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Chipotle has Goodwood option after luckless Newbury run

Chipotle could bid for compensation in the Molecomb Stakes at Goodwood after his  bid for the Weatherbys Super Sprint Stakes at Newbury on Saturday was scuppered.

The two-year-old, who was victorious in the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot, started as 15-8 favourite for the lucrative contest but was severely hampered on more than one occasion.

Eventually finishing ninth of the 22 runners, the bay was beaten three and a quarter lengths by Richard Hannon’s Gubbass.

Trainer Eve Johnson Houghton is now considering the Group Three Molecomb  after the colt’s blighted Super Sprint performance.

“He just got murdered, he got absolutely wiped out twice which is annoying,” she said.

“He was only beaten three lengths and that was with having been stopped in his tracks at least twice.

“I think it’s fair to say he was very, very unlucky – he’ll probably go to the Molecomb next.”

The trainer did have some luck at the weekend when stable favourite Accidental Agent landed Newmarket’s Fine Watch Club Handicap by half a length under Georgia Dobie.

Accidental Agent loves the straight mile at Ascot
Accidental Agent loves the straight mile at Ascot (John Walton/PA)

Accidental Agent is entered at Ascot in the seven furlong Moet & Chandon International Stakes on Saturday, a track that seems to suit the gelding as he won the Queen Anne Stakes there at the Royal Meeting in 2018.

“He’s in at Ascot on Saturday for the big handicap there,” Johnson Houghton said.

“But there’s not much for him over straight miles, so if we don’t go there then we might go to Salisbury for the Sovereign Stakes.

“He’s definitely much better over a straight mile.”

Royal Ascot hero Chipotle out to add Super Sprint success

Eve Johnson Houghton is “very hopeful” her Royal Ascot hero Chipotle can follow up in the Weatherbys Super Sprint at Newbury.

An impressive winner of the Brocklesby at Doncaster in March, the Havana Gold colt has since proved that debut success was no fluke by scoring twice at Ascot – most recently pulling clear of his rivals in the Windsor Castle Stakes.

Bought for just 10,000 guineas as a yearling last autumn, Chipotle – who is drawn in stall 20 of 22 – is a hot favourite to claim the lion’s share of the £200,000 prize fund up for grabs in Saturday’s feature event.

Johnson Houghton said: “The draw is what it is. I think I’m happy enough with it – but if I’m not afterwards, I’ll let you know!

“We’re drawn near Vintage Clarets (22), who looks the obvious danger. I think we’re as good as it can be really.

“He’s in great form, and it will be perfect ground I should think, so we’re very hopeful.”

Vintage Clarets is bidding to provide his trainer Richard Fahey with a fourth Super Sprint success following the previous triumphs of Peniaphobia (2013), Lathom (2015) and Bengali Boys (2017).

Since finishing third behind Chipotle in the Brocklesby, the son of Ardad has won at Beverley and Ayr and finished a close-up third in the Coventry Stakes at the Royal meeting.

Vintage Clarets winning at Beverley
Vintage Clarets winning at Beverley (Mike Egerton/PA)

“Vintage Clarets is a very quick horse, who I think will be helped by coming back in trip, and Chipotle has a penalty for the Royal Ascot win,” said Fahey.

“We aren’t mob-handed this year for once, but you only need one runner if it’s the right one.

“It’s been a lucky race for me, and Vintage Clarets has a lot of natural speed.”

Another trainer who has already enjoyed Super Sprint success is Jonathan Portman, having struck gold with Mrs Danvers in 2016.

This time he will saddle bottom-weight Sienna Bonnie, who cost just 4,000 guineas and will be ridden by Hollie Doyle.

Portman said: “Sienna Bonnie ran well at Windsor last time out and has been in really good form since.

“The Super Sprint has been the target for a while, but we are hoping for as much sunshine as possible to dry out the ground – the last two or three times she’s run, the ground hasn’t quite been as quick as she would have liked.

“She’s up against it with those with higher ratings, such as Chipotle, and it won’t be an easy task, but we’re looking forward to it”

Tom Dascombe is no stranger to training speedy juveniles and has high hopes for Delmona, who was not beaten far when fifth in a Newmarket Listed event last month.

Tom Dascombe has high hopes for Delmona
Tom Dascombe has high hopes for Delmona (Mike Egerton/PA)

“Delmona has been in great form since Newmarket and is a very straightforward and easy filly at home,” said the Cheshire trainer.

“She is lightly raced, but a big field should suit her.

“She’s got a nice weight (8st 9lb) to run off. She’s not that well in on ratings, but we do think there’s more to come from her and are expecting a big race.”

Richard Hannon has so far added three Super Sprint victories to his father’s record haul of seven wins in the race.

He appears intent on adding to that tally, with chief hope Gubbass (Sean Levey) joined by five stablemates in Symphony Perfect (Hayley Turner), Raging (William Buick), Zoltan Star (Tom Marquand), Desert (Andrea Atzeni) and Banner Moonshine (Sam Hitchcott).

Chipotle may head to Sandown next

Eve Johnson Houghton’s unbeaten juvenile sprinter Chipotle may head next to the National Stakes at Sandown.

The colt was a winner on his racecourse debut when taking the Brocklesby Stakes at Doncaster in March, and readily followed up in the Royal Ascot Two-Year-Old Trial at Ascot a month later.

The Listed National Stakes could be next on the agenda this month, with Sandown’s five-furlong trip the distance he is likely to continue to be campaigned at for the first half of season.

“We might go to the National Stakes at Sandown, but he’ll tell me when he’s ready,” said Johnson Houghton.

“He’s very easy – anyone could train him.

“He’s in great form, he’s done well and he’s just the easiest horse to train.”

Johnson Houghton will then consider two juvenile sprints at Royal Ascot, with the Listed Windsor Castle Stakes currently favoured over the Group Two Norfolk.

“He might go for the Windsor Castle,” added the Oxfordshire trainer.

“He’ll stick at five. He would get six, but we’ll stick at five.

“It’s either the Windsor Castle or the Norfolk, but I imagine it’ll be the Windsor Castle.”

A bay son of Havana Gold, who cost £10,000 at Tattersalls’ 2020 Ascot yearling sale, Chipotle may then step up to six furlongs or remain over five and target Newbury’s valuable Super Sprint in July.

The weight each horse carries in the latter race is determined by their purchase price, leaving him particularly competitive because he was a value buy.

“We probably would (step up in trip),” said Johnson Houghton.

“Or we might just go straight for the Super Sprint, because he only cost £10,000.”

Stat of the Day, 4th September 2020

Thursday's pick was...

4.30 Southwell : Classic Escape @ 5/2 BOG UR at 5/2 (Mid-division, travelled well at halfway, mistake and unseated rider 11th)

Friday's pick runs in the...

4.50 Ascot :

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?

Gin Palace @ 5/1 BOG

...in an 9-runner, Class 2,  Flat Handicap for 3yo+ over 1m on Good To Soft ground worth £15,562 to the winner...

Why?...

First port of call is our racecard...

and then The Shortlist report...

...which all tells us that our jockey has a good record at this track, especially with today's trainer and that our horse should be well suited by conditions.

This 4 yr old gelding was only held off by a neck when headed late on over this trip at Sandown 13 days ago, off the same mark as today. He'd had to race wide in a 15 runner contest that day, so this smaller field will hopefully help him stay closer to the action, as it has in the past.

He has won 5 of 12 Flat handicaps to date, a decent enough record that includes of relevance today...

  • 5 from 8 over a mile
  • 4 from 7 at odds of 3/1 to 8/1
  • 4 from 5 in fields of 7 to 10 runners
  • 3 from 5 after 11-20 days rest
  • 3 from 5 on a straight run
  • and 1 from 1 in sub-£20k Class 2 contests

And now we'll look at that trainer/jockey/course snippet from above, because I find this rather interesting today. Quite often, a jockey relies on a certain trainer for "good rides", but here at Ascot, it seems that it's the other way round and our trainer Eve Johnson Houghton can't seem to buy a winner here at Ascot, unless Charlie Bishop is available.

Let me explain this theory. We start with Eve's pretty poor record here at Ascot, which currently reads...

with the Betfair SP profits of 31.03pts skewed by a winner at 60.00. In the last six years, she has had six winners here, all ridden by Charlie Bishop, who only started riding for her three years ago, meaning she'd gone three years without an Ascot winner until Charlie's appearance. In fact, without Charlie, her Ascot numbers are...

and that's fairly dismal stuff, isn't it? Yet, in the last three years, the trainer/jockey/track stats are...

...which despite still containing that 60.00 winner are very good figures indeed.

So now we've established the success of the partnership, we can how they've performed in similar conditions to today, so from that 6/25 record here, Eve & Charlie are...

  • 6/19 (31.6%) for 83.7pts (+440.6%) with 2-4 yr olds
  • 5/19 (26.3%) for 80.1pts (+421.4%) with male runners
  • 4/14 (28.6%) for 23.9pts (+170.5%) with runners placed LTO
  • 4/12 (33.3%) for 12.72pts (+106%) in races worth less than £16,500
  • 4/4 (100%) for 20.72pts (+518%) with runners sent off at odds of 9/4 to 6/1
  • 2/5 (40%) for 23.4pts (+468%) with LTO runners-up
  • and 2/4 (50%) for 24.4pts (+610%) with horses rested for just 11-15 days...

...giving us... a 1pt win bet on Gin Palace @ 5/1 BOG as was available at 8.00am Friday, 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 4.50 Ascot

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

REMINDER: THERE IS NO STAT OF THE DAY ON SUNDAYS

Here is today's racecard

P.S. all P/L returns quoted in the stats above are to Betfair SP, as I NEVER bet to ISP and neither should you. I always use BOG bookies for SotD, wherever possible, but I use BFSP for the stats as it is the nearest approximation I can give, so I actually expect to beat the returns I use to support my picks. If that's unclear, please ask!

Stat of the Day, 5th August 2020

Tuesday's pick was...

5.30 Southwell : Rebel Leader @ 9/2 BOG 3rd at 9/2 (Led until 4th, chased leader, jumped slowly 7th, left in lead next, pushed along before 3 out, ridden and headed before 3 out, lost 2nd next, weakened soon after) 

Wednesday's pick runs in the...

5.35 Lingfield :

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?

Alezan @ 4/1 BOG

...in a 12-runner, Class 6, A/W Handicap for 3yo over 1m on Polytrack worth £2,782 to the winner... 

Why?...

We start with a plethora of supporting evidence from the racecard, pace/draw heatmap and the Geegeez Speed Ratings...

...to which we can add a 3yr old filly who won last time out 14 days ago at this grade, at this trip and under today's jockey, 5lb claimer Georgia Dobie whose last ride (3 days ago) was also a winning one for today's trainer Eve Johnson Houghton, who herself has a good record at this venue of late, standing at...

in handicaps on the A/W at Lingfield since the start of 2017, including of relevance today...

  • 12/46 (26.1%) for 56.35pts (+122.5%) within 120 days of their last run
  • 12/36 (33.3%) for 66.35pts (+184.3%) ran on the A/W LTO
  • 10/34 (29.4%) for 28.39pts (+83.5%) were sent off at 8/1 or shorter
  • 8/38 (21.1%) for 29.18pts (+76.8%) at the same class as LTO
  • 8/30 (26.7%) for 49.16pts (+163.9%) in fields of 10-12 runners
  • 8/27 (29.6%) for 32.92pts (+121.9%) over this 1m C&D
  • 7/33 (21.2%) for 24.19pts (+73.3%) at the same trip as LTO
  • 4/20 (20%) for 4.08pts (+20.4%) at Class 6
  • 4/15 (26.7%) for 9.08pts (+60.6%) off a mark (OR) of 56-65
  • and 4/7 (57.1%) for 8.4pts (+120%) from LTO winners...

...and whilst trying not to dilute the sample size too much to make it more chance than relevance, you could combine the top three stats above, as those sent off at 8/1 or shorter within 4 months of a run of the A/W LTO are 10 from 24 (41.7% SR) for 38.4pts (+160% ROI), a nice little trainer/course angle to file away and also includes the following at play today...

  • 7/16 (43.75%) for 30.3pts (+189.2%) at the same class as LTO
  • 7/11 (63.6%) for 29.9pts (+271.5%) over this 1m C&D
  • 6/18 (33.3%) for 20.1pts (+111.9%) at the same trip as LTO
  • 5/13 (38.5%) for 18.09pts (+145%) at the same class & trip as LTO
  • 5/9 (55.6%) for 23pts (+255.8%) over this 1m C&D at the same class as LTO
  • 5/8 (62.5%) for 23.3pts (+291.8%) at the same 1m trip as LTO
  • with 4/7 (57.1%) for 18.1pts (+257.9%) over this 1m C&D at the same class & trip as LTO...

...giving us... a 1pt win bet on Alezan @ 4/1 BOG as was widely available (inc several BOGs) at 8.05 am Wednesday, but as always please check your own BOG status (*some firms are not BOG until later in the morning)To see a small sample of odds offered on this race...

...click here for the betting on the 5.35 Lingfield

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!

Two-year-old Flat Debutants, Part 2

In part 1 of this series, here, I suggested that if we were looking to blindly back two-year-olds on their flat debut this season, our starting point should initially be those juveniles trained by Richard Fahey, Jessica Harrington and Ger Lyons, writes Chris Worrall. As well as that standout trio, I was also interested in those trained by Paul Cole, Eve Johnson Houghton and David Simcock, notwithstanding the reservations I highlighted about those three.

I went on to highlight in that opening piece that we may be able to eliminate some bad bets by focusing more on each trainer's runners based on a series of factors: track location, actual track, race class/distance/going, jockeys used, time of year and sex of horse.

Richard Fahey

So, if we start with our three headline acts, we can see that Richard Fahey's results with 2yo flat debutants from 2016-19 were as follows:

Closer inspection of those 381 runners showed no real bias towards either gender or for any particular reported ground conditions, but of the other five tested variables, I found (in sample size order) that those numbers included:

  • 55/363 (15.15%) for 135.66pts (+37.37%) over trips of 5 to 7 furlongs
  • 53/359 (14.76%) for 125.13pts (+34.85%) during April to September
  • 51/339 (15.04%) for 122.82pts (+36.24%) in Yorkshire, NW & Central England
  • 47/314 (14.97%) for 132.07pts (+42.06%) at Classes 4 & 5
  • 38/236 (16.10%) for 92.88pts (+39.36%) ridden by Tony Hamilton or Paul Hanagan

(all profit quoted is to Betfair Starting Price, BSP)

And when combine all those filters, we are left with...

Suggestion: back all Richard Fahey 2yo Flat debutants ridden by Tony Hamilton or Paul Hanagan at up to 7 furlongs in Class 4 or 5 races in Yorkshire, the North West or Central England during April to September.

Jessica Harrington

And now onto Jessica Harrington, whose 2016-19 stats were...

From which (in order of winners)...

  • 18/114 (15.79%) for 81.5pts (+71.49%) over trips of 5 to 7 furlongs
  • 15/122 (12.3%) for 23.28pts (+19.08%) in Leinster
  • 15/104 (14.42%) for 56.85pts (+54.67%) on ground declared as Good to Yielding or firmer
  • 15/80 (18.75%) for 80.7pts (+100.88%) during May to July
  • 13/95 (13.68%) for 26.94pts (+28.35%) with female runners

And combining trip, track location, going and time of year gives us...

             

of which the gender spilt is as follows....

The females win more often, but the males generate more profit, so I'm not really convinced we should narrow it down either way.

Suggestion: back Jessica Harrington's 2 year olds on debut in Leinster (Bellewstown, Curragh, Fairyhouse, Gowran Park, Leopardstown, Naas, Navan) during May to July at trips up to 7 furlongs and on ground described as Good to Yielding or firmer.

Ger Lyons

The final member of our top trio is Ger Lyons, who qualified on his record over the last three seasons of...

Once again, we'll subject those runners to the filtering system, where it can be noted:

  • 30/130 (23.08%) for 90.71pts (+69.78%) over trips of 6f to 1m
  • 30/125 (24%) for 95.71pts (+76.57%) during April to September
  • 29/137 (21.17%) for 76.78pts (+56.05%) on ground deemed Soft or better
  • 29/136 (21.32%) for 79.30pts (+58.31%) in Leinster and Munster
  • 28/116 (24.14%) for 79.07pts (+68.16%) when ridden by Colin Keane

and when we combine those five sets of data, we end up with a fantastic set of numbers reading...

Once again both sexes fare well as follows...

...so we'll not differentiate between the two.

Suggestion: back all Ger Lyons' 2 yo debutants ridden by Colin Keane over trips of 6f to a mile in Leinster (see above for tracks) and Munster (Cork, Killarney, Limerick, Listowel, Thurles, Tipperary) on Soft ground or better from April to September.

*

Those were the three main protagonists from part 1 of this series; combining their two-year-old flat debutants under the specified conditions brings us to 66 winners from 293 runners (22.53% SR) and 266.74pts of profit at an excellent ROI of some 91.04%.

Clearly it will be difficult to fully repeat those numbers but if they only do half as well in the next three or four years we'll still be looking at 130+ points.

*

So what of our 'second string' trio of Paul Cole, Eve Johnson Houghton and David Simcock? Are there conditions under which we might follow their juvenile debutants?

The easiest way to find out is to dive into the data, starting with...

Paul Cole

Cole's base figures with 2yo first-time starters are:

That's a small sample size so caution is advised, but they do include of note...

  • 6/35 (17.14%) for 68.1pts (+194.57%) in Classes 4 and 5
  • 6/30 (20%) for 73.1pts (+243.67%) over trips of 5 or 6 furlongs
  • 6/29 (20.69%) for 74.1pts (+255.52%) during April to July
  • 6/14 (42.86%) for 89.1pts (+636.43%) at Brighton, Leicester & Newbury
  • 5/28 (17.86%) for 31.35pts (+111.96%) in SE England
  • 3/10 (30%) for 60.92pts (+609.2%) with Raul Da Silva in the saddle

You probably don't need me to point out how Paul got all of his six original winners, but combining those first four filters gives...

Suggestion: keep an eye out for Paul Cole 2yo firsters in Class 4 or 5 races over 5 or 6 furlongs at Brighton, Leicester or Newbury from April to July, especially if Raul da Silva's on board, even if it's a big price.

Eve Johnson Houghton

Next up is Eve Johnson Houghton, whose own record during the last four seasons was...

...which, like Paul Cole previously, was a smaller than ideal sample size, but did include...

  • 8/52 (15.38%) for 141.35pts (+271.82%) excluding April and July
  • 7/62 (11.29%) for 98.02pts (+158.10%) in Classes 4 and 5
  • 7/46 (15.22%) for 106.94pts (+232.48%) over 6 or 7 furlongs
  • 6/47 (12.77%) for 120.04pts (+255.41%) in SE England
  • 6/41 (14.63%) for 88.22pts (+215.16%) ridden by Charles Bishop
  • 6/37 (16.22%) for 142.18pts (+384.26%) from female runners
  • and 5/21 (23.81%) for 42.74pts (+203.52%) on Good to Soft or Soft ground

Combining class, month, distance and going gives us...

...and despite this dozen qualifiers include 4 from 7 (57.1%) for 48.5pts (+392.7%) for Charles Bishop, 3 from 6 (50%) for 43.6pts (+726.2%) for females and 3 from 6 (50%) for 31.4pts (+524%) in the South East, there is an uneasy feel to the exclusion of April and July - I can't come up with a logical reason why the horses would fail to fire in that month. Instead, I've taken a more straightforward view...

Suggestion: Look out for Eve Johnson Houghton's Class 4 and 5 runners over 6 or 7 furlongs on Good to Soft or Soft ground. Add a bonus point if you see Charles Bishop down to ride.

David Simcock

And finally for this look at trainers who perform well with juvenile first time starters, we'll put David Simcock under the microscope, despite his sobering record last season (0 from 20). Even with that abject campaign, his four year score is...

and again we've only a small number of runners to consider, but they do include...

  • 6/31 (19.4%) for 18.65pts (+60.17%) when ridden by Jamie Spencer
  • 4/20 (20%) for 49.15pts (+245.76%) over a mile
  • 4/15 (26.7%) for 27.4pts (+182.66%) at Yarmouth
  • 3/14 (21.4%) for 23.6pts (+168.6%) for Jamie Spencer over a mile
  • 3/9 (33.3%) for 28.6pts (+317.8%) for Jamie Spencer at Yarmouth
  • 3/7 (42.9%) for 30.6pts (+437.1%) over a mile at Yarmouth
  • and 3/6 (50%) for 32.69pts Jamie Spencer over a mile at Yarmouth

Obviously the Jamie Spencer angle is interesting, especially over a mile at Yarmouth, but I feel that particular stat lends more to the excellent record the jockey and trainer have together at that venue (a story for another day, perhaps?), but as for this piece...

Suggestion: Note, but don't necessarily back, David Simcock two-year-old flat debutants.

*

All of which second team deliberation leaves us with just the Paul Cole and Eve Johnson Houghton runners, whose suggested angles combine for 11 winners from 22 runners (50% SR) and 144.84 pts (+658.6% ROI) as a juicy-looking - but less reliable based on sample size - supplement to our top trio's 66 winners from 293 runners (22.53% SR, +266.74 BSP, ROI of 91.04%).

Hopefully, we'll soon be able to "live trial" these angles. Fingers crossed and all that, but for now, thanks for reading and I'll be back with more soon.

 - CW