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Social Discourse, 25th March 2019

Another week, another SD to keep you in the loop on all things racing via the occasionally wonderful medium of tweetie, writes William Kedjanyi. We kick off with a familiar gripe related to race clashes...

  1. Do The Splits

Oh, what a glorious Sunday to be an Irish racing fan. The flat was back at Naas and there was also a decent jumping card at Down Royal featuring the Ulster National. It was enough to stay in on even the sunniest of days, sit back, and watch… half the race on whatever device you chose.

The last sentence is a tongue in cheek reference to the fact that there was a spit screen for the big betting race of the day, the Irish Lincolnshire. Thankfully it was won in convincing style by Karawaan, so as not to provide much confusion over the finish but, of basically any race on the card – and there were eight – there couldn’t have been a less suitable contest with which to share the screen than a 20 runner handicap in bright sunlight.

https://twitter.com/PB_jockeyagent/status/1109857406908096517

Eight weeks ago, in this newsletter, the potential for British and Irish fixtures to clash, especially on Sundays, was raised after Racing TV’s very promising launch, and over the past eight weeks, there has been one recurring theme – that of the coverage of Irish racing.

Many subscribers have been rather frustrated, and following the decision to split screen the Irish Lincolnshire, that debate roared into life yet again.

https://twitter.com/jamesaknight/status/1109870351914319873

Double Trouble: The obvious solution is for a second channel for Racing TV. The issue, however, is running costs to do so that couldn’t be recouped, which is likely to win out.

Tune Off? It’s clear that Racing TV is going to have this issue for the rest of the season, and it will be a challenge for them during the spring and the autumn; One can coordinate the starts between courses, but when both codes are in play, it is a very common occurrence given the sheer amount of racing in the UK. As mentioned below, Racing TV’s unique selling point is the depth of analysis and quality of coverage it can bring for racing; and should that be compromised subscribers could find it hard to justify on top of other options.

Steady on: I am not suggesting that Racing TV has lost its edge – the team there is exceptional – but bar online platforms, clashes like this are an inevitability and the loser might well be Irish racing and it’s fans.

Update: Apparently the replays are still split screened, and with dead space:

 

 

  1. Who Da Man-ning ?!

One thing viewers couldn’t miss was a sensational start to the season for Jim Bolger and Kevin Manning, who combined for a 5,354-1 treble with 14/1, 16/1 and 20/1 winners.

Following wins for Western Dawn in the maiden and Solar Wave in a competitive handicap, Normandel clung on grimly to win a thrilling renewal of the Lodge Park Stud Irish EBF Park Express Stakes when getting the better of a three-way battle on what was a thrilling day’s racing.

 

It’s not the first time that the pair have started the season in fine form – they’ve got a strong record in the opening juvenile contest for example – and many punters will be sure to catch on rather sharpish.

https://twitter.com/CherryAnalysts/status/1109818488150024195

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The most eye-catching effort of the day might have come from a Bolger runner that didn’t win; Feminista, who ran in the second colours of Jackie Bolger behind Value Chain (her first string, trained by Brendan Duke) made some decent late progress into third.

Looking ahead: Normandel was having just her second run for Jim Bolger, and this coming after failing to stay when tried over 1m4f, clearly a trip too far based on the previous form. She may be able to improve yet and we probably haven’t seen the best of her.

 

  1. Winx and you’ll miss her

Death, taxes, and Winx: Australia’s Equine phenomenon Winx has already put her name in history with her 32 wins, but like all good things, her career must come to an end.

Her farewell tour has taken in the Spring Carnival, and she gave a consummate performance in the George Ryder Stakes, always in control even when the three-year-old Brute kicked around the turn, and with her customary turn of foot, she managed to basically inhale that rival in one fell swoop before strolling to another win with cheers of "Winxy, Winxy, Winxy" accompanying her post-race parade.

https://twitter.com/7horseracing/status/1109306091530117120

Only accidents have been able to stop her for a while, and the heavy ground couldn’t get in the way of her latest success which came by an easy three and a quarter-lengths.

 

With only one race to go, it was a surprise to see the debate raging still over what she’s beaten.

 

By now, one of the great racehorses of recent history seems to scare off all opposition and whilst yours truly has always been a fan of debating the merits of the great horses of history, it feels like the time and the place to do that constructively with Winx has been and gone, and that perhaps we should enjoy the ride. Particularly with moments like this:

 

Don’t Worry: When she has her last race (April the 13th, in case you didn’t know), she’ll get top billing.

Food for Thought: “I said to someone [on Saturday] I would love to see her race a horse like Frankel, or whatever the greatest horse has been... I think she could beat whatever that horse may be. And I guess on their terms maybe they could beat her. But they wouldn’t be able to do it for as long as she has done. Had she taken on a Frankel or something early in her career, who knows. She might have beaten him but she wouldn’t be racing [now].” – Chris Waller speaking to Sydney Radio about the longevity of Winx’s career, and the route she's taken

 

  1. Elsewhere….

Godolphin took a remarkable 1-2-3 in the Golden Slipper, the most prestigious juvenile contest on the planet, as Kiamichi earned a first Slipper for trainer James Cummings (son of the legendary Bart), beating stablemate Microphone with the Blue Diamond Stakes winner, Lyre, in third.

https://twitter.com/7horseracing/status/1109328824095793153

 

Meanwhile, back in Ireland... Still Standing claimed his fifth victory from just eight career starts with a comprehensive success in the Devoy Stakes at Naas, giving Shane Foley a great start to life as Number 1 for Jessica Harrington. He beat Hazel Bay to second whilst Aidan O’Brien’s one-time Classic contender Amedeo Modigliani – who had been sidelined by injury since winning at the 2017 Galway Festival – needed the run and was a creditable third.

https://twitter.com/NaasRacecourse/status/1109860755875262465

 

And on Saturday, Jonjo O’Neill Junior, fresh from success at the Cheltenham Festival, was in the headlines once again as he doubled up at Newbury on a valuable card courtesy of Annie Mc and Chic Name. Annie Mc was another notable success for him, taking the Grade 2 EBF & EBA Mares’ National Hunt Novices’ Hurdle Series Final in great style, bouncing back from a below-par run last time at Exeter to beat Sixty's Belle by eight lengths.

 

Further north, Sean Bowen took his strike rate at Kelso to nearly 50% with two fine and differing rides, the first a front-running success on Kupatana in the EBF/TBA Mares’ Novices’ Chase, before later bringing Winston C from the back of the field, having looked beaten, to gain a fighting success in the Bernhard Lighting Rig Handicap Hurdle.

 

  1. Noel One Better

The last word in this week’s column was always going to be reserved for a big mention for Noel Fehily, who ended his riding career in the best possible fashion on Saturday as Get In The Queue ran out a ready winner of the Goffs UK Spring Sale Bumper at Newbury.

https://twitter.com/RacingTV/status/1109516403311345664

That was the perfect end to a brilliant career notable for not only a sensitive and calculated style but also one laden with success at the highest level.

Arguably nowhere was Noel better than at the Cheltenham Festival, where he won the Champion Hurdle twice, firstly aboard Rock On Ruby in 2012, and then again with Buveur d'Air in 2017, although his best ride at the Festival was may have been on Special Tiara in the 2017 Champion Chase, when leading from pillar to post but with such measured efficiency that the charging Fox Norton could be held off in the dying strides.

 

Those were not his only winners at the Festival, however; a quick tactical brain and a deceptively strong finish saw him take wins on Silver Jaro (2008 County Hurdle), Unowhatimeanharry (2016 Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle), and Summerville Boy (2018 Supreme Novices' Hurdle), before his shock victory on Eglantine Du Seuil in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle earlier this month.

Fehily had always been known as one of the most talented riders in the weighing room, but being the main beneficiary of a long term Ruby Walsh injury as the jump season was kicking into gear in 2010 really saw his career take off.

Successes on Master Minded in the Amlin 1965 Chase and Silviniaco Conti in the Coral Hurdle began what would be a string of notable big race successes, with Fehily’s excellent sense of timing and deft handling proving a beautiful like for like match for Ruby Walsh, and a new star was born – one that the whole racing community has enjoyed and appreciated.

From all of us at geegeez.co.uk, wishing you a happy retirement, Noel, and best of luck in whatever comes next for you.

Stat of the Day, 6th December 2018

Wednesday's Pick was...

12.50 Lingfield : Sumkindofking @ 11/4 BOG 2nd at 9/2 (Tracked leaders, led after 2 out, headed last, stayed on same pace flat) Ran out of steam on ground that was nowhere near Good to Soft (Good in places) as declared by the BHA/course.

Thursday's pick runs in the...

2.35 Wincanton :

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?

Bermeo @ 3/1 BOG  

...in a 9-runner, Class 5, Handicap Chase  for 4yo+ over 3m3f on Good ground worth £4549 to the winner...

Why?

This 7 yr old gelding is 1112 in his last four starts and was only beaten by two lengths LTO 17 days ago, despite stepping up in both trip and class. He's now back down on both counts to favoured conditions and looks well set for another good run today.

He was flagged up on one of the angles I've got stored from the Geegeez Query Tool, where I look for Class 4/5 handicap chasers to back. In this instance, trainer Johnny Farrelly's C4/5 hcp chasers at odds of 15/8 to 11/2 (my preferred betting range) are 18 from 42 (42.9% SR) for 41.6pts (+99.1% ROI) since the start of 2014 and these include of relevance today...

  • males at 16/35 (45.7%) for 37.4pts (+106.8%)
  • at Class 5 : 8/18 (44.4%) for 19.6pts (+108.7%)
  • those dropping in trip : 7/15 (46.7%) for 15.67pts (+104.5%)
  • 7 yr olds are 10/14 (71.4%) for 28.4pts (+202.5%)
  • at trips of 3m1.5f to 3m4f : 8/11 (72.7%) for 28.12pts (+255.6%)
  • those dropping in class : 5/10 (50%) for 11.46pts (+114.6%)
  • in 2018 : 4/9 (44.4%) for 7.31pts (+81.2%)
  • and those ridden by Noel Fehily are 3/5 (60%) for 8.17pts (+163.4%)

In addition to that fairly compelling data above, since the start of 2017 in the proper NH season, Johnny's LTO beaten favourites are 4 from 10 (40% SR) for 21.89pts (+218.9% ROI)...

...giving us... a 1pt win bet on Bermeo @ 3/1 BOG, as offered by Betfair & Paddy Power at 5.45pm on Wednesday evening. To see what your preferred bookie is quoting...

...click here for the betting on the 2.35 Wincanton

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, 20th April 2018

Thursday's Runner was...

9.15 Newcastle : Lord Murphy @ 4/1 BOG 9th at 3/1 (Mid-division, headway over 2f out, soon chasing leaders, weakened final furlong)

We now continue with Friday's...

3.15 Ayr :

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?

Darius des Bois @ 3/1 BOG

A 11-runner, Class 3,  3m0.5f Handcap Hurdle (4yo+) on good to soft ground worth £10007 to the winner...

Why?

An unusual pick for me, in so much that it comes from one of the "big" yards whose runners are generally avoided by me as they're overbet and as a result tend to lack "value" (whoops, there's the contentious v word again!). However, I think that 3/1 BOG looks too big here for this one, hence my readiness to back it : time will, of course, be the judge.

For the record, we've got a 5 yr old gelding making just his 5th appearance and he comes here off the back of a win on handicap debut over this trip on soft ground at Newbury last time out four weeks ago. He hit the front from a fair way out, saw off his rivals and stayed strongly to score by five lengths. Extra weight/class make this a tougher ask, but the way he stayed on added to better ground here should mean he's competitive at worst.

The third placed horse that day (5.75 lengths back) has since been beaten by just a length at Fontwell a fortnight ago, whilst the 8th placed horse (26.75 lengths behind our pick!) was a winner on that same Fontwell card.

And now to the "big gun" and it's no less than Nicky Henderson, who always has winners, but isn't generally profitable to follow for reasons highlighted earlier, but he is 11 from 62 (17.7% SR) for 27pts (+43.6% ROI) in UK handicap hurdle contests since 2011 with horses who were handicap hurdle winners LTO 6 to 30 days earlier, from which...

  • those with 5 or fewer handicap runs : 8/44 (18.2%) for 28.6pts (+65.1%)
  • those with fewer than 10 career starts : 7/38 (18.4%) for 18.2pts (+47.9%)
  • those stepping up a class : 4/20 (20%) for 23.3pts (+116.5%)
  • 5 yr olds are 4/18 (22.2%) for 17.3pts (+95.9%)
  • in April : 3/16 (18.75%) for 15.8pts (+98.7%)
  • and those racing beyond 2m5f are 4/14 (28.6%) for 22.7pts (+162.1%)

So, that was me set for the bet, as they say and then I glanced across the card and saw no sign of Nico de Boinville, so I scurried back to the records with the thought that Noel Fehily doesn't ride many for Hendo and I was right, but pleasantly surprised to read that the pair are actually 23 from 70 (32.9% SR) for 20.2pts (+28.9% ROI) together, backed blindly! This, of course, is excellent news and even more so when you see that of those 70 runners...

  • hurdlers are 16/49 (32.7%) for 27.9pts (+57%)
  • those priced at 4/1 and shorter are 21/38 (55.3%) for 17.6pts (+46.3%)
  • favourites are 14/23 (60.9%) for 5.16pts (+22.4%)
  • hurdlers priced at 4/1 and shorter are 14/25 (56%) for 17.27pts (+69.1%)
  • favourites priced at 4/1 and shorter are 14/22 (63.6%) for 6.16pts (+28%)
  • and hurdle favourites priced at 4/1 and shorter are 7/12 (58.3%) for 2.84pts at an ROI of 23.7%

Unusually more wordy than numerical (I'm not sure numbery is a word) today, but...

...all pointing to...a 1pt win bet on Darius des Bois @ 3/1 BOG which was available from Betfred, BetVictor, Ladbrokes & Totesport at 5.40pm on Thursday. To see what your preferred bookie is offering, simply...

...click here for the betting on the 3.15 Ayr

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: Teddie and the Fez Jocks

Did you enjoy Cheltenham? Even assuming you did, writes Tony Stafford, you would be hard pushed to have had as wonderful a time over the four days as four-year-old Teddie Charlesworth. An ever-present in the fourth-floor box of his grandfather Danny Charlesworth, boss of distribution company Citipost, Teddie was thrilled to watch his hero Davy Russell ride his way to the Leading Jockey title at the Festival.

That award looked highly unlikely on Wednesday when Russell returned to the weighing room, visibly limping and with face screwed up in pain after a fall in the Glenfarclas Cross-Country race from Bless the Wings.

Before racing on the third day, I was sceptical whether Russell would be fit to ride. He’d won the RSA Chase two hours before his fall on Presenting Percy in the race that ended Ruby Walsh’s competitive involvement in the meeting after his fall from Al Boum Photo. In a Sunday TV interview, Walsh seemed surprised that there was anything odd in his attending the last two days despite aggravating the leg fracture from which he’d only recently returned to action.

They make them tough these jumping boys. But even in the Citipost box there was uncertainty around Davy’s participation, so much so that young Teddie, clearly tired after the first two days’ excitements, slept blissfully through the opener in his younger sister’s pram as his idol played a minor role on an unplaced 66-1 stable outsider behind Samcro.

He was barely coming round even by the second race, but could hardly fail to notice the tumult around the lunch table among Charlesworth family and friends at the exciting conclusion. Russell dug deep to drive home Delta Work in an all-Gordon Elliott finish to the three-mile Pertemps Hurdle Final, having the strength and determination to hold off Barry Geraghty on the J P McManus-owned favourite Glenloe.

Russell, along with Noel Fehilly, winner on the opening day on Summerville Boy, is sponsored by Citipost. Each time he returned in triumph after the four winners – three on Thursday – he paused, looked up to the box and raised his arm in triumph as Teddie, held standing on the balcony rail by his father Greg, roared “Davy!”

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Before every race, if you asked him what he fancied, it would either be the name of Russell’s or Fehily’s mount, and you would not have gone far wrong following his advice blind. At one point I asked his mum if Teddie wanted to be a jockey or even a racing writer when he grew up, and she replied: “No, a golfer. A professional coach is coming along to see him soon.” Fair enough: Tiger started at that sort of age.

That Thursday was an epic afternoon for Ireland with the first six of the seven winners, the flood only halted by Warren Greatrex’s Missed Approach in the concluding Kim Muir. Russell’s hat-trick on the day was completed by Balko des Flos and The Storyteller, the latter after another full-on battle to the line with a revived Splash of Ginge.

Danny Charlesworth was quietly satisfied with the commercial success of it all. After every Russell (four) and Fehily (one) win, as they came back along the front of the grandstand, the camera lingered on horse and jockey, and the sponsor’s name emblazoned along the left leg. I reckon after Friday Teddie would have had a long sleep before getting back to the more serious business of golf practice. And school, of course, he’s a bright lad.

The only slight regret for Charlesworth and good friend Eamon Evans was that Gordon Elliott had assumed some way before Cheltenham, that the ground was unlikely to be heavy enough for their horse Diamond Cauchois. He’d won two of his four races in the mud in Ireland since being snapped up out of Sue Bramall’s stable, and in between was third to Presenting Percy at Gowran Park in a three-mile hurdle. As the mudlarks continued to thrive, Evans said: “Gordon thinks he missed a trick and that Diamond would have run well if he’d come for the Albert Bartlett.”

Many great performances, in some cases with horses making light of unfavourable conditions, sprinkled the four days. At the top end Altior, Buveur D’Air and Native River – oddly all British-trained amid the Irish landslide (bit like the rugby) – were deserved winners of the week’s three most highly-prized championship affairs. The first two confirmed (as if it were necessary) Nicky Henderson’s role as almost sole defender of British training pride in the face of Elliott’s, Gigginstown House Stud’s and Willie Mullins’ domination.

Before racing on Tuesday, Colin Tizzard stood on one winner from 67 runs at the last five Festivals, but struck a last-day double, Native River’s fans being encouraged by Kilbricken Storm’s 33-1 success in the Albert Bartlett. Now Native River has a Hennessy – the last – a Welsh National and a Gold Cup among eight wins, a second and four third places in 13 chases, and at the tender age of eight years old. The first winner of the re-styled Ladbroke Chase (late Hennessy) was Mullins’ Total Recall. He had moved into a closing sixth place by four out and may have been just as dangerous a foe as gallant runner-up Might Bite had he not fallen at the next fence. I expect we’ll see him at Aintree on April 14 in which case he’ll carry my cash, what’s left of it, having refrained from staying with Native River on the day.

Richard Johnson was thus adding a belated second Gold Cup to that of Looks Like Trouble for future father-in-law Noel Chance back in 2000. He is sponsored (as Siobhan Doolan, who works for them, reminded me) by M S Amlin, but another Johnson ride that I did want to win, had no luck at all.

In the first part of the Fred Winter, to be known next year as the full-on Boodles (no Fred), great idea as long as they keep sponsoring it – probably three years – I don’t think, Oxford Blu was going along happily on the rail about halfway back. Then Knight Destroyer fell right in his path, causing him to swerve violently to avoid being brought down and drop to the rear, a setback from which he could never recover. There will be other days.

With close on 150 wins for the season it was appropriate that Dan Skelton was able to pick up a second career Festival win with stable-neglected Mohaayed, ridden by future sister-in-law Bridget Andrews in the County Hurdle with brother Harry only sixth on first string Spiritofthegames, but close enough for a pulling-up snog.

Cheltenham is always ready – as Ruby Walsh and many others know only too well – to take immediate retribution, and just as it looked that the well-fancied North Hill Harvey would give the Skelton team a double in the finale, he fell three out and was fatally injured. Harry Skelton was briefly (only seconds) knocked out, but after a hospital visit was declared “fine” by the trainer. He is unlikely to ride much before the weekend.

That means he will be unavailable for Starcrossed’s run should Ray Tooth’s unexpected Huntingdon winner turn out at Ludlow on Thursday – the trainer thinks Haydock the day before looks tough. Bridget looks the obvious replacement. Even Starcrossed’s owner noticed the style of her success in one of the hottest handicaps of the week!

2017 Cheltenham Festival Top Jockey Betting Guide

The ‘Top Jockey’ betting at the Cheltenham Festival is always a fascinating market and provides punters with another sub-plot to keep them interested over the four-days of top-notch National Hunt action.

No Barry Geraghty this year after the JP McManus-retained pilot has been ruled out through injury, but with top jockeys like Ruby Walsh, Richard Johnson, Noel Fehily, Aidan Coleman, Bryan Cooper, Nico de Boinville, Sam Twiston-Davies and Mark Walsh then racegoers will be hunting through the entries trying to plot which of the leading jockeys have the best rides.

In recent year’s Ruby Walsh has dominated this market – ridding the most winners over the four days 8 times in the last 9 seasons, including in 2016, and 10 times in all. His association with the powerful Willie Mullins team, that fired in another seven Festival winners in 2016, makes him the clear favourite again in the 2017 Cheltenham Festival Top Jockey betting market and with that in mind it’s easy to see why the ‘silver fox’ pilot, who has ridden a total of 52 Cheltenham Festival winners, is already odds-on to take his Cheltenham Top Jockey Title haul to 11.

Walsh will have the pick of all the main Mullins horses over the Festival – like Douvan, Vroum Mag, Limini, Un de Scueax and Yorkhill, while he’s sure to also get the leg-up on plenty of spares if Mullins doesn’t have a runner in the race.

So, Ruby is a worthy favourite?

With no Barry Geragthy – who looked to have a cracking array of horses for his boss, JP McManus, to pick from – this will certainly help Ruby’s cause as most of Geragthy’s rides will now be spread out to a handful of other top jockeys. JP’s second retained rider – Mark Walsh – has naturally come in for support in the betting after it was confirmed that he’ll be riding leading Champion Hurdle hope – Yanworth – plus former Ryanair winner, Uxizandre.

However, those looking for other options away from Ruby Walsh, might sway towards Noel Fehily. This likeable jockey looks likely to pick up some more of Geraghty’s spares in the form of Unowhatimeanharry (Stayers Hurdle) and Buveur D’Air (Champion Hurdle), while he’s also on the well-touted Neon Wolf, who heads the Neptune Investment Hurdle betting.

Of the rest, top Irish jockey Bryan Cooper, who will ride the main Giggintown Stud horses, is interesting with such a large number of decent horses to pick from. His best chances look like coming from Petit Mouchoir, Apples Jade, Empire Of Dirt and Death Duty.

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With the festival over four days then it really is numbers game, and without stating the obvious a mixture of 2 or 3 bankers in your locker, plus rides in almost all the available races (don’t forget there are a few amateur or conditional races) is the perfect cocktail to being the top jock at Cheltenham.

Did you know? Back in the 1990’s former champion jockeys Richard Dunwoody and Peter Scudamore landed the top jockey title with only 2 wins! But, don’t forget the festival was held over 3 days back then! 

Another name to mention is Sam Twiston-Davies, who will ride the best of the Paul Nicholls runners, but although it will be a shock if Nicholls isn’t picking up a few races, he doesn’t seem to have any real banker material this year so it’s hard to see Twiston-Davies challenging for the top jockey title.

Aidan Coleman might be a better outsider – he’s likely to ride a lot of the Jonjo O’Neill and Venetia Williams horses, plus he’s already been confirmed for My Tent Or Yours (Champion Hurdle) and Minella Rocco (Gold Cup).

Nico de Boinville is worth a mention too – he looks sure to go in with Altior in the Arkle Chase so that should get him off the mark on Day One, and with the powerful Nicky Henderson team behind him too then he’s another that might be worth a small cover bet against Ruby.

The champion jockey – Richard Johnson – is another that is sure to get on the score sheet, but a bit like Twiston-Davies he’s bound to have plenty of rides, but with no real bankers then he might be scrapping around a bit, and even at a double-figure price it’s hard to get too excited.

So – yes – there are a few cases to be made for taking on Ruby Walsh, with Noel Fehily, Bryan Cooper and Nico de Boinville looking the best alternatives, but really it’s hard to get away from the ‘Silver Fox’. Okay, no Annie Power, Faugheen or Vautour this year, but he’s still got more so-called ‘bankers than any of the other top jocks and that’s good enough for us.

Finally, the last thing to note when it comes to this market is don’t forget that seconds, thirds and even fourth-placed finishes can help land a jockey this prize. In the event of a tie (winners) then the amount of seconds, and then thirds will be taken into account!

Best Bet: RUBY WALSH
Danger: Noel Fehily

 

Recent Cheltenham Festival ‘Top Jockey’ Hall Of Fame

2016: Ruby Walsh (5)
2015: Ruby Walsh (4)
2014: Ruby Walsh (3)
2013: Ruby Walsh (4)
2012: Barry Geraghty (5)
2011: Ruby Walsh (5)
2010: Ruby Walsh (3)
2009: Ruby Walsh (7)
2008: Ruby Walsh (3)
2007: Robert Thornton (4)
2006: Ruby Walsh (3)
2005: Graham Lee (3)
2004: Ruby Walsh (3)
2003: Barry Geraghty (5)
2002: Richard Johnson (2)
2001: Meeting Abandoned
2000: Mick Fitzgerald (4)
1999: Mick Fitzgerald (4)
1998: Tony McCoy (5)
1997: Tony McCoy (3)

 

Leading Current Jockeys At The Festival

Ruby Walsh (52)
Barry Geraghty (34)
Richard Johnson (20)
Davy Russell (17)
Tom Scudamore (9)
Ms Nina Carberry (7)
Sam Twiston-Davies (7)
Paddy Brennan (6)
Bryan Cooper (6)
Mr Jamie Codd (5)
Nico de Boinville (4)
Andrew Lynch (4)
Paul Townend (4)
Sam Waley-Cohen (4)

Stat of the Day, 24th August 2016

Tuesday's Result :

6.20 Newbury : Alizoom @ 5/1 BOG 3rd at 9/2 (Took keen hold, held up in rear, headway 2f out, soon squeezed through chasing leading pair over 1f out, ridden and kept on same pace inside final furlong)

Wednesday's pick goes in the...

6.20 Stratford :

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?

Rossetti at 11/4 BOG

Why?

(i) The trainer...

Neil Mulholland is 7/41 (17.1% SR) for 197.8pts (+482.5% ROI) here at Stratford since 2013 (the high profits indicative of the difference between Betfair SP and ISP!), and of those 41 runners...

  • males are 6/31 (19.4%) for 190.7pts (+615.1%)
  • hurdlers are 5/25 (20%) for 194.3pts (+777.2%)
  • at this 2m 0.5f trip : 6/19 (31.6%) for 217.4pts (+124.2%)
  • and handicap hurdlers over today's 2m 0.5f trip are 3/5 (60% SR) for 6.21pts (+124.2%)

(ii) The jockey...

Noel Fehily also has a decent record here at this venue and since 2009, his figures show that he has achieved the following...

  • 10/56 (17.9%) for 22.5pts (+40.1%) in handicaps
  • 11/52 (21.2%) for 12.6pts (+24.2%) over hurdles
  • 6/26 (23.1%) for 24.8pts (+95.4%) in handicap hurdles
  • 6/18  (33.3%) for 32.8pts (+182.2%) in hcp hurdles over 2m 0.5f to 2m 3f
  • 4/11 (36.4%) for 19.4pts (+176.2%) in Class 3 hcp hurdles
  • and 4/9 (44.4%) for 21.4pts (+237.6%) in Class 3 hcp hurdles over 2m 0.5f to 2m 3f, including the success of Rossetti last time out.

(iii) And the horse?

Three wins from 19 in a reasonable but not earth shattering Flat career, before a break of almost two years, a change of yard and a reappearance three months ago as a hurdler.

A runner-up finish on his hurdling debut at Southwell has been followed by to more efforts to date, both here at Stratford, both over this trip and both were successful, initially at Class 4 and then a facile 11 lengths victory at Class 3 last time out, 27 days ago, when he really could have won by any margin

Of interest from that last win is the fact that the well beaten runner-up, only went down by half a length in a Class 2 race at Perth on Saturday off a mark of 125, which suggests that 134 might not be beyond our boy today.

All three of his NH runs have been in the hood he sports again today and Noel Fehily (1/1 on the horse) retains the ride from last time.

AND... since 2012, 5 to 9 yr old male handicap hurdlers with at least one prior course and distance win to their name and who were also winners LTO are 158 from 671 (23.6% SR) for 160.8pts (+24% ROI), including...

  • those last seen 11-30 days ago are 91/375 (24.3%) for 181pts (+48.3%)
  • those who won by 3 to 15 lengths LTO are 76/261 (29.1%) for 78.4pts (+30%)
  • Class 3 runners are 43/153 (28.1%) for 167.9pts (+109.7%)
  • and Class 3 runners who won by 3 to 15 lengths last time out, 11 to 30 days ago are 12 from 38 (31.6% SR) for 24.9pts (+65.6% ROI)

...pointing towards... a 1pt win bet on Rossetti at 11/4 BOG, from any of the half dozen or so firms all quoting that price at 7.35pm, but to see your preferred bookies' odds, simply...

...click here for the betting on the 6.20 Stratford.

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Stat of the Day, 4th March 2016

Thursday's Result :

4.25 Taunton : Tornado In Milan @ 7/2 BOG WON at 4/1 (Raced wide, made all, clear 2nd until 4th, mistake 6th, pressed 2 out, driven and stayed on gamely, clear towards finish)

Friday's runner goes in the...

4.30 Newbury:

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?

Mountain Eagle @ 5/2 BOG

Why?

This 7yr old gelding is trained by Harry Fry and since the start of 2013, Harry's NH handicappers are 37/171 (21.6% SR) for 34.8pts (+20.4% ROI) profit, broken down, with this race fully in mind, as follows...

  • those rated 115-141 are 32/118 (27.1% SR) for 71pts (+60.2% ROI)
  • those wearing a tongue tie are 28/113 (24.8% SR) for 26.8pts (+23.7% ROI)
  • those with a top 4 finish LTO are 30/110 (27.3% SR) for 52.3pts (+47.6% ROI)
  • those carrying 11-03 or more are 25/99 (25.3% SR) for 27pts (+27.2% ROI)
  • those running 21-60 days since their last outing are 20/84 (23.8% SR) for 34.1pts (+40.6% ROI)
  • those competing at 2m4f to 3m are 21/82 (25.6% SR) for 42.7pts (+52.1% ROI)
  • 7 year olds are 12/41 (29.3% SR) for 29.1pts (+71% ROI)
  • here at Newbury : 3/10 (30% SR) for 3.46pts (+34.6% ROI)

And it's also worth noting that the Harry Fry /Noel Fehily / Newbury angle is currently worth 9 winners from 25 (36% SR) for 6.62pts (+26.5% ROI) profit, comprising of...

  • 9 winners from 20 (45% SR) for 11.62pts (+58.1% ROI) over trips of 2m5f and shorter
  • 7/18 (38.9% SR) for 4.35pts (+24.2% ROI) on soft ground
  • 8/15 (53.3% SR) for 10.47pts (+69.8% ROI) at odds of 7/2 and shorter
  • 4/11 (36.4% SR) for 4.07pts (+37% ROI) over hurdles
  • 4/4 (100% SR) for 7.14pts (+178.6% ROI) at Class 4.

So today's play is...a 1pt win bet on Mountain Eagle at 5/2 BOG, a price widely available, so to see your preferred bookie's prices, simply...

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

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Stat of the Day, 15th July 2015

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 15th July 2015

As Tuesday's runners hit the furlong marker at Thirsk, I thought we were well set for another victory from Ellas Honour. She had tracked the leaders three or four lengths off the pace and made headway to join the leader with 200 yards to run, ready for a sprint to the line.

Unfortunately when push came to shove, our girl found little extra and the eventual winner just about had enough to hold on in what was a pretty lacklustre climax from both combatants.

We managed to beat the 2/1 SP by a quarter point, but that was little comfort after a race that was a bit of a non-event (and I'm not talking through my pocket here).

Summer jumping is the fare for Wednesday with an in-form runner in the...

9.10 Worcester :

A Class 4, 2 mile, handicap hurdle for nine runners on good ground, where David Dennis' 7yo gelding Hawdyerwheesht is rated an 11/4 BOG chance of making it back to back course and distance wins under Noel Fehily in the space of 9 days.

David Dennis hasn't held a licence for very long, but he certainly knows what he's doing and is already carving out a name for himself, especially in NH handicaps, where his runners are 32/193 (16.6% SR) for 55.6pts (+28.8% ROI) since the start of last year.

Of those runners, his hurdlers are 21/136 (15.4% SR) for 47.3pts (+34.8% ROI) and those sent off at odds of 5/4 to 6/1 are 26/84 (31% SR) for 51.8pts (+61.6% ROI).

His hurdlers in that odds range are 16/54 (29.6% ) for 28.8pts (+53.4% ROI) of which those running at Class 4/5 are 13/39 (33.33% SR) for 29pts (+74.3% ROI) from which those running at trips of 2m3f and shorrter are 7/16 (43.75% SR) for 24.7pts (+154.7% ROI)

Hawdyerwheesht is a decent hurdler, having won four times and been placed on eight other occasions from his 18 starts over timber and was a pretty comfortable winner over course and distance last week, scoring by 8 lengths.

This places him into another of the micros I consider when looking for selections, in that since the start of 2012, male handicap hurdlers who were winners last time out in the previous 60 days  by 4 lengths or more in another handicap hurdle, doubled up on 239/939 (25.5% SR) occasions. This remarkable strike rate has already generated 183.4pts profit at an ROI of 19.5%. 939 bets over 42 months might be too many for some, so let's break it down with some logical filters...

  • 5 to 11 yr olds are 231/900 (25.7% SR) for 186.7pts (+20.7% ROI)
  • Those who last ran (and won) 4 to 45 days ago are 228/890 (25.6% SR) for 185.2pts (+20.8% ROI)
  • Those who now run at trips shorter than 2m5f are 160/585 (27.4% SR) for 171.3pts (+29.3% ROI)
  • Class 4/5 runners are 140/434 (32.3% SR) for  117.6pts (+27.1% ROI)
  • Those running here at Worcester are 13/27 (48.2% SR) for 24.9pts (+92.1% ROI)

If from the above you wanted a small, but profitable microsystem that gave you around 70 bets per year, then how about 5 to 11 yr olds, running 4 to 45 days since their LTO win at trips shorter than 2m5f at Class 4/5?  This would have given you 80 winners from 244 bets (32.8% SR) and 69.6pts of profit at an ROI of 28.5%.

Such horses are 4/13 (30.8% SR) for 4.8pts (+36.6% ROI) profit here at Worcester and alongside the stats to back up the selection, Hawdyerwheesht would appear to have race conditions in his favour too.

In no particular order, he has one win from three (521) here at Worcester, all over course and distance and has finshed second and first in the two starts under Noel Fehily. He is 3 from 5 when priced below 7/2 and he has 4 wins from 11 in races of 6 to 9 runners.

Hawdyerwheesht has won 4 of 10 races on good ground, finishing 111321 in his last six outings and has won a couple of races at this trip.He's 4 from 14 when racing within 25 days of his last run, he'#s 3 from 10 wqith a tongue tie, 1 from 2 in cheekpieces and like last time out, he wears both today.

Hawdyerwheesht is available at 11/4 BOG with a variety of firms, I'm on with Hills, but you can see what your preferred bookie is offering by...

...clicking here for the betting on the 9.10 Worcester

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Stat of the Day, 17th June 2015

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 17th June 2015

For the second day in a row, we landed a winner aided by an enterprising piece of riding. William Carson bagged the rail for Live Dangerously and as they approached Brighton's elbow/cutaway, he stole a bit of a march on the field and got first run for home.

He pulled away readily on the run-in to such an extent that he was able to ease the horse down once the job was done and still won by two lengths.

We almost got a bonus payout at 7/2, but the price contracted pretty much at the off to 5/2, meaning that our 11/4 BOG was the best price after all. A further 2.75pts in the pot means that with a fortnight of the month to go, we're already guaranteed profit for June and I'm aiming to kick on for more winners starting with Wednesday's...

5.45 Uttoxeter:

A Class 4, 3m 2f handicap chase on good ground where you can currently get 3/1 BOG about the 9yr old Greenlaw. Chasrlie Longsdon's runner is in fine form having finished 131 in his three runs this year and was last seen winning by 6 lengths at Worcester three weeks ago, under today's jockey Noel Fehily.

Charlie's runners are in good nick, having won 8 of 25 races in the last 30 days, whilst independently of the trainer's successes, Noel Fehily has ridden 11 winners from 46 in the same time frame, so both are going really well.

Charlie has a good record with his handicap chasers, especially at this sharper end of the market and since the start of 2009, those priced at 11/8 to 4/1 (which is where we'll be here!) are 65/213 (30.5% SR) for 36.3pts (+127% ROI) profit with a 2/6 record here at Uttoxeter bearing 2.34pts.

From those 213 chasers, class 4/5 runners are 40/119 (33.6% SR) for 36.7pts (+30.8% ROI), whilst those competing over trips of 2m6f to 3m4f are 38/109 (34.9% SR) for 39.5pts (+36.2% ROI).

Charlie Longsdon's Class 4 handicap chasers priced at 11/8 to 4/1 running over 2m6f to 3m4f are 20/51 (39.2% SR) for 27.2pts at an ROI of 53.3%

Here at Uttoxeter, the Longsdon jumpers are 14/54 (25.9% SR) for 21.1pts (+39.1% ROI) profit at odds of 7/4 to 17/2 since 2008, whilst those priced at 7/4 to 4/1 are 11/29 (37.9% SR) for 15.7pts (+54.1% ROI).

Jockey Noel Fehily, as well as being in prime form, is 15/50 (30% SR) for 21.95pts (+43.9% ROI) here at Uttoxeter since the start of 2013 and in handicap races over obstacles, he is 8/29 (27.6% SR) for 17.7pts (+61% ROI) and at odds of 4/1 and shorter, he has 6 wins from 13 (46.2% SR) here for profits of 13.5pts at an ROI of 104.1%.

As I mentioned earlier, Greenlaw was a winner by 6 lengths at Worcester 20 days ago and Charlie Longsdon's handciap chasers turned back out within 30 days of a win last time out are 15/49 (30.6% SR) for 2pts profit at a modest return of just 4.1%, but if the market likes them, it's usually a good sign, as those priced 6/5 to 4/1 are 13/26 (50% SR) for 16.2pts (+62.4% ROI).

And...male class 4 chasers aged 6 to 9 yrs old who were winners of a handicap chase by 2 to 10 lengths last time out and then run again after a break of 11 to 150 days are 113/438 (25.8% SR) for 91pts (+20.8% ROI) profit.

As for Greenlaw, well we know he's in good form and in chases, he is 2/3 on good ground, 2/5 under Noel Fehily, 2/5 at Class 4, 2/3 in fields of 8 to 11 runners, 2/5 with a tongue tie and 2/34 as a 9yr old!

I think that covers all the bases, so let's get a bet on! I've taken 3/1 BOG with Betfair Sportsbook, whilst 11/4 BOG is prevalent elsewhere, as you'll see by...

...clicking here for the betting on the 5.45 Uttoxeter

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Stat of the Day, 6th May 2015

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 6th May 2015

Back to back wins for SotD, as Brody Bleu notched his fourth in a row, thanks to some enterprising riding and a driving finish from Daryl Jacob allied to some resilience from the horse himself in refusing to be beaten.

He'd had to make all the running in the absence of any pace, but when he was joned by two rivals at the last, it looked like game over. However, one didn't jump well and the other never seems to show much late on and the stage was et for our boys to get back up by a neck.

The only blot on the horizon was the 20p in the £ Rule 4 deduction reducing our 10/3 bet down to 8/3, but I'd rather have 2.67pts in the bag than nothing and we still beat SP.

Wednesday suddenly produces an opportunity for a hat-trick in the...

7.00 Uttoxeter:

Where I've just taken what looks a rather large 9/2 BOG from Coral for Ultimatum du Roy in this 3m2f handicap chase on soft ground. I was expecting him to be around half the price.

He's trained by Alex Hales whose handicap chasers priced from 5/2 to 11/1 since 2009 have won 20 of 124 races, a 16.1% strike rate yielding level stakes profits of 22.1pts at an ROI of 17.9% and in Ultimatum du Roy, he has a very consistent performer.

UdR is 431212 over fences thios year and all at today's Class 4 level and he has wins on good to soft, soft and heavy ground, so we should be covered either way here. He has won at 3m1f and has shown signs of wanting further and he has finishes of 1212 under Noel Fehily...

...who has fared really well in the last couple of seasons here at Uttoxeter winning 15 of his 46 races (32.6% SR) for 26pts (+56.4% ROI) profits, with all 15 winners coming from the 37 runners (40.5% SR) priced at 9/1 or shorter with the resultant 35pts profits equating to 94.5% of all stakes.

UdR lost by a length when staying on behind Ballyvoneen at Huntingdon over 3m1f five weeks ago aa a short-priced (5/6!) favourite. he was making up ground all the time and probably needed a little more yardage to win the race, suggesting the extra furlong will help him today.

Horses sent off at odds on prices and then get beaten quite often quickly make up for their defeats next time out and since 2010, chasers beaten at odds on last time out and who have then rested for at least 10 days to get over the race, have then come back to win next time out on 65 of 206 (36.6% SR) occasions, producing level stakes profits of 53.4pts at an ROI of 26%

If, like me, you believe there's a good chance of this happening again, then you can have 9/2 BOG with Coral about Ultimatum du Roy and they're the standout price here. As always, do check that's still the case by...

...clicking here for the betting on the 7.00 Uttoxeter

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Stat of the Day, 28th January 2015

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 28th January 2015

Milosam attracted money all day and was eventually sent off as the 7/4 favourite (adv 9/4) at Taunton on Tuesday afternoon and he travelled well throughout the race, before a mistake 5 fences from home brought him crashing to the ground.

He had looked well set to extend his fantastic record over course and distance, before a first ever fall and thankfully with both horse and jockey safe and sound after the race, only our bottom line was dented!

We do, of course, get an instant chance to regain the loss with a runner in Wednesday's...

3.30 Leicester:

Where Noel Fehily rides the 5/2 BOG St. John's Point for Charlie Longsdon and is a horse i wanted to back last week before Huntingdon fell foul of the weather.

Today's trainer...

...Charlie Longsdon isn't exactly a frequent visitor to these parts, which is a shame, as he has enjoyed some success with his runners here in recent years. He has a record of seven winners from twenty-seven runners over the last four years on this track with the subsequent 25.9% strike rate generating 13.1pts profit at an ROI of 48.5% and with those runners priced below 7/2, as I expect this one to be, his record is 5/7 (71.4% SR) for 8.64pts (+123.4% ROI).

And his chosen jockey...

...Noel Fehily has won 106 times of his 535 rides for Mr Longsdon over the last three years and whilst that 19.8% strike rate actually produces a small loss of 4.2pts at Betfair SP, there's probably a modest profit to be had at BOG prices. However, we can dig down and find a profitable part of the combo quite easily.

Noel is 58/297 (19.5% SR) on Charlie's hurdlers and this has realised 31.1pts profit at an ROI of 10.5%, which is clearly a step in the right direction and in handicap hurdles contests,the figures improve to 24/135 (17.8% SR) for 58.2pts (+43.1% ROI).

Handicap hurdlers priced above 6/4, but below 11/2 have a 17/47 (36.2% SR) record producing level stakes profits of 31.4pts (+66.7% ROI)

This horse was a winner LTO, almost six weeks ago...

...when winning fairly comfortably by 3.5 lengths in a novice hurdle to achieve today's mark of 115.

Since 2008, handicap hurdlers who won a novice hurdle last time out and ran again 16-45 days later are 132/660 (20% SR) for 141.1pts profit (+21.4% ROI) when sent off in the 6/4 to 9/1 odds range, whilst those same horses rated from 103 to 123 are 85/370 (23% SR) for 149.7pts (+40.6% ROI).

The nature of the Leicester track is similar to that at Towcester, where he won last time out on his first attempt at a right handed track and the cheekpiece/tongue tie combination used to such good effect last time is also in place again here. At a half furlong shorter than that last run, the trip is no worry to him, nor should the heavy ground be, as he stayed 3m at Uttoxeter on heavy ground.

So, with the above in mind, it's a 1pt win bet on St. John's Point at 5/2 BOG with Boylesports for me. 9/4 seems to be the norm, as is shown when you...

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Stat of the Day, 10th October 2014

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 10th October 2014

No joy in Devon for us on Thursday, as the race was possibly one effort too many for a busy horse. Bathwick Man travelled well enough for the vast majority of the race and was kept well in touch until push came to shove 3 furlongs from home.

It was at this point that the race began to develop properly, but he didn't have enough in reserve and weakened out of contention to eventually finish 5th of 8 runners, 16 lengths off the pace.

Once again we beat the book, taking 4/1 about a 100/30 horse, but that was scant consolation, I'm afraid. I aim to recoup this loss as soon as possible and so my quest takes me North up the M6 to Cumbria and the...

3.45 Carlisle:

And the in-form Charlie Longsdon's horse Orange Nassau who is available to back at 7/2 BOG.

Six winners from sixteen in the last week is no surprise...

..to those who know how Charlie operates at this time of year. The months of September and October are particularly fruitful for his string, as most of them come back from summer breaks. Since the start of September 2010, these two months of the year have seen the Longsdon horses win 79 of 279 races: a 28.3% strike rate yielding a modest 23.8pts profit at an ROI of 8.5%. These aren't huge profits, but they are from blind backing at an average of 1 bet per day, so it's not bad as a starting point from which we can derive the following...

Handicappers : 37/141 (26.2% SR) for 19.7pts (+14% ROI)
Chasers : 29/99 (29.3% SR) for 14.1pts (+14.2% ROI)
Priced below 9/2 : 53/135 (39.3% SR) for 37.2pts (+27.6% ROI)
Handicap Chasers : 20/75 (26.739.3% SR) for 12pts (+16% ROI)
Handicap Chasers priced below 9/2 : 18/45 (40% SR) for 14.5pts (+32.3% ROI)

Charlie also has a decent enough record here at Carlisle...

...if not massively (or blindly!) profitable. He doesn't actually send that many runners here, but since 2011, six of his nineteen that have come here have been winners, which is a 31.6% strike rate. Unfortunately, backing all of them would have cost you 2.6pts, but there is profit to be made at the sharper end of the market, where we'll be playing today. All 6 winners here at Carlisle came from the 13 runners priced at 9/2 or shorter, with that 46.2% strike rate yielding a small 3.4pts profit to date. 3.4pts seems small, but it's actually 26.2% of stakes invested.

Orange Nassau drops markedly in trip after pulling up last time out...

Which I find interesting, if a little quirky, as I found that chasers can be quite profitable to back if running at the same class, but down in trip as their last race, in which they were pulled up. The strike rate isn't massive, as you'll see, but these horses tend to be underbacked, because people's first view is the dreaded P next the horse's name. As Matt rightly pointed out in his excellent piece about Tote bets yesterday (it's here in case you missed it), many people place their bets purely off the six numbers/letters in a horse's form line. It's not usually the best way!

Since 2008, these chasers pulled up last time out and now dropped in trip at the same level have won 144 of 1444 (10% SR) races. I did say the strike rate wasn't high and certainly not high enough as the main stat behind an SotD selection, but good for a reinforcement when you realise the 351.4pts profit from those winners is equivalent to 24.3% of stakes invested.

Since 2012, the figures are slightly better with 56 winners from 541 (10.4% SR) for 213.8pts (+39.5% ROI), of which 401 were dropping in trip by up to 5f (4.5f for our runner today!). 46 of these 401 (11.5% SR) were winners and the level stakes of 193.6pts generated are worth 48.3p in the pound from all bets.

We've also got a good trainer/jockey combo here...

Since the start of 2012, today's jockey, Noel Fehily's record on board the Longsdon chasers priced at 6/1 or shorter is very good indeed with 33 wins from 100 (33% SR) for 30.6pts (+30.6% ROI!) profit

Orange Nassau comes back after a break of 178 days today, but I'm not too concerned about that to be honest. This fits in with the yard's general strategy and if we look back to last year, this horse reappeared at Newton Abbot on the 11th October to win a chase over today's trip by 12 lengths off the back of a 199-day layoff.

He weakened in the closing stages of his last run at Exeter in April and although he runs off the same mark today, he's dropping back 4.5 furlongs to a trip where his record reads 6111 with the 6th place being his last run prior to the 199-day lay-off last year, so the similarities/patterns are clear to see.

It's also worth noting that he's 2P131 in these small fields races and whilst he's never had an outing in September, he fits the Longsdon early season profile perfectly with a 2 from 2 record in October/November.

The weight might be an issue, but a horse proven at this trip and at this time of year 7/2 BOG is ample compensation to me, so I'm happy enough to place my 1pt bet on Orange Nassau today. I've taken 7/2 BOG from Boylesports, but you can get the same offer from Hills & BetVictor, when you...

 ...click here for the latest betting on the 3.45 Carlisle

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Stat of the Day, 22nd January 2014

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 22nd January 2014

I suggested yesterday that at 6/1 Guishan could offer a safety-first proposition as an E/W bet and so it proved as he finished 3rd at an SP of 5/1. She ran well enough in the first half of the race, leading until around halfway, but then she seemed to bottom out for a while, showing no sign of making all as expected.

She did rally and stayed on strongly, but was never getting to the front two. A curate's egg of a performance really, good in parts.

Well done to those of you on the E/W bet, but for the record it's another defeat.

Same venue, different code for Wednesday's selection, which runs in the...

2.20 Southwell:

There might be a feeling that I'm overdoing/overworking the stat side of finding a suitable selection, so I'm stripping it all back to basics today with the selection of Don Pooleoni, who can be backed at 9/4 BOG in most places.

This horse is trained by the talented and increasingly successful Harry Fry, one of those rare breed of trainers who you can back blindly at any odds and make a profit. In fact, if you'd wagered £10 on every one of Harry's 136 runners to date, you'd have profited to the tune of £872.60 so far. That's a 64.2% return above your stakes and this comes from a 30.9% strike rate (42 winners from 136) at all odds, with just two of those winners being priced longer than 12/1.

Harry's go-to jockey is Noel Fehily and he takes the ride on Don Pooleoni today, looking to improve an already impressive record on the Fry horses. That record currently stands at 28 winners from 82 rides, a strike rate of 34.2% generating level stakes profits of 62.25pts, an ROI of 75.9%. In the last five weeks Noel has ridden ten of Harry's horses, winning on six occasions, plus a 2nd and a 3rd place. The two unplaced horses were both 16/1 outsiders, not expected to do much.

Don Pooleoni is Harry's only runner today and despite a 0/12 record is well set to break his duck here.  Aside from falling on both attempts over larger obstacles, this horse has run well over hurdles and in bumpers without quite getting there. Since the summer of 2012 and excluding those two efforts in chases, his record reads 244324U, it was a bit of a soft way to lose his 10lb claiming rider last time out when a more experienced hand would probably have made a better effort at staying on, but otherwise he's always there or thereabouts.

This probably represents his best chance at getting off the mark and as such I'm placing a 1pt win bet on Don Pooleoni at 9/4 BOG. I've used SkyBet, simply because I had some football winnings in there, but for your pick of the bookies...

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Here is today's racecard!

Stat of the Day, 24th September 2013

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 24th September 2013

Roman Romance didn't run badly yesterday, but she didn't win, nor was she placed, I'm afraid. In fact, the only thing I seem to have got right yesterday was to advise a bet at 13/2 E/W, as her SP was just 9/2. (PS she finished 4th)

At the time I wrote yesterday's piece she was 4th favourite and I confidently informed you all that..."she holds an edge over two of the three horses ahead of her in the market, whilst the favourite Teocht has been disappointing and is already beginning to look overexposed at this level"

Well, as the Law of Sod tends to dictate, Teocht stayed on the best to win with the other two horses I'd dismissed filling the places! That said, our mount could very well have got placed but for running flat for a while mid-race, when she dropped back to sixth. By the time her jockey got her going again, she'd plenty to do, but only missed the places by a head in a tight battle for 3rd spot. (3rd to 6th were separated by hd, nk and sh!)

We're off to Devon today for a crack at the...

3.50 Newton Abbot

Where Charlie Mann's sole runner of the day Western King aims for back to back course and distance victories over a lengthy 26.5 furlongs. As well having winning here last time out, Western King is of interest, as Charlie Mann doesn't send many runners on the near-300 mile round trip from his Upper Lambourn base to Newton Abbot.

In fact, in the last 10 yrs, he's only has 66 runners here in total, but without breaking any records has achieved a respectable 18.2% strike rate via 12 winners. Of course, I want to drill into these numbers a bit further to aid the selection process!

In the 2011/13 period he has had four winners from fifteen (26.7% SR) for profits of 10.56pts, a return of 70.4%, which fits the SotD bill rather nicely and from the original 12/66 stat, the figure over the 10yr period in chase events is five from twenty-eight (17.9% SR), with the three-yearly figure being three from seven (42.9%) for 16.9pts (+241.3%) profit.

So, any runner of his interests me here, especially chasers and Western King comes here (as mentioned above) with the benefit of having run and won over course and distance on the first of this month.

Newton Abbot is one of those tracks where a previous C&D win tips the balance in favour of returning horses, as in the 2011/13 timeframe, there has been 17 winners from 60 horses (28.33% SR) who have a CD next to the name and also won last time out. Those 17 winners have produced 34.2pts profit, or 57% of stakes invested. This year alone the figures are 8 winners from 22 (36.4%) for 16.1pts (+73.2%) profit.

If those figures weren't impressive enough, then if we apply a simple odds filter (similar to the ranges SotD operates in), we can rule out horses below 9/4 and above 12/1 and this leaves us a return of 8 winners from 35 (22.9%) in 2011/13 for 37.8pts profit (+107.9% ROI) and the figures for 2013 are 3/13 (23.1%) for 14.7pts (+112.9%)

The odds filter doesn't skew the strike rates dramatically in our favour, in fact it lowers the strike rate, eliminating any fear of backfitting. Yet the ROI increases and that is the more relevant figure of the two.

I should also add that Noel Fehily is on board today, a jockey in top form. Noel has won 35 of his last 100 races for level stakes profits at SP of 91.37pts, his record at BOG prices must be at least another 20% on top of that. He has actually won 8 of his 18 rides here at Newton Abbot this year, a strike rate of 44.4% yielding a profit of 46.2pts, a return of almost 257% of stakes. from those figures, he is 4/8 for 18.63pts over the chase course.

We know the stats back up the selection, we know the horse comes here in good nick, so why is Western King not a short priced favourite? Well, this is a tougher contest, he's up 8lbs for an easy win LTO and probably won't be allowed to make all. That said, there are plenty of question marks about all the runners here today and I think a 1pt win bet on Western King at 5/1 BOG with Stan James represents good value today.

If you don't have a Stan James account (you really should and you can use this nifty bit of kit to get one), then you can see what your bookie is offering when you...

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Stat of the Day, 12th January 2013

Stat of the Day: 12/01/13

Stat of the Day: 12/01/13

Stat of the Day, 12th January 2013

Another blank yesterday in what is becoming an all-too-familiar tale of woe. Icy Quiet seemed to be going well and led the field until headed inside the final quarter-mile. As she steeled herself for a final effort, she was penned in and hampered, but my own honest appraisal is that she'd already lost the race once she was passed by. She could well have finished nearer to the money than she did, but a loss is a loss: we're not in the excuses game here at Geegeez.

SotD makes a short one hour journey South East today to take on a Class 3 Handicap Chase over two miles on soft ground as eight runners contest the...

1.15 Warwick

The couple of years have been good times for Nick Williams' horses here at Warwick. He has saddled up eight times here in that period and his record reads 12311221, a 50% win strike rate has rewarded his followers with a healthy 15pts profit, whilst the more cautious E/W punter has managed to get paid out on each of the eight races. Their personal gain is a very impressive 24.3pts.

Today, Nick has just the one runner at the track and that is George Nympton, who competes in this chase contest. Mr Williams' chasers have also had their fair share of success at this track in recent times with all five finishing in the first two home in a sequence that reads 11221.

Two of those chase victories have been achieved by today's selection George Nympton, a horse that has won both his two previous starts over C&D and Noel Fehily who was on board for both victories, is in the saddle again. Mr Fehily, himself, is no slouch around the chase course here at Warwick either. His previous nine attempts over the last two years have yielded four winners and two further place finishes, so he's no stranger to the winners' enclosure.

Those two C&D victories are George Nympton's only victories to date in a fairly short, but blossoming chasing career after an admittedly indifferent attempt at hurdling. He has won here on both good and soft ground and has made the frame elsewhere on three out of five previous races on soft ground, so the going shouldn't be a concern.

His last race in December represented his best efforts to date and whilst he still needs to continue his progression with today's step up, he stands a very good chance on familiar territory.

Having looked at the card, I anticipated our selection to be around the 100/30 mark, so I;m happy to declare today's play as a 1pt win bet at 4/1 BOG with Paddy Power. BetFred and BetVictor are also offering 4/1, so for your preferred bookmaker, please...

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