Tag Archive for: Jack Mitchell

Team talkSPORT crowned inaugural Racing League champions

Team talkSPORT were crowned champions after the William Hill Racing League reached a thrilling conclusion at Newcastle on Thursday.

Twelve teams did battle in the inaugural running of a competition that got under way at Gosforth Park six weeks ago – and had since taken in further Thursday evening fixtures at Doncaster, Windsor and two at Lingfield before returning to the north east for the finale.

Every race – restricted to a maximum of 12 runners – has carried a total value of £50,000, with 25 points awarded to the winner down to one point for the 10th-placed horse.

In addition to the £1.8million in prize-money up for grabs, a further £200,000 in bonuses was on offer, with £150,000 going to the triumphant Team talkSPORT, who topped the final table on 368.5 points.

Rupert Bell, who managed the winning team along with fellow broadcaster Alan Brazil, said: “I think it’s been fantastic.

“I’m the Pep Guardiola of the racing manager world – Alan Brazil had absolutely nothing to do with it!

“I’ve been at every meeting and well done to the trainers and all their staff. Fair play to them.”

Rupert’s brother Michael Bell was was one of four trainers who saddled runners for the Team talkSPORT along with Ed Dunlop, James Fanshawe and Roger Varian. Between them, the Newmarket handlers will divide a bonus of £60,000.

Bell added: “You can’t knock the stable staff getting £30,000 – that’s fantastic. There’ll be one hell of a party at Fitzroy House (Michael Bell’s yard) – I better get invited!”

The team’s riders, led by Jack Mitchell, will split £30,000, as will the yard staff of the trainers and the owners whose horses made up the winning squad.

Jack Mitchell celebrates with his trophy
Jack Mitchell celebrates with his trophy (Mike Egerton/PA)

Mitchell was also the leading rider over the course of the competition, with a final night double aboard the Fanshawe-trained pair of Second Slip (6-4 favourite) and Bonneval (13-8 favourite) – who was involved in a dead-heat – taking him to six winners overall.

As well as splitting the £30,000 pot for the team’s riders, as top jockey Mitchell (276.5 points) earned a further £25,000.

He said: “It’s amazing – I’ve enjoyed every minute.

“It’s something new and great for these horses for this sort of prize-money.

“It’s not like F1 or the Premier League – the team table is changing all the time and it was exciting right until the end.

“I hope it’s got a few more people involved. I think the lads in the weighing room are trying to work out how many beers I can buy – there’s been beer orders, gin orders and champagne orders!

“I’ve had a lot great support from the trainers of the horses I’ve ridden.”

Strike Red was a winner for eToro Racing
Strike Red was a winner for eToro Racing (Mike Egerton/PA)

After a late charge, eToro Racing filled the runner-up spot in the team competition on 359.5 points.

Tim Easterby’s Delgrey Boy (11-1) dead-heated with Bonneval, while Strike Red was a clear-cut winner for Richard Fahey, who said: “I think it’s been good. It’s something different and we’ve had great fun with Tim and the team.

“I think a lot of people have enjoyed it and as the owner (of Strike Red) just said, he’s won over £50,000 with this horse here now, which he wouldn’t have done before.”

Team ThoroughBid (351 points), who began the night at the top of the league, ultimately had to make do with minor honours in third after drawing a blank in terms of winners.

Team Swish struck gold with the Clive Cox-trained and Saffie Osborne-ridden Tregony (14-1) and were best of the rest in fourth.

Despite two winners on the night courtesy of David O’Meara’s Firmament (20-1) and Paul Midgley’s Saluti (9-1) – both ridden by Paul Mulrennan – Team Arena finished 10th of 12 on 248 points.

Saluti has shone in the Racing League
Saluti has shone in the Racing League (Mike Egerton/PA)

Team manager Chris Dixon said: “Our weakness has been not being able to have enough runners, never mind winners.

“There’s things that they need to tweak to make the competition better. I get that some people don’t buy into the team concept, but I look at it from the point of view of owners and the prize-money is great.

“Firmament has been a great horse, but he’s not going to win that sort of money anywhere else anymore.

“And from a punting point of view, 10- and 12-runner races that are competitive is quite appealing when you spend a lot of your time looking at five- and six-runner races.”

Hayley Turner’s tally of 231 points saw her finish second on the jockeys’ table and land £15,000, with third-placed Saffie Osborne scooping £10,000.

Sir Anthony McCoy was in attendance at the Racing League
Sir Anthony McCoy was in attendance at the Racing League (Mike Egerton/PA)

Among those in attendance were 20-times champion National Hunt jockey Sir Anthony McCoy, who feels the competition has been a success.

He said: “I think it’s been very good for racing.

“Most importantly, it’s brought money into the sport that wouldn’t have been there before. That’s what it all comes down to in the end.

“I think it’s been a really good initiative. Hopefully it will continue and the next one will be better.

“Anything that can get different viewers and people talking about horse racing is a good thing.”

Turner eyeing top jockey title as Racing League heads for Newcastle finale

Hayley Turner has another coveted title in her sights as leader of the William Hill Racing League jockeys’ table – but admits she will be looking over her shoulder at the chasing pack on the final night of the inaugural competition.

Turner, of course, is no stranger to success in team events – as the all-time leading rider in the history of Ascot’s Shergar Cup and recently recipient of the permanent trophy for that famous annual event.

She would therefore be an appropriate first winner of the Racing League’s equivalent prize, and has a favourite’s chance as joint leader alongside the absent Louis Steward on 207 points.

Turner will be leading the charge at Newcastle on Thursday for Team ThoroughBid – who are just four points clear of their closest rivals Goat Racing.

She has three rides for Andrew Balding and another for Richard Hannon, and a seven-point cushion ahead of Team talkSPORT’s Jack Mitchell – with Goat Racing’s reserve rider Steward unable to further his claims, because he is serving a riding ban.

The threat posed by Mitchell and a clutch of others such as Saffie Osborne is significant, however, as Turner acknowledges.

“It’s still a bit open – because I think Jack Mitchell’s not far behind me, and Martin Dwyer and Saffie (Osborne),” she said.

“I think they’ve all got good rides, so I’m not over-confident of keeping my head in front.”

Hayley Turner is no stranger to success in team events
Hayley Turner is no stranger to success in team events (Steven Paston/PA)

There are 25 points on offer to the winner of each of the six races through the card.

Turner is optimistic of adding to her tally with her four mounts, and is also hoping ThoroughBid can stay in front.

“They’ve all got chances, so that’s good,” she added.

“We’ve had a good few weeks (at ThoroughBid), and I know that Sean (Levey) has a couple of good rides for Richard (Hannon) as well.

“It’s tight, though. It’s not a given going into the last one.

“It’s always a bit of fun. It’s nice to do something a bit different – so yes, it would be good (to win), and I’m glad the competition has gone down well with everyone.”

Saffie Osborne has enjoyed a fine time of things in the Racing League
Saffie Osborne has enjoyed a fine time of things in the Racing League (Nigel French/PA)

Turner’s evening begins with Balding’s Winterwatch in the opening race over an extended mile and a half, and she also rides Scampi and Fox Premier for the Kingsclere trainer before relying on Hannon’s Kool Moe Dee in the last.

Winterwatch is an unexposed and improving three-year-old.

Turner said: “I think Josh (Bryan) has been riding him, and he’s done a good job on him at home as well.

“I don’t know (much) about the horse, but I’ll have a chat with him. He’s done nothing wrong so far.”

She expects Newcastle’s stiffer track to suit Scampi better than Lingfield last time – when they finished third together – and also senses good chances with Fox Premier and Kool Moe Dee.

She said of the former: “He ran well last time, staying on. He’s always in with a shout, and he’s a very genuine and consistent horse.”

As for Kool Moe Dee, Turner added: “He was unlucky last time at Lingfield.

“He didn’t get the breaks when he needed them. He’s run a couple of good races – he’s not the most straightforward horse to ride, but you wouldn’t rule him out altogether.”

Team talkSPORT's Jack Mitchell is hot on the heels of Hayley Turner
Team talkSPORT’s Jack Mitchell is hot on the heels of Hayley Turner (Tim Goode/PA)

Mitchell has a notably strong book of rides, and is still full of hope for both his title challenge and that of talkSPORT – who are currently more than 35 points adrift of the top two, in third of 12.

He is relishing the challenge, and told Sky Sports Racing: “It’s going to be competitive stuff.

“It’s obviously very tight at the top of the jockeys’ table – and even the team table can change very quickly, so I’m hoping talkSPORT have a good team to go to war with.”

On Steward’s absence, he added: “It’s sad for him. Obviously, Louis has done brilliantly throughout the whole series – and Goat Racing have had a good team to go forward with.

“There’s enough points on offer. I’ve got six (rides), I think Saffie’s got six, (and) Hayley’s got four – so there’s plenty of chances.”

The leading rider at the end of the competition will take home a £25,000 bonus, with £15,000 to the second and £10,000 to the third-placed jockey.

Double delivers for Wall in Pontefract feature

Few jockeys are riding with as much confidence as Jack Mitchell at present and he capped a profitable few days by winning the EBF Stallions Highfield Farm Flying Fillies’ Stakes at Pontefract on Double Or Bubble.

Having partnered Chris Wall’s improving filly to win at Newmarket’s Craven meeting in April, Mitchell was also on board when she was narrowly beaten in a Listed race at Chelmsford.

In taking her career record to four wins from just seven starts, she clearly has a bright future and those who backed her into 5-4 favouritism never really had a moment of worry.

Double Or Bubble was in front soon after the turn into the straight and she held 50-1 chance Shepherds Way at bay by two lengths.

“I’m obviously delighted with that. She had to miss a couple of suitable opportunities earlier in the year when the ground came up too soft for her,” said Wall.

“It’s great to get a Listed win out of her, she did it very nicely and Jack has given her a well-judged ride. We spoke about being positive today as there were quite a lot in this race you didn’t want to get trapped behind.

“She’s toughed it out well and I’m very pleased for her owner (Salah Fustok) who is also a breeder and a long-standing supporter of ours, so black type is very important.

“The faster the ground, the better for her. After she won well at the Craven meeting we wanted to run in the Group Three at Lingfield but the ground turned very soft so we didn’t run.

“A mile was too far at Ascot for her but she ran very well behind a tough filly of John Quinn’s (Highfield Princess) at Chelmsford in a Listed race. Back on the grass, on a sound surface, she’s shown what she can do.

“We’ll have to look for a Group Three but I’m not sure what our options are for now. There probably aren’t too many for fillies so we may have to take on the boys, I’ll discuss it with the owner but she does need a decent surface.”

Mitchell is averaging a winner every four rides currently and was partnering his 83rd winner of 2021, well on course to beat his best total of 103 he achieved last year.

“We always thought a stiff six furlongs would suit her as she has loads of natural speed – if anything I took it up too soon,” said Mitchell.

“It’s nice to see her get that Listed win and she hit the line well enough, if something had come to me, I think she might have gone again.

“She’s versatile, she stays further. It’s lovely, good ground today but she usually likes to bounce off it. She’s a class act in her own right.

“Touch wood I’m having a good spell at present.”

Breakthrough win for Waliyak in Dick Hern Stakes

Hot favourite Waliyak came up with goods in the Listed British Stallion Studs EBF Dick Hern Stakes at Haydock.

Third in the Kensington Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, the Pipalong at Pontefract and the Valiant Stakes back at Ascot so far this season, Roger Varian’s filly was an even-money shot to open her account for the campaign in a depleted field on Merseyside.

Always travelling strongly in the hands of Jack Mitchell, the daughter of Le Havre clearly had no problem handling the rain-softened ground as she careered away in the final furlong to score by more than three lengths and with plenty in hand.

Passionova fared best of the other four runners to fill the runner-up spot.

Potapova, who was the favourite following the declaration stage on Thursday, was one of six non-runners.

Mitchell, completing a double on the card, said of Waliyak: “She’s very tough, and I think her style of racing on those quicker surfaces means she hits a bit of a flat spot when they’re quickening in front of her.

“The key today was to get her out – not a lot was going to come off the pace today – so the plan worked out well, and her class has shone through in the end.

“The ground was a little question mark, but she’s a big filly and she’s by Le Havre, so she’s not a daisy cutter by any means. She’s probably handled it better than others and she’s won it like a nice filly.

“She’s always worked nicely at home, and I’ve always thought a lot of her. She’s got bits of black type before, but she’s got that win under her belt now.”

Khuzaam claims impressive Mile verdict

Khuzaam blitzed the field with an impressive performance to win the Bombardier All-Weather Mile Championships Conditions Stakes at Lingfield.

Hitting the front on the turn for home, Khuzaam (6-4 favourite) quickly put daylight between himself and his rivals with a devastating turn of foot.

Jack Mitchell sat on the heels of the pace-making Canagat in the early stages before making his move.

The response from the Roger Varian-trained five-year-old was immediate and he romped away to score by five lengths from Mums Tipple. Bless Him stayed on for third place, another length away.

Mitchell said: “That was nice and smooth. His work has improved a lot since he won at Chelmsford and the gelding operation has obviously helped him.

“I think he has a lot of class – and he has miles left on the clock, so we will see where he can go.

“It could not have gone any better.

“Roger and I spoke this morning – Khuzaam is a big horse and not one you’d want to drag back, and the race being here at Lingfield meant that we wanted to utilise that, really, even though we were going up a furlong.

“Once I asked him to change gear, he put the race to bed very quickly. I think there is improvement in him.

“Thank you to Shadwell and to Roger for sticking with me. It is very nice to have a winner in these colours.”

Stat of the Day, 11th September 2020

Thursday's pick was...

3.25 Chepstow : Under Curfew @ 9/2 BOG 3rd at 9/2 (Raced keenly, chased leaders in centre, led over 1f out, headed close home, lost 2nd at post)

Friday's pick runs in the...

5.00 Salisbury :

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?

Julie Johnston @ 7/2 BOG

...in an 8-runner, Class 3,  Flat Handicap Nursery for 2yo fillies over 6f on Good ground worth £9,704 to the winner...

Why?...

We start with the unique Geegeez interactive racecard...

...and a 2 yr old filly (obviously) who has won twice and placed twice in her five outings beyond 5 furlongs, only failing to make the frame on a three-length defeat at a higher grade at Goodwood six weeks ago. She's 1152 at 6f, has a win and a place from two good ground runs, is 131 at 7-28 days rest and tops the Geegeez Speed ratings today.

Jockey Jack Mitchell's 12-month record here at Salisbury is shown above, whilst over the last 16 months, his numbers here are...

including of relevance today...

  • 7/25 (28%) for 15.94pts (+63.8%) in races worth less than £10k
  • 5/13 (38.5%) for 2.35pts (+18%) at odds of 4/1 and shorter
  • 4/12 933.3%) for 15.81pts (+131.7%) on 2 yr olds
  • and 3/13 (23.1%) for 22.59pts (+173.8%) on female runners...

...whilst trainer Mark Johnston is also no slouch around this neck of the woods either. He doesn't actually send many runners here, but they do well enough for at least a second glance, as since 2014, they are...

with a near 1 in 6 strike rate producing a yield just shy of 10%. A satisfactory return for a long-term investment, I suppose, but it's not sexy or exciting, is it? So where should we focus our Johnston/Salisbury betting, Chris?

Well, you could stick to 2 year olds running at Classes 1 to 3, sent off at Evens to 16/1, who are...

...which almost doubles our strike rate, multiplies our profit more than fives times over and also includes of note today...

  • 5/13 (38.5%) for 30.18pts (+232.2%) in fields of 5-10 runners
  • 4/7 (57.1%) for 12.09pts (+172.7%) were placed LTO
  • 2/7 (28.6%) for 22.46pts (+320.9%) at Class 3
  • and 2/6 (33.3%) for 20.65pts (+344.2%) over this 6f C&D...

...whilst in fields of 5-10 runners, horses who made the frame LTO are also 4/7 (57.1% SR) for 12.09pts (+172.7% ROI), including a win and a place from two Class 3 efforts and a win and a place from two over this 6f C&D...

...giving us... a 1pt win bet on Julie Johnston @ 7/2 BOG as was widely available at 7.45am 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 5.00 Salisbury

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 March 2020

Tuesday's pick was...

3.00 Exeter : Ballybreen @ 10/3 BOG 2nd at 7/2 (Prominent, led after 3rd, headed 11th, rallied 4 out, chased winner next, kept on under pressure) : you know your luck's out when you get done by a 66/1 shot!

Wednesday's pick runs in the...

4.30 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 between 8.00am and 8.15am 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?

Will To Win @ 3/1 BOG

...in a 7-runner, Class 3, A/W Handicap for 3yo over 6f on polytrack worth £7,246 to the winner...

Why?...

This 3yr old gelding has been in immaculate form since switching from turf to A/W last year. Fifth on Good to Firm ground on his race debut at Newmarket last June and then switched to the A/W where he is now 4 from 4, all at this 6f trip on left handed courses including...

  • 3 after 1-4 weeks rest, 3 for jockey Jack Mitchell and 3 this year
  • 2 in handicaps, 2 on Polytrack, 2 at Lingfield and therefore 2 over course and distance (inc LTO)
  • and 1 at Class 3 (LTO)

In addition to those excellent numbers, his trainer Simon Crisford does really well at this venue from a small, carefully selected number of runners sent here, about whom the market is often a good guide, as his handicappers sent off at odds of 7/4 to 6/1 are 10 from 32 (31.25% SR) for 14.1pts (+44.1% ROI) profit on the A/W here, including of note/relevance today...

  • 9/22 (40.9%) for 17.02pts (+77.4%) in races worth less than £8,000
  • 8/20 (40%) for 12.48pts (+62.4%) within 30 days of their last run
  • 7/15 (46.7%) for 14.51pts (+96.7%) with 3 yr olds
  • 6/15 (40%) for 12.34pts (+82.25%) with male runners
  • 6/14 (42.9%) for 11.97pts (+85.5%) since the start of 2018
  • 4/6 (66.6%) for 11.2pts (+186.6%) over this 6f C&D
  • 3/7 (42.9%) for 5.74pts (+82%) in 3yo only races
  • 3/6 (50%) for 7.02pts (+117%) with LTO winners
  • and 2/4 (50%) for 5.08pts (+127%) with previous course and distance winners

I don't really want to dilute the dataset too much to create an angle, but you might be interested to know that 3yr olds racing for less than £8k within a month of their last run are 6 from 9 (66.6% SR) for 13.97pts (+155.2% ROI), including males at 3/3 (100%) for 8.28pts (+276%)...

...giving us...a 1pt win bet on Will To Win @ 3/1 BOG as was available from BetVictor & Unibet at 8.05am Wednesday, with some 10/3 elsewhere at Hills & Spreadex but as always please check your BOG status. To see what your preferred bookie is quoting...

...click here for the betting on the 4.30 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!