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Stat of the Day, 10th December 2018

Saturday's Pick was...

1.55 Chepstow : Steely Addition @ 3/1 BOG WON at 10/3 (Held up and behind, steady progress 8th, went 2nd approaching 5 out, challenged 3 out, ridden to lead flat, stayed on to win by 2.5 lengths)

Monday's pick runs in the...

2.30 Lingfield :

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

Those happy to take the early price on trust can do so, whilst some might prefer to wait for my reasoning. As I fit the early service in around my family life, I can't give an exact timing on the posts, so I suggest you follow us on Twitter and/or Facebook for instant notifications of a published pick.

Who?

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Jennys Surprise @ 11/4 BOG  

...in a 4-runner, Class 3, Veterans Handicap Chase  for 9yo+ over 2m4f on Heavy ground worth £7849 to the winner... 

Why?

Here we have a 10 yr old mare, whose suitability for the task ahead is shown by her following achievements to date...

  • 5 wins and 3 places from 15 on soft/heavy ground
  • 3 wins and 3 places from 11 under jockey Paddy Brennan
  • 3 wins from 7 at Class 3
  • 2 wins and 2 places from 7 on heavy ground
  • 4 wins from 4 at odds of 3/1 and shorter

Her trainer, Fergal O'Brien, is 11 from 37 (29.7% SR) for 29.9pts (+80.7% ROI) with 10yr old chasers sent off at Evens to 9/1 since the start of 2013, from which Class 3 runners are 6/14 (42.9%) for 28.1pts (+200.8%).

In addition to the above...O'Brien + Brennan + Hcp Chases + 2014-18 = 47/255 (18.4% SR) for 64.5pts (+25.3% ROI), from which...

  • over 2m4f to 3m4f : 40/196 (20.4%) for 67.1pts (+34.2%)
  • November-April : 27/128 (21.1%) for 81.1pts (+63.4%)
  • over 2m4f to 3m4f in November-April : 23/101 (22.8%) for 76.4pts (+75.6%)
  • at Class 3 : 22/91 (24.2%) for 72.3pts (+79.5%)
  • over 2m4f to 3m4f at Class 3 : 18/71 (25.4%) for 66.1pts (+93.1%)
  • at Class 3 in Nov-Apr : 13/51 (25.5%) for 61.9pts (+121.4%)

...and over 2m4f to 3m4f at Class 3 in November-April = 11/41 (26.8% SR) for 58.3pts (+142.2% ROI)...

...giving us... a 1pt win bet on Jennys Surprise @ 11/4 BOG, as offered by a dozen firms at 5.20pm on Sunday evening. To see what your preferred bookie is quoting...

...click here for the betting on the 2.30 Lingfield

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

REMINDER: THERE IS NO STAT OF THE DAY ON SUNDAYS

Here is today's racecard

P.S. all P/L returns quoted in the stats above are to Betfair SP, as I NEVER bet to ISP and neither should you. I always use BOG bookies for SotD, wherever possible, but I use BFSP for the stats as it is the nearest approximation I can give, so I actually expect to beat the returns I use to support my picks. If that's unclear, please ask!

Stat of the Day, 10th December 2018

Saturday's Pick was...

1.55 Chepstow : Steely Addition @ 3/1 BOG WON at 10/3 (Held up and behind, steady progress 8th, went 2nd approaching 5 out, challenged 3 out, ridden to lead flat, stayed on to win by 2.5 lengths)

Monday's pick runs in the...

2.30 Lingfield :

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

Those happy to take the early price on trust can do so, whilst some might prefer to wait for my reasoning. As I fit the early service in around my family life, I can't give an exact timing on the posts, so I suggest you follow us on Twitter and/or Facebook for instant notifications of a published pick.

Who?

Jennys Surprise @ 11/4 BOG  

...in a 4-runner, Class 3, Veterans Handicap Chase  for 9yo+ over 2m4f on Heavy ground worth £7849 to the winner... 

Why?

Here we have a 10 yr old mare, whose suitability for the task ahead is shown by her following achievements to date...

  • 5 wins and 3 places from 15 on soft/heavy ground
  • 3 wins and 3 places from 11 under jockey Paddy Brennan
  • 3 wins from 7 at Class 3
  • 2 wins and 2 places from 7 on heavy ground
  • 4 wins from 4 at odds of 3/1 and shorter

Her trainer, Fergal O'Brien, is 11 from 37 (29.7% SR) for 29.9pts (+80.7% ROI) with 10yr old chasers sent off at Evens to 9/1 since the start of 2013, from which Class 3 runners are 6/14 (42.9%) for 28.1pts (+200.8%).

In addition to the above...O'Brien + Brennan + Hcp Chases + 2014-18 = 47/255 (18.4% SR) for 64.5pts (+25.3% ROI), from which...

  • over 2m4f to 3m4f : 40/196 (20.4%) for 67.1pts (+34.2%)
  • November-April : 27/128 (21.1%) for 81.1pts (+63.4%)
  • over 2m4f to 3m4f in November-April : 23/101 (22.8%) for 76.4pts (+75.6%)
  • at Class 3 : 22/91 (24.2%) for 72.3pts (+79.5%)
  • over 2m4f to 3m4f at Class 3 : 18/71 (25.4%) for 66.1pts (+93.1%)
  • at Class 3 in Nov-Apr : 13/51 (25.5%) for 61.9pts (+121.4%)

...and over 2m4f to 3m4f at Class 3 in November-April = 11/41 (26.8% SR) for 58.3pts (+142.2% ROI)...

...giving us... a 1pt win bet on Jennys Surprise @ 11/4 BOG, as offered by a dozen firms at 5.20pm on Sunday evening. To see what your preferred bookie is quoting...

...click here for the betting on the 2.30 Lingfield

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

REMINDER: THERE IS NO STAT OF THE DAY ON SUNDAYS

Here is today's racecard

P.S. all P/L returns quoted in the stats above are to Betfair SP, as I NEVER bet to ISP and neither should you. I always use BOG bookies for SotD, wherever possible, but I use BFSP for the stats as it is the nearest approximation I can give, so I actually expect to beat the returns I use to support my picks. If that's unclear, please ask!

Jump Jockeys: How Are The Mighty Fallen?

How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle!

- Samuel, 1:25

Perhaps more so than the terrific performances at Cheltenham this past weekend, or the death of National Hunt benefactor Alan Potts, jump racing's headlines have been hogged in recent days not by horses or owners, nor even trainers; but, rather, by the riders.

First Paddy Brennan was sensationally 'jocked off' Cue Card, sweetheart of so many fans of the winter game, after a tumble too many; then Sam Twiston-Davies broke his elbow in a fall at Sandown before, this past Saturday, Ruby Walsh broke his leg in what was, remarkably, his third fall of the afternoon.

It is of course the very essence of the National Hunt jockeys' existence to face down danger between ten and twenty - and as many as 32 - times per race. In that context, falls are a natural by-product of race outcomes. But what is a reasonable rate for a rider to become separated from his or her equine partner?

Let the data speak.

 

Fall/Unseat Rates: The Five Year Macro Data

Below are the faller rates for the last five years in UK/Irish chases by a number of the top jockeys, one notably since retired. To be clear, this is for steeplechase falls and unseats (FU's) only, and the table is sorted by number of rides.

 

Jockey Rides FU's FU %
R Johnson 1552 88 5.67%
S Twiston-Davies 1484 93 6.27%
N Fehily 1003 59 5.88%
P Brennan 999 56 5.61%
D Russell 800 57 7.13%
B Geraghty 740 40 5.41%
AP McCoy 724 41 5.66%
R Walsh 651 53 8.14%
J Kennedy 258 24 9.30%

 

To add more global context to this subset of superstars, the average fall/unseat rate in the last 10,000 starters in UK and Irish chases has been 6.59%. Solely in Irish chases, the last 10,000 starters there fell or unseated at a rate of 7.84%, presumably because of the heavier turf on which they predominantly race (a subject for another, wetter, day). It may then be fair to say that anything lower than that is outperforming the average, and anything higher than that is under-performing against the average.

But not all chase rides are 'average'. The likes of Ruby Walsh and Jack Kennedy are more frequently engaged in the kind of skirmishes for victory which may demand firing a horse at the last, or an earlier fence, in a more aggressive fashion than, say, a rider popping round for fourth place.

If that is to mitigate, the disparities in the table cannot be so simply swept from view.

We can see i the table that, on a large number of rides, many of them with winning chances, Richard Johnson, Sam Twiston-Davies and Noel Fehily have all kept their fall/unseat rate below 6.5%. So too have Paddy Brennan, Barry Geraghty, and the now retired Tony McCoy.

But across the Irish Sea, look at Davy Russell, who leads the Irish jumps championship this term, and his hitherto closest pursuer, Ruby Walsh. Note also Jack Kennedy, number one jockey at Gordon Elliott's powerfully ascendant yard.

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Russell's tumble rate of 7.13% is on the high side compared with Britain, but not wildly out of kilter with the pan-national average and in the green zone against his domestic peer group. The same cannot be said of Jack and Ruby. Although the former is young and arguably still learning his trade - arguably because he's had many more rides than plenty of jockeys five years his senior - the latter especially looks a surprisingly precarious pilot. Now, before the hate mail starts, obviously I recognise that Ruby Walsh is one of the great jockeys of our time and that this is but one barometer of a jockey's ability.

But, all the same, if I want to bet at a short price - and his rides are almost exclusively offered at prohibitive odds - I need to know that I have to factor a higher than average likelihood of my selection not passing the post in a chase with the rider on its back. With Jack Kennedy, he's almost 20% more likely to be dumped on the turf than the Irish average.

Let me be clear again: this is not about Ruby or Jack or anyone else. I'm far too selfish for that. No, this is about me as a punter knowing what I'm up against. About being forewarned and, therefore, forearmed.

 

Fall/Unseat Rates: The One Year Snapshot

Five years is a long time and it makes for some statistically significant (in the context of racing's generally small samples at least) inferences. But how do we compare jockeys with themselves? One way is to look at a snapshot - a subset - of the overall dataset. For punting purposes, the most current subset seems the most sensible. Below then are the last twelve months for the same jockey grouping, again sorted by number of rides.

 

Jockey Rides FU's FU %
R Johnson 301 20 6.64%
S Twiston-Davies 300 16 5.33%
D Russell 210 9 4.29%
N Fehily 206 12 5.83%
P Brennan 182 7 3.85%
R Walsh 124 13 10.48%
J Kennedy 123 12 9.76%
B Geraghty 105 9 8.57%
AP McCoy NA NA NA

 

Whilst even more care needs to be taken not to make bold claims on the basis of flimsy sample sizes, there remain elephants in the room.

First, let's look at Paddy Brennan, recently relieved of his supporting role atop the gorgeous Cue Card. His 3.85% fall/unseat rate in the past year is comfortably the lowest in the group and almost 1.5 times better than his five year average. Was he thus unlucky to lose such a coveted ride? That depends entirely on whether you're a macro sort of guy or you have the nuanced eye to make decisions based on the specifics of a handful of rides. I certainly don't consider myself qualified in the latter context and can see arguments for and against the rider switch.

The British Champion Jockey, Richard Johnson, has seen his tumble rate increase in the past twelve months, though possibly not materially. It has crept above the 10,000 runner average of 6.59% by a tiny margin: Johnson's renewed appetite to forage for every ride will have introduced a greater element of quantity over quality to his diet and the variance may perhaps be explained in such a way.

Noel Fehily has been remarkably consistent while Sam Twiston-Davies, who amazingly (to me at least, he seems to have been around for a long time) has only just turned 25, has retained his partnerships on a notably more frequent basis according to the most recent evidence. Tough luck then to break his elbow earlier this month; he actually rode in a subsequent race, attesting to the no-safety-net trapeze swing between heroism and stupidity that many in the weighing room unquestioningly fling themselves.

Meanwhile, Ireland's champion jockey-elect, Davy Russell, is 27 winners clear of his nearest challenger if one excludes the sidelined Walsh from calculations. Russell is approaching veteran status, though still in his late thirties, and has courted controversy this year in the manner with which he attempted to correct a recalcitrant mount. That episode deserves no more than a footnote in a piece the focus of which is elsewhere, and it will indeed be a shame if a man shunned by his major employer less than four years ago does not receive the praise he deserves if/when winning the jockeys' championship. Fair play to him.

To the elephant or, more precisely, the trio of elephants, in the room. Barry Geraghty first. He is one of the best jockeys I've seen and, in his time at Nicky Henderson's, was a man never to be dismissed. But, since taking the green and gold coin of Team JP, misfortune has followed him like a very bad smell. Since last July, he has broken both arms, in separate incidents; cracked a rib and collapsed a lung on another occasion; and recently (late August) fractured a shoulder blade. You have to be tough to be a jump jockey - far tougher than to look at numbers and write words about the subject - but my admiration starts to wane when riders persist in the face of mounting fragility.

It's no more my place to suggest to a rider about when to retire as it is for a rider to enquire on the number of winners I've ridden. So I won't. All I'll say is that I imagine the partners and families of jump jockeys rejoice the news of their loved one's cessation of getting legged up in a similar vein to that of the partners and families of professional boxers on hearing of gloves being hung for the final time. And I sincerely hope BJG has a long, uninterrupted and fruitful spell between now and whenever he pursues alternative employment.

Yet still we've to address the figureheads of Closutton and Cullentra, Ruby and Jack. In the last twelve months, Kennedy has come unstuck a dozen times from 123 chase starts. That's as near to ten per cent, and as near to 25% above the Irish average, as doesn't matter. Walsh has fallen or unseated once more than Kennedy, from one more ride, in the same period, a ratio above 10% and almost 33% greater than the norm.

It seems churlish to kick a man when he's down - Ruby faces a race against time to be back for the Cheltenham Festival and, like all fans of the sport, I hope he makes it - so I'll let those data speak for themselves. All I will add is that, to my eye - and keep in mind I've never ridden a winner - Ruby takes too many chances with fatigued animals late in races. Mounting (or, cynically, dismounting) evidence seems to support that.

The pressure in the Elliott and Mullins camps must be enormous, not just from the trainers, but from owners, other jockeys in the yard and, increasingly, the omnipresence of (social) media. Much of the latter is unworthy of attention, but when you're accustomed to being told how good you are, the sharper brickbats probably leave a weal.

 

Final Thoughts

There is an inherent selection bias in the tables above. Each of the jockeys therein has earned his place by being at the top of his peer group; such elevation comes only from taking chances when they're presented, and occasionally fashioning them when they may not absolutely be there.

As sports gigs go, riding 600kg animals over five foot fences (apologies for mixed metric-phors) around fifteen times per race on average is down there with the worst of 'em. It would never be for a wuss like me. Although not big on machismo either, I have a robust respect for these turf-eating gladiators as a collective.

But when the wallet comes out, they are individuals. And I want to know which individuals will support my bottom line, in the same way that these jocks want to know which horses will provide the winners to propel them up the championship table. It's every man (and woman) for themselves. Nobody is more or less selfish than the next, either in the punting or riding ranks; and nor should they be.

To that end, the frailties of otherwise tremendous jockeys with enormous (and, in the main, well deserved and hard earned) reputations are power to the contrarian punters' elbow.

Ruby has won aboard 30% of the chasers he's ridden in the last five years. That's open water clear of the next best (McCoy 22%, Daryl Jacob and Noel Fehily 20%, Sam T-D and Paddy B 19%, Richard Johnson 18%). But, from a punting perspective, his negative ROI of 18.86% at SP during that time is surpassed by absolutely nobody in his Premier League peer group. Some of that, of course, relates to his stable's form with chasers, most of it to the over-exposure of the Mullins/Walsh/Ricci PR machine; that's neither here nor there in terms of wagering.

Meanwhile, on the flip side, the unfashionable Paddy Brennan not only wins at a 19% clip, he's also secured a profit of almost 60 points at SP in the same time frame, regardless of the Cue Card fallout.

Backing horses is not a beauty contest, nor is it about fashion. On the contrary, the value lies wherever the spotlight doesn't. And, even in the halogen glare of the media beam, punting pearls are left for those with peripheral vision. Always be asking questions, take nothing on trust. The data is here. Use it. It rarely lies.

I genuinely hope Ruby gets back in time for the Festival, and I further hope he has a fantastic time of it. But I'll not be touching his chase mounts there, or pretty much anywhere else. That's unlikely to trouble him, of course. Devil take the hindmost!

Matt

Stat of the Day, 9th November 2016

Tuesday's Result :

1.45 Huntingdon : Copperfacejack @ 7/2 BOG - non-runner (Vets Cert : Pulled Shoe Off)

Wednesday's pick goes in the...

1.40 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?

Viva Steve @ 11/4 BOG

Why?

In the last 30 days, trainer Fergal O'Brien's runners are 8/25 (325 SR) for 54.6pts (+218.4% ROI), from which today's jockey Paddy Brennan is 6 from 17 (35.3%) for 43pts (+253%) and the O'Brien chasers are 3/10 (30%) for 15.3pts (+153%).

Jockey Paddy Brennan is riding well independently too with 11 winners from36 (30.6% SR) for 58.4pts (+162.1% ROI) over the last month with 5 wins from 22 (22.7%) over fences generating level stakes profits of 10.24pts at a return of 46.5%.

Viva Steve already has 20 races under his belt, but now returns from a break of 200 days to make a debut for the O'Brien yards and since 2008, Fergal's record with experienced horses running for the first time for him is decent enough with 12 winners from 97 (12.4% SR) for 80.4pts (+82.9% ROI) profit, including...

  • handicappers are 6/45 (13.3%) for 36.3pts (+80.6%)
  • those returning from a break of 3 to 7 months are 5/29 (17.2%) for 68.9pts (+237.7%)
  • chasers are 6/23 (26.1%) for 48.8pts (+212.3%)
  • those priced at 3/1 and shorter are 4/10 (40%) for 3.67pts (+36.7%)
  • Class 3 runners are 3/10 (30%) for 64.73pts (+647.3%)

In addition to the above, I'm mildly intrigued at Fergal sending this horse on a 700-mile round trip today, when Exeter also has racing and is a 250-mile round trip from the O'Brien yard in Gloucestershire, so I did a litle digging and I found that since 2012 in winter (Oct-Mar) NH races, Fergal o'briens runners making a round trip of 450 miles or more won 5 of 24 races (20.8% SR) for 4.23pts (+17.6% ROI) profit.

Of these travellers, those running at Class 3 or lower are 5/20 (25%) for 8.23pts (+41.2%) and those priced at 15/2 and shorter are 5/16 (31.25%) for 12.23pts (+76.4%), whilst those priced at 15/2 and shorter at Classes 3 to 6 are 5/15 (33.3%) for 13.23pts at an ROI of 88.2%...

...giving us...a 1pt win bet on Viva Steve at 11/4 BOG, from Betfair Sports, whilst there was plenty of 5/2 BOG elsewhere at 7.30pm on Tuesday. To see your preferred bookies' odds, simply...

...click here for the betting on the 1.40 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

Stat of the Day, 2nd March 2016

Tuesday's Result :

4.40 Lingfield : Ask The Guru @ 4/1 BOG 2nd at 7/2 (Tracked leaders in 4th, ridden inside final furlong, kept on to take 2nd towards finish)

Wednesday's runner goes in the...

2.45 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?

Quite by Chance @ 11/4 BOG

Why?

This 7yr old gelding is in excellent form, finishing 112 in his last three outings and only narrowly (0.75 lengths) failed to compete his hat-trick last time out despite conceding 20lbs (inc a 5lb jockey claim) to the useful Anthony Honeyball runner As de Fer.

Quite by Chance might well only be 4 from 25 to date, but that doesn't tell the whole story about a horse who is 4/15 in handicap chases with all four wins coming from 10 efforts going right handed and 4 from 10 is much better on the eye!

Of that 4 from 10 record, he is 3 from 6 (21P112) here at Wincanton, 3 from 5 in fields of 8/9 runners (3 from 3 here!), he's 2 from 3 on soft ground and has one win and one runner-up finish over this track and trip, so conditions look perfect here for him.

His trainer, Colin Tizzard's horses have won 4 of 13 (30.8% SR) in the last week, whilst his chasers are 5 from 12 (41.7% SR) over the past fortnight and it's his chasers that interest me here, as since the start of 2015, they have won 7 of 21 (33.3% SR) races here at Wincanton, generating level stakes profits of 28.8pts at an ROI of 137.2% and whilst 21 runners (all male!) in 14 months is a fairly small sample size, it does throw up some interesting angles that are valid today...

  • handicappers are 7/20 (35% SR) for 29.8pts (+149% ROI)
  • those carrying 10-09 and more are 6/16 (37.5% SR) for 30.3pts (+189.5% ROI)
  • those rated (OR) 114 to 135 are 7/15 (46.7% SR) for 34.8pts (+232% ROI)
  • Class 3 runners are 6/13 (46.2% SR) for 33.3pts (+256.3% ROI)
  • On soft ground : 5/12 (41.7% SR) for 26.9pts (+224% ROI)
  • those priced at 4/1 and shorter are 5/12 (41.7% SR) for 10.15pts (+84.6% ROI)
  • those racing at 2m4f/2m4.5f are 4/11 (36.4% SR) for 13.28pts (+120.7% ROI)
  • 7 yr olds are 4/7 (57.1% SR) for 17.3pts (+246.9% ROI)
  • those ridden by Paddy Brennan are 2/4 (50% SR) for 2.82pts (+71.4% ROI)

And if 21 is a small sample, the secondary stat comes from an original dataset of a mere 3630 runners! As that's how many times a Midnight Legend offspring has hit the track! Regular readers will know of my fondness of this sire, as backing his progeny produces profits.

If you'd backed every Midnight Legend runner since the start of 2008, you'd have celebrated 459 winners from 3202 bets at a strike rate better than 1-in-7 (14.33% SR).

A £20 wager on each runner returns overall profits of £12608, a 19.7% return on all stakes invested. From profitably blind backing over 3200 horses, there is clearly going be a whole host of angles I could (but won't!) bring you, but suffice to say that since the start of 2009, Midnight Legend's handicap chasers are 143/810 (17.7% SR) for 389.8pts (+48.1% ROI), with the following data of particular relevance today...

  • Males are 115/623 (18.5% SR) for 321.4pts (+51.6% ROI)
  • 6-8 yr olds are 90/438 (20.6% SR) for 229.3pts (+52.4% ROI)
  • Class 3 runners are 37/244 (15.2% SR) for 115pts (+47.1% ROI)
  • On soft ground : 29/170 (17.1% SR) for 34.1pts (+20.1% ROI)
  • here at Wincanton : 10/41 (24.4% SR) for 11.7pts (+28.4% ROI)

So today's play is...a 1pt win bet on Quite by Chance at 11/4 BOG with any one of the eight firms, who are currently (6.15pm) offering that price. To see what your preferred outlet is quoting, simply...

...click here for the betting on the 2.45 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...

Stat of the Day, 16th April 2015

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 16th April 2015

Team Skelton were at it again at Cheltenham on Wednesday afternoon as Long House Hall absolutely hosed up to win by 16 lengths without even having to be ridden. He'd been turned out quickly ahead of a hike in the weights, which is now likely to be massive, so don't be surprised if he doesn't run again within the next few days.

He was even a bit keen early on and had to be restrained, so might still have more to come over a longer trip, but that's not for me to call. All I can say is that it's another 3.5pts in the bag as this purple patch continues with the added satisfaction of beating SP by half a point.

Same location for Thursday's pick, but a longer trip over bigger obstacles in the...

5.00 Cheltenham:

Where I'm backing A Good Skin at 9/2 with Stan James (please note, SJ are non-BOG until 10.00am, but I think this will shorten & 4/1 BOG is widely available), as the horse bids to win back to back chases in the space of a fortnight.

He's trained by Tom George, whose record in handicap chases since the start of 2011 with horses priced in the 2/1 to 8/1 range reads 70 winners from 354 runners with the 19.8% strike rate giving rise to level stakes profits of 69pts at an ROI of 19.5%.

When today's jockey Paddy Brennan is in the saddle, however, the results are even better. 56 winners from 247 represents a 22.7% strike rate and the 83.2pts profits are 33.7% return on your money, which is hardly surprising as the team are profitable to back blindly over fences.

Since 2010 the George/Brennan/Handicap Chase equation looks like this at all odds  : 84/442 (19.9% SR) for 47.33pts (+11.22% ROI), which is nice little thing to keep an eye out for. They excel at Classes 3 & 4, they do really well around this type of trip, but more importantly, they just make money!

I said at the top of the piece that A Good Skin was a winner a fortnight ago: that was at Ludlow, when he beat Loose Chips by three parts of a length, but don't be fooled into thinking that was a hard race to win for him. He hit the last fence quite hard when 4 to 5 lengths clear, lost his momentum and idled on the run in and was still able to repel the challenger.

A step up in trip and something to challenger him should bring more out of him today.

And then there's the knowledge that since 2008, Tom George's handicap chasers who won their last race in the previous 30 days went on to win again on 18 of 79 (22.8% SR) occasions for level stakes profits of 13.4pts (+16.9% ROI), so there's another tactic to look out for.

Those such runners who ran at odds of 6/4 to 7/1 won 15 of 58 (25.9% SR) for 17.3pts (+29.8% ROI), while Paddy Brennan rode 15 winners from 51 (29.4% SR) for 21pts (+41.2% SR) and when Paddy was riding a 6/4 to 7/1 shot, he was successful 14 times from just 40 efforts, a fantastic 35% strike rate yielding 29.8pts profit at an ROI of 74.4%.

The George/Brennan alliance is in good nick, landing a couple of winners last week before a narrow defeat with Saint Are finishing runner-up in the Grand National and they had a 6/1 success here at Cheltenham on Wednesday with their only runner of the day, Whats Happening.

Stan James are currently best priced at 9/2, but that won't go BOG until 10.00am, but I'm taking that now, because I think A Good Skin will contract in the market, but if you want/need the BOG security, 4/1 BOG is readily available and I'll be using that for official results.

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

...clicking here for the betting on the 5.00 Cheltenham

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

just click here for more details.

REMINDER: THERE IS NO STAT OF THE DAY ON SUNDAYS

Here is today's racecard.

Stat of the Day, 23rd February 2013

Stat of the Day: 23/02/13

Stat of the Day: 23/02/13

Stat of the Day, 23rd February 2013

Another frustrating blank yesterday, as Frisco Depot seemed not to stay the trip and folded quite tamely late on. He still got home, albeit in 5th position. The money came for David Pipe's favourite and his horse justified the support winning quite comfortably.

It's another chase event today and we're off to the banks of the Thames (almost, anyway!) for one of the biggest races of the day. We're going to tackle the Class 1 Racing Plus Chase, a Grade 3 Handicap over 3 miles. The ground is expected to be Good (but softer in places) for the thirteen runners in today's...

3.50 Kempton

Tom George has a good record with his runners here at Kempton over the last couple of years: 15 runners, 4 winners (26.7%) for 10pts profit (+66.7% POI) with a further two runners making the frame. His chasers here have kept up their end of the bargain too with three winners from nine (+11pts) and a place strike rate of 56%.

Paddy Brennan is one of the top jockeys around this course during the same time-frame too, with stats of seven winners from twenty for good profits of 30pts at SP and a 45% place strike rate. His record when chasing here is four winners and a place from just 10 attempts: the 4 winners producing 20pts profit to boot.

Together, they have already made 34pts profit this season at various tracks, whilst in 2012 they teamed up six times here at Kempton with a record that reads 11F161 giving followers 18.5pts profit (21.4pts for the E/W backers), whilst their 2012 Kempton chase form was 1161 for 15.5pts (18.6pts E/W).

Paddy rides two chasers for Mr George today: Lexicon Lad looks to have a reasonable chance in the 1.30 race, but for a horse more likely to place than win, his current odds of around 9/2 are a little on the mean side for me with no E/W get out. Instead I'm more interested in the grey Nacarat running in the 3.50 race.

Nacarat is 1424351 over course & distance giving returns of 9.5pts for win backers and 12.75pts to E/W stakes, so this 12 yr old warrior has been profitable to follow here. He also loves this race, having finished in the first three home in each of the last four renewals.

He won the race in 2009, 2nd in 2010, 3rd in 2011 and he won it again last year, beating Hector's Choice (who subsequently went on to win at Cheltenham) by some eleven lengths. Nacarat arrives here just 1lb higher than that win last year and I expect another strong show from the front today.

Wyck Hill will be (quite rightly) strongly fancied today and his market support will help us get a decent price for our selection and the general consensus at 11am was that we're looking at an 8 to 9/1 shot, which seems quite fair to me ( I had 8/1 in my mind earlier) and so the call is a 0.5pts E/W bet on Nacarat at 9/1 BOG. I've gone with bet365 today, but for your preferred bookmaker...

...Click here for the latest betting on the 3.50 Kempton, whilst...

...you can view today's racecard here.

***P.S. If you're not already on, Paddy Power are offering your money back if we finish second to Wyck Hill.***

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