Churchill to become Sussex Stakes Supremo

Ribchester takes on Churchill, in arguably the clash of the week at Glorious Goodwood today. Godolphin versus Ballydoyle adds to the anticipation, as the Flat racing goliaths go toe to toe.

Three-year-olds have a cracking record in the Sussex Stakes, having won seven of the last 10. Those winning at three and returning at four tend to lose. Though Ribchester failed to land this event last year, he came mightily close. Returning a year later, he gives the dual-Guineas winner Churchill half a stone.

Godolphin’s star miler is without doubt a class act, but numerous talented sorts have failed in the face of such a challenge. Rip Van Winkle and Canford Cliffs, lost out at four, having won the Goodwood showpiece at three. And In 2013 Toronado also succumbed to a classy youngster, having landed the prize 12 months earlier. The three-year-old weight allowance often proves too much for the older horses to handle.

Youngsters that ran well in the 2000 Guineas, have a particularly good record in the Sussex, though they don’t necessarily need to have won the Classic. Ballydoyle’s Henrythenavigator did land the Guineas, during a thrilling 2008 campaign. New Approach and Raven’s Pass proved worthy adversaries, when taking turns in chasing him home in the English and Irish Guineas, the St James’s Palace and then the Sussex at Goodwood.

A year later Aidan O’Brien produced Rip Van Winkle to win the Sussex, despite the horse having only managed fourth in the Guineas earlier in the season. The mighty Sea The Stars had proved his nemesis, but at Goodwood (in the absence of the John Oxx trained star) he proved too strong when dominant from the front in beating flashy four-year-old Paco Boy.

Rip was back at Goodwood a year later, but was unable to hold off the fast finishing Canford Cliffs in another thrilling clash. Canford had managed only a third-place finish at Newmarket, but had then romped home in the Irish Guineas. Blessed with a devastating finishing kick, he had the perfect partner in the ultra-confident Richard Hughes.

Nevertheless, he too was unable to complete back-to-back Sussex Stakes victories when losing out to a rather special three-year-old in 2011. His clash with Frankel had been eagerly anticipated, but in the event, Sir Henry Cecil’s awesome beast did what he so often did, and simply destroyed the opposition. Frankel did return and add a second Sussex, though his 11-length success in the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot a month earlier, had clearly scared off any sort of challenge come Goodwood.

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In 2013 Toronado avenged his 2000 Guineas defeat to Dawn Approach, by showing an impressive turn-of-foot to defeat Bolger’s colt in the Sussex. A year later he too failed to give weight and a beating to another flashy youngster, when Kingman quickened impressively late-on to get the better of Richard Hannon’s colt. Kingman himself, had finished runner-up in the 2000 Guineas a couple of months earlier.

So what of this year’s race, and can the three-year-olds maintain their impressive record?

Billed as a clash between Ribchester and Churchill, we have the rather unusual situation of the older horse likely to go-off favourite. Though O’Brien’s dual-Classic winner has a handy weight advantage, his poor performance at Royal Ascot has punters looking to the Godolphin star as the likely victor.

Ribchester arrives having won the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury, and then landing the Queen Anne at the Royal Meeting. The Richard Fahey-trained four-year-old may lack the ‘wow-factor’, but has become a rock-solid performer at a mile, and fully deserves his place at the head of the market. However, Toronado, Declaration Of War, Canford Cliffs and Paco Boy were all recent Queen Anne winners that lost out to the youngsters here.

That’s undoubtedly a concern for favourite backers, and should Churchill return to his Guineas’ winning best, the weight differential could once again prove a telling factor. On official ratings, Ribchester has just 2lbs in hand.

I’d go as far as to say, that an on-form Churchill is a Sussex Stakes certainty. His Irish Guineas victory was arguably his best performance. He’s a powerful galloper, who just maybe lacks a change of gear. Goodwood wouldn’t necessarily be his ideal track, though the same could be said for Ribchester. A stiff mile would probably be ideal for both. But it’s this 7lb that will surely prove critical.

A danger to the pair could well lie in French raider Zelzal. Jean-Claude Rouget rarely travels to the UK without landing a major prize. This four-year-old colt will be ridden by Frankie Dettori, and is likely to be doing his best work late-on. I’m not sure he’s quite quick enough to beat the market leaders, and would expect him to be battling it out for minor honours.

This is a race that goes to fancied contenders, and I can’t see anything other than a Ballydoyle – Godolphin epic this afternoon. I’d expect Ribchester to be travelling powerfully and looking the likely winner entering the final furlong. But under a power-packed Ryan Moore drive, that 7lbs age-allowance will prove an insurmountable obstacle.

It’s Churchill for me. Best of luck to all those having a punt.

Shergar Cup lacks Star Quality

I find it incredibly difficult to get excited by the prospect of another Shergar Cup at Ascot.

I’m sure there’s some that enjoy the competition, now quite incredibly into its 16th year, with the boys taking on the girls; Europe taking on GB&Ireland; GB&Ireland versus the Rest Of The World and the Rest Of The World challenging both boys and girls – you get the idea.

Billed as ‘the worlds premier jockey competition’ it sees four teams of three, battle it out over six races, scoring points for their finishing positions within the aforementioned races. Last year it was the girls, led by Canadian Emma-Jayne Wilson, that landed a famous victory.

Much was made of their success, and I guess that such a win goes some way in promoting female jockeys within the sport. However, I can’t help but find it patronising, to the point of embarrassing.

Those involved in this great sport, and those that watch as fans and punters, know only to well that there are talented female jockeys and talented male jockeys. Do we really need a separate female team in such an event? Couldn’t Emma-Jayne simply be invited to ride for the Rest Of The World team, whilst the exciting young apprentice Josephine Gordon get the ‘leg-up’ for team GB?

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I concede that seeing three talented female riders lifting the cup may well inspire others to strive for such success. Role models, we are told, are crucial in all walks of life. Nevertheless, I remain uncomfortable with the whole ‘Wow, women won the cup’ narrative.

If the format leaves me somewhat cold, then the standard of racing does little to set the pulse racing. The Shergar Cup Dash, for those rated 86-105 gives us the highest rated racehorse at the meeting, thanks to Line Of Reason. Now I’m not saying that the six-year-old isn’t a talented sprinter, and I’m not saying that Class 2 or Class 3 races cannot be exciting, but for an event that receives this amount of hype, you’d expect a race or two to live up to the billing.

It’s fair to say that the racing is of a competitive nature, rather than exceptional. Nevertheless, prize money is more than reasonable, and the event is likely to attract a crowd in the region of 30,000.

The event was first held at Goodwood in 1999, but came to Ascot in 2000. Victories have been pretty evenly split between the teams, though the girls having only recently entered the fray, have some catching up to do.

If it were my decision, I’d happily return to Ireland, GB, Europe and Rest Of The World as the four teams, with jockeys from both sexes making up the team members. The class of racing and standard of horses must also improve if this event is to thrive.

I’m simply not sure, that during such a hectic Flat racing campaign, this particular event will ever be seen as much more than a pleasant day’s racing on a summer’s afternoon. And maybe that’s enough for all concerned. It certainly has some way to go before it can truly be trumpeted as ‘The Worlds Premier International Jockey’s Competition’.

Sat TV Trends – 24th Aug 2013

York Ebor

It's York Ebor Day This Saturday.......

It's York Ebor day on the Knavesmire this Saturday, while the C4 cameras also head to Goodwood for three races...... Read more

BDH Stewards’ Sprint Stakes Review: Yeeoow! I feel Good(wood)!

BDH Stewards' Sprint Stakes Review: Yeeoow! I feel Good(wood)!

Time to bolster our BDH hit-squad with a Badly Drawn Horse from Saturday's Goodwood action...

BDH Review…

Race in focus: 2.05 Goodwood (03-08-2013): Robins Farm Racing Stewards' Sprint Stakes – 6f, Class 2 Handicap (24 ran)

How the race played out…

Reserve Stewards Cup Review

Pace wise this was simple; if you weren't drawn up the top end you had little to no chance of being involved in the finish. The first 2 were drawn in 2 of the 3 highest stalls and the first 4 home were all drawn in stall 17 or above. They ended up drifting down the bottom side in the final half a furlong but that is irrelevant as they were comfortably ahead by that stage. TAKE COVER was the main pace-setter from up high with ABOVE STANDARD also doing his best to get involved from his middle to high posi. TAX FREE tried to hook onto the pace from box 12 but he could never really get there, with the same being said about NOVERRE TO GO from stall 2.

The pace map gives us clear indicators that the high numbers were where the pace was emanating from and in the end that played right into the hooves of those drawn middle to high.

The end result…

First home SEEKING MAGIC came from the highest stall of all the runners and this easily allowed him to hook onto the pace setters and grab them late on in the shadow of the post. He has taken his form to a new level this term (posting career best figures) and his previous 2 runs fully suggested he was getting ready to strike and land a tasty pot. With only 19 career starts to his name he may yet have improvement to come before the season is out. Second placed TAKE COVER has to go down as unlucky here. He led everywhere but the line in this race and despite this being a big step up in class he showed he is more than ready for it. He is another that is lightly raced and may have more to give yet. Third placed CHOOSEDAY was never too far away and dug deep in the closing stages to record a career best RPR figure. My feeling is that he may just need a wee bit of respite from the handicapper to get himself back to winning ways. ABOVE STANDARD was on a hat-trick and a career high mark and battled on well for 4th and a career best on the figures. The ground probably wasn't quite quick enough for him and he could still have another big run in him off his mark. Fifth placed OUT DO was the best of the middle to low drawn runners but he is still 10lbs higher than his win at Yarmouth in June and the signs are that he needs to drop a couple before winning opportunities come his way. Sixth home YEEOOW was drawn at the complete opposite end of the stalls from the winner and this effort was an improvement on the form he has shown since his win at Ascot in May. This was a fine effort from a very difficult draw and he stuck in well at the business end.

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BDH to follow…

YEEOOW (6th) (Mrs K Burke)

This Holy Roman Emperor gelding was the first home of the low stalls and was comfortably ahead of the others drawn in the same vicinity. Essentially he is a horse that has to come with a late run and the way this race unfolded meant there was little chance of that happening here, with regards to the runners that finished ahead of him.The way the race panned out from a pace perspective gave him little to no chance of victory so his 3 length 6th gains the utmost respect from myself.

The Burke's have a decent team at their disposal this season and this 4yo would be near the top of their tree with this run very much suggesting that he can still do some damage off his current mark (only 3lbs higher than his last win).

A scrutiny of his form doesn't really give us much in the way of angles to work with (apart from his obvious liking for Kempton - 1212) but a quick squint at the Burke yards form with their sprinters suggest we should possibly be looking at a Redcar (4 wins from 14) , Carlisle (3 wins from 5) or Ffos Las (2 wins from 3) as future targets. There is, I admit, nothing concrete in any of that for YEEOOW and he is one we should probably play by ear, race upon race.

Conditions – As already mentioned there is nothing stand-out obvious about the horses turf form and I'm happy to take him as he comes and scrutinize him on a race by race basis. He probably doesn't have masses up his sleeve from the 93 mark but there should be enough for another victory to be squeezed out, preferably with Martin Harley on-board who seems to know the horse well.

YEEOOW now enters my Proform ‘Horse Watcher’ tool and I will post on the Blog when he is due to run next.

Current BDH Squad

The following are the current members of our BDH Offensive line...

BACCARAT | DANCE AND DANCE | DINKUM DIAMOND | DUKE OF FIRENZE | DUNGANNON | JACK DEXTER | REDVERS | STEPS (soon to be featured on my guest post for | TAWHID | WAKING WARRIOR (featured in my guest post for Make Your Betting Pay) | YEEOOW

You can read about all members of the BDH squad by visiting the Blog at, there are also other pointers, analysis and views so come along and join the BDH/NTF community and join in the chat.

Ben Aitken (BDH)

Sat TV Trends – 3rd Aug 2013

Goodwood GGIt's the final day of the Glorious Goodwood Meeting, plus the C4 cameras are also taking in two races from Newmarket - Andy Newton's got all the key TV trends. Read more

Glorious Goodwood Trainer Stats

Glorious-GoodwoodAhead of this week’s 5-day Glorious Goodwood Meeting Andy Newton’s got 3 stables that do well at the track and 3 not so well…… Read more

Sat TV Trends: 25th May 2013


It's the Temple Stakes at Haydock!

A huge day this Saturday with the C4 cameras heading to Haydock, Goodwood and York, plus they are taking in the Irish 2,000 Guineas over at the Curragh too. Read more

Sat TV Trends: 4th May 2013

Dawn Approach

Dawn Approach Land the 1st Classic?

It's 2,000 Guineas Day at HQ this Saturday, while the C4 cameras are also taking in two races at Goodwood. Read more

Sat TV Trends: 20th Oct 2012

It's Champions Day at Ascot.....

A huge day of TV action with BBC races at Ascot, while the C4 cameras head to Cheltenham, Kelso & Catterick.... Read more

Sat TV Trends: 22nd Sept 2012

Can Dr Marwan Koukash Land Another Gold Cup?

It's Ayr Gold Cup Day, while there's also decent cards at Newbury and Newmarket - We've got all the C4 TV races covered from a trends angle...... Read more

Well I Declare: 4th to 8th September

Well I Declare: 4th September

Well I Declare: 4th September

The truly mad world of Mal Boyle continued apace last week despite having taken ’er indoors away for a short break.

I returned to find new tenants in the top flat (dad and daughter) joined by their five foot pet python who apparently goes for ‘walkies’ up the road when the owner fancies a stroll.

This reptile is soon to be joined by a fifteen foot version and no, I will not be leaving my windows open of a night even if an ‘Indian summer’ is in the offing, a reference I could have improved upon given enough time!

I had hoped that Slitherin was a term that would have disappeared along with Harry Potter and his chums this summer though not for the first time, I am sadly wide of the mark again.

I hope that your luck has not taken a similar nose dive while I have been away and that my revamped focus on animals in the broadest sense brings all of us plenty of winners.

Do you hear a hissing noise…….?

Keep squeezing the life out of the layers!

TUESDAY 04/09:


General stats: Mark Johnston saddles two runners on the card , namely Steeler (4.05) and Hurricane Higgins (4.40) and although Mark’s 14% strike rate at Goodwood is nothing to write home about, his number of winners in the last five years (thirty) and his LSP figure of sixty five points catch the eye.

2.20: Jeremy Noseda saddled two winners from just four runners on Saturday and his first subsequent raider Claude Monet runs in this event, which is Jeremy’s only entry on Tuesday.   Roger Varian is (surprisingly) still looking to land his first winner at Goodwood and his seventeenth representative AFRAAH at the track is considered the main danger to the selection.  Three favourites have won during the last seven years, whilst nine of the last ten winners during the decade scored at odds of 6/1 or less.  Eight market leaders secured toteplacepot positions during the study period.

2.55 & 5.50 (two divisions): Favourites come into the race on a hat trick, whilst John Gosden held two entries at the weekend in which he has saddled gold and bronze medallists via just three contests to date. John saddles Cushion in the first heat and Solace in the 5.50 event.  Three renewals have produced two gold and once bronze medal via the relevant market leaders thus far.

3.30: Last year’s 5/2 (Richard Hannon trained) favourite missed out on a toteplacepot position when finishing third in a ‘short field’ contest.  New readers might want to know the term used by yours truly which refers to a five/six/seven runner race in which only the first and second horses home ‘qualify’ from a toteplacepot/each way perspective.

4.05: Two of the three favourites have finished in the frame via three renewals, statistics which include one (5/6) winner.



General stats: Amazing Amorey (2.30) represents trainer David Barron who boasts a 40% strike rate (via ten runners) at Leicester in recent years.  David’s eight points of level stake profits during the period puts icing on the cake.

3.05: Last year's 9/2 joint favourites dominated the finish following the complete demise of the inaugural 7/4 market leader which finished nearer last than first.  It is little wonder that Richard Hannon has declared SPANISH ART for this event having saddled the runner up in each of the previous two renewals.

3.40: The same stats apply for the previous race as this is the second division of the contest. Richard Hannon has declared his Amadeus Wolf filly PERFECT POSE which is an interesting move given the trainer's lack of stock from the sire to date.



General stats: Stormy Morning (4.25) represents Philip Kirby who boasts a 33% strike rate (6/18) in Edinburgh which has helped to produce impressive level stake profits of forty four points into the bargain!




General stats: Roger Varian has saddled two winners from just five runners at Bath to date and the trainer held two options at the weekend. Urban Daydream (2.20) is now his only runner at Bath on Wednesday.

2.20: Last year’s inaugural 4/6 favourite was beaten half a length by an 18/1 chance, albeit the William Haggas raider secured a toteplacepot position despite the surprise defeat.  If there is a hot favourite on Tuesday morning, you might like to take note of the name of last year’s winner which was…History Repeating!

2.50: Two market leaders have prevailed thus far via six renewals.  Four favourites have secured toteplacepot positions.

3.50: Five of the six winners have carried a maximum burden of 9-1.  Four renewals have slipped by without a successful market leader being recorded since the first two favourites of this event prevailed.



General stats: Suffolk based trainer Dave Morris potentially saddles two runners on the card and his 21% strike rate at Kempton (four winners) have yielded over fifty two points of level stake profits.



General stats: Two winners from just five mounts is the current ratio boasted by Kieren Fallon at Lingfield. On the training front, runners saddled by Alan Jarvis are worth a second look given his 30% strike rate which has helped to produce an LSP figure of thirty four points.



General stats: Richard Woolacott (2/3), Jim Best (8/22) and Rebecca Curtis (15/47) are just three trainers who will be fighting the closure of Hereford racecourse if their ratios at the track are anything to go by.




General stats: Paul D’Arcy (3/5) and William Jarvis (4/11) are alternative trainers to consider if you want to look beyond Roger Varian’s impressive 34% strike rate via figures of 12/35 since taking over the license from Michael Jarvis not so long ago.

Amateur rider event scheduled for 5.10: Favourites have secured a medal of each colour via just the three renewals thus far.  This is another meeting during this ‘silly season’ (after a Bank Holiday wreaks havoc on the sport from a ‘corresponding fixture’ perspective).



General stats: Whilst the Sir Henry Cecil media bandwagon is dominated by Frankel (was there ever any doubt that the champion would run in the relevant event at Ascot next?), it’s as well to focus on Henry’s record at ’lesser venues’ like here at Salisbury where the trainer boasts a 30% strike rate in recent years.

Novice event for juveniles scheduled for 2.10: Six of the last nine favourites have obliged, the other gold medallists having been sent off at 7/4, 9/4 & 6/1.  Richard Hannon is the only trainer to have saddled two recent winners and the trainer was responsible for four of the sixteen five-day declarations last weekend.

Juvenile maiden event for fillies due to be contested at 2.40: Four clear market leaders and one joint favourite have scored via the last eighteen renewals (many of which were spilt via divisions) whilst three of the last nine contests have been snared by horses starting at 66/1 and 33/1 (twice).  Fifteen of the nineteen market leaders have secured toteplacepot positions during the period.

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Listed juvenile event for fillies over six furlongs scheduled for 3.15: Five favourites have won in the last fourteen years, whilst the biggest priced winner during the study period was a 10/1 chance.  Ten of the gold medallists have won at 7/2 or less, whilst eight of the sixteen market leaders have secured toteplacepot positions.

Seven furlong Class 2 handicap scheduled for fillies/mares at 3.45: Three-year-olds have won ten of the last fourteen renewals of this event, whilst eleven of the last thirteen gold medallists have carried weights of 9-2 or less.  Four favourites have won during the last fifteen years, whilst eleven of the eighteen market leaders have secured toteplacepot positions.

Fourteen furlong conditions event set for 4.20: Four-year-olds have secured five of the last nine renewals.  Three clear market leaders and one joint favourite have won during the last six years, the other gold medallists having been returned at 7/1 and 4/1 for good measure.  Indeed, the biggest priced winners during the last decade were two 4/1 scorers.

Apprentice event scheduled for 5.20: Three and four-year-olds have (equally) shared four of the six renewals to date during the which time, two favourites have prevailed.  Three and four-year-old representatives have secured six win and place positions apiece from just eighteen opportunities.



General stats: There is little to add to what seems like a weekly comment that Frankie Dettori and Saeed Bin Suroor continue to dominate the sport at the Sunbury circuit.



General stats: Jason Maguire’s 26% strike rate owes much to the training talent of Donald McCain.  Meanwhile, any runners hailing from Lawney Hill’s stable should be kept on the right side given her 3/3 ratio at Sedgefield!


FRIDAY 07/08:


General stats: Well publicised trainers have superior figures to offer than Joseph Tuite, though Joseph’s 6/21 return in recent years is worth a mention, especially as over thirteen points of level stake profits have been realised during the period. 



General stats: Two of the last seven runners saddled by John Spearing had won at the time of writing and John’s 29% record at Chepstow catches the eye.  The positive statistics include nearly ten points of level stake profits during the period.



General stats: Richard Kingscote’s mounts have realised seventy points of level stake profits at Haydock in the last five years via a strike rate 26% (twenty one winners). 

2.30: Both favourites have secured toteplacepot positions to date via gold and bronze medals.

3.35: Both favourites finished out of the money in the two divisions of last year’s inaugural event.

The inaugural 4.45 & 5.15 races last year were won by John Gosden trained 7/2 favourites.



General stats: Ralph Beckett (sixty six) and James Fanshawe (forty four) have both produced an abundance of level stake profits in recent years, albeit all trainers are generally overshadowed by the exploits of Saeed Bin Suroor (56 winners via a 34% ratio) at the Sunbury circuit. 




General stats: It is very difficult to achieve good figures at Ascot given the competitive nature of the sport at the royal venue.  James Fanshawe has achieved quite a feat in recent times by securing a 20% strike rate (via ten winners) which is backed up by twenty five points of level stake profits. 



General stats: Favourites in the non handicap sector have performed well (as is usually the case) in two and three year-old events at Haydock this year.  47% of the juvenile events have been won by market leaders, whilst favourites have secured 53% of three-year-old non handicap contests.

Group 1 six furlong Sprint Cup (3.25)--Statistics for the potential 18 runners at the time of writing:

Bated Breath: Haydock record: 3/4----Group 1 record: 0/8

Confessional: Haydock record: 1/6----Group 1 record: 0/1

Dandy Boy: Haydock record: 0/0----Group 1 record: 0/2

Elusivity: Haydock record: 0/4----Group 1 record: 0/0

Genki: Haydock record: 1/4----Group 1 record: 0/7

Gordon Lord Byron: Haydock record: 0/0----Group 1 record: 0/0

Hawkeyethenoo: Haydock record: 0/1----Group 1 record: 0/1

Hitchens: Haydock record: 1/2----Group 1 record: 0/5

Kingsgate Native: Haydock record: 1/4----Group 1 record: 2/17

Majestic Myles: Haydock record: 0/2----Group 1 record: 0/0

Mayson: Haydock record: 0/0----Group 1 record: 1/1

Society Rock: Haydock record: 0/2----Group 1 record: 1/8

Soul: Haydock record: 0/0----Group 1 record: 0/3

Strong Suit: Haydock record: 0/0----Group 1 record: 0/6

Es Que Love: Haydock record: 0/1----Group 1 record: 0/1

Reply: Haydock record: 0/0----Group 1 record: 0/4

Ortensia: Haydock record: 0/0----Group 1 record: 3/16

Wizz Kid: Haydock record: 0/0----Group 1 record: 0/4

Three favourites have won during the last six years, though six of the ten winners in the last decade have been returned in double figures.  Three-year-olds lead the four-year-olds 4-3 over the last ten years. Five of the last ten favourites have secured toteplacepot positions.

Other races at Haydock on Saturday:

Listed juvenile event over one mile scheduled for 1.45: Three of the four favourites (via three renewals) have finished in the frame, statistics which include one successful (even money) market leader.

Class 2 five furlong all aged handicap scheduled for 2.15: Eight of the twelve favourites have secured toteplacepot positions via nine renewals during the last decade, statistics which include two successful market leaders (within the last four years). Five-year-olds have won three of the last six contests.

Listed ‘Superior Mile’ due to be contested at 2.50: Four-year-olds had won the previous three renewals before two three-year-olds outgunned the best placed four-year-old bronze medallist twelve months ago.  Six of the nine favourites have finished in the money via eight renewals, statistics which include three successful market leaders. Sir Michael Stoute is the only trainer to have won this race on two occasions and Tales Of Grimm was Michael’s only option earlier in the week.  Dank (7/2) was a winner for the service last week following similar comments relating to the same trainer.

Fourteen furlong Class 2 handicap event scheduled for 4.00: Three clear market leaders and one joint favourites have prevailed via nine renewals during the last decade.  Eight of the eleven market leaders have finished in the frame (exact science).  Mark Johnston held five options for the race at the time of writing having secured three of the last eight contests. Six of the nine winners carried a minimum burden of nine stones

Six furlong Nursery event due to be contested at 4.30: Only two of the six favourites have secured toteplacepot positions via five renewals thus far, statistics which include one (7/2) successful favourite. All five winners have carried 9-2 or less, as have thirteen of the fourteen horses which have finished in the frame.



General stats: Tony Coyle saddled a 10/1 winner on the first day of September and Tony’s record at Thirsk makes for decent reading.  Tony has saddled three of his eleven runners at the venue to winning effect in recent times, whilst securing fifteen points of level stake profits. 



General stats: William Muir’s outsiders are worth a second glance at Kempton given his fifty seven point LSP figure via twenty three winners during the last five years. 



General stats: Keith Dalgleish has saddled eleven winners at Wolverhampton this season via a 20% strike rate which has realised seven points of level stake profits. 



General stats: I noted that trainer Anthony Honeyball was singled out as a trainer to watch in one of the Geegeez blogs recently and readers of this service will know that I have talked about Anthony’s recent success rate at length.  Anthony’s strike rate here at Stratford stands at 38% via five winners, statistics which have produced an LSP figure of twelve points. As the blog suggested, Anthony’s runners tend to perform well a long distance from home, albeit Stratford is too far away from the trainer’s Dorset base.  Rachel Green (Anthony’s partner) is one of the unsung heroes of the turf (note the politically correct writing) and long may that continue whereby we ‘shrewdies’ can avail ourselves of decent prices relating to her mounts.  

Stat of the Day, 26th August 2012

Stat of the Day 26/8

Stat of the Day 26/8

Stat of the Day, 26th August 2012

Yesterday was kind to SotD and its followers as John Quinn maintained his excellent Cartmel form with both his runners winning. Our selection Royal Bonsai was trimmed from the advised 11/2 into the 4/1 odds he won at, but it's yet another victory for us.

Hopefully, we can find another winner to close out the week and our search takes us to Goodwood for a Class 5 handicap over 7 furlongs on Good ground that may be a little firmer in places. We currently expect 18 runners to contest the..

2.10 Goodwood

Alan Jarvis has really got his string firing at present with a 25% strike rate over the last month, helping him record a level stakes profit of almost 58pts at SP. He is also one of the standout trainers when it comes to finding winners at Goodwood. Over the last two years he has had four winners from just ten attempts for a fantastic profit of 45pts in the process. A further two of the six losing horses still managed to make the frame.

Alan has a couple of runners today: Navajo Charm runs at 4.30 and doesn't seem to have much of a chance, but the opening race on the card looks more promising. King Vahe is the selection for today after producing his best form last time out. He was a comfortable winner at Salisbury at 17/2 on that occasion (just 11 days ago) on his return from a 10-week break. The manner of his victory that day suggested that better things are still to come from him and I believe that the 5lb penalty shouldn't inconvenience him too much.

King Vahe is very handily drawn in stall 2 and a repeat of his last performance should easily be enough today. We don't often back favourites at SotD, but this one seems to justify its position at the head of the market, yet despite this, is still available at an attractive-looking 6/1 BOG with Paddy Power, but you can always...

Click here for the latest odds for the 2.10 Goodwood.

Well I Declare, 25th August

Well I Declare: 25/08/12

Well I Declare: 25/08/12

There's an action-packed day in store for us all with racing coming from all angles, courtesy of Day 4 from York's Ebor meeting as well as Goodwood, Newmarket, Redcar, Windsor and Cartmel. Saturdays can be notoriously difficult when it comes to picking winners, so let's remind ourselves of Mal Boyle's pointers for the day's action, as he turns his attention to...



General stats: Ron Harris has enjoyed a year to remember and his 25% strike rate here at York is testament to the trainer’s ability.  Only four winners can be reported though that said, the LSP figure of forty-four points catches the eye in no uncertain terms. 

Listed City of York Stakes scheduled for 2.00: Five favourites have won via the last fourteen renewals, whilst ten market leaders have reached the frame in the process.

‘Melrose’ 3YO Handicap scheduled for 2.30: Three of the ten renewals since the turn of the Millennium have been won by market leaders.

Group 2 Lonsdale event due to be contested at 3.05: The last ten winners have been returned at odds of 7/1 or less, whilst five clear market leaders and one joint favourite have won during the last fourteen contests.

Ebor Handicap scheduled for 3.40: The last ten winners have carried a maximum burden of 9-4. Two favourites have won via the last fourteen renewals with eight market leaders securing toteplacepot positions in the process.  Eight of the last ten winners have been drawn fourteen or higher, with only one winner drawn in single figures during the study period.

Roses Stakes scheduled for 4.15:  Three favourites have won via the last fourteen renewals, whilst eleven of the other twelve market leaders failed to reach the frame.


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General stats: Luca Cumani and Sir Henry Cecil both boast 21% strike rates which is commendable, whilst Roger Charlton’s ratio of 11/55 makes for decent reading, especially given the level stake profit of twenty-four points.



General stats: As the ‘July season’ heads towards its end at Newmarket, Clifford Lines will be hoping to improve his 3/8 tally via Proud Chieftain who potentially represents the trainer in the scheduled 4.35 event.  



General stats: Ian Williams has his team in fine form (under both codes of the sport) at the time of writing and Ian’s 4/9 record at the Cleveland venue makes for impressive reading. 



General stats: Robert Eddery is chalking up good figures at the alternative royal venue via a 4/12 ratio, whilst other ‘unsung’ heroes to consider are Sheena West (3/11) and Tom Tate (2/3).



General stats: I should have mentioned Harriet Graham regarding Cartmel’s Thursday stats, as the trainer held five entries over the course of the two days at the time of writing, Harriet boasting 6/20 figures during the last five years.

Sat TV Trends: 25th Aug 2012

York and Goodwood provide the LIVE C4 action this Saturday - We've got all the key trends and stats to help you.... Read more

Well I Declare, 24th August

Well I Declare: 24/08/12

Well I Declare: 24/08/12

It's a typically busy Friday today with plenty of action to take in, including meetings at Goodwood, Hamilton, Newcastle and Newmarket alongside Day 3 of York's Ebor meeting and a rare mixed card at Ffos Las: something for pretty much everyone today.

Here's what Mal Boyle makes of it all for ...

FRIDAY 24/8:


General stats: If John Dunlop’s fortunes are ever going to change this year it is likely to be here at York with the trainer still showing an impressive 28% strike rate via ten winners, gold medallists which have produced forty-nine points of level profit stakes. 

Class 2 mile and a half handicap scheduled for 2.00: Sir Michael Stoute and Mark Johnston have both saddled two winners during the last five years, whilst the last six gold medallists carried a minimum burden of 8-12.  One clear and one joint favourite have won via nine renewals during the last decade, with four winners scoring at odds ranging between 33/1 and 50/1.  That said, four of the last six favourites have secured toteplacepot positions.

Group 2 ‘Gimcrack Stakes’ scheduled for 2.30: Odooj was the only William Haggas declaration at the five-day stage, the trainer having saddled two of the last six winners of the race.  It’s worth noting that William was not represented on one occasion during the period, whilst the trainer saddled the 16/1 runner-up in 2009.  Only one favourite has obliged during the last nine years, albeit six of the last winners were returned at odds of 8/1 or less. Seven of the eleven market leaders finished in the frame during the last decade.

Strensall Stakes scheduled for 3.05: Saeed Bin Suroor has won three of the last five renewals, whilst four of the last eight favourites have scored.  The biggest priced gold medallist was returned at just 8/1 since the turn of the Millennium.

Nunthorpe Stakes due to be contested at 3.40: Five favourites landed the ‘Nunthorpe’ in successive seasons between 1999 and 2003, though the other ten market leaders failed to add to the record during the study period.  Just three of those beaten favourites managed to snare additional toteplacepot positions.

'Draw factor' (five furlongs):

2011: 11-15-7 (15 ran-good to soft)
2010: 11-13-2 (12 ran-good to firm)
2009: 2-11-9 (16 ran-good to firm)
2008: Race run at Newmarket--not applicable
2007: 13-7-16 (16 ran-good)
2006: 6-16-2 (14 ran-soft)
2005: 8-12-13 (16 ran-good to firm)
2004: 5-11-15 (12 ran-soft)
2003: 2-3-1 (8 ran-good to firm)
2002: 15-16-11 (17 ran-good to firm)
2001: 4-8-3 (10 ran-good)
2000: 1-14-10 (13 ran-good)
1999: 13-1-3 (16 ran-good)
1998: 2-4-8 (17 ran-firm)

‘Convivial Maiden’ over seven furlongs due to be contested at 4.15: One of the three favourites (via two renewals) has secured a toteplacepot position (no winners) in a race which has been revamped in recent years.

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'Draw factor' (seven furlongs):

2011: 6-4-8 (17 ran-good to soft)
2010: 4-12-13 (17 ran-good to firm)

Six furlong Nursery contest scheduled for 4.50: Six of the last seven winners have carried weights of 8-13 or less, whilst one clear market leader and one joint favourite have scored via ten renewals of this two-year-old handicap.  Four of the last five winners have emerged from stalls ten, eleven and twelve.



General stats: Elaine Burke has sneaked an entry into Goodwood’s meeting which will escape many people, the trainer having scored with her only runner at the West Sussex venue to date.  Duke Of Aricabeau is scheduled to contest the 7.50 three-year-old Class 5 handicap in an attempt to add to Elaine’s previous 20/1 gold medallist at the track. 



General stats: Amy Ryan’s 26% strike rate (via eleven winners) is even more impressive when you take the LSP reading of fifty-two points into account!



General stats: I have talked about Sir Palomides before now and this is the only possible runner for William Haggas at Newcastle, the trainer boasting recent stats of 38% at Gosforth Park.  The Mr Greeley colt might be a winner at rewarding odds if given the green light by the trainer. 



General stats: The best combined stats (strike rate and level stake profits) going into this week at Newmarket (relating to potentially represented trainers) belong to Mahmood Al Zarooni who boasts respective figures of nineteen and sixty-five. 


Ffos Las:

General stats: This is a mixed meeting which is to be applauded though that said, the card complicates the workload.  On the flat front, William Haggas boasts 5/12 figures, whereas under the NH banner, Anthony Honeyball (5/11) and Nicky Henderson (20/50) lead the way relating to potentially represented trainers on Friday.