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Hill can reach Gold Cup Summit for Twiston-Davies

All eyes will be on Cheltenham this weekend, and today’s piece focuses on Saturday’s BetVictor Gold Cup.

The Grade Three began life as the Mackeson Gold Cup and was first run in 1960. Starting as a two-mile chase, the trip was upped to 2m4f in the late 60s. Martin Pipe is the most successful trainer with eight victories, seven of those coming in a devastating spell from 1996 to 2005.

In recent years Jonjo O’Neill (3 wins), Nigel Twiston-Davies (2) and Paul Nicholls (2) have all enjoyed plenty of success in the race. Seven-year-olds have a terrific record of late, with six wins from the last 10. Indeed, the race tends to go to a progressive young chaser, often in their second season over the larger obstacles.

Despite the race often attracting a large field, upsets have proved rare. Only one of the last 10 winners could be described as unfancied, though in that period only one favourite has struck gold. As is often the case at the Home of Jump racing, previous track experience is a huge positive. Seven of the past 10 winners had previously won at Cheltenham. This racecourse is a unique test, and many horses fail the strenuous examination.

The favourite for Saturday’s renewal is top-weight Kylemore Lough, now trained by Harry Fry. Lumping just shy of 12 stone is often a reason to dismiss a horse in such handicaps, but last year’s winner carried 11-11, and four of the last 12 winners have coped with more than 11 stone on their back. This fella has enough Cheltenham experience, and appears to act on the track, though he’s finished fifth in his last two visits. He came close to winning the Caspian Caviar Chase last December (now 2lb lower), and a repeat of that performance would see him go extremely close. Can Fry get more out of him than Kerry Lee? I’m a fan, and I fancy he’ll run well.

The Alan Fleming-trained Tully East is next best in the betting. A second-season chaser, he won at the Cheltenham Festival in March, when ridden beautifully by Denis O’Regan. He travelled like a dream that day and appeared to win with something to spare. Nevertheless, he’s 10lb higher in the handicap, and though he has the right profile, he’ll find this race much tougher to win. He’s a player, though I worry about that handicap mark. Another concern is the poor record of Irish raiders.

Paul Nicholls has a couple of entrants, and both are prominent in the betting. Le Prezien has track winning form, though was runner-up on his last visit, when finding Foxtail Hill impossible to pass. The pair had a mighty tussle in October at two-miles, though the extra half-a-mile should prove no obstacle. The pair are handicapped to finish side by side again, and you’d fancy both will go close. They’re tough to separate.

Nicholls’ other hope is five-year-old Romain De Senam. He’s won his last two, but is up 6lbs and will find this tough. He was runner-up in the Fred Winter of 2016, and probably should have won that day. The track and trip look ideal, and Nicholls took this race in 2014 with Caid Du Berlais, also aged five. I can see him getting outpaced coming down the hill, but I fancy he’ll be finishing well. He has the right amount of experience, but I worry he’ll have too much to do turning for home.

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Ballyalton is an interesting contender. Back from injury, the Ian Williams-trained 10-year-old tuned up for this with a promising run over hurdles at Aintree. He won over course and distance at the Cheltenham Festival of 2016, and clearly enjoys his trips to Prestbury Park. He’s on a competitive mark, though his age is a negative based on the trends. Only three horses over nine have won the race.

The Pipe team have an outstanding record, though David has only managed the one success. Starchitect is two from seven over fences, and has a fair bit to find on Foxtail Hill, from their run at the course in April. Though talented, I don’t think this fella is quite good enough to win in this company.

One that is on a steep-upward curve is Jamie Snowdon’s Double Treasure. The six-year-old beat Two Taffs last time, though the runner-up was having his first outing of the campaign. He’s progressed dramatically over the Summer, but needs to find more if he is to be competitive here. Despite his four wins on the bounce, I fancy this could be a step too far.

There’s a couple I quite like at a price for the each-way punters out there. Theinval is trained by Nicky Henderson and was incredibly consistent during his first season over fences. He has some decent pieces of form to his name, especially the second-place finish to Cloudy Dream at Ayr in April. The sensational Fondmort won this race for Henderson in 2003, and this fella has a far better chance than his 25/1 odds suggest.

Another that interests me is the Twiston-Davies second string Splash Of Ginge. He rarely wins over fences, but his handicap mark has fell through the floor since the dizzy heights of 2015. He’s run well at Cheltenham in the past, and his last performance was encouraging. More rain would help, though I’m still tempted.

Greedy I know, but I’ll be backing three in the race. I fancy Nigel Twiston-Davies could have a day to remember, and I’ll be taking Foxtail Hill to win. He looks incredibly tough and is two from four in recent visits to the track. I’ll also have a little on Splash Of Ginge in the hope that the track and an eye-catching handicap mark spark a revival. Finally, I’ll be putting a couple of quid on Henderson’s seven-year-old Theinval. I’m convinced he’ll go close, though I do worry about his ability to cope with the famous hill.

Best of luck to all those having a punt.

Stat of the Day, 16th November 2017

Wednesday's Result :

2.50 Bangor : Midnight Tour @ 4/1 BOG 3rd at 7/1 In touch, headway 3 out, chased leaders next, kept on same pace closing stages, beaten by 2.75 lengths.

Next up is Thursday's...

7.25 Chelmsford :

Before I post the daily selection, just a quick reminder of how I operate the service. Generally, I'll identify and share the selection in the evening before the following day's race and I then add a detailed write-up later on that night/next morning.

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?

Miracle Garden @ 7/2 BOG

A Class 5, 3yo+, A/W Handicap over a mile on Polytrack worth £5,175 to the winner.

Featuring a 5 yr old gelding who arrives here in decent nick having finished 132 in his last three outings and was only held off by a neck last time out. That was here at Chelmsford a week ago over 7f when staying on well and finishing strongest.

The winning line came fractionally too soon for him that day, so I expect the extra furlong to help him here in his bid to improve an already decent looking return of 5 wins from 22 (22.7% SR) on the A/W, including...

  • 5 wins & 4 places from 13 at Classes 5 & 6
  • 4 wins & 3 places from 7 in September to November
  • 2 wins & 3 places from 6 on Polytrack
  • and 2 wins and a place from four 12/13 runner races.

His trainer, Ian Williams, has had 8 winners from 27 (29.6% SR) runners in Class 5/6 contests here at Chelmsford to date and a simple £10 bet on each would have produced £92.10 profit, not earth shattering, but (a) enough for a night out and more importantly (b) an ROI of 34.1%!

Of these 27 lower grade runners here...

  • males are 8/23 (34.8%) for 13.21pts (+57.4%)
  • at trips of 7 to 10 furlongs : 7/20 (35%) for 4.09pts (+20.45%)
  • finished 2nd, 3rd or 4th LTO : 6/11 (54.5%) for 10.54pts (+95.8%)

AND...his lower grade males running over 7 to 10 furlongs here after a losing top 4 finish LTO are 6/9 (66.6% SR) for 12.54pts (+139.4%)

Yet, for as impressive as the above numbers might be, they do lack the usual SotD meatiness of sample size, so  I'll divert you to the fact that this one is turned back out pretty quickly after last Thursday's defeat, because this is one of Ian Williams' preferred methods, as since the start of 2011, his runners who have rested for less than 10 days are 107/436 (24.5% SR) for 147.1pts (+33.7% ROI), of which...

  • handicappers are 93/356 (26.1%) for 185.7pts (+52.2%)
  • on the A/W : 38/178 (21.4%) for 109.7pts (+61.6%)
  • and in A/W handicaps : 33/153 (21.6%) for 115.5pts (+75.5%)

...and from the above 153 quickly turned around A/W handicappers...

  •  those running on Polytrack are 27/111 (24.3%) for 87pts (+78.4%)
  • those finishing 2nd, 3rd or 4th LTO are 21/73 (28.8%) for 34.8pts (+47.7%)
  • those racing against 11 or 12 opponents are 11/39 (28.2%) for 106.8pts (+273.7%)
  • and here at Chelmsford : 4/9 (44.4%) for 5.23pts (+58.1%)

...all of which gives us... a 1pt win bet on Miracle Garden @ 7/2 BOG which was available from Bet365 & Betwayat 5.40pm on Wednesday. To see what your preferred bookie is offering, simply...

...click here for the betting on the 7.25 Chelmsford

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!

Monday Musings: Under The Radar

Nine years ago, while writing a similar column to this in a since defunct organ, I remember eulogising about a horse that must lay claim not just to having gone under the radar, but simply evading all attention, writes Tony Stafford.

By the time of his sixth successive victory, having won twice as a late-season juvenile, and at three, adding a Conditions race and a Listed event before collecting the 20-runner Prix du Jockey Club and the Prix Niel (Group 2), he went to the Arc unbeaten despite never having started favourite.

That’s right, even after gallantly holding Famous Name (eventual winner of 21 of 38 starts, all bar one at Group 2, 3 or Listed level) at Chantilly, he did not even head the market for his Arc trial. He won it only narrowly – his sole win at a mile and a half - so maybe fifth around three lengths behind Zarkava and one adrift of Youmzain and Soldier of Fortune was decent enough in a first defeat.

In four seasons’ racing he won ten of his 17 starts, collecting £2.5 million, bolstered by further Group 1’s, the Prix Ganay, a Prince of Wales and a Hong Kong Cup at Sha Tin. A son of dual Group 1 winner but equally unheralded Chichicastenango – what a great name – he would have been even more formidable had he truly stayed the Classic distance.

Vision d’Etat always showed a turn of foot, so when he retired to the Haras de Grandcamp at a fee of €6,000, there were plenty of takers. Among a numerous second crop, divided between Pur Sang (fully thoroughbred) and AQPS (effectively non-thoroughbred) mares was a filly out of the Saint des Saints mare Santa Bamba called De Bon Coeur.

Yesterday at Auteuil on the traditional closing day of their Autumn season and ridden by James Reveley, she made it eight wins in nine starts over hurdles (she fell when cantering clear in the other) in the Prix Renaud du Vivier, the 4yo Champion Hurdle.

Her maternal grand sire, the aforementioned Saint des Saints, never raced on the Flat and in a 14-race career competed exclusively at Auteuil. He won six of 12 hurdles and the first of two chases, being switched back to the smaller obstacles after falling in his next race over fences.

As a sire he has excelled, notably with Willie Mullins’ top-class chaser Djakadam, but it is arguable whether he has produced anything with more potential than De Bon Coeur. In his racing days he three times had to give best to the great Marly River, including in this same 4yo championship race.

As in all her runs where I have found race comments, she has been allowed to sit in behind the leaders until mid-race when, as was the case yesterday, Reveley has taken her to the front. It took some believing to witness the way she carried herself clear of her field before the home turn without any obvious encouragement from the jockey and drew away to win untroubled by ten lengths from the best of her generation. Seven of her eight wins have been achieved by between seven and 12 lengths.

Two years ago Blue Dragon won the same race with equal authority and he remains at the top of France’s hurdling tree, even allowing for the fact that he has had some alarming late capitulations on occasion.

So far there is no sign that De Bon Coeur has similar frailties and yesterday’s times take as much believing as the raw visual impression of the race. There were two other races run over the same 3900 metres (just short of two and a half miles) trip.  She was nine seconds (maybe 150 yards) faster than the earlier Listed handicap won by a smart gelding and more than 13 seconds faster than a classy Martalane filly in another, worth 22K to the winner.

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Vision d’Etat switched studs for this season to Haras du Treban where he stood at €2,800. I expect they will be busy next year and beyond!

There were a couple of striking performances at Navan yesterday, the Mullins five-year-old Footpad making a spectacular debut over fences suggesting he will be hard to leave out of Arkle Chase consideration next spring. Footpad, a French-bred, actually returned to his homeland for last year’s Prix Renaud du Vivier and was only narrowly beaten into second by the outsider Capivari. That race was run only four seconds faster than one of the handicaps.

The second smart performance came from another French import, Apple’s Jade, in the Lismullen Hurdle. Once with Mullins, she was moved, along with many of the Gigginstown House horses, to Gordon Elliott and the daughter of Saddler Maker will be competitive in all the big hurdles this winter.

If connections of Pallasator had expected (as I confess I did!) him to follow his charity race romp with a debut win over hurdles at Naas on Saturday, they were to be disappointed. The winner here was Next Destination, by an emphatic 13 lengths, in the happily once more visible Malcolm Denmark silks. He has run a few horses recently, still concentrating on long-term protege Mark Pitman, but this one is with Willie Mullins and was not far behind ill-fated Fayonagh in last season’s Cheltenham bumper.

That was the race where Denmark and Pitman enjoyed a 50-1 triumph together, one of eight wins from only ten starts by the brilliant Monsignor. That was his second win from four bumper runs when oddly three of his four riders - Brendan Powell senior, Timmy Murphy and Graham Lee - all won the Grand National, although the latter pair now ride only on the Flat.

Monsignor won all six races over hurdles the following winter beating triple Gold Cup hero Best Mate at Sandown and National winner Bindaree a couple of times including in the Royal and Sun Alliance hurdle at the Festival.

Norman Williamson rode the gelding in all six and will have been as frustrated as everyone in racing in the spring of 2000 when injury prevented his running ever again. Just how far he might have changed racing history must often exercise the minds of Messrs Denmark, Pitman and Williamson. It was nice to see him on show at Newbury races one day a couple of years back as an equine participant in the Retraining of Racehorses scheme and it would be appropriate if Next Destination reaches anywhere near his level.

Saturday in the UK belonged to that highly-efficient dual-purpose trainer Ian Williams. Having won the big handicap hurdle at Wincanton with his Cesarewitch runner-up London Prize, he was on hand at Doncaster to send out Saunter, a recent addition to the stable, to stroll home in the November Handicap.

In the way of such coincidences, Williams has another young horse, good enough to run second behind sadly-deceased Permian in the Listed Newmarket Stakes back in May and to canter away from his field in a Huntingdon juvenile hurdle just over a week ago. His name? Speedo Boy. His sire? Vision d’Etat. Do you feel a Triumph or more likely a Fred Winter coming on? I do.

Stat of the Day, 18th October 2017

Tuesday's Result :

4.30 Leicester : Dream of Delphi @ 5/1 BOG Last of 9 at 5/1 : Missed break, slowly into stride, held up in rear, never dangerous...

Wednesday's selection goes in the...

5.35 Lingfield :

Before I post the daily selection, just a quick reminder of how I operate the service. Generally, I'll identify and share the selection in the evening before the following day's race and I then add a detailed write-up later on that night/next morning.

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?

So Celebre @ 10/3 BOG

Why?

A Class 5, 3yo+ A/W handicap over 1m4f...

...with a 4 yr old gelding who was pipped late on last time out, finishing as a runner-up over this trip and at this grade just five days, beaten by a mere short head.

His trainer Ian Williams has got his horses running well right now and over the last 30 days, the yard is 13 from 50 (26% SR) for profits of 11.8pts at an ROI of 23.6%, including of relevance today...

  • handicappers at 11/44 (25%) for 14pts (+31.8%)
  • those priced at 7/1 and shorter are 13/33 (39.4%) for 28.8pts (+87.3%)
  • at Classes 4 & 5 : 8/23 (34.8%) for 18.25pts (+79.3%)
  • on the All-Weather : 5/18 (27.8%) for 3.3pts (+18.3%)
  • those running with less than 3 weeks rest : 10/16 (62.5%) for 22.9pts (+143.1%)
  • and 4 yr olds are 4/13 (30.8%) for 3.6pts (+27.5%)

Now, some of you might think it's a bit flimsy for me to base a pick for SotD upon a sample size of 50 runners and you might be right, so would 1073 runners be a more reliable pool to dive into?

We know that Ian Williams has done well recently with runners turned around fairly quickly, but more generally I do like to back quick returners on the A/W but as you'd expect, I have some parameters that need to be applied before placing the bets.

My criteria for my A/W quick returners are (and they look far more complicated in print than they are in reality!) as follows...

...AW handicaps / 5 to 16 runners / March to November / Aged 2 to 7 / Running at trips within 1f of last run / Beaten by less than 5 lengths LTO / ran in last 5 days...

And this has produced the afore-mentioned 1073 qualifiers since the start of March 2008, so whilst that seems plenty, it's really only just over 100 per year or 10 per month. And if you'd backed all 1073 qualifiers, you'd have found yourself 207 winners at a healthy strike rate of 19.3% : not bad from blindly backing them!

And if you'd stuck £20 on each of them, you'd be ahead of the bookies by almost £5,000 - £4962 to be more precise at an attractive ROI of some 23.1%. Now, of course, some of you will want fewer bets and with such a large dataset, there are going to be lots of profitable angles you could take, but I'm only going to give you a dozen!

  1. In fields of 6-14 runners : 202/1051 (19.2%) for 243.6pts (+23.2%)
  2. On Polytrack : 157/827 (19%) for 237.2pts (+28.7%)
  3. At odds of 13/8 to 8/1 : 176/787 (22.4%) for 245.6pts (+31.2%)
  4. Males are 148/761 (19.5%) for 134.2pts (+17.6%)
  5. At the same class as LTO : 133/642 (20.7%) for 208.1pts (+32.4%)
  6. At the same distance as LTO : 108/541 (20%) for 139.4pts (+25.8%)
  7. LTO runners-up are 81/324 (25%) for 62.5pts (+19.3%)
  8. 4 yr olds are 51/279 (18.3%) for 40.6pts (+14.6%)
  9. At Class 5 : 56/273 (20.5%) for 37.5pts (+13.7%)
  10. In October : 41/172 (23.8%) for 100.8pts (+58.6%)
  11. Here at Lingfield : 33/171 (19.3%) for 38.2pts (+22.3%)
  12. And those beaten by a head or less LTO are 17/44 (38.6%) for 33.8pts (+76.7%)

...but first... a 1pt win bet on So Celebre @ 10/3 BOG, which was available from Bet365, Betfair & SunBets at 5.45pm on Tuesday. To see what your preferred bookie is offering, simply...

...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!

Stat of the Day, 11th October 2017

Tuesday's Result :

4.10 Catterick : The New Pharaoh @ 11/4 BOG 3rd at 4/1 : Switched left start, held up in rear, ridden and headway over 1f out, stayed on inside final furlong, nearest at finish ...

Wednesday's selection goes in the...

3.10 Towcester :

Before I post the daily selection, just a quick reminder of how I operate the service. Generally, I'll identify and share the selection in the evening before the following day's race and I then add a detailed write-up later on that night/next morning.

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?

Sailors Warn @ 3/1 or 11/4 BOG

Why?

A Class 3, 3yo+ handicap hurdle over 1m7.5f on good to firm ground...

This 10 yr old gelding was a winner two starts ago, but was beaten by 4.5 lengths last time out on unsuitably soft ground at a higher grade than today. he's well rested and down in class, so should go well for trainer Ian Williams...

...whose NH handicappers are 53/248 (21.4% SR) for 73pts (+29.4% ROI) since the start of last year, including...

  • males @ 46/214 (21.5%) for 77.2pts (+36.1%)
  • hurdlers are 35/165 (21.2%) for 51.9pts (+31.5%)
  • at trips of 2m 0.5f and shorter : 16/76 (21.1%) for 20.7pts (+27.2%)
  • at Class 3 : 18/61 (29.5%) for 41.7pts (+68.4%)
  • and 9/10 yr olds are 10/43 (23.3%) for 29.4pts (+68.5%)

...giving us... a 1pt win bet on Sailors Warn @ 3/1 or 11/4 BOG, which was offered by Bet365  & Sunbets respectively at 5.45pm on Tuesday. I'll be settling up at the lower of the two, of course and to see what your preferred bookie is offering, simply...

...click here for the betting on the 3.10 Towcester

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, 4th May 2017

Wednesday's Result :

6.35 Brighton : Tommys Geal @ 9/2 BOG (3.83/1 after 15p R4) 5th at 7/2 Held up towards rear, headway chasing leaders over 2f out, soon ridden, weakened inside final furlong

Thursday's pick goes in the...

5.10 Lingfield...

Before I post the daily selection, just a quick reminder of how I operate the service. Generally, I'll identify and share the selection in the evening before the following day's race and I then add a detailed write-up later on that night/next morning.

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?

Bamako du Chatelet7/2 BOG

Why?

A 6 yr old gelding who won over this trip at Wolverhampton back in January, but has admittedly struggled to find form off higher marks since then. However, a return to this trip allied to only losing narrowly last time out a week ago gives cause for optimism.

He has a career record of 4 wins from 12 at this 1.5 mile trip and he's 4/11 on the A/W here at Lingfield, with a 3 from 7 record over course and distance.

He's trained by Ian Williams, whose runners are 36/180 (20% SR) for 42.4pts (+23.6% ROI) here on the A/W at Lingfield since 2010, of which...

  • those who finished 3rd, 4th or 5th last time out are 16/71 (22.5%) for 14.79pts (+20.8%)
  • those last seen 4 to 10 days ago are 14/40 (35%) for 50.56pts (+126.4%)
  • and over this 1m4f course and distance : 9/37 (24.3%) for 9.42pts (+25.5%)

In addition to the above, Ian Williams' runners running just 4 to 10 days after their last effort are 119/476 (25% SR) for 223.4pts (+46.9% ROI) since 2010, including...

  • handicaps : 98/374 (26.2%) for 255.9pts (+68.4%)
  • on the A/W : 45/191 (23.6%) for 177.3pts (+92.8%)
  • in A/W hcps : 36/157 (22.9%) for 179.9pts (+114.6%)
  • in Lingfield A/W handicaps : 10/32 (31.25%) for 39.5pts (+123.4%)

...giving us...a 1pt win bet on Bamako du Chatelet7/2 BOG which was on offer in around a dozen places at 6.00pm on Wednesday, but to see what your preferred bookie is offering, simply...

...click here for the betting on the 5.10 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 are to Betfair SP, as (i) I NEVER bet to ISP and neither should you and (ii) although inferior to the BOG odds we secure, BFSP is the nearest approximation I can give, so I actually expect to beat the returns quoted.

Stat of the Day, 8th September 2016

Wednesday's Result :

2.30 Doncaster : Mutawatheb @ 9/2 BOG 3rd at 11/4 (Led, pushed along over 2f out, ridden and headed inside final furlong, kept on, but beaten by a length attempting to concede 11lbs to the winner!)

Thursday's pick goes in the...

4.25 Epsom :

Before I post the daily selection, just a quick reminder of how I operate the service. Generally, I'll identify and share the selection in the evening before the following day's race and I then add a detailed write-up later on that night/next morning.

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?

So Celebre at 4/1 BOG

Why?

In the last days, both today's jockey and trainer have been in decent form, with Jim Crowley riding 26 winners from 110 (23.6% SR) on the Flat for profits of 28pts (+25.5% ROI) and he now has a rare booking for Ian Williams, who has also been amongst the winners of late with a 5 from 25 (20% SR) record in handicaps in the same time frame, that has yielded 10.04pts at an ROI of 40.16%.

They team up with So Celebre, who also has been running well and is a qualifier for my "Ted Rogers" micro-system. Basically I'm looking for horses on the Flat with a form line reading 321! These horses are clearly improving as they go and providing they haven't peaked, they're a good bet to go in again, as since the start of the 2014 campaign, such runners are 66/297 (22.2% SR) for 95.8pts (+32.3% ROI).

Of those 297 runners, we can also highlight the following data of interest today...

  • those running within 45 days of that LTO win are 59/247 (23.9%) for 88.4pts (+35.8%)
  • 2/3 yr olds are 49/189 (25.9%) for 106.9pts (+56.6%)
  • and over trips of 7 to 12 furlongs : 44/178 (24.7%) for 93.7pts (+52.7%)

...and if you wanted to combine the subsets, I suggest a focus is placed on 2/3 yr olds running 1-45dslr over 7f to 1m2.5f, as these are 21/72 (29.2%) for 52.7pts +73.2%) with sub-5/1 runners scoring on 17 of 39 occasions (+43.6%) for profits of 23.9pts (+61.2%)

And after the trainer, the jockey and the horse's stats, how about his father? The sire is Peintre Celebre, whose offspring have been profitable to follow for a while now and over the last 500 days, they have won 32 of 214 (14.95% SR) for 42.6pts (+19.9% ROI) profit, with those running in Flat (turf) contests winning 18 of 127 (14.2%) for 44.8pts (+35.2%).

Of those 127 runners on the Flat...

  • 6-60 dslr = 17/99 (17.2%) for 67pts (+67.7%)
  • in hcps : 16/90 (17.8%) for 41.7pys (+46.3%)
  • over 9.5 to 10.5 furlongs : 6/42 (14.3%) for 19.4pts (+46.1%)
  • on good ground : 6/41 (14.6%) for 45.4pts (+110.7%)

...directing me to...a 1pt win bet on So Celebre at 4/1 BOG with any/all of Betfair Sports, Paddy Power and/or SkyBet who headed the market at 7.40pm on Wednesday, but to see your preferred bookies' odds, simply...

...click here for the betting on the 4.25 Epsom.

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SotD : Monday 27/04/15

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 27th April 2015

Our 7/2 shot Ajman Bridge was beaten by just a neck as a fancied 2/1 favourite at Doncaster on Saturday and the frustration/disappointment of that result just about summed up my week!

I've absolutely no complaints about his run or the way he was handled, he was just (and only just!) beaten by one who had a bit more on the day. He ran really well from a handy position and certainly didn't look like he hadn't raced for eight months and if I can get a price on him next time out, might be worth a punt.

Anyway, a new week = a clean sheet and four more opportunities to top up April's account before May Day (which is of course Friday and the artificial bank Holiday Monday!), starting in the...

4.55 Kempton:

A Class 6, A/W handicap over 1m3f where I've just placed a bet at 11/4 BOG on Ian Williams' 3yr old Convicted, who was a course and distance winner here just under 3 weeks ago.

Ian Williams record here at Kempton in A/W handicaps since 2008 is good : 33 winners from 165 runners at a strike rate of exactly 20% and the 41,25pts profit equate to exactly 25% of all stakes.

In regard to today's contest, that above record can be broken down as follows...

At trips of 6f to 11f : 22/104 (21.2% SR) for 50.1pts (+48.1% ROI)
Priced at 7/1 or shorter : 30/97 (30.9% SR) for 51.9pts (+53.5% ROI)
At Class 6 : 21/74 (28.4%SR) for 55.7pts (+75.2% ROI)

Obviously the more you refine the stat, the smaller the sample size, but as an example, Ian Williams' runners in Kempton Class 6 A/W handicaps over trips of 6f to 11f at odds of 5/1 or shorter are 12/25 (48% SR) for 28.4pts profit at an ROI of 113.6%.

Convicted hadn't even made the frame in any of his six starts (650754) before getting off the mark over course and distance here 19 days ago. He is now turned back out quite quickly in a bid to take advantage of this upturn in form, but there is a precedent in place for this.

Horses running in A/W handicaps here at Kempton who won last time out in the previous 30 days, that had gone on a run (at least 3 in a row) of unplaced efforts prior to that win (ie u/p, u/p, u/p, win) are 114 from 439 (26% SR) for 177.8pts (+40.5% ROI) profit at odds below 12/1.

Those who ran and won here at Kempton last time out are 63/224 (28.1% SR) for 136.2pts (+60.8% ROI) whilst those now running over the same course and distance as last time are 47/154 (30.5% SR) for 113.4pts (+73.6% ROI).

The best price for Convicted is 11/4 BOG with Bet365. You can see if that's still the case by...

...clicking here for the betting on the 4.55 Kempton

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Stat of the Day, 27th April 2015

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 27th April 2015

Our 7/2 shot Ajman Bridge was beaten by just a neck as a fancied 2/1 favourite at Doncaster on Saturday and the frustration/disappointment of that result just about summed up my week!

I've absolutely no complaints about his run or the way he was handled, he was just (and only just!) beaten by one who had a bit more on the day. He ran really well from a handy position and certainly didn't look like he hadn't raced for eight months and if I can get a price on him next time out, might be worth a punt.

Anyway, a new week = a clean sheet and four more opportunities to top up April's account before May Day (which is of course Friday and the artificial bank Holiday Monday!), starting in the...

4.55 Kempton:

A Class 6, A/W handicap over 1m3f where I've just placed a bet at 11/4 BOG on Ian Williams' 3yr old Convicted, who was a course and distance winner here just under 3 weeks ago.

Ian Williams record here at Kempton in A/W handicaps since 2008 is good : 33 winners from 165 runners at a strike rate of exactly 20% and the 41,25pts profit equate to exactly 25% of all stakes.

In regard to today's contest, that above record can be broken down as follows...

At trips of 6f to 11f : 22/104 (21.2% SR) for 50.1pts (+48.1% ROI)
Priced at 7/1 or shorter : 30/97 (30.9% SR) for 51.9pts (+53.5% ROI)
At Class 6 : 21/74 (28.4%SR) for 55.7pts (+75.2% ROI)

Your first 30 days for just £1

Obviously the more you refine the stat, the smaller the sample size, but as an example, Ian Williams' runners in Kempton Class 6 A/W handicaps over trips of 6f to 11f at odds of 5/1 or shorter are 12/25 (48% SR) for 28.4pts profit at an ROI of 113.6%.

Convicted hadn't even made the frame in any of his six starts (650754) before getting off the mark over course and distance here 19 days ago. He is now turned back out quite quickly in a bid to take advantage of this upturn in form, but there is a precedent in place for this.

Horses running in A/W handicaps here at Kempton who won last time out in the previous 30 days, that had gone on a run (at least 3 in a row) of unplaced efforts prior to that win (ie u/p, u/p, u/p, win) are 114 from 439 (26% SR) for 177.8pts (+40.5% ROI) profit at odds below 12/1.

Those who ran and won here at Kempton last time out are 63/224 (28.1% SR) for 136.2pts (+60.8% ROI) whilst those now running over the same course and distance as last time are 47/154 (30.5% SR) for 113.4pts (+73.6% ROI).

The best price for Convicted is 11/4 BOG with Bet365. You can see if that's still the case by...

...clicking here for the betting on the 4.55 Kempton

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Stat of the Day, 8th April 2015

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 8th April 2015

The Charlie Appleby bandwagon rolled on yesterday as he picked up another two golds and a bronze from his three runners, and the SotD pick Hills And Dales was one of those winners, taking Charlie's record to 26/53 in the last five weeks.

Our pick looked a little green and reluctant to go by the leaders until late and he wandered about a bit too, giving me a little cause for concern, but his 5lb claimer jockey did a good steering job to get him home by a length and a quarter.

The icing on the cake came in the shape of a 0.75pt drift out to an SP of 3/1, serving once more as a reminder to use BOG bookies!

So, after tough times of late for both Matt and myself, the hat-trick opportunity is upon us. Unfortunately, Wednesday looks woeful and despite having some decent stats to back up today's selection, you'd be forgiven for thinking I was having a wild stab at the...

7.45 Kempton:

...where I've taken what I think might be a big 6/1 BOG about Ian Williams' 3 yr old gelding Convicted. Yes, I know he's not even made the frame in any of his seven starts to date, but this is a shocking race that he looks weighted to win if approaching it in the right manner.

His best run came last time out, when finishing fourth at Wolverhampton over 1m4f, but had led inside the final furlong before weakening and fading out of contention. He drops back a furlong and carries 4lbs less here today, which should make him really competitive in a field of runners that doesn't know how to win (0/44 is the combined tally!).

His jockey, James Doyle, however, knows how to win at Kempton and comes here having ridden 2 winners from 5 in his last two days "at work". Longer-term, he he has a decent record in A/W handicaps here at Kempton, winning on 22 of his 75 rides priced at 8/1 or shorter since the start of 2013. This 29.3% strike rate has so far yielded 43.8pts profit at an ROI of 58.3%.

Ian Williams also tends to do well enough here by the Thames and in A/W handicaps in general. Since the start of 2011, his record in A/W handicaps is 76 winners from 483 (15.7% SR) for profits of 131.4pts (+27.2% ROI), with those running here at Kempton winning 23 of 106 (21.7% SR) for 28.5pts (+26.9% ROI). His runners at this track priced at 6/1 and shorter (where I'm sure we'll end up!) are 20/53 (37.7% SR) for 33.7pts (+63.6% ROI).

Convicted is Ian's only runner of the day, but that doesn't necessarily mean he'll not get his costs covered, as since 2008, Ian's sole runners of the day at odds of 5/4 to 12/1 have triumphed on 84 of 456 (18.4% SR) occasions, generating level stakes profits of 53.4pts at an ROI of 11.7%.

Those figures are best on the A/W, where his single entrants are 31/156 (19.9% SR) for 43.4pts (+27.8% ROI), with male runners here at Kempton scoring on 7 of 29 attempts (24.1% SR) for 22.5pts (+77.5% ROI) profit, of which there's a 6/19 (31.6% SR) return for runners priced in the 11/4 to 7/1 banding, producing 17.3pts (+91.1% ROI) profit.

It's not a good race and it shouldn't take much winning to be honest. A drop in trip and weight mean that if Convicted runs like he did last time out, we should should be celebrating a winner at 6/1 BOG, a price currently on offer from Bet365, Betfair Sportsbook and Paddy Power.

As always, do check that's still available by...

...clicking here for the betting on the 7.45 Kempton

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Stat of the Day, 3rd July 2014

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 3rd July 2014

I wrote Thursday's piece, before Wednesday's runner had even gone to post, so the result of Gabrial The Terror's trip to South Wales in unknown at present, but I'll update this article later.

Matt and myself are off to Haydock races on Thursday afternoon for a rare day out together, so it's perhaps fitting that I'm going with one in the opener, a Class 5 handicap over 10 furlongs, shown on your racecards as the...

2.20 Haydock

Where my selection is Ian Williams' Ferryview Place, who comes here looking for back to back victories after a return to form at Nottingham last time out.

1. Ian Williams has a good record in handicap contests here at Haydock and since 2008 has saddled up 20 winners from 124 runners at a strike rate of just over 16.1%. This, in turn, has generated levels takes profits of 47.4pts or 38.2% of stakes invested.

His record in Class 5 events like todays is also good at 8/37 (21.6% SR) for 41.5pts (+112.% ROI).

From the original 124 runners, 53 were sent off under 8/1, yet 16 of the 20 winners also fell into this odds range. 16/53 is a very healthy 30.2% strike rate and the resulting 41.8pts profit is worth almost 79p on top of every pound wagered.

This, of course, leads us to the following record in Class 5 handicaps here at Haydock with runners priced below 8/1 and although there aren't many qualifiers, 6 of the 20 (30%) have won and have produced 16.35pts profit (+81.7% ROI) to boot.

2. He steps Ferryview Place up from Class 6 for this encounter and his horses tend to fare pretty well stepping up in class.

Since 2011, his horses have won 19 of 100 races (17.3% SR) when moving up one grade in UK flat handicaps. These winners have returned excellent level stakes profits of 77.2pts for an ROI of 70.2%.

18 of those 19 winners came from the 81 runners priced below 14/1, where the 22.2% strike rate has converted into 67.6pts profit, an ROI of 83.4% to date.

And if we look at the sharper end of the market, we see that those runners in the 9/4 to 7/1 bracket have won 12 of 41 (29.3% SR) for 33pts (+80.5% ROI) so far.

3. Ferryview Place won at Nottingham last time out in a sudden return to form after a string of unplaced results stretching back over 7 races since January 2013. Mr Williams is now trying to take advantage of this by sending him back out just 17 days later.

There is however a precedent and a set of stats to back this up. When written down, it's a little cumbersome to the eye, so bear with me, but...

Horses running in class 5 races within 30 days of a win last time out at class 6 and running at the same trip or up to 3f longer than that win, have gone on to win again on 17 of 85 (20% SR) occasions, when that previous win came on the back of a run of at least 3 unplaced efforts.

In other words, 3 or more unplaced efforts followed by a win at Class 6. The horse gets turned out again at Class 5 within 30 days and wins again 20% of the time.

The 17 winners have generated 81.2pts profit for an ROI of 95.5% with all 17 runners coming from the 75 runners priced below 16/1. 17 from 75 is a very respectable 22.7% strike rate and the returned profits of 91.2pts are excellent and are worth £12.16 profit for every £10 bet.

This isn't an easy race to win, but the stats point to this being Ian Williams' best chance of a winner from his three runners at Haydock, so we'll take a piece of the action with a 1pt win bet on Ferryview Place at 4/1 BOG with Paddy Power. Only two other firms had priced this up as of 7pm on Wednesday evening, so I'd recommend that you...

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Stat of the Day, 23rd June 2014

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 23rd June 2014

On Saturday, I was right about One Boy being too long in the market at 11/1 BOG and as such represented a value bet, considering he was eventually sent off at 15/2.

As for the race itself, he faded inside the final furlong and finished 6th of the 9 runners, pretty much equidistant from the winner (11 lengths) as he was from the last horse home (12 lengths).

Wales is the next port of call and more particularly the...

4.45 Chepstow:

And a 3/1 BOG bet on See The Storm on this horse's return to Ian Williams' yard after a spell with Eric Alston.

Ian Williams' horses are starting to fire again with three winners from his eleven runners in the last week and today he calls upon the services of jockey Charlie Bishop to partner our selection. Charlie's also in decent nick, riding three winners from his last eleven rides too.

Charlie doesn't ride for Ian very often, but a win and two runner-up finishes from his four bookings isn't bad at all. The win came when Charlie rode See The Storm for the first (and only!) previous occasion.

See The Storm didn't really show his best form in four runs for Eric Alston, before coming back to Ian Williams, but there were signs of a recovery in his last run (10 weeks ago) when he was a staying-on 4th over an inadequately short 5f at Pontefract last time out. He was running off a mark of 67 that day, which is equivalent to his last winning mark and has since been eased by two more pounds, which should now make him very competitive stepping back up in trip to 6f where he has won two of his last three races.

Ian Williams has a good record with horses running off a mark lower than their last win with 25 winners from 114 such horses over the last three and a half years. This 21.9% strike rate has produced level stakes profits of 45pts (+39.5% ROI) backing them all blindly.

All 25 winners came from the 83 (30.1% SR) runners priced below 12/1 and the 76pts return represents 91.5% of stakes invested with the record with runners priced at 5/1 or shorter an impressive 16/36 (44.4% SR) for 30pts (+83.3% ROI) profit.

Not only does See The Storm run off a mark two pounds lower than both last time out and his last win, Charlie Bishop gets to take another three pounds off via his claim, making this potentially very well treated here today.

In addition to all the above factors, he's drawn in stall 2 today, a very successful place to be in the past here at Pontefract.

Since the start of the 2011 season, horses in stalls 2 & 3 have won 91 of 515 (17.7% SR) of races here up to 1m2f, producing 468.5pts (+91% ROI) profit. Broken down further, we see that stall 2 has a 58/261 (22.2% SR) record with level stakes profits of 203pts (+77.8% ROI), with horses priced in the 13/8 to 8/1 bracket winning 40 of 141 (28.4% SR) races for profits of 119.4pts, an ROI of 84.7%.

There's plenty there to think about and I think we've a really good chance of collecting from a 1pt win bet on See The Storm at 3/1 BOG. This price is widely available, but I'm using Coral, because they'll refund me if we get beaten by a head or less, giving us a little insurance and some added value to the bet. To take your pick of the bookies, simply...

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Stat of the Day, 26th April 2014

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 26th April 2014

No glory, but no disgrace either for Elite Army yesterday, as the extra 2 furlongs now looks a step too far too soon. He travelled well and led from a long way out, but was over powered in the final furlong, eventually coming home in third place, just over six lengths off the pace.

We can draw some comfort from the fact that the next horse was 13 lengths behind him and that at 9/2 BOG advised, we smashed the 5/2 SP.

We're getting a similar kind of price today for our runner, which runs in the...

4.15 Leicester:

Where a very familiar 9/2 BOG has been taken about Ian Williams' runner Zafranagar, who we hope will be piloted to a first win in six flat races since winning off today's mark at Doncaster back in March 2012 (he has been hurdling in that time too!). His cause will hopefully be aided by jockey George Downing' 5lb claim which should enable him to be competitive on a track he has performed well at in the past.

1. Ian Williams has employed the services of a 5lb claiming jockey on exactly 100 horses priced at 12/1 or under since the start of the 2011 campaign. 23 of 100 have won and this has generated 53.5pts profit, an excellent return in my opinion. From these runners, George Downing has ridden four winners from thirteen for 16.37pts profit (+125.9% ROI)

More pertinent/relevant to SotD is the 15/40 (37.5% SR) record with those runners priced between 2/1 and 6/1, resulting in level stakes profits of 30.23pts (+75.6% ROI) with George Downing's contribution weighing in at 3/5 for 9.13pts (+182.6% ROI)

2. Ian Williams's horse who haven't won in the last 5 (or more!) races and have subsequently dropped to their last winning mark or lower have a record of 28 wins from 119 at odds of 12/1 or under. This 23.53% strike rate is responsible for profits of 60.25pts (+50.63% ROI) to date, with George Downing riding four winners from for 11.69pts (+233.8% ROI).

3. Zafranagar is a former course and distance winner and has a 2 from 5 record at the track, whilst he has three wins and two places from just eight starts on good ground to his name.

It might well be over two years since he last won on the flat, but he was a winner here at Leicester over hurdles as recently as last November and he returned to Flat racing last month at Doncaster for the first time in 11 months. He was a very good second over today's trip that day and is sure to come on for that run.

He finished a length and a quarter behind Memory Cloth who then ran here and won again six days later. The third-placed horse at Doncaster was Time Square, 4.5 lengths adrift of Zafranagar and he subsequently also won next time out (by a length and a half at Kempton 16 days ago).

So, if the form holds out, there's no reason why we won't get a good run for our money and that form allied to the stats above suggest we might well be quids in with a 1pt win bet on Zafranangar at 9/2 BOG. I've got on with BetVictor, but the same price is also on offer with PP & Betfair Sportsbook, so you can take your pick from those two or as ever, feel free to...

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Stat of the Day, 30th November 2013

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 30th November 2013

Well, I was unwittingly in exalted company on Friday evening, as both Timeform and Hugh Taylor tipped up our selection Dodina, but that didn't help me get a winner, although it was probably the driving force behind her being backed in from 8/1 overnight to becoming the 5/2 favourite.

Our 4/1 advised odds beat the market, but not the six horses ahead of her as she trooped home a disappointing 7th, over 6 lengths of the pace after dropping away in the final furlong.

We've one last chance for the month on what looks a very competitive Saturday afternoon of racing. These are the kinds of days that throw up a few shocks and I'm hoping for one in the...

12.45 Towcester:

Where I've placed a 0.5pts E/W bet on Classic Case at 14/1 BOG with Bet365.

Classic Case is trained by Ian Williams, who has a good record here at Towcester in chase events, despite not having sent any here yet this year! During 2011 and 2012 he saddled up four winning chasers from seven for a level stakes profit of 4.87pts from a sequence of results that reads 111U213 and today Classic Case becomes Ian's first chaser at Towcester since Boxing Day 2012.

This horse made his chasing debut at Uttoxeter six weeks ago and although he was well beaten that day, he plugged on and completed the race in one piece. He jumped well that day, suggesting that he might have more of a future over the larger obstacles and although he was struggling to keep up with the pace of the race, it has to be pointed out that it was his first outing since finishing 5th at Aintree over 10 months earlier.

He's expected to come on for last month's run in a race which has already produced 5 subsequent winners and although his odds might suggest he has little/no chance here, this is a race that seriously lacks both quality and depth.

I'm basing my bet today on the trainer's record at getting chasers to either win or make the frame here, the lack of real quality in the race, the projected improvement over fences from Classic Case and my belief that 14/1 is far too big about him here.

So, as at the top of the piece, the call is a 0.5pt E/W bet on Classic Case at 14/1 BOG with Bet365, but when I went to press, only a handful of firms had a market on this race (some were offering 11/1), so my advice would be to...

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Trainer Stats 27th Aug 2013

James_Fanshawe_1682009c

Fanshawe Is On Fire At Present!

See which six trainers have made it into Andy Newton’s ‘Hot Trainers’ list this week……. Read more