Double Dutch, 9th December 2013

Double Dutch

Double Dutch

Double Dutch, 9th December 2013

Well, what a difference a weekend can and did make. DD was certainly on the ropes and enduring a difficult spell on the cold list, before Matt stepped in to deputise for me on Saturday and landed a nice 20.6/1 double to get us back on track.

Naturally I felt under a little bit of pressure not to let the team down, but thankfully results went my way with winners at 5/1 and 6/1 combining for a 41/1 BOG double which puts a whole new complexion on things.

Yesterday's results were as follows:

The Game Changer: won at 5/1 (SP 4/1)
Ange Balafre: 4th at 7/2
The Job Is Right: won at 6/1
Captain Conan: 3rd at 15/8

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Results to date:
78 winning selections from 280 = 27.86%
24 winning doubles in 76 days = 31.58%

Stakes: 150.00pts
Returns: 167.28pts

P/L : +17.28pts (+11.52% ROI)

A bumper and a Class 4 sand handicap await us today:

3.20 Musselburgh:

Katachenko represents the in-form Donald McCain yard and this former Irish point winner comes here on the back of a respectable 4th place in a Limerick bumper. He makes his first start for the McCain team today and his £35,000 price tag will have to start being repaid soon and his current price of 7/2 might just chip a chunk off it.

The real and obvious danger is the more likely winner of the two: the 6/4 favourite It's High Time. This one is primed to achieve his first win after back to back (albeit 7 months apart) runner-up positions. He was beaten by a head at Gowran Park back in April when carrying 12 stone and was collared on the line. The more recent effort was a course and distance affair where he stayed on well to finish within half a length of another Donald McCain which was winning on debut!

4.40 Wolverhampton:

The bookies and the tipsters say this is a two-horse race and I'm inclined to agree with the general consensus that whilst the likes of Doldrums and Modernism will dominate this race, there's not going to be that much between them.

Doldrums is the slight favourite at 2/1 and looks pretty well treated off an opening mark of 76, despite beating a 78-rated horse when winning on this track on her racing debut just over three weeks ago. She's a half-sister to a grade 1 winner and full sister to Alluring Squall (3 wins and 4 places from 10 in the USA) and cost her connections 300,000 US Dollars, so they'll be expecting bigger and better things of her than a Class 4 handicap at Wolverhampton, but we've all got to start somewhere.

Modernism comes here off the back of a win over 10f at Lingfield and he's far more exposed than the favourite after 18 races in total. He's a former course and distance winner and did well to hold on last time out from a poor draw. He has been raised 3lbs to a mark of 78 for that win, which might cause him issues if he's not on his A-game today, but we are reminded that he ran really well to finish 4th in a Class 2 handicap at Ascot off 84 last year, so there's still some scope for him here at a best price of 9/4.

4 x 0.5pt BOG doubles as follows:
It's High Time / Doldrums @ 6.5/1 with BetVictor & Stan James (6/4 & 2/1)
It's High Time  / Modernism @ 6.8125/1 with BetVictor (6/4 & 85/40)
Katachenko / Doldrums @ 12.5/1 generally (7/2 & 2/1)
Katachenko / Modernism @ 13.625/1 with SkyBet and PP (7/2 & 9/4)

Double Dutch, 14th October 2013

Double Dutch

Double Dutch

Double Dutch, 14th October 2013

Three on the bounce now for the Double Dutch as we edge closer to profitability. Just as in the previous two days, it was the two shortest-priced horses that prevailed, but the beauty of this betting strategy is that we still make a small profit on the day, but we also get free bets on the other permutations.

Yesterday, Sivola de Sivola won by three parts of a length, but wasn't as convincing as I'd hoped, but he was still a welcome 5/4 (SP 6/5) winner nonetheless. Well Hello There jumped sketchily and made several mistakes, culminating in a fall at the 12th.

I called race two pretty well, though. Bombadero was far too good for a poor-looking field, winning easily by nine lengths despite not quite being at this best over the obstacles, whilst Lordofthehouse decided not to run. He was driven hard just to get him moving away from the line but stopped dead still on the approach to the first.

All of which meant a double at 6.19 and an overall small profit of 1.09pts, which doesn't look too much, but is still almost 55% of the day's stakes.

Yesterday's results were as follows:

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Sivola De Sivola: won at 5/4 (SP 6/5!)
Well Hello There: fell
Bombadero: won at 7/4 (SP 11/10!)
Lordofthehouse: Refused to race

Trial to date:
41 winning selections from 141 = 29.08%
12 winning doubles in 39 days = 30.77%

Stakes: 76.5pts
Returns: 72.01pts

P/L : -4.49pts (-5.87% ROI)

Today's runners go in the following races...

3.15 Musselburgh

Silly Billy has been revitalised since a switch to Brian Ellison's yard (13331 in last 5 runs). He won last time out over today's trip and although he has been raised 4 lbs for that win, Jacob Butterfield will more than compensate with his 5lb claim, making the current odds of 3/1 (Coral and Hills) looks quite attractive.

Elspeth's Boy is also of interest here at a generally available price of 4/1. A winner at Haydock last season off a mark of 70 had struggled at the weights, which peaked at 76, before his mark tumbled all the way down to 63 for his recent comeback at Wolverhampton 16 days ago. He ran pretty well there and is expected to have some on for the run and will appreciate the step up in trip to 9f (he has won over 10.5f in the past). Running off that same 63 mark makes him a contender here.

3.55 Limerick

Don't let the strange mix of Flat v NH jockeys put you off here, as there's a decent sort in the shape of Goal on show here. This useful dual-code performer has been on great form since a switch to Gordon Elliott's yard and his last nine hurdles runs of the summer produced one win and 7 placed finishes, before running four times on the flat, winning on two occasions.

Neither speed nor stamina should be his undoing today and the presence of Johnny Murtagh in the saddle is seen (by me, anyway!) as a bonus and I'd expect Goal to take this at 11/4 (Paddy Power).

Kieran Fallon's mount Mahrajaan looks the likeliest challenger from a field that looks desperately out of form. This one hasn't won in the last two years, but has shown sparks of a revival of late, finishing second at Gowran Park over 1m4f before running very creditably in defeat in a Grade 3 race at Listowel. The fact that this one is the 9/2 second favourite with BetVictor here says plenty about the standard of this race!

4 x 0.5pt BOG doubles as follows:
Silly Billy / Goal @ 14.00 with Coral and William Hill
Silly Billy / Mahrajaan @ 21.65 with Stan James
Elspeth's Boy / Goal @ 19.25 with BetVictor
Elspeth's Boy / Mahrajaan @ 27.50 with BetVictor

Stat of the Day, 16th September 2013

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 16th September 2013

No joy for us in Ireland yesterday, as Royal Diamond failed in his attempt to retain the Irish St Leger, only managing to finish fifth after being headed three furlongs from home.

So, SotD goes from Ireland to Scotland today for the...

3.10 Musselburgh

This is a competitive-looking, Class 4, two-mile handicap on ground officially declared as good, but there is the threat of a shower or two in the air, which may well soften things up a little.

Musselburgh is another of those courses that suits horses with previous experience of the track, particularly those who have won over course and distance in the past. In the last three years, over 20% of previous course and distance winners coming here on the back on a win last time out have followed up with another victory.

That 20% figure is derived from 18 winners from 89 attempts, which you could have backed blindly for a modest 4.93pts profit. Whilst an ROI of 5.54% isn't all that exciting, any profit from blind backing has to be respected and also provides a starting point for a micro system, once a filter or two is applied. One should, of course, be careful not to filter down too much as this tends to create unsuccessful backfitted methods!

All of those 18 winners above came from the 65 runners priced at 7/1 or below ie those attracting a modicum of support in the market and that 27.7% strike rate is moe like the area we want to be in, as is the ROI of 44.5% coming from the 28.93pts profit.

This micro system has held its head up this year too, with 6 winners from 28 (21.43%) for 2.95 pts (+10.54% ROI) profit, but all six winners have been priced at 5/1 or under from a record of 6/15 (40% SR) and 15.95 pts (+106.33% ROI) profit. More of the same will do us nicely.

Just one horse fits that criteria today: Dr Irv, who comes here on the back of a win over this trip at Thirsk sixteen days ago in a similar Class 4 event. His only previous visit to Musselburgh resulted in a course and distance win on good to soft ground back in June, so if the showers do come, it shouldn't inconvenience him too much.

When I looked at the race analysis tool on our interactive racecard, I saw that he had a 50% strike rate at this trip and also in this class of race. In fact, his record over two miles reads 331151, with the 5th place coming at York in a higher grade on good to firm ground, so I'm relatively happy to disregard that run. He's also got a 50% strike rate in fields of 8 runners or less (4 wins from 8)

It's likely to be on the softer side of good today, even if it doesn't get officially declared as Good to Soft and Dr Irv is more than capable in those conditions, having won over Course and Distance here on such ground.

He won't get it all his own way today, but I have varying degrees of doubts about his challengers. The competitive nature of today's race allied to a 6lb rise in weight (although Declan Cannon takes three off here) means we can get a decent price for this contest, where the play is a 1pt win bet on Dr Irv at 9/2 BOG with Stan James. At present they stand alone with that price, but as always I recommend that you...

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The card for today's race is right here.


Stat of the Day, 3rd September 2013

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 3rd September 2013

No back to back winner yesterday, I'm afraid. Omanome got out sharply, headed for the rail and led the race for pretty much the first five furlongs of the 6f contest. He was aggressively ridden by Danny Tudhope and once headed near the furlong pole, was a spent force. He quickly dropped out of contention and finished back in 5th of the seven runners at the same 7/2 price we'd suggested earlier.

Pretty poor stuff on offer today, but we're going to stay in Scotland to take a look at the...

5.30 Musselburgh

Where I'm going to continue along the theme of highlighting course and distance winners. Musselburgh is another of those tracks that readily lends itself to such horses, especially if they were winners last time out. In fact over the last three seasons, 58 former C&D winners have returned to Musselburgh on the back of a win and have run here at odds of 7/1 or under.

In other words, these horses are quite fancied by the market, despite invariably carrying a penalty from their last run. Yet still, 15 (25.9% SR) of those 58 have gone on to secure the follow-up victory, producing level stakes profits of almost 26pts in the process, a return on investments of almost 45% and the record this season alone is 5 winners from 17 for 8.2pts.

Tracy Waggott runs two horses in this race today: Tuibama and our selection Captain Royale, who is bidding to land his third victory in five races.

He comes here on the back of a fairly comfortable win at Catterick last time out and is duly raised 6lbs in the handicap for that effort. That penalty doesn't actually seem as onerous as it might initially sound and I'd still expect him to be able to deal with that and the market will probably agree with me and make him favourite here.

Stablemate Tuibama will also probably figure close to the head of the market in position, if not price, but this horse was well beaten by our selection in that Catterick contest and I'd expect more of the same today.

Captain Royale is no spring chicken, nor is he a stranger to the winners' enclosure: this 8yr old has already won eight times on the turf from a career spanning 56 races to date (he's also had 9 unsuccessful outings on A/W surfaces!) and he has proved very profitable to back, especially this season where his 2 wins (from 12 starts) have come at odds of 12/1 and 25/1 (last time out). Today's jockey Barry McHugh was also on board on both occasions.

Today's minimum trip of 5f is his preferred race length with a record of 6 wins from 27 at this distance and he's 4 from 16 in Class 6 races at this trip too.

It's not a great race today, but I do expect him to follow up that last win at Catterick and notch up a second C&D win here. The bookies seem to agree with me and have installed him as the 7/2 favourite with his nearest rivals priced up at odds of around 7/1 and 15/2.

The 7/2 BOG for Captain Royale is pretty widely available, so you can take your pick of the bookies. I've still got some of Monday's winnings in my Paddy Power account, so that's where my 1pt win bet is going, but as always, I heartily recommend that you...

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Stat of the Day, 23rd July 2013

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 23rd July 2013

A disappointing run from Nickels And Dimes last night. She never seemed to settle into the race and looked pretty green at times. That said, she tracked the leaders in the early stages, but had to little to offer when push came to shove around 2f out. Jockey William Buick knew pretty much straight away that she was beaten and sensibly eased her down. and just brought her home in last place.

I've no issues at all about him bringing her home last, it was clear to everyone that she wasn't getting on terms and there's little point in flogging her to maybe gain an extra place. That said, I'll be looking for better in a 5f handicap North of the border today, as we've got one in the...

4.00 Musselburgh

Horses who have previously won over course and distance here at Musselburgh tend to go well on their return to this course. Just blindly backing all previous C&D winners here, priced at 6/1 or under, over the last couple years would have seen you make a 10.8% profit over your stakes, courtesy of a 21.7% strike rate (38 winners from 175).

That alone is a pretty good starting point for a basic microsystem, but for SotD, I like to be able to tweak things a little more in our favour! The above figures, whilst profitable, don't take into account any form of course. If we only consider those of 175 from above who returned to Musselburgh on the back of a win (anywhere!), then our sample size becomes 49 runners in that same period and at a maximum of 6/1.

Those 49 runners represent 28% of the 175 C&D winners returning here, but from that 49 we have 14 winners, almost 37% of the winners from above. This gives us a strike rate of 28.6% (up from 21.7%) and profits of 19.83pts. This ROI of 40.5% is almost four times that of our starting stat.

Today's selected 9-runner race actually has 6 previous C&D winners, but only one comes here on the back of a win last time out: Burning Thread.

Burning Thread was a convincing winner at Bath a week ago as he finally took advantage of a handicap mark that has tumbled over the last year. Last week's victory was actually his first for just over 25 months, since he landed a £25,000 pot here at Musselburgh in June 2011 off a mark of 94. Hos next outing was in the 2011 running of the Wokingham at Ascot off 102 and despite finishing last of the 25 runners that day, he has been in the grip of the handicapper ever since.

He put in some decent efforts last season on occasions and was third here over course and distance in June 2012 off 91. He only seems to run here once per year, but having finished 1st and 3rd on his last two visits, both of which were his best performances in the last two years before last week's win, it's fair to say that he "gets" it here.

A decision was made 2 races ago to put blinkers on him and although he finished 7th of 15 that day at Beverley, he ran well enough to get within 2.5 lengths of the winner and was only just over a length outside the places at 25/1.

The blinkers were reapplied last time at Bath and he pretty much ran away with the race, grabbing the lead near the furlong pole and running on strongly to win by seven lengths going away. He has, of course, been raised 6lb for that effort, but if he runs to the same level today, that penalty won't be enough to stop him.

He's got a great draw in stall 9 today and provided he's up with the pace early on, I can see him staying on strongly at the close once more. He is, admittedly, carrying top weight, but he has run well off much higher than today's 83, so he should be able to give a little weight away here.

The racecard for this contest is here.

Burning Thread seems to save his best for this track, he has the best recent form in the race and he's got the best draw of the nine runners. Therefore I'd expect him to quickly follow-up last week's win. I also think that the market will agree with me and he'll go off as favourite today. That said, I still think the 5/2 BOG widely available isn't too bad a price. I'm on with Paddy Power today, but to see what your bookie is offering, simply...

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Stat of the Day, 31st March 2013

Stat of the Day: 27/03/13

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 31st March 2013

No joy for Fraserburgh who, despite a troubled trip, was not nearly good enough, unfortunately.

Today, we'll stay in the Edinburgh 'burbs for the...

2.50 Musselburgh

At this time of year, when considering a horse to bet on the flat, you need to know it's fit. There are two pointers to the fitness of today's pick: firstly, it's been backed already this morning. And secondly, it won first time up last year.

Dream Walker gets the nod today because he's in his right class. Specifically, in Class 6 races, he's been in the frame on four out of five occasions, with a form string of 13229.

His last two runs of last season can probably be forgiven, as he had a lot of racing and may well have been 'over the top'. Fresh looks the time to catch Dream Walker, and trip, ground and class all look fine.

In a competitive looking race, he's a live each way chance, and 9/1 with SkyBet looks well worth taking, especially as you can bet him for free (!!) if you don't already have a SkyBet account. Open one today, and they'll give you a free tenner bet - no card details needed! Click the link below to get started.

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Stat of the Day, 30th March 2013

Stat of the Day: 27/03/13

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 30th March 2013

A quick catch up then as there hasn't been a SotD for a couple of days on the site. Thursday 28th saw Niceonefrankie (emailed out due to gremlins on site) anything but; Friday 29th was Good Friday and therefore no racing; which brings us to today, an extremely competitive Easter Saturday. I'm taking a chance on one at a price, in the...

3.35 Musselburgh

A really valuable handicap, worth over £31,000 to the winner, is this. Mark Johnston is on fire at the moment, with five winners and four seconds from just twelve runners in the last week. He's obviously decided he'll support this race, and has four nags entered!

Johnston's record with 3yo handicappers (16/1 or shorter) here at Musselburgh since 2008 is impressive: 16 wins and 19 places from 78 runners, for a profit of 11.48 points.

So, we know he's a man in form, and we know his similar types go well at the track. But... he's got four entered here! What to do? Well, the sensible play is to go with the one with the best profile for the race. Step forward, Fraserburgh.

Named after a town 178 miles north of Musselburgh racecourse, Fraserburgh is likely to be popular with on-course punters. But he's got more form-based claims than that too. Indeed, in seven career starts to date, he's only been out of the frame once. His full form string reads 3272321, and his inevitable victory was by six lengths in a Southwell maiden.

It's a sure thing that this is a much stronger contest, but the step up to a mile looks bang on for a horse which has presumably been a slow maturing type. He's by crack miler, Shamardal, out of the mare which also bore smart two mile hurdler, Dodging Bullets. That's why I assume he's late maturing, given that he was an early foal and started out over five furlongs!

The good to soft ground should be spot on; the trip ought to bring improvement (though this is surmisal on my part); his handy running style will help; and, whilst he's only the third string of the Johnston quartet on market rank, I'm hopeful he can again make the frame at least.

He's 20/1 with William Hill, and they'll lob in a free bet to the same stake as your first tickle if you open an account with them today. Each way the play: a poke at a price.

William Hill Sports


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Stat of the Day, 4th January 2013

Stat of the Day: 4/1/13

Stat of the Day: 4/1/13

Stat of the Day, 4th January 2013

Well, we didn't manage to "do the bookies" yesterday, as our selection ran a moderate race at best. He spent most of the race just off the pace behind the leading group and when the pace picked up, he didn't seem to. The end result was an 8th placed finish. The one small consolation that we got was that I called the SP correctly at 8/1, after we'd taken 11/1 earlier on.

We're off to Scotland today for a stamina test. Our selected race is an 11-runner, Class 4 Handicap Hurdle contest over three miles and a half furlong on soft ground. It looks like tough going for the ...

2.40 Musselburgh

Lucinda Russell has got her horses flying at present. She has sent out twelve runners in the last two days and every single one of them has finished in the first five home. From these twelve runners, she has collected four winners' prizes and one additional placed finish so the yard would appear to be in good nick.

Lucinda also has a decent enough record here at Musselburgh, where 43.75% (14 from 32) of her hurdlers have made the frame in handicap contests in the last two years.

Miss Russell is represented by two horses here today: Morning Time seems to have a fair chance at 4/1 in a two-mile chase event scheduled for 1.40pm, but it's the hurdlers that have the better record and her sole hurdler today is Vallani.

Vallani is an 8 yr old chestnut mare who won back to back handicap hurdles at Perth in August. Both were on testing ground ( 1 soft and 1 heavy) and both were over today's 24.5 furlong trip, so she'll be well suited by today's race conditions. She also had a course & distance victory under her belt, which also came on Soft ground. Her career to date shows her having won three from six on Soft/Heavy ground.

She is, however, not the most reliable of animals, but when she's in the mood she will go well. She had seemed out of sorts a little in her last couple of outings, but it has to be said that the yard wasn't in good form then either. Lucinda Russell's string appear to be performing much better at present and if jockey Craig Nichol (claiming a useful 7lbs here) can keep her fairly close to the action, she should stay on at the finish and stake a claim for a place finish.

Her recent unreliability has been reflected in the prices available, where she is currently offered in the 10/1 to 12/1 area. Of the BOG bookmakers, Betfred, BetVictor and Stan James are all showing her at 12/1, so the call today is a 0.5pt E/W bet on Vallani at 12/1 BOG. I'm going to use BetVictor today, but you've plenty of choice, so feel free to...

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Stat of the Day: 10th December 2012

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 10th December 2012

When it's not running for you, it's not running for you. SotD is no more immune to runs of misfortune than anyone else, and yesterday typified its recent luck. 11/2 nominee, Greywell Boy, was backed in to 4/1 favouritism and ran a fine race... but could only finish second. In what is becoming time honoured tradition, the other mentioned horse, George Nympton, obliged - at a good enough 3/1.

But that's the past, and we're concerned now only with the future. A change of chair as Chris takes some time out, and I hop back into the driving seat. And today, I'm driving 'back to the future' for a horse which has featured here before, in the…

1.50 Musselburgh

They race at Musselburgh, and the going is good to soft, which is the first time for a while I've seen the word 'good' in the going description anywhere. Kate Walton is a lady who fares pretty well at the outer Edinburgh track, and her overall figures are five winners from 25 runners in recent seasons.

Those winners were worth a profit of 13 units. But, it must be said, four of that quintet of victories were provided by a single horse, Everaard.

Luckily for us (I hope!), Everaard lines up here, and there are plenty of reasons to be hopeful. Despite recent figures of 7PP877, Everaard looks to be very well suited by today's race conditions.

For instance, this is a three mile half a furlong handicap hurdle, class five. Everaard has won three of his four races here over this distance (the other being a handicap chase over 110 yards less). He's won all of his three hurdle races here in handicaps, and they were in Class 4 twice, and Class 3 once. Today he drops down to the basement, and a Class 5 event.

Everaard must have ground with 'good' in the description, as all of his five career wins (four NH, one flat) have done. Today, the going is good to soft. His form over the course and distance here is 13117. The '3' in that sequence came in this race last year, and he might have been closer than six lengths adrift of the winner had he not bungled the third last.

It's fair to say that Everaard has not been in good form lately, as evidenced by the 7's and P's on his score card. But a return to optimal conditions should see him return to competitiveness, and he's a handy seven pounds lower than his last win, which was off a mark of 107.

Everaard is currently trading at 15/2 with Paddy Power, and that looks fair about a horse with plenty of things in his favour today. He might like it a bit quicker ideally, but he couldn't have asked for any more elements to align for him, and I suggest a brave win only wager (though you may choose to bet each way yourself!). As ever, you can…

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Stat of the Day, 8th November 2012

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 8th November 2012

A decent run but no return on investment from Aegean Destiny, who was very well backed in to 8/1 from an early price of 14's. She eventually finished eight lengths back in sixth.

Today we have a classic SotD type in the…

3.00 Musselburgh

Kate Walton is one of those trainers who know how to place a horse to win, and her overall stats with decent priced types are good.

Here at Musselburgh, Mrs Walton is nine from 48, for a profit of 47.75 units.

Some of that profit has been provided by Everaard, a course specialist whose form at the track reads 13111. Three of his four wins were over today's trip of three miles and a half furlong, and he's done all his winning on goodish ground.

His last two wins were in this class - Class 3 - and his last hurdle win was off a mark of 107, so today's perch of 105 should be fine.

Everaard was only beaten fifteen lengths when eighth of twelve last time, and he's a horse whose past form suggests he needs a couple of runs to get him fit. This being his third start of a layoff, then, looks ideal.

He's currently a best priced 12/1 with Ladbrokes, or 11/1 BOG with bet365, and I recommend you wager each way.

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Sat TV Trends: 11th Feb

Musselburgh Comes To The Rescue

Musselburgh comes to the rescue for NH fans this Saturday and we’ve got all the key trends, betting & stats for EVERY race at the Scottish track. Read more