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Epsom Derby 2015 Preview, Trends, Tips

2015 Epsom Derby Preview, Trends, Tips, Draw, Dosage

2015 Derby Preview, Trends, Tips, Draw, Dosage

Epsom Derby 2015 Preview, Trends, Tips

First run in 1780, The Investec Derby is the pre-eminent flat race in Britain. Run over a helter-skelter piste snaking around just further than a mile and a half of Epsom's Downs, The Derby is arguably the ultimate test of a horse. Combining stamina, speed, balance and no little precocity, it takes a complete animal to triumph in Britain's "blue riband".

This year promises to be one of the most open-looking renewals since Sir Percy had just a head and two short heads to spare over the fourth placed Hala Bek. Indeed, with less than four weeks to go until Derby Day, the market bets 5/1 the field, and 8/1 bar one. That sort of a book demands a scan for a value play, or possibly two. Let's start, as always, with the trends...

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Investec Derby 2015 Trends

Most of these trends have been sourced using the excellent horseracebase.com, and cover the last eighteen Derby's, going back to Benny The Dip's narrow defeat of Silver Patriarch in 1997.

14 of the last 18 (78%) Derby winners also won last time out, from 51% of the runners in that time. But, being the most obvious winners, they were wildly unprofitable to follow... unless of course you backed them ante post before their final prep!

16 of the last 18 winners (89%) had run in the previous month, from 71% of the runners. Most horses will qualify on this score, but not all will.

The last 13 winners had raced once or twice that season.

The 62 horses with an official rating below 108 this century have all been beaten.

And that's pretty much as good as it gets...

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Epsom Derby Draw Stats

A fair bit is made of the Derby draw, with big fields commonplace. But, with the nature of the course meaning horses drawn high are initially favoured before the sweeping turn that favours low, most good animals have a chance to navigate to a preferred in-running position, when piloted by good riders!

The data bears this contention out.

Derby Draw Bias since 1997

Derby Draw Bias since 1997

 

As can be seen from the above graphic, displaying draw positions for win and placed horses since 1997, winners have come from all but the highest five stalls. However, it should be noted that only two of the 19 horses drawn that wide - 7/1 Beat All and 9/1 Linda's Lad - started the race at shorter than 12/1. Indeed, of the 16 horses drawn 16+ this century, only Linda's Lad was  shorter than 16/1.

Now it's perfectly plausible to suggest that there's a causal correlation between starting price and draw - after all, if the received wisdom is that high draws are unfavoured, then that would push the odds out, right?

Well, the balance of Linda's Lad's and Beat All's subsequent form - no wins from twelve collective starts - strongly implies that it wasn't the draw that beat them.

Indeed, taking the draw as three roughly equal thirds, 1-7, 8-14, 15+ reveals the following:

Low (1 to 7) stalls won 44% of the Derby's since 1997, and accommodated 44% of the placed horses as well, from 48% of the runners.

Middle (8 to 14) stalls were responsible for 50% of the winners in that time, and 48% of the placed horses, from 42% of the runners.

And high (15+) stalls claimed 6% winners and 8% places from 11% of the runners. Again, keep in mind the average SP of the high drawn horses was 35.84/1, so they arguably outperformed market expectations despite under-performing in terms of the size of their subset of runners.

The long and short of it is this: don't worry too much about the draw.

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Epsom Derby Key Trials

As well as the trends, there are some key trials on which to keep an eye. Most have now been run, and the last major prep, the Dante, is run this week.

Since 1992, in order of subsequent Derby winners, here are the same season prep runs [N.B. some horses ran in multiple preps] that contained at least two Epsom winners:

Your first 30 days for just £1

Dante Stakes: six (five won the Dante, one was second)
2000 Guineas: five (two winners, two second and one third)
Ballysax Stakes: three (two winners, one second)
Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial: three (all won)
Dee Stakes: two (both won)
Unraced at three: two (but none since 1996)

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The Derby 2015 Form Preview

We've not made a huge amount of progress with the trends, draw or key races, so let's tie them all together, as well as looking between the lines in search of a soupçon of value in what might be a more competitive than usual renewal.

The ante post favourite ahead of the Dante Stakes this Thursday is Jack Hobbs, John Gosden's facile Sandown handicap winner. He won that race, only his second career start, off a mark of 85 and has jettisoned up the ratings to 109 as a consequence. With just two runs on the board thus far, both ready wins, it is not hard to see why he's favoured.

The flip side is that he's not really been tested against top class yet; and 5/1 in that context is unappetizing. Put it like this: I'd rather take 2/1 or 7/4 if he won the Dante nicely than 5/1 after he's won a handicap. There's also the matter of the course constitution to consider: Wolverhampton and to a lesser degree Sandown are reasonably regulation in their make up. Neither has the undulations or camber of Epsom's slopes.

That's not to say Jack Hobbs won't readily cope with them, but rather to highlight an element of the unknown which needs factoring into the price. Regardless of the Dante result, we'll still not know whether he acts on the track until the day. Plenty don't though, in fairness, we usually have to guess at course suitability for Derby fancies.

Getting back to the Sandown run, it was an absolutely bloodless win, but it's worth noting that the second favourite, Stravagante, had a luckless run having been held up in rear (such tactics often come up short in the luck stakes) and may have only been beaten by three or four lengths, granted a similar starting point and no interference.

Stravagante is now rated 86, up a pound for the Sandown exertion, which could make him a penalty kick next time out. I suspect he might be pitched at a Royal Ascot handicap off that mark, and he'd have to be of keen interest wherever he goes.

Second in the betting, and another intended runner in the Dante, is the clear form choice in the race (so far), Elm Park. His Racing Post Trophy win last backend earned him an official rating of 117 and, having been 14/1 a month ago, he's now a well nibbled 8/1 top without leaving his box.

As well as that comfortable Racing Post Trophy win on soft ground, he was much too good for Nafaqa in the Group 2 Royal Lodge Stakes on good to firm. Whilst connections wouldn't be delighted with fast ground, the horse has shown that if it came to it, he can cope. Nafaqa, for his part, has since run a decent second in the Craven Stakes, and may re-oppose in the Dante (without being expected to trouble the leading contenders).

While the jury is out on the merit of the RP Trophy form - only two placed efforts from six subsequent runs from the horses in that race - that needs to be balanced against the fact that neither the winner nor the second has run since; and the third, Celestial Path, ran an eye-catching race to be a never nearer fifth in the 2000 Guineas, having been held up some way off the pace.

Celestial Path was 3 1/4 lengths behind Elm Park, with five lengths to the fourth and six-plus back to the rest. So it's hardly Elm Park's fault if those runners have failed to frank the form. There does remain a question about Andrew Balding's son of Phoenix Reach seeing out the mile and a half trip. He's clearly a precocious and robust miler, as shown by his two year old form, but he'll need to go a lot further in The Derby, and the Dante will tell us plenty.

The price has gone somewhat about his chance - savvy geegeez readers will have snaffled the 14's after reading this post earlier in the season - and 8/1 is no more than 'the right price' ahead of the Dante. Again, though, if he proves his stamina by winning that content nicely, he could be value at around 5/2 subsequently.

Aidan O'Brien, who has endured a largely disappointing Derby trials period, is mob-handed in the Dante with - at time of writing - seven of the fifteen declarations. He's likely to run at least two, and maybe as many as four, with the primary candidates expected to be Ol' Man River and John F Kennedy. Both flunked their lines in a big way in an earlier trial, and both have a lot to prove to remain serious contenders for The Derby.

John F Kennedy was Derby favourite prior to a deeply disappointing third of three in the Ballysax Stakes on deeply testing going. He didn't pick up there, but his previous high class form (which includes a facile win in a Group 3 on Irish Champions Weekend) was all on quick surfaces. Moreover, the form of that race has worked out surprisingly well: the shock winner there, Success Days, has gone on to rout the Derrinstown Derby Trial field by ten lengths; and the second, Zafilani, won his only subsequent run in a conditions event at Gowran Park.

If there's one to take a flyer with ahead of the Dante, it might be JFK, as it's unlikely to be quaggy at either York or Epsom. He's 9/2 for the Dante and 9/1 for the Derby, but expect him to be 9/4 for the Derby if winning at York, and 9/2 if running a close second.

Ol' Man River looked a serious animal ahead of the 2000 Guineas ten days ago. In two juvenile runs he'd won a huge field maiden and then a mile Group 2, both on the Curragh. For whatever reason, he failed to fire completely at Newmarket (when my main selection - ouch all round), and it's hard to overlook that pathetic effort.

Of course, we know he's hugely talented, but he's only 16/1 for Epsom glory, and he needs to show a big step forward in temperament as much as talent after the Guineas.

Dermot Weld's Zawraq rounds out the top of the Derby betting, as an unbeaten 9/1 shot. There was style about his debut maiden win last backend, and substance to his authoritative Listed Guineas Trial win last time out, but whether he deserves to be the price he is I'm not sure. As the name implies, that Guineas Trial was over a mile so, while there's hope from a bloodline that has Shamardal as daddy and Saddler's Wells as maternal granddad, it's still a punt that he'll get the extra half a mile.

It's not entirely clear what Zawraq's next race will be: he remains in the Irish 2000 Guineas on Saturday week, a race that would leave him just a fortnight to recover prior to the Derby. Nope, he'd not be for me at 9/1. Too much more to prove and too many other imponderables.

Of more interest at the current prices is Giovanni Canaletto, a further string to the Ballydoyle/Coolmore bow. Beaten at odds on when making his debut at Navan last October, he showed what he could really do when hacking up by more than six lengths in a field of sixteen at Leopardstown a couple of weeks later.

Not seen since, he remains open to plenty of improvement, a comment which applies to most at this stage, and which is more necessary in Gio Can's case than others with a lot more in the book already. I'm struggling to countenance his inclusion on an ante post ticket mainly because he missed his intended engagement at Chester, and it might just be too close to Derby day for that to be overlooked.

That said, being a full brother to 2013 Derby winner, Ruler Of The World, he's bred to win a blue riband; and he's likely to get a run somewhere before Epsom, perhaps in the Irish 2000 Guineas a fortnight prior.

Reverting to those with Pattern race form in the book, Hans Holbein was a taking enough winner of the Chester Vase. But that was on soft, as was the rest of his good form, something which is hardly surprising given a pedigree that comes with a set of armbands (by Montjeu out of a Shirley Heights mare). Although he hasn't shown he can't act on quicker, I wouldn't be betting that he can either.

Johnny G runs yet another towards the top of the Derby market in the Dante, and that one is Golden Horn. Like stablemate Jack Hobbs, he too is unbeaten in two runs, and he too straddled the seasonal break with that brace of victories. Unlike his barnmate, he won in Pattern company last time - the Listed Feilden Stakes over nine furlongs at Newmarket - and though he did it well enough, he did seem to get unbalanced coming out of the dip.

That would be a small worry going to Epsom, though it might just have been an isolated quirk that day. He's another for whom twelve furlongs is far from a gimme in terms of optimal racing range (bred for ten, time will tell if he gets another quarter mile), and he'll need to be supplemented at this stage in any case. If he wins the Dante, that will happen. If he runs close, it might. Otherwise, it won't. 20/1 is not enough to tempt me.

Thumbing through the French contenders, Andre Fabre trains the unbeaten Grey Lion, a horse unquestionably bred for a Derby. He's by Galileo out of a Danehill mare. Indeed, not just any old Danehill mare, but Grey Lilas, mum of Golden Lilac, the triple Group 1-winning mare. Grey Lion is a full brother to that one, and a half brother to Listed winner, Golden Guepard.

At 20/1 though, Grey Lion has plenty to find on the book and may not run again before Epsom, if he even shows up there. Fabre trained Pour Moi to win the 2011 Derby, but this lad has an option at home in the Prix du Jockey Club as well as The Derby. His price is insufficient to integrate those imponderables to my satisfaction.

We then arrive at the Prix Greffulhe, a Group 2 which has thrown up a Derby winner (Pour Moi) and a Prix du Jockey Club winner (Saonois) in recent times. It was set to be the appointment of a Derby dauphin in the shape of Epicuris, but Criquette Head-Maarek's Group 1-winning juvenile refused to enter the starting stalls, leaving his next target up in the air.

There was talk of Epicuris returning directly in the Prix Hocquart but that didn't happen, mainly because he needs a stalls test. He had a try at that this morning (Monday), but was less than convincing and will try again this Thursday at Chantilly. 33/1 about a horse who could very well decide not to go in the gate is a murderous way to bet and, despite his proven talent and stamina, I'd wait until the day. At least then, further recalcitrance would result in stakes returned.

No, the left field pari from, er, Paris is Sumbal. He's actually very left field, so let me explain. Firstly, he's not quoted in any Derby lists (well, not Epsom versions anyway). And secondly, he's not an intended supplementary entry. And thirdly, he might not act on quicker ground. Despite all that, I've had a throwaway tenner on him on the exchange at an average of 158.7 - here's why:

In the absence of Epicuris, Sumbal was a striking winner of the Gruffelhe, beating Untold Secret by six lengths. We know from the above that the Gruffelhe is the best French trial, and the manner and margin of victory suggest Epicuris would have struggled to beat him even if he'd consented to race.

Here's the next bit of my master plan (such as it is). Sumbal is owned by Qatar Racing, the same firm that own Elm Park. All other things being equal, they'd look to keep their pair apart. But all other things are rarely equal in racing and, if Elm Park fails to perform to expectations at York, the plan may get rethought.

If Sumbal was a certain runner, he'd be something like a 20/1, maybe 25/1, shot. At a monster price, and for a couple of pints (in this heavily bearded part of Hackney at any rate), I'm happy to tilt at moulins.

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The Derby Dosage Trends

In races where stamina is often taken on trust more than on racecourse evidence, it can pay to look at dosage figures. I'll not go into detail about what dosage is - you can read that here - except to say that it's a means of measuring certain "aptitudinal" attributes of a racehorse.

What I can tell you is that nine of the last ten Derby winners had at least 16 Dosage points, and no more than 38 (Sir Percy, the worst Derby winner in a generation, had just 10).

I can also share that all bar two of the last ten Derby winners had a Dosage Index (DI) of between 0.78 and 1.44. The exceptions were, again, Sir Percy - on the low side - and Sea The Stars on the high side.

And finally the Centre of Distribution, the third Dosage measurement, range of -0.04 to 0.5 accounted for all bar the same two horse. Again, Sir Percy was on the low side and the incomparable Sea The Stars on the high side.

In terms of Dosage points, Jack Hobbs and Elm Park both sit outside the ten year range, with twelve points apiece. Ol' Man River and Hans Holbein have 44 and 46 respectively, which is the other side of the recent history range.

Dosage Index has John F Kennedy and Golden Horn on the high side, and Hans Holbein on the low side; and Hans is also an outlier in centre of distribution terms.

Those with plum Dosage fits are Zawraq, Giovanni Canaletto, and Grey Lion.

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Investec Derby Tips

It's a wide open race, and it is possible that the front two in the betting at the end of this week will be the first two home in the Dante. It's almost certain that the Dante winner will be the Derby favourite heading up to the race. And, in lieu of any standout performances thus far, that is probably right enough.

As such, I'll likely be making a further bet after that race - probably as a saver only - if Elm Park doesn't win. As mentioned, I - and plenty of other geegeez readers - have backed him already at 14's, and we'd be delighted if he took down the Dante spoils.

Outside of that kingmaker race, I'm prepared to take a bit of a chance on Giovanni Caneletto. He was impressive last term when flying home in a maiden that is working out quite well. Obviously, that's a quantum step from what's needed to win a Derby but the manner of his win, with him being pretty green and unfurnished (to my eye), means he's worth a small chance at 14/1, though I'd want to see him getting a prep before the first Saturday in June.

Ante post 2015 Investec Derby selection: Giovanni Canaletto 14/1 Boylesports, Paddy

Already advised (26th March): Elm Park 14/1

Sat TV Trends: 1st June 2013

Derby Day

It's Derby Day On The Downs!

It's Derby Day! Andy Newton's got all the Epsom LIVE C4 races covered from a trends and stats angle...... Read more

Stat of the Day, 30th September 2012

Stat of the Day 30/09

Stat of the Day 30/09

Stat of the Day, 30th September 2012

Well, we almost had another good priced winner yesterday, as Green Park came us a tremendous run for our money. We advised an E/W bet at 9/1 and our selection was eventually sent off as low as 11/2. He had a poor draw to contend with, drawn widest of all and I felt that Joe Fanning gave him an excellent ride holding him up before delivering his challenge over the final third of the race.

Our mount just about hit the front in the final furlong, but it was only a brief moment as the eventual winner All or Nothin had enough in hand to land a victory by half a length. The virtue of taking an E/W bet at the early price meant we made a small profit of 0.4pts on the day and it all counts!

We've had a great September in fact and it's be really nice to end the month with a winner, so we're off to the Surrey Downs for a Class 3 Handicap over 10 furlongs and ten runners have been declared to do battle over ground expected to be Good to Soft in the...

3.55 Epsom

Like yesterday's track (Chester), Epsom is also a quirky one which many horses struggle to come to terms with. This cannot be said for today's SotD selection: Resurge. This horse has a good record on the Downs with 3 wins and 2 2nd place finishes from just 8 outings here.

Resurge is a 3-time C&D winner and he won at Chester in May on heavy going, so he won't mind some cut in the ground today. He ran well when tongue-tied for the first time in a good Doncaster handicap last time out (17 days ago), where he finished a good second to Black Spirit who has since gone on to win a Group 3 race.

That Doncaster run was a Class 2 race and he's dropping back to Class 3 today, the tongue tie is retained and he is set to be a big player running off the same 93 mark. His last victory here at Epsom incidentally was off a mark of 97.

Resurge is trained by Stuart Kittow who has enjoyed some success here at Epsom, other than with today's horse and his record over the past couple of years here is 6 wins and 3 further places from 18 races: a 33.33% strike rate generating a level stakes profit of 17pts as well as a 50% place strike rate. And one further factor in our favour is the fact that Adam Kirby is back on board today, Adam was the jockey when Resurge won at Chester, he was also riding Black Spirit in Resurge's recent defeat!

I think our selection really is the one to beat today and running from stall 3, we can't have too many complaints about the draw. It was very early for the market to have fully formed when I wrote this piece, but I was more than happy to see 7/2 on offer from Bet365 (consistently good early prices from these), BetVictor, Paddy Power and William Hills, all BOG of course!

So it's a straight win bet today at 7/2 BOG: take your pick of bookies for this one or...

Click here for all the latest odds for the 3.55 Epsom.

Trainer Stats: 26th Sept 2012

Anything Willie Mullins Runs Should Be Respected

Andy Newton has six in-form trainers to look out for this week...... Read more

Well I Declare: 13th September

Well I Declare: 13th September

Well I Declare: 13th September

Mal had another good day yesterday, pointing us in the direction of several decent bets and today he turns his attention to action at Doncaster, Chepstow, Epsom and Wolverhampton on...

...THURSDAY 13/9:

DONCASTER:

General stats: Johnny Murtagh was booked to ride Sentaril on the card, the jockey boasting 8/29 stats at Doncaster during the last five years.  Note all of Johnny’s rides this week.

Nursery event scheduled for 1.15: Eleven of the twelve winners have carried weights of 9-3, whilst two of the thirteen market leaders have prevailed thus far, with six of the other twelve market leaders claiming additional toteplacepot positions.  Aside from the winning 9/4 and 3/1 favourites, the other scorers were returned at 20/1, 20/1, 16/1, 12/1, 12/1, 12/1, 10/1, 13/2, 11/2 & 9/2.

'Draw factor' (six and a half furlongs)

1-4-5 (13 ran-good)

1-12-6-10 (18 ran-good)

7-6-3 (11 ran-good to firm)

16-2-14-8 (16 ran-soft)

3-9-7 (8 ran-good to firm)

6-8-9 (13 ran-heavy)

11-4-10 (14 ran-firm)

15-12-11-14 (22 ran-good)

5-6-14-3 (17 ran-good to firm)

19-1-14-3 (20 ran-good)

12-22-8-21 (22 ran-good to firm)

10-13-17-16 (17 ran-good to firm)

‘Sceptre Stakes’ scheduled for 1.50: Three-year-olds have won eleven of the last fourteen renewals, whilst four favourites have won this race in the last fifteen years.  Seven market leaders have claimed toteplacepot position in the process.

'Draw factor' (seven furlongs)

7-6-1 (11 ran-good)

10-7-9 (13 ran-good)

5-6-1 (10 ran-good to firm)

12-9-6 (12 ran-soft)

3-8-9 (15 ran-good to firm)

4-6-10 (9 ran-good)

7-2-13 (15 ran-good to firm)

6-16-19 (17 ran-good)

Your first 30 days for just £1

8-10-7 (15 ran-good to firm)

14-12-13 (13 ran-good)

13-7-3 (11 ran-good to firm)

9-5-2 (11 ran-good to firm)

5-4-11 (14 ran-good)

£300,000 added 2YO Stakes event scheduled for 2.20: Eight of the fourteen favourites have secured toteplacepot positions which is a fair record in this competitive event (three winning favourites in the last eight years), especially as just three places are up for grabs in this cavalry charge.

'Draw factor' (six and a half furlongs)

13-4-19 (21 ran-good)

4-12-2 (21 ran-Good)

21-4-1 (19 ran-good to firm)

16-17-9 (21 ran-soft)

7-20-13 (22 ran-good to firm)

10-18-15 (22 ran-good to firm)

12-17-19 (22 ran-good)

5-15-13 (22 ran-good)

17-18-21 (21 ran-good)

22-20-17 (22 ran-good to firm)

4-10-3 (22 ran-good)

6-1-18 (21 ran-good to firm)

11-4-20 (22 ran-good)

‘Park Hill Stakes’ scheduled for 2.55: Three-year-olds have won nine of the last fifteen renewals, though four-year-olds come into this year’s contest on a hat trick.  Two clear market leaders have prevailed during the last fifteen years, alongside a co favourite of three.  Eleven of the seventeen market leaders have secured toteplacepot positions during the study period.

One mile maiden juvenile event due to be contested at 3.30: Seven of the last fifteen market leaders have won, whilst a horse returned at 6/4 (second favourite) also obliged during the period.  Thirteen of the fifteen market leaders secured a toteplacepot position.

'Draw factor' (eight furlongs):

5-16-8 (15 ran-good)

13-11-15 (15 ran-good)

3-10-1 (9 ran-good to firm)

10-5-2 (12 ran-soft)

3-8-9 (11 ran-soft)

6-3-5 (11 ran-good to firm)

6-1-10 (10 ran-good to firm)

3-8-4 (11 ran-good)

7-17-9 (17 ran-good)

9-3-13 (13 ran-good)

12-3-6 (14 ran-good to firm)

2-1-9 (10 ran-good)

10-2-1 (12 ran-good to firm)

7-2-9 (16 ran-good)

7-3-1 (8 ran-good to firm)

Six furlong all aged handicap scheduled for 4.05: Two of the five favourites have finished in the frame (one winner).

'Draw factor' (six furlongs)

16-20-18-13 (21 ran-good)

4-21-8-13 (19 ran-good)

18-17-20-8 (20 ran-good to firm)

16-18-2-17 (21 ran-soft)

17-15-12-16 (20 ran-good to firm)

Class 2 ten furlong handicap scheduled for 4.35: Eight of the last nine winners carried weights of 9-1 or more, whilst the same number of gold medallists were returned at odds of 13/2 or less, statistics which include two successful market leaders.

 

CHEPSTOW:

General stats: Two favourites won on a seven race card last year with five gold medallists scoring in single figures.  The two exceptions were both returned at odds of 16/1. 

 

EPSOM:

General stats: Although only one favourite obliged on the six race card, the other five gold medallists were 9/1 or less.

 

WOLVERHAMPTON:

General stats: Three of the seven winners were returned in double figures, albeit no extreme outsiders scored, the relevant gold medallists being returned at 12/1-12/1-10/1.  Thirty four horses were sent off at odds of 14/1 or more without succeeding.

Stat of the Day, 27th August 2012

Stat of the Day 27/8

Stat of the Day 27/8

Stat of the Day, 27th August 2012

We're running a little late with SotD today, courtesy of a flooded kitchen chez Worrall, but the emergency Bank Holiday plumber (ouch!) has thankfully now sorted the problem.

Yesterday's selection was a bit of a duffer, if I'm honest. Mind you, if might have got closer to the action had he been able to avoid trouble on any of the three "skirmishes" he got involved in. Unfortunately bet365 didn't pay out and ifs and buts! A small moral victory of sorts yesterday for the braver souls amongst you, as Alan Jarvis' supposed 2nd string of the day came home at 20/1. I personally didn't fancy it and didn't back it, but the stats were there to suggest a decent run!

There is plenty of racing to go around today, but I'm sensing a distinct case of quantity rather than quality on offer and our daily search for a winner takes us to the Surrey Downs for a 12-runner, 5-furlong, Class 2 Handicap aka the...

3.05 Epsom

Trainer Scott Dixon isn't the most well-known of the trainers currently plying their trade on the flat racing circuit, nor is he one of the busiest: just 202 runners in the last calendar year. He isn't even one of the most successful in terms of strike rate or return on stakes. His horses have only won 19 of those races (9.4%) and represent a loss of 35.2 pts of stakes invested ( -17.4%). As you know, I often like an E/W bet for SotD, but even Mr. Dixon place strike rate is a lowly 24.3% for the past year (49/202)

OK, so after such a great build-up (not!), why am I looking at him today? Quite simply, his record at Epsom is not only very good, albeit from an expectedly small sample size: it is also completely out of kilter with his records anywhere else.

Admittedly, he only sent his first two runners to Epsom a mere 4 months ago, but his record here since that day (25th April) reads 012113, which is quite remarkable when compared to his career stats. Like the last couple of days on SotD, Scott has two runners on the Downs: Monnoyer goes in the 2.30 race, where he might have a squeak of a chance of a place at 25/1, but my real interest lies with his runner in the subsequent race: Cadeaux Pearl.

Cadeaux Pearl is another of these quirky types, who runs in fits and starts, but when he's on his game has the ability to go well. His only outing at Epsom was on Scott Dixon's Epsom debut at that 25th April meeting, where he came home a winner at 25/1. The two horses immediately behind him that day have both gone on to win since and he now returns to try to make a follow-up at Course & Distance.

He will relish the recent wet weather too and he is interestingly reunited with Kieren Fallon today, who was also on board when recording that afore-mentioned 25/1 C&D success. I make no secret or apology of my liking for Mr Fallon's ability at getting horses home and the stats will help back up my good feeling at today's selection. Over the last couple of years Kieren has been one of the best, if not the best performer at Epsom. Eight wins from 31 attempts (25.81%) have brought a level stakes profit of 32pts (103.23% of stakes) and a further 7 rides have made the frame giving him a place strike rate of 48.4%. Mr Fallon also comes here in great form with 9 wins and 8 further places from 39 runs over the last fortnight alone.

So, we have Cadeaux Pearl: a course and distance winner (and a 4-time winner at this trip), Scott Dixon has a good training record at Epsom (admittedly a small sample size) and an in-form jockey who loves the course. There are several dangers to our selection today and since we can currently get 14/1 BOG with either of BetFred or William Hill, I'll be taking an E/W bet today, but you should...

Click here for the latest odds for the 3.05 Epsom.

Well I Declare, 2nd August

Well I Declare, 2nd August

Well I Declare, 2nd August

It's Thursday and Day 3 at Glorious Goodwood and I'm just here to bring you a reminder of Mal Boyle's thought for the day's action. He's also got some information on the meetings at Epsom, Ffos Las, Nottingham and Stratford on what promises to be yet another enthralling day in our beloved sport.

THURSDAY 02/08:

Goodwood:

General stats: Sir Michael Stoute secured a 24/1 double on the card on the Thursday of the meeting last year.

Ten furlong three-year-old handicap scheduled for 2.15: Ten of the last eleven winners have carried weights of 9-0 or less, whilst Mark Johnston is looking for his fifth winner in the race in the last fourteen years.  John Gosden has won three of the last nine contests, whilst favourites have won six of the last eleven renewals of this opening event on day three of the meeting. Ten of the last fifteen market leaders have snared toteplacepot positions.

‘Richmond Stakes’ due to be contested at 2.45: Richard Hannon has secured the last four renewals of this Group 2 Richmond Stakes and with four penultimate stage entries, Richard was obviously intent on saddling another winner.  Five winning favourites to report in ‘recent’ seasons (2012, 2011, 2010, 2006 & 1999), whilst nine of the last sixteen market leaders have secured toteplacepot positions during the last thirteen years.

‘Goodwood Cup’ scheduled for 3.15: Favourites have won six of the last eight contests, whilst nine of the last 16 market leaders have secured toteplacepot positions.

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Fourteen furlong Group 3 ‘Lillie Langtry’ event scheduled for 3.45: Four-year-olds come to the gig on a four-timer whilst three of the ten favourites have claimed toteplacepot positions (one winner) via nine renewals.

Seven furlong juvenile (‘New Ham‘) event scheduled for 4.20: Golden Causeway is my speculative juvenile to look out for in the two-year-old division at ‘Glorious‘ Goodwood this year.  I made the point twelve months ago that Amber Silk could be backed at an each way price and the Barry Hills raider finished second at 20/1.  Barry had won a few renewals shortly before his retirement and it’s worth noting that Charlie Hills has, without question, waited for this event to saddle his Giant’s Causeway filly.  Charlie named the January foal as one to watch in a stable tour earlier in the year. Five clear market leaders and one joint favourite have won during the last fifteen years.  Nine of the sixteen market leaders have secured toteplacepot positions.

Class 2 seven furlong 3YO handicap scheduled for 4.55: Four of the last five winners have carried weights of 8-12 or more to victory. No favourite has prevailed during the study period (fourteen years), whilst seven market leaders have claimed toteplacepot positions.

Eleven furlong Class 3 three-year-old handicap scheduled for 5.25: We still await the first successful favourite following seven renewals, four of the winners having been returned at odds ranging between 14/1 & 25/1.

 

Epsom:

General stats: Medicoe (scheduled to run in the 6.55 juvenile event) holds three entries this week but if lining up here, Sir Mark Prescott’s raider will be hoping to improve the 3/8 tally for the stable in two-year-old event at Epsom in recent years.  Mark’s 42% strike rate across the board makes for great reading, though Medicoe is Mark’s only potential runner on the card. 


Ffos Las:

General stats: Strategic Heights has been declared for the scheduled 8.50 event by trainer Liam McAteer who has saddled three of his six runners at the venue to winning effect.


Nottingham:

General stats: Saeed Bin Suroor (37% strike rate) and Michael Appleby (36%) potentially head the represented trainers at Nottingham on Wednesday. 

Stratford:

General stats: Kielan Woods is already booked aboard Gougane (4.30), the jockey having ridden five of his eleven mounts to winning effect at Stratford! A level stake profit of thirty-three points adds icing on the cake.

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Well I Declare, 19th July

Well I Declare 19/7/12

Well I Declare 19/7/12

Today's action comes from Bath, Brighton, Doncaster, Epsom and Hamilton, but Leicester has once again failed to beat the weather!
Here's a recap of Mal Boyle's thoughts for the day...

THURSDAY 19/7:

Bath:

General stats: Gabriel’s Lad was due to be ridden in the scheduled 7.35 event by Eddie Ahern who is not the most regular visitor to Bath races.  Eddie boasts a 22% strike rate at the track via fourteen winners in recent years, a ratio which has produced fourteen points of level stake profits.  Watch out for any additional rides that Eddie picks up at the meeting.

 

Brighton:

General stats: Jeremy Noseda (38%) and Saeed Bin Suroor (36% via far less runners) are trainers to keep on the right side, as his Neil Callan who rides this track as well any anyone. Neill boasts eighteen points of level stake profits via eighty-six rides at the track in recent times.

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Doncaster:

General stats: Roger Varian (33%), Sir Henry Cecil (26%) and Luca Cumani (24%) all boast decent strike rates at Doncaster and held options at the meeting at the time of writing.

Maiden event for juvenile fillies due to be contested at 6.50: Favourites come into the contest on a hat trick, whilst three of the four market leaders have secured toteplacepot positions.

Juvenile Novice event over six furlong scheduled for 7.25: The last three market leaders have prevailed, albeit the first three favourites all missed out on toteplacepot positions, one of which finished behind 66/1 and 8/1 horses which dead heated back in 2008.

One mile Conditions event due to be contests at 7.55: The last three market leaders have prevailed, albeit the first three favourites all missed out on toteplacepot positions, one of which finished behind 66/1 and 8/1 horses which dead heated back in 2008.

Ten furlong Class 4 all aged handicap scheduled for 8.30: Only one of the three subsequent favourites finished in the frame following the success of the inaugural 3/1 market leader in 2008.  Four-year-olds have won three renewals to date, with just one beaten representative when the vintage missed out two years ago.

Ten furlong Class 5 three-year-old handicap scheduled for 9.00: Three of the four favourites have secured place money, though all three market leaders have been beaten from a win perspective since 2008 when the inaugural 6/4 'jolly' obliged.

 

Epsom:

General stats: Andrew Balding still boasts an impressive fifty-two points of level stake profits via a 23% strike rate  at Epsom during the last five years, with the trainer holding five options for the meeting earlier in the week. 

 

Hamilton:

General stats: Two riders who do not receive as many plaudits as others can be kept on the right side at Hamilton.  Amy Ryan boasts a 26% strike rate via eleven winners at the track, a ratio which has netted fifty-three points of level stake profits.  Jason Hart has ridden four winners via just twelve assignments at the venue.

 

Leicester: ABANDONED!

General stats: I’m sure that Saeed Bin Suroor would love the opportunity of improving his 41% strike rate at Leicester…if only the venue could stage a meeting sometime this year!

Well I Declare, 12th July 2012

Well I Declare 12/07/12

Well I Declare 12/07/12

Well, the weather claimed the latter part of Catterick's card yesterday and we've already lost Warwick from today's programme. We've now got our fingers crossed for the action planned for Newmarket, Doncaster, Epsom and Folkestone. Here's another reminder of Mal Boyle's notes for the day.

 

THURSDAY 12/7:

Newmarket (July):

Stats from the three-day meeting last year:

21 races

Favourite details (23 market leaders): 3 winners--11 placed--19 unplaced

Both (Aidan O’Brien trained) odds on favourites were beaten at 8/13 & 5/6

Eighteen of the twenty-one winners were returned at 14/1 or less

Other gold medallists scored at 50/1-25/1-16/1

Sir Michael Stoute led the way with three winners (9/2-4/1-11/4*), with Richard Hannon (25/1 & 2/1) and Mahmood Al Zarooni (14/1 & 9/1) snaring two apiece.

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Richard Hannon saddled three beaten favourites, whilst Jeremy Noseda and Brian Meehan sent out two beaten market leaders.

Toteplacepot returns:

Thursday: £282.80 (average dividend over the last ten years: £578.98)

Friday: £129.60 (average dividend over the last nine years: £697.68)

Saturday: £5,251.00 (average dividend over the last nine years: £2,365.21)

Group 3 ‘Bahrain Trophy’ scheduled for 1.20:  Five clear favourites and two joint market leader have won during the last fifteen years.  Twelve of the seventeen favourites have secured toteplacepot positions during the study period. Nine winners have scored at odds of 8/1 or less during the last decade.

2YO ‘July Stakes’ scheduled for 2.20: Seven favourites have won during the study period, whilst nine of the sixteen favourites have claimed toteplacepot positions during the last fifteen years.

Class 3YO handicap over ten furlongs scheduled for 2.25: Five renewals have slipped by since the last favourite won this event, the gold medallists during those year being returned at 40/1-25/1-11/1-7/1-7/1. Nine of the sixteen favourites have secured toteplacepot dividends during the last fourteen years (two winners).

Group 2 Princess of Wales event scheduled for 3.00: Sir Michael Stoute has won this event five times during the last twelve years and Fiorente was his only option earlier in the week.  Just one favourite has scored in the last fifteen years, whilst seven market leaders secured toteplacepot positions during the period.

Juvenile maiden event over six furlongs for fillies scheduled for 3.35: Five favourites have won this event during the last decade, whilst nine of those winners were returned at odds of 9/1 or less.

3YO Conditions event over a mile scheduled for 4.05: Three of the six favourites has finished in the frame to date (one winner) via five renewals whilst it’s worth casting our minds back to last year when the 5/6 market leader finished last of five.

Five furlong Class 3 handicap scheduled for 4.40: Six of the last seven winners have carried weights of 9-2 or more, whilst three favourites have won during the last decade.

 

Doncaster:

General stats: Mark Buckley’s Liberty Ship was the only potential stable winner engaged this week at the time of writing, though the course and distance winner has gained all three success on decent ground thus far, whereby I guess the going will play a big part in his possible participation.  If he gives the green light, Mark will be attempting to saddle his fourth Doncaster winner via just nine runners, a ratio which has produced eleven points of level stake profits thus far.

 

Epsom:

General stats: Sir Mark Prescott’s 42% record at Epsom in recent times are partly due to the trainer’s impressive 4/7 figures via his juveniles during the last five years.

 

Folkestone:

General stats: William Knights’ three-year-olds are worth following at this venue given the trainer’s 4/9 ratio with vintage representatives down the years.  Three-year-old Sambirano was William’s only potential runner on the card earlier in the week.  The Kyllachy newcomer will presumably start at a reasonable price if offered the green light.

 

 

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