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Stat of the Day, 3rd October 2019

Wednesday's pick was...

1.45 Bangor : Day of Roses @ 7/2 BOG 5th at 8/1 (In touch, headway 6 out, effort after 3 out, no extra approaching last)

Thursday's pick runs in the...

7.00 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?

Ventura Royal @ 9/2 BOG 

...in an 11-runner, Class 5, Fillies Handicap for 3yo+ over 1m2f on Polytrack worth £5,111 to the winner...  

Why?...

Well, we've an in-form 4 yr old filly making a Polytrack (and A/W for that matter) debut off the back of two wins from her last three runs. Those wins came on Good to Firm ground and then on Soft/Heavy, so she's clearly very adaptable to going conditions.

She has three career wins to date, from which...

  • all 3 were in fields of 8-11 runners
  • all 3 were at Class 4/5 (1 x C4 & 2 x C5)
  • 2 were over trips beyond a mile
  • 2 were after less than 4 weeks rest
  • 2 were whilst wearing a hood
  • and 2 were at odds of 5/1 and shorter

Her jockey today, Jamie Spencer aka Mr Marmite, is also in sparkling form right now, with 20 placed finishes (44.4%) from 45 rides over the last 30 days, winning on 10 occasions (22.2% SR) generating 16.5pts profit from the winners at an ROI of 36.7%.

Jamie has also been pretty successful at this venue, both as Great Leighs and now under the Chelmsford City name, including 13 wins from 36 (36.1% SR) for 8.76pts (+24.3% ROI) profit when racing over 7 to 14 furlongs on horses sent off at 5/1 and shorter since the start of 2017, from which...

  • 9/19 (47.4%) for 13.3pts (+70.2%) on horses last seen 6-25 days earlier
  • 8/13 (61.5%) for 15.4pts (+118.5%) at Class 5
  • and 6 from 7 (85.7%) for 13.3pts (+189.4%) on Class 5 runners returning from a 6-25 day break.

Our trainer today, David O'Meara, has a decent record of late when switching turf runners to the A/W for the first time with 15 winners from 81 such runners (18.5% SR) for 99.4pts (+122.7% ROI) profit since the start of 2017 and these include...

  • 14/66 (21.2%) for 75pts (+113.6%) at Classes 4-6
  • 11/62 (17.7%) for 48.5pts (+78.2%) at 6-45 days since last run
  • 10/26 (38.5%) for 24.4pts (+93.8%) at odds of 7/1 and shorter
  • 8/39 (20.5%) for 52.3pts (+134.2%) during August-October
  • 7/36 (19.4%) for 50pts (+138.8%) at Class 5
  • and 2/5 (40%) for 36pts (+720%) from LTO winners...

...whilst those racing at Classes 4-6 at odds of 7/1 and shorter after a break of 6-45 days are 8 from 16 (50% SR) for 26.7pts (+166.6% ROI) including 4 from 8 (50%) for 12.66pts (+158.3%) during August to October...

...giving us... a 1pt win bet on Ventura Royal @ 9/2 BOG as was offered by Betfair, Paddy Power & BetVictor at 6.45pm on Wednesday, although the first two won't actually be BOG until midnight. To see what your preferred bookie is quoting...

...click here for the betting on the 7.00 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!

Stat of the Day, 18th September 2018

Monday's Pick was...

8.30 Kempton : Klassique @ 5/1 BOG WON at 7/2 (Tracked leaders on inside, smooth headway on inside over 2f out, led inside final furlong, quickened clear to win by 2.5 lengths)

Tuesday'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 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?

Oasis Fantasy @ 11/4 BOG  

In a 5-runner, Class 4 Handicap (AW)  for 3yo+ over 1m4f on Polytrack, worth £5531 to the winner...

Why?

Like Monday's selection, I'm going to keep this fairly short, simple and hopefully sweet with a 7 yr old gelding who is admittedly on a lengthy losing streak (a feeling I'm familiar with), but has shown signs of coming into some form of late with a string of placed finishes, making the frame in each of his last six runs and has has now been eased a couple of pounds for his return to A/W racing.

He has run well (and won) in better races than this and he certainly gets the trip (placed in 13 of 21 attempts = 61.9% PSR), so I've no qualms on that score, but it's all about the trainer and jockey today, because...

...over the last 30 days : 

  • Trainer David Simcock is 10 from 46 (21.7% SR) for 10.9pts (+23.7% ROI)
  • Jockey Jamie Spencer is 16/76 (21.1%) for 5.9pts (+7.9%)
  • and together they are 6/11 (54.6%) for 16.7pts (+151.5%)

And to be honest with you, those figures would be enough for me on a poor day's racing to make this a selection. They do team up with two others today, including one more here at Lingfield, where Mr Simcock is 45/231 (17.9% SR) for 43.6pts (+17.4% ROI) since the start of 2013 and the selection is reinforced by Jamie Spencer riding 13 winners from 53 (24.5% SR) of those 231 runners for Mr Simcock.

It's not an angle I've just discovered to be honest, as the market seems wise to it, hence the profits of 5.34pts only equating to an ROI of 10.1%, which is why we try to get in/on early. Of that 13/53 record for the Simcock/Spencer alliance on this track, they are 6 from 20 (30%) for 9pts (+45%) over 1m2f/1m4f...

...giving us... a 1pt win bet on Oasis Fantasy @ 11/4 BOG, a price offered by all five firms to have shown their hand by 5.50pm on Monday evening. To see what your preferred bookie will give you...

...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!

Stat of the Day, 14th September 2018

Thursday's Pick was...

3.25 Ffos Las : Sylvias Mother @ 7/2 BOG 2nd at 13/2 (Chased leaders, every chance disputing 2nd 2f out until over 1f out, went 2nd again inside final furlong, kept on same pace, no chance with winner)

Friday's pick runs in the...

4.30 Sandown :

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?

Firmament @ 9/2 or 4/1 BOG  

In an 11-runner, Class 2 Optional Claiming Handicap for 4yo+ over 7f on Good ground, worth £19407 to the winner...

Why?

I'm going to keep this relatively short and simple today with a 6 yr old gelding who was a decent third (beaten by half a length) in a more valuable Class 2 contest at the Ebor meeting at York recently, but was then only 6th next/last time out at the Curragh when not getting the race run to suit him 13 days ago, so the ability is there, but things might need to fall better for him.

From a numbers perspective, trainer David O'Meara record over the last five Flat seasons with males racing over 6/7 furlongs after a short break of 4-20 days (ie rested but not rusty) currently stands at 74/511 (14.5% SR) for 60.2pts (+11.8% ROI), from which...

  • those who failed to win LTO are 61/444 (13.7%) for 71.9pts (+16.2%)
  • with the word "good" in the going description : 62/419 (14.8%) for 90.7pts (+21.7%)
  • those priced at 15/8 to 9/1 are 56/288 (19.4%) for 54.6pts (+19%)
  • those beaten by a neck to 6 lengths LTO are 42/255 (16.5%) for 69.8pts (+27.4%)
  • in 4yo+ races : 15/114 (13.2%) for 59.4pts (+52.1%)
  • off a mark (OR) of 99-111 : 9/63 (14.3%) for 106.5pts (+169%)
  • and in a claimer : 2/8 (25%) for 7.2pts (+90%)

AND...from the above...those beaten by a neck to 6 lengths, 4-20 days earlier and are now priced at 15/8 to 9/1 are 26/129 (20.2% SR) for 27.6pts (+21.4% ROI) with 55% of them making the frame...

I'm well aware that stablemate Rousayan would also qualify for that stat, but our pick looks the better horse of the two and is boosted by the presence of the in-form Jamie Spencer in the saddle. Jamie rode a nice winner at Doncaster yesterday, but pitches up here instead today, which hopefully will be to our benefit.

Jamie has ridden 20 winners in 79 races (25.3% SR) over the past 30 days and a £10 stake on each of them would have realised a profit of £220 at an ROI of 27.8%, with even better numbers coming over shorter trips where judgement of the race pace is even more important, winning 13 of 44 (29.5%) over trips of 5 to 7 furlongs for a return of 30.93pts at an excellent ROI of 70.3%...

...prompting me to place... a 1pt win bet on Firmament @ 9/2 or 4/1 BOG , prices offered by Ladbrokes & Coral respectively as of 5.05pm on Thursday evening. To see what your preferred bookie will give you...

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

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, 7th July 2017

Thursday's Result :

2.00 Haydock : La Celebs Ville @ 3/1 BOG 4th at 3/1 Tracked leaders, driven to challenge 2f out, weakened inside final furlong.

Friday's pick goes in the...

4.10 Doncaster...

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?

Pleasant Surprise3/1 BOG

Why?

A Class 4 handicap over a mile and a half for fillies aged 3 and over and we have a 3 yr old who was a winner over this trip two starts ago before being beaten into 5th place over 1m2f last time out.

That was 22 days ago and in her defence, it was a Listed race and she was far from disgraced. Now back up in trip and down in class for her handicap debut, I fancy her to get back to winning ways and she features in several of my micro-systems today, so I'll try and keep this brief!

Firstly we have trainer Luca Cumani and his record here on Town Moor : 36 winners from 136 (21.7% SR) for 27.3pts (+16.4% ROI) since 2008 and this includes of relevance today...

  • at trips of 7f and beyond : 36/126 (52.4%) for 37.3pts (+29.6%)
  • in handicaps : 24/105 (22.9%) for 33pts (+31.4%)
  • 21-45 days after their last outing : 24/84 (28.6%) for 45.2pts (+53.8%)
  • females are 18/54 (33.3%) for 40.7pts (+75.4%)
  • at Class 4 : 15/47 (31.9%) for 21pts (+44.7%)

AND...female handicappers at 7f and further, 21-45 days after their last run are 7 from 13 (53.9%) for 23.2pts (+178.1%) with class 4 runners winning 3 of 7.

More recently (ie since the start of 2015), when Mr Cumani has employed the talents of jockey Jamie Spencer here at Doncaster, the partnership has won 4 of 14 (28.6% SR) for 7.3pts at an ROI of 52.1% with handicappers winning 3 of 8 (37.5%) for 10.55pts (+131.9%)

And then we have the case of a handicap debut, since 2008 the 2-4 yr old Cumani handicap debutants are 66/281 (23.5% SR) for 118.7pts (+42.3% ROI) including...

  • those up in trip by a furlong or more are 34/140 (24.3%) for 58.9pts (+42.1%)
  • those racing over 10 to 12 furlongs are 35/136 (25.7%) for 54.4pts (+40%)
  • at Class 4 : 27/109 (24.8%) for 12.1pts (+11.1%)
  • 16-30 days since last run : 28/108 (25.9%) for 68.9pts (+63.8%)
  • those dropping in class are 16/46 (34.8%) for 61.3pts (+133.3%)
  • here at Doncaster : 8/17 (47.1%) for 31.2pts (+183.4%)
  • those who raced at Class 1 LTO are 4/16 (25%) for 23.7pts (+148%)
  • and those ridden by Jamie Spencer are 3/13 (23.1%) for 5pts at an ROI of 38.3%

There's quite a bit more to be honest, but I wouldn't want to bore you, so I'll call it a day here...

...with...a 1pt win bet on Pleasant Surprise @ 3/1 BOG which was on offer from Betfair, Coral, Ladbrokes and Paddy Power at 6.45pm on Thursday with plenty of acceptable 11/4 BOG elsewhere. To see what your preferred bookie is offering, simply...

...click here for the betting on the 4.10 Doncaster...

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!

Some thoughts for Chester’s May meeting

Chester's May meeting is an early season highlight, offering socialites, more serious racegoers and the occasional Derby aspirant the chance to peacock around the Roodee. The famous bullring circuit, just nine furlongs in circumference, is fiendishly tight and there is a commensurate bias to those who are agile - and fast - enough to slide around the inside banister.

geegeez.co.uk has more information on Chester racecourse here. But what can we say specifically about the May meeting at Chester?

Chester May Meeting: Trainers

Using geegeez.co.uk's new Query Tool (QT) enables us to look at recent trainer form for a specific event like this. To do so, select the month of May, and Chester in the course area:

Specifying Chester's May meeting in geegeez's Query Tool

Specifying Chester's May meeting in geegeez's Query Tool

 

By placing a check in the circle to the left of the 'TRAINER' parameter and clicking 'Generate Report' again, we can see trainer performance for the Chester May meeting. I've sorted by number of wins in the image below.

Outstanding training performances by Aidan O'Brien and John Gosden at Chester in recent years

Outstanding training performances by Aidan O'Brien and John Gosden at Chester in recent years

 

The performance of Messrs. O'Brien and Gosden is spectacular, the former recording a 43.5% win strike rate, the latter a 63% in the frame record. And that from approximately five runners each per year.

 

Handicap trainers

But what of the handicaps only? There are some super competitive heats over the three days and, at that slightly lower level, different training names come to the fore. Let's add HANDICAP to our list of filters, and do the same 'Group by Trainer' report:

Andrew Balding and Ed Dunlop have excellent records, and Sir Michael Stoute has been very unlucky in Chester May handicaps

Andrew Balding and Ed Dunlop have excellent records, and Sir Michael Stoute has been very unlucky in Chester May handicaps

 

It is easy to see that Ed Dunlop and, from a larger sample, Andrew Balding have fared really well in Chester May meeting handicaps. But it is also worth noting Sir Michael Stoute: his two from fifteen record is unremarkable, until we note that more than half of them have hit the board. It would be no surprise to see Sir Michael's fortunes change this week.

What about the top races?

Selecting Class 1 (i.e. Listed or Group) races only confirms the stranglehold that Team Ballydoyle has on the big races at Chester's May meeting.

Aidan O'Brien has a mighty record in Class 1 events at Chester's May meeting

Aidan O'Brien has a mighty record in Class 1 events at Chester's May meeting

Your first 30 days for just £1

 

Aidan O'Brien has won 16 of the 40 Pattern races run at Chester in May since 2009. That's 40% of them, from just 34 runners. His performance is incredible and looks set to continue this week with a typically strong hand of three-year-olds and older horses.

 

Chester May Meeting: Draw

As alluded to in my introduction, the draw at Chester has a huge bearing on how races are run, especially over sprint distances. Using geegeez.co.uk's Draw Analyser tool, we can see just how relevant a good draw generally is, especially when the going is on the quick side. The forecast is largely dry for the week and the current going description is good, good to firm in places.

Five furlong handicaps

Let's plug that into our Draw Analyser, along with a selection of handicap races only and 10+ runners; and we'll initially look at five to five and a half furlong races.

Low is heavily favoured at the shortest trips; and high is heavily UNfavoured

Low is heavily favoured at the shortest trips; and high is heavily UNfavoured

 

I wanted to include the constituent draw table so that you could see the strong linearity in the place percentages of finishers by stall position. That stall 1 has made the frame in two-thirds of all five and five-and-a-half furlong sprints in big fields on quick ground since 2009 is telling. No wonder so many absentees emerge from the car park post positions.

 

Six and seven furlong handicaps

So far so obvious, perhaps, though it is always interesting to note the concrete evidence data provides to support or resist a general perception. But what of longer sprint trips? What of six- and seven furlong handicaps? A quick change to the distance ranges and we have our answer:

Still an inside draw bias, but it is less pronounced over 6 and 7furlongs at Chester

Still an inside draw bias, but it is less pronounced over 6 and 7furlongs at Chester

 

As you can see, there is still a bias towards those drawn low but it is not nearly as pronounced as over the shortest distances. Indeed, middle drawn horses have fared pretty much as well as those on the inside, but it is still the case that a high draw is a very difficult condition to overcome.

Notice at the bottom the Heat Map. This is a simple chart that attempts to overlay the historical draw positions against a horse's run style. The arrow formation top right in the chart implies a bias towards early speed and an inside to middle draw.

Conversely, note the relatively poor performance of those drawn high, regardless of run style; and it also looks difficult to overcome a low draw if you're a hold up sort racing at six or seven furlongs in a double digit field.

None of the sample sizes used here are particularly big, so keep in mind that the above is indicative rather than assertive. But it confirms what is often said: it is very difficult to overcome a wide draw in a big field on fast ground at Chester.

 

Chester May Meeting: Jockeys

Can a jockey make a difference at Chester? Most riders are, to a large extent, hostages to the fortunes of their trainers and horses; but at the more unconventional courses, can it be an advantage to have an experienced pilot in one's corner?

Although the answer is probably yes, there is a degree of cause and effect in that if a jockey gets a reputation as being skilled over a certain circuit he is more likely to pick up the plum rides. The flip side is that, if a jockey is retained by a particular stable, he will be susceptible to the form of that yard.

Regardless, here is QT on Chester May meeting jockey performance, in handicaps only.

The top handicap jockeys at Chester's May meeting since 2009

The top handicap jockeys at Chester's May meeting since 2009

 

Some interesting gen comes to light here. First, that example of positive discrimination: Francis Norton is widely held as the 'go to guy' for Chester, and he certainly does ride the track very well as can be seen from his seven handicap winners at this meeting since 2009. But they've come from 64 rides, an 11% clip, and just 0.85 on the A/E scale.

Compare that with Jamie Spencer, supposedly a hold up rider on a speed-favouring track. His nine winners have come from just 48 rides at an A/E of 1.54. Not only that but he can back up a 19% win rate with a 44% place rate. Jamie Spencer, in fact, is one of the best judges of pace in the weighing room, from the back or the front of the field. He gets it wrong sometimes - that's an occupational hazard - but I'd never be put off a bet at any track with Spencer in the plate (and yes, I have changed my position on this in recent years!)

Lower down, Steve Donohoe is an interesting name. His three handicap winners from 20 rides is fine - good even - but nine podium finishes is a very solid effort. He could be worth keeping onside.

 

Chester May meeting: Summary

We're all set for three excellent days of racing on the Roodee. With a little luck we'll come out in front by noting the above. In some ways, there is nothing new in trumpeting the form of Aidan O'Brien in Class 1 races at the meeting, nor in flagging that inside draws have the best of it in bigger field sprints on fast ground.

But such awareness can become the cornerstone of a betting strategy for the week. If playing placepots or intra-race bets like exactas and trifectas, knowing that Jamie Spencer is a high strike rate handicap jockey, or that Andrew Balding and Ed Dunlop should always be in mind in Chester handicaps, or even that Aidan's horse probably will win the Derby trial, will help frame decisions about when to go narrow and when to go deep.

Good luck with your Chester May meeting wagers - it should be a terrific three days!

Matt

p.s. if you'd like more race-by-race statistical lowdown, check out these Chester TV Trends: Wednesday

 

Stat of the Day, 22nd February 2017

Tuesday's Result :

4.40 Southwell : My Renaissance @ 11/4 BOG 5th at 7/4 Towards rear, headway to track leaders over 7f out, took keen hold, led over 4f out, headed 3f out, weakened final furlong.

Wednesday's pick goes in the...

7.15 Kempton

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?

Steelriver 4/1 BOG

Why?

This 7 yr old gelding was 3rd LTO in a race that probably came too soon after running the day before, but now after a rest of some 47 days, he's expected to go better and reproduce the kind of form that has seen him win twice here in the past, once over course and distance.

He's going be ridden by Jamie Spencer who has a long-term (ie since 2009) 18% strike rate at this venue, courtesy of winning 84 of his 468 races here and since the start of 2012, he is 10/52 (19.2% SR) for 24.7pts (+47.5% ROI) in handicaps over 6 to 7 furlongs on this track.

Trainer David Barron has his horses in fine fettle at present with 3 winners and 2 placers from 10 over the last week and the Barron/Spencer partnership is 19/63 (30.2% SR) for 22.6pts (+35.8% ROI) since 2010, including...

  • over 5f to 7f : 18/51 (35.3%) for 29.3pts (+57.4%)
  • in handicaps : 11/38 (29%) for 22.9pts (+60.4%)
  • in handicaps over 5f to 7f : 11/29 (37.9%) for 31.9pts (+110.1%)
  • at Class 4 : 3/7 (42.9%) for 9.34pts (+133.4%)
  • and on the A/W : 5/14 (35.7%) for 9.4pts (+66.9%)

Steelriver is also David's only runner of the day and since 2008, his solo entrants are 113/628 (18% SR) for 225.1pts (+35.9% ROI), with the folowing at play today...

  • over 5f to 7f : 84/456 (18.4%) for 191pts (+41.9%)
  • on the A/W  : 54/237 (22.8%) for 104.9pts (+44.3%)
  • on the A/W over 5f to 7f : 42/182 (23.1%) for 91.6pts (+50.3%)
  • and those ridden by Jamie Spencer are 5/18 (27.8%) for 13.5pts (+75.1%)

...all of which points to...a 1pt win bet on Steelriver @ 4/1 BOG which was available with both Betfred, Hills and Totesport at 5.30pm on Tuesday, with plenty of acceptable 7/2 BOG on offer elsewhere. To see what your preferred bookie is offering, simply...

...click here for the betting on the 7.15 Kempton

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

Monday Musings: Jamie Spencer and Fortune’s Fickle Finger

I’ve tried to live by one or maybe two strong maxims in my working life, writes Tony Stafford. Firstly, never refuse a job – something that has proved very easy to adhere to as the offers have dried up – and I almost never did. Secondly, never close a door after people seem to have dumped you, something again I’ve followed with the impressive exception of David Elsworth whose festering years-long dislike was once again reinforced when out of the blue, as they say, he thumped me on the back at the July Course last week.

But then, as you probably know, good old Elsie – I had an Auntie Elsie, a far gentler soul than the brilliant but irascible trainer who once gave poor old Bill Turner a proper thumping – is a law unto himself.

Jockeys can ill afford to close doors, however futile it may be to grin in the presence of former employers who have dispensed with their services. Jamie Spencer, now in his golden years (36) as a rider is the perfect example of the “keep smiling” school, constantly affable in the face of a midsummer schedule that might take in humdrum days like today with six rides shared between Chelmsford and Windsor.

The previous couple of weeks between a Class 6 success for Conor Dore on City of Angkor Wat, one of five June 27 rides at Wolverhampton, and Friday of the July meeting, Jamie turned out 35 times for 20 different trainers, without further success.

There were near misses, most notably on The Grey Gatsby, whom he had ridden in all five 2015 domestic starts for the Kevin Ryan stable. In the Princess of Wales’s Stakes, The Grey Gatsby was dropping from the top level into Group 2 class for the first time since his 2014 victory in the Dante at York, but gallingly for Spencer could not peg back front-running Big Orange, his regular mount around the world last year.

Spencer had been on Bill Gredley/Michael Bell’s stayer when winning the same race a year ago, and teamed up again when fifth in the 2015 Melbourne Cup and then runner-up to Vazirabad in the Dubai Gold Cup in March.

Despite the obvious difficult choices, associations such as Spencer’s with owners Jim and Fitri Hay bring pretty regular big-race mounts for such as David Simcock and Kevin Ryan, who between them provided 13 of the 35 in the period of interest. In that context Spencer has done well to collect 53 wins in the UK this year.

Your first 30 days for just £1

That tally puts him in a strong position to exceed comfortably his last two seasonal scores of 85 and 74 and probably complete a 12th century. Every year between 2005 and 2013, he reached that figure, usually with ease. His lowest tally was the 103 in 2012; the best a staggering 207 in 2007.

Almost a decade on from that prolific season, he has become more selective, but on the “keep the door ajar” principle, there are days when the commonplace <turns> into the rare, to quote the great American standard, “Stranger in Paradise”.

His cross-Atlantic forays have not always been enjoyable – for instance the day Secret Gesture and Jamie lost the Beverly D at Arlington Park last year thanks to, as he (and many others, Ed.) saw it, some exaggerated acting by original third, Irad Ortiz, Jr., on Stephanie’s Kitten. Secret Gesture was put back to third that day, a case of grand larceny in the home city of Al Capone.

But on Saturday night in New York, Jamie had one of those wonderful days when it all comes together. Aidan O’Brien, for whom Spencer was first jockey in his early 20’s, had two runners in both the Belmont Derby and Oaks. Ryan Moore was busy at Newmarket principally for Air Force Blue’s comeback, so Spencer renewed his association with Epsom Derby also-ran Deauville, whom Fitri Hay shares with the Coolmore partners.

The better-fancied of the Ballydoyle pair was triple winner Long Island Sound, last time third to fast-improving Hawkbill in the Tercentenary Stakes at Royal Ascot. Hawkbill’s subsequent Eclipse Stakes defeat of O’Brien’s The Gurkha pointed Chicago punters in his direction, but he was in the pack as Spencer drove his mount to an emphatic success. The only British-trained challenger, Humphrey Bogart from the Hannon stable, again showed he is a grade or two short of the top.

In the Belmont Oaks, Ballydoyle and Coolmore were represented by Ballydoyle and Coolmore. Again Colm O’Donoghue was on the more fancied Ballydoyle, but after a slow start she was never in contention and trailed home last of 13. Spencer and Coolmore – confused enough yet? – also missed the break, but that’s the Spencer trademark and she stayed on for a creditable third and 50k plus in what used to be proper money.

I mentioned earlier that Spencer’s domestic endeavours have brought 53 wins. These have come from 315 rides at a very acceptable 17 per cent. The wins have provided £515,187 in total prizemoney, worth maybe 40k to the jockey.

The Belmont Derby carried a winner’s prize of £455,000, so added to Coolmore’s place money, Spencer’s two mounts earned half a million. Nice away day!

O’Brien, of course, dominated the early part of the July meeting, collecting Friday’s two big fillies’ races with Roly Poly and Alice Springs. Before the Group 1 Falmouth, I thought Alice Springs looked to be thriving and if I had been caught out by the level of market interest in her at the expense of drifting favourite Usherette, there was no escaping Alice Springs’ authority.

It was only before yesterday’s Prix Jean Prat, where Nemoralia was probably a disappointment to the Jeremy Noseda camp, that I first saw the Coronation Stakes video. On the day itself, I was high-tailing it to Newmarket to watch Ray Tooth’s Dutch Law get narrowly beaten in a competitive if modest handicap, so missed the eye-catching late run of Alice Springs which would surely have brought success if delivered a little earlier.

She clearly has now jumped up into second place in the list of top O’Brien fillies behind the incomparable Minding, and if she rather than the dual Classic winner turns up at Goodwood, she’ll be my Nassau nap.

O’Brien also got to a prizemoney milestone last week, pushing his UK earnings beyond £3m, the seventh time he’s achieved that distinction. Another £800k would push him past his best total from three years ago, but there can be little doubt that even £5m is not an impossible dream.

Dutch Law was at it again at Ascot on Saturday, finding plenty of trouble under the ultra-professional Pat Smullen, with whom, I confess, I’d never previously had more than a nodding acquaintance. The gelding was runner-up behind a nice late-developing Ed Walker three-year-old, Experto Creed, who took advantage of the 12lb we gave him to get home a length and a bit to the good.

Dutch Law flashed though the penultimate furlong, but as Pat said afterwards: “I think he knew before me that we wouldn’t get there”, adding that in behind “he travels like a Group horse, but you are always going to be a hostage to fortune as you have to ride him like that. Really, he’s a bit of a monkey!” Yes, Pat, but he’s our monkey!

Stat of the Day, 23rd February 2016

Monday's Result :

3.05 Carlisle : Alto des Mottes @ 3/1 BOG PU at 3/1 (Tracked leaders, mistake 2nd, lost place 9th, soon behind, weakened 4 out (usual 5 out), tailed off when pulled up before last)

Tuesday's runner goes in the...

4.35 Wolverhampton:

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?

Gorokai @ 5/1 BOG

Why?

This 3 yr old gelding has finished 113 in his last three runs, having won at Class 5 and then Class 4 level, before a narrow defeat at Class 3 last time out. He now drops back down in class to return to Wolverhampton, where his only previous visit resulted in a runner-up finish over course and distance on his A/W debut.

He hasn't finished outside the top 3 in his four starts on the A/W to date (2113) with a 211 record at today's trip and he's 1 from 1 in this grade.

In addition to that, his trainer (David Simcock) and his jockey (Jamie Spencer) have built up a decent partnership here at Wolverhampton, winning 12 of 38 races (31.6% SR) for profits of 8.26pts (+21.7% ROI) since the start of 2010. Closer analysis of those 38 runners threw up the following profitable angles, all of which are at play here...

  • male runners are 11/35 (31.4% SR) for 9.6pts (+27.4% ROI)
  • those sent off at 5/1 and shorter are 12/28 (42.9% SR) for 18.3pts (+65.2% ROI)
  • handicappers are 7/25 (28% SR) for 7.56pts (+30.3% ROI)
  • those finishing in the first three LTO are 10/17 (52.6% SR) for 21.84pts (+114.9% ROI)
  • those last seen 1 to 15 days ago are 4/8 (50% SR) for 3.81pts (+47.6% ROI)

And from that, we see that male handicappers at 5/1 and shorter are 7/17  (41.2% SR) for 15.6pts (+91.6% ROI), of which those in the top 3 LTO are 6/11 (54.5% SR) for 17.6pts (+160.2% ROI) and those last seen 1-15 days ago are 3/5 (60% SR) for 5.2pts (+104% ROI)

Male handicappers at 5/1 and shorter, in the top 3 LTO, 1-15 DSLR = 2/4 (50% SR) for 2.26pts (+56.4% ROI)

And today's play is...a 1pt win bet on Gorokai at 5/1 BOG with either Bet365 , who are best priced at present (5.45pm), whilst there's plenty of 9/2 BOG on offer elsewhere, so why not...

...click here for the betting on the 4.35 Wolverhampton

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...

Stat of the Day, 11th April 2015

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 11th April 2015

As expected/predicted, Hickster was sent off somewhat shorter than the 7/1 BOG advised odds or even the 6/1 that many of you had to settle for, as he was backed in to 4/1 at the off. I also suggested he's want to get out quickly from his wide draw and attempt to make all, which he did.

Unfortunately, just like his last race, he was overhauled inside the final furlong despite dropping back in trip and once headed weakened away to finish third, four lengths off the leader. Hindsight is a wonderful, but even so, I still think it was a good bet under the circumstances.

They say that you should try to get back on the bike/horse very quickly after a fall, so we're staying put for Saturday's race, the...

8.20 Wolverhampton:

A Class 3 handicap over the very same 8.5f as Friday's race, where I'm siding with the 4/1 BOG Santefisio, who was impressive in defeat last time out in defeat when finishing second in the Lincoln Trial five weeks ago. He was only beaten by three parts of a length over this course and distance that day and had some decent sorts in amongst the eight runners he beat.

He now drops down a grade to compete here at Class 3 level, aiming to give his trainer Keith Dalgleish yet another A/W handicap success to add to his record of 60 winners from 351 (17.1% SR) runners that has produced 86.9pts level stakes profits at an ROI of 24.8% to date. Those sent off in the 2/1 to 10/1 bracket are 46.240 (19.2% SR) for 73.7pts (+30.7% ROI).

Keith also enjoys plenty of success when dropping his horses down a grade like Santefisio does today, clocking up 53 winners from 339 (15.6% SR) for 83.3pts (+24.6% ROI) since 2011. Of those 339 runners, there's a 34/191 (17.8% SR) record producing 77.8pts (+40.8% ROI) over trips of 7 to 11 furlongs inclusive, whilst his A/W runners are 27/91 (21.7% SR) for 62.3pts (+64.3% ROI).

His A/W runners dropping a grade and running 7 to 11 furlongs are 15/58 (25.9% SR) for 70.5pts (+121.6% ROI).

This is clearly a slightly easier task than Santefisio faced last time and with many of his main rivals coming off breaks from action, recent C&D experience might play a big part here, as might the booking of the vastly experienced Jamie Spencer to take the ride.

Jamie very rarely rides for Mr Dalgleish, so it's interesting to see him here if nothing else and Jamie's own record here is excellent. Since 2008, in Class 2 to 5 handicaps here at Wolverhampton, Jamie has ridden 45 winners from just 188 rides (23.9% SR) and a tenner on each of those runners would have made you a cool £358 at an ROI of just over 19%.

They're great returns from blindly following a jockey, but if you were a little more restrictive about price, you could do much better, By simply avoiding odds-on bets and those 7/1 or longer, you cut out 36.2% of the runners but only 20% of the winners and you increase the bottom line by over 35%! In numerical terms, that's 36 winners from 120 (30% SR) for 48.4pts at an ROI of 40.3%.

More recently, Jamie's figures at those odds over the last two years are 11/25 (44% SR) for 27.72pts (+110.9% ROI) profit.

Once again, I think there's a bit of juice in the 4/1 BOG on offer from Bet365, BetVictor & Hills for Santefisio, but...

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

...clicking here for the betting on the 8.20 Wolverhampton

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

just click here for more details.

REMINDER: THERE IS NO STAT OF THE DAY ON SUNDAYS

Here is today's racecard.

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