Derby, I’m already looking forward to Dr. Newland at Uttoxeter next summer!

- JS