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Stat of the Day, 20th January 2018

Friday's Result :

2.00 Lingfield : Miss Minuty @ 11/4 BOG 4th at 9/2 Switched left start, held up in rear, short of room over 2f out, effort just inside final furlong, kept on one pace....

Next up is Saturday's...

12.20 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?

Chester Street @ 3/1 BOG

A Class 4, 4yo+ A/W Handicap over 1m on Polytrack worth £5,531 to the winner...

Why?

A 5 yr old gelding who was beaten by less than a length last time out, despite coming off a 231 day absence. He was only caught very late on that day at Kempton and although he's been rested since, hi current lay-off is less than half the length of that last one.

Despite that last defeat, he's still 3 from 6 on the A/W so far (all on Polytrack), including...

  • 2/5 over 1 mile, 2/5 in handicaps and 3/4 when sent off at 9/2 or shorter
  • 3/4 in fields of 9-12 runners, 2/4 going left handed and 2/4 in a hood
  • 2/2 when sent off as favourite and 1/1 at Class 4, although he is also a former Class 2 winner.

He's trained by Roger Charlton, whose runners are 26/107 (24.3% SR) for 36.1pts (+33.8% ROI) here on the Lingfield A/W over the last four years, from which...

  • Class 3 to 5  : 19/75 (25.3%) for 45.9pts (+61.2%)
  • over 6f to a mile : 19/67 (28.4%) for 54.07pts (+80.7%)
  • males are 15/61 (24.6%) for 39pts (+63.9%)
  • 5 yr olds are 2/6 (33.3%) for 5.62pts (+93.7%)

AND...Class 3 to 5 males over 6f to a mile are 9/27 (33.3% SR) for 53pts (+196.4% ROI)

PLUS...when Roger has used a jockey claiming 3lb in an A/W handicap over the last two years, those runners are 8/30 (26.6% SR) for 19.77pts at an ROI of 65.9%.

...pointing... a 1pt win bet on Chester Street @ 3/1 BOG which was available from 10Bet, Coral & Ladbrokes at 4.55pm on Friday. To see what your preferred bookie is offering, simply...

...click here for the betting on the 12.20 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, 7th October 2017

Friday's Result :

5.20 Hexham : Final Fling @ 4/1 BOG 3rd at 3/1 : Mid-division, headway chasing leaders 6th, mistake 9th, outpaced approaching 2 out, kept on again run-in, went 2nd close home, no chance with winner...

Saturday's selection goes in the...

5.35 Newmarket :

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?

Cribbs Causeway @ 9/4 BOG

Why?

A 3 yr old filly with 4 wins and a place from her last six outings and was a runner-up last time out a fortnight ago over course and distance. She wasn't beaten by far and with a little improvement could easily go one better. The booking of Frankie Dettori, therefore, is a positive move in that direction.

The mercurial Italian is in good touch recently, winning 3 of 6 races over the last week, as well as being 30 from 136 (22.1% SR) for 90.8pts (+66.8% ROI) on the Rowley track over the last seasons.

So, jockey box ticked, let's look at the filly herself and the following achievements should stand her in good stead today...

  • 4 wins & a place from 9 runs this year
  • 4 + 1 from 6 in fields of 5 to 10 runners
  • 4 + 1 from 5 over 11 to 12 furlongs
  • 2 +1 from 4 on good ground
  • 2 wins from 4 within 8-15 days of her last run
  • 3 from 3 at odds of 3/1 and shorter
  • 2 + 1 from 3 over 1m 4f
  • 2 + 1 from 3 going right handed
  • 2 from 2 as favourite
  • and 1 from 2 at Class 2

And now, her trainer Roger Charlton...whose Flat handicappers over a mile and half are 6/16 (37.5% SR) for 17.95pts (+112.2% ROI) this year, including...

  • 3 yr olds @ 5/13 (38.5%) for 10pts (+76.9%)
  • on Good ground : 3/7 (42.9%) for 13.88pts (+198.3%)
  • and at Class 2 : 3/4 (75%) for 18.88pts (+472.1%)

and since the start of 2010, his runners priced at 4/1 and shorter running 4 to 15 days after a top 3 finish are 46/99 (46.5% SR) for 26.1pts (+26.4% ROI) with the following of particular relevance here...

  • on the Flat : 34/72 (47.2%) for 20.9pts (+29%)
  • in handicaps : 32/69 (46.4%) for 19.75pts (+28.6%)
  • females are 19/40 (47.5%) for 17.67pts (+44.2%)
  • LTO runners-up are 15/28 (53.6%) for 14.28pts (+51%)
  • and here on the Rowley : 1/2 (50%) for 2.07pts (+103.5%)

...giving us... a 1pt win bet on Cribbs Causeway @ 9/4 BOG, which was offered by Bet365, BetVictor & Hills at 8.30pm on Friday. To see what your preferred bookie is offering, simply...

...click here for the betting on the 5.35 Newmarket

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!

Classy Juveniles gather at Newmarket

The Arc meeting at Chantilly is understandably receiving the lion’s share of attention this week. Nevertheless, there’ll be plenty of interest in Newmarket over the coming days, as the Cambridgeshire meeting takes centre-stage.

On Friday the Group Two Rockfel Stakes is the headliner, and an event that has been won by numerous high-class juvenile fillies in its time. A handful have captured this and gone on to win the 1000 Guineas the following spring. Finsceal Beo was the last to do so, when completing the double in 2006 and 2007. Speciosa had achieved the same a year earlier. Other classy sorts to capture the valuable prize in recent years include Music Show, Just The Judge and Lucida.

The Roger Charlton-trained Gavota may prove the star attraction in this year’s renewal. An impressive winner at Lingfield last time, the daughter of Bated Breath is out of a Galileo mare, and clearly appreciated the step-up to seven-furlongs when romping home by six lengths. She carries those famous silks of Khalid Abdullah.

Mark Johnston’s Nyaleti sets the standard, having won a Group Three and finished prominent in a pair of Group Two’s. She does however, look a little exposed having run six times already this season. Nevertheless, it will take a classy filly to beat her.

Aidan O’Brien may run two, with Butterscotch looking to be his main hope. She was runner-up to Clemmie last time at the Curragh. Lightening Quick is another Irish challenger, though she is trained by Ger Lyons. This daughter of Frankel won a competitive maiden at Leopardstown on debut, though this is undoubtedly a much tougher proposition.

The Cambridgeshire Handicap takes place on Saturday, but again it’s the juveniles that will attract attention, with three prestigious renewals.

The Cheveley Park Stakes always attracts talented fillies, and though it tends to uncover classy speedsters, it has occasionally been won by a future Guineas heroine. Special Duty was one such lady. She was yet another to sport those famous Khalid Abdullah silks, when winning impressively in 2009.

Clemmie looks likely to head the betting, and has looked high-class in winning her last two races, including the Group Two Duchess Of Cambridge at Newmarket back in July. She’s defeated Nyaleti and Butterscotch in those recent starts, both of whom are fancied to go well in the Rockfel on Friday.

This Cheveley looks a tasty renewal, with the Royal Ascot winner Different League among the contenders. Third in the Prix Morny last time, connections expect her to go well on a track that ought to suit. Her trainer Matthieu Palussiere said: “She will be my first runner at Newmarket. She ran very well in the Prix Morny and could easily have finished second. She’s a fine big, strong filly with a great nature and she looks a picture at the moment.”

Of the track, he added: “The Morny is run over an easy six furlongs, and I think that the stiffer course at Newmarket will be better for her. She handles most ground and if it came up soft it wouldn’t worry me.”

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Heartache is arguably the quickest juvenile filly, and her trainer Clive Cox is hopeful that the six-furlong trip will not prove troublesome. He said: “She is in tremendous form. I think and hope that the step up to six furlongs in the Cheveley will be within her boundaries, especially if conditions on the Rowley Mile remain as they are now. She’s a very well-balanced filly, and I hope that she will handle the course well.”

Though the Cheveley Park looks a cracker, it’s the Group One Middle Park Stakes that could prove the race of the meeting. Sands Of Mali, Unfortunately and Sioux Nation are all vying for favouritism. The former was an impressive winner of the Gimcrack last time, comfortably accounting for last week’s Mill Reef runner-up Invincible Army.

The Karl Burke-trained Unfortunately won the Prix Morny at Deauville and prior to that took a Group Two at Maisons-Laffitte. Aidan O’Brien’s Sioux Nation held off Gordon Elliott’s Beckford to win the Group One Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh last month. He’s by Scat Daddy out of an Oasis Dream mare, and will need the rain to stay away if he is to be seen at his best.

Elliott sends Beckford over the Irish Sea, and is hoping for a big performance from his talented sprinter. He said: “Beckford has come out of the National Stakes well. He didn’t get home over seven furlongs on a testing surface that day and this drop back to six on better ground should be in his favour. Newmarket is a proper racecourse and I don’t think he will have any problem handling its undulations.”

The trainer added: “It would be very nice to win a Group One on the flat but don’t worry, there is no chance that I will be switching my attention away from jump racing.”

The Group Two Royal Lodge Stakes forms part of Saturday’s supporting cast, and appears to be another potential cracker. Frankel famously took this as a juvenile, and Khalid Abdullah has a leading contender on Saturday. The wonderfully named Herculean is a son of Frankel and trained by Roger Charlton. He was a relatively comfortable winner at Ascot on debut, and many will be hoping he can emulate his famous father.

Charlton’s charge faces a Royal Lodge field stacked with talented juveniles. Godolphin’s Masar was an impressive winner of the Solario Stakes at Sandown earlier in the month. He’s bred to appreciate every yard of the one-mile trip. Ballydoyle’s Nelson is progressing at a rare old rate, and looked good at Leopardstown last time. He’s another from the Frankel conveyor belt.

Roaring Lion and Elarqam also look exciting prospects going into the race. The former is trained by John Gosden, whilst the latter is yet another son of Frankel out of the dual 1000 Guineas winning mare Attraction.

It looks sure to prove a thrilling and highly informative meeting, and act as the perfect appetiser, with the Arc to follow on Sunday.

Egan and Shoemark race to become Apprentice Ace

The Apprentice Jockeys Championship remains a thriller, as David Egan and Kieran Shoemark go head to head, with George Wood in hot pursuit.

The youngsters have been rattling in the winners throughout the UK, with Shoemark successful at Ffos Las on Sunday, Egan banging in a double at Bath, whilst on Monday Wood’s struck at Brighton.

Young David has been supported throughout the season by his father, fellow jockey John. Now in the twilight of his career, Egan Snr has been enthused by the presence of his son, and thrilled by his success. Advice for the teenager has been kept simple: ‘Work hard. Listen rather than speak and keep your head down.’

A career as a jockey always looked likely, as along with a successful father in the saddle, his mother is former trainer Sandra Hughes, daughter of famous Irish trainer Dessie. There’s also the rather talented ex-jock Uncle Richard, now in the fledgling stage as a trainer himself.

David started pony racing in Ireland at 14, and at 16 came over to England to attend the British Racing School, before settling as an apprentice with Roger Varian in Newmarket. He lives locally with his father and is coached by Michael Hills. In past interviews Egan praises his father for ‘teaching him everything’ and being ‘a great mentor’. He says of Dad: “We’ve ridden against each other quite often and he doesn’t give me an inch. He’s very competitive at the races.”

That competitive edge has clearly been inherited, with Egan Jnr currently in pole position to take the apprentice crown.

His main challenge appears to come from Kieran Shoemark, who’s already had a season to remember, capped in July when riding out his claim in style at Epsom with a 105-1 treble. Speaking at the time to Racing UK, Shoemark, still only 21, said of the achievement: “When you first start off, it is every young apprentice's dream to ride out their claim. Now it's gone I shall have to step up. Mr Charlton has been very good to me. I am getting plenty of rides at the moment, long may it continue.”

Kieran lives in Stow-on-the-Wold with parents Niamh and Ian, and brother Connor. He’s another from a riding family, with his brother currently plying his trade as a Jumps jock, tagged to Fergal O’Brien’s yard, just down the road at Naunton in the Cotswolds.

The brothers attended the Cotswold School in Bourton-on-the-Water along with other famous riding youngsters, the Twiston-Davies boys. Because of the locality, it had been Kieran’s wish to become a National Hunt jockey, though at 15 when starting to take racing more seriously he was persuaded to head for the Flat.

After leaving school he became an apprentice, spending three years working at Andrew Balding’s yard. He was taught plenty and rode more than 20 winners. He was advised by Balding to head to Australia for the winters, to gain riding experience in a new environment. Just 17 at the time, he travelled to the far side of the world on his own. He was based with Danny O'Brien in Flemington and gained a huge amount of racing knowledge. It was also a character building experience for the young jockey.

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Speaking of his time there, he said: “Going to Australia was a big influence on how my career has gone. I was very young and travelled to the other side of the world, living on my own. It gave me a lot of independence and I met a great group of people who will be friends for life.”

Now settled back at home in Stow with the family, Kieran is apprentice to Roger Charlton at his Beckhampton Stables in Wiltshire. His title challenge took a knock at the beginning of August, when found guilty by the stewards at Kempton of not riding West Palm Beach out for a second-place finish. A ten-day ban was his penalty, causing him to miss the Ebor Festival at York.

Prior to the ban Shoemark had been a short-priced favourite for the Apprentice title, but the enforced lay-off tipped the scales in favour of Egan. His advantage now lies at six, and he’s as short as 1/3, with Kieran available at 11/4.

Riding out his claim was certainly a thrill, but that may have been surpassed at Royal Ascot, when Shoemark won the King George V Stakes aboard Atty Persse for Roger Charlton and Team Godolphin. Of his jockey’s ride that day, Charlton said: “Kieran is a very good rider and his 3lb claim helps. I'm lucky to have him.”

Interviewed around the time, the thrilled jock had said: “It was a fantastic day and a dream come true. I knew I had the ride just a few days before the race and knew he had a really good chance. We led into the home straight and I had a very willing companion. All my family were there too.”

George Wood is currently third in the title race and apprentice to James Fanshawe. He started riding-out at Fanshawe’s yard as a 14-year-old during the school holidays. Yet another to progress through the Pony Racing system, he also spent an invaluable month at the British Racing School.

Just three winners adrift of Shoemark, he landed a timely success at Brighton on Monday, a track that has been kind to him of late, having ridden a double just a week earlier. Monday’s win came thanks to Lambourn trainer Jonathan Portman, a handler who has been extremely supportive during this successful campaign.

These youngsters are improving at a rate of knots and clearly have an exciting future in the sport. Their battle for this year’s apprentice crown is likely to remain a hard-fought affair, right until its end on Champions Day at Ascot.

Stat of the Day, 19th August 2017

Friday's Result :

5.30 Catterick - Sellingallthetime @ 9/2 BOG - 2nd at 5/1 : Held up mid-division, headway over 4f out to chase leaders, went 3rd over 2f out, kept on to chase winner inside final furlong, held towards finish...

Saturday's pick goes in the...

5.05 Newmarket :

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?

Stone The Crows @ 3/1 BOG

Why?

An unexposed 3 yr old gelding with just 5 starts to his name and after finishing 4th on debut, has been ridden by today's jockey, 3lb claimer Kieran Shoemark, in all four subsequent runs, making the frame each time (1 win and 3 x 2nd). So they clearly get on, he 's in obvious good nick and now drops down in class to run here for trainer Roger Charlton, who..

...has an excellent record in Flat handicaps over 1m1f to 1m4f over the past three seasons, clocking up 29 winners from 105 (27.6% SR) runners for level stakes profits of 47.1pts or £4.48 profit from every £10 wagered. With today's contest in mind, those 105 runners can be further categorised as follows..

  • 3 yr olds are 27/89 (30.3%) for 55.2pts (+62.1%)
  • those with just 3 to 7 previous career runs (ie some experience but not exposed) are 25/81 (30.9%) for 57.2pts (+70.6%)
  • those finishing 2nd, 3rd or 4th LTO are 16/44 (36.4%) for 37.9pts (+86%)
  • Class 4 runners are 11/34 (32.4%) for 47.9pts (+140.9%)
  • on Good ground, they are 11/31 (35.5%) for 46.2pts (+149.1%)
  • those ridden by Kieran Shoemark are 9/25 (36%) for 5.9pts (+23.6%)
  • and those dropping down a class are 6/16 (37.5%) for 10.4pts (+65.2%)

...pointing to... a 1pt win bet on Stone The Crows @ 3/1 BOG which was available with Bet365 , Betfred, Sunbets and Totesport at 6.05pm on Friday. To see what your preferred bookie is offering, simply...

...click here for the betting on the 5.05 Newmarket

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!

Simcock can strike in Stewards’ Cup

With 28 intended runners, Saturday’s Stewards Cup at Goodwood is not for the faint-hearted punter.

The six-furlong handicap has often been kind to fancied contenders, though heavy rain with the resultant testing conditions, may well throw a spanner in the works. Upsets are often the order of the day when the words soft or heavy appear in the ground description.

The classy three-year-old filly Dancing Star delivered for punters 12 months ago, and was chased home by her market rival Orion’s Bow. In 2015, Magical Memory was sent-off favourite and duly obliged in the hands of Frankie Dettori. Another three-year-old, he followed that success with a third-place finish in the Group One Sprint Cup at Haydock.

The race often attracts classy sorts who progress to Group level. Hawkeyethenoo was another talented winner, when landing the prize in 2012. A few months later he came within a length of capturing the Champion Sprint Stakes at Ascot. Borderlescott won in 2006, and back in 1992 the wonderful Lochsong announced herself as a sprinter with a bright future.

Three-year-olds have landed the last two renewals, though four and five-year-olds have a strong record in the race. A pair of six-year-olds have also been successful in the last 10 years. Five of the last six winners have been rated in the 100s, emphasising the elevated standard of those contesting the prestigious event.

Danzeno attempts to defy top-weight tomorrow, having won a valuable handicap over five-furlongs at Ascot last time. He’s up 6lbs for that success, and though track, trip and conditions will be fine, it’s a tough ask for the classy six-year-old. I think he’ll run a big race, but he’s vulnerable to a progressive sort.

Royal Ascot’s Wokingham Stakes is often a pointer to this. Six of the first eight home a month ago renew rivalry here, with Roger Charlton’s Projection currently our market leader. He was third in the Wokingham, though first in the group down the stands’ side of the track. Very much fitting the brief of progressive four-year-old, the gelding has some eye-catching form, including a close fourth behind Dancing Star and Priceless in a handicap at Newmarket last July. He was fifth in the Stewards’ Cup consolation race last year, when sent-off favourite. Unlucky in running that day, he looks a leading contender for tomorrow’s race, and should go close.

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Polybius was just a neck behind Projection at Ascot and has a 4lb pull in the weights. A six-year-old, he appears to be in the form of his life, and was a fast finishing second to Danzeno last time at Ascot. He’s unproven on the ground, though his pedigree (out of a Selkirk mare) suggests he’ll be fine. His handicap mark looks a winning one, and at 14/1 he looks a huge player.

Richard Fahey’s runners always deserve a second look in such races. Eastern Impact certainly has the class to win this event, and has seen his handicap mark drop from a career high of 113 to its current 103. Ahead of Projection when runner-up at Newmarket in May, he was then a few places behind that rival at Royal Ascot. Sixth in last year’s Darley July Cup, he has the necessary talent to win, though he too needs to prove he can handle such testing conditions.

Fahey also has the well-fancied Growl towards the head of the handicap. He was last seen chasing home Harry Angel in the July Cup, and has plenty of strong handicap form to his name. The ground is a slight concern to me. It’s not that he won’t cope with testing conditions, but he’s always looked at his best on a sound surface. He’s a contender, but I think he’ll be placed at best.

Robert Cowell is a master trainer of sprinters, and won the race with Intrinsic in 2014. Outback Traveller is an interesting contender, who at his best could certainly go close. He won the Wokingham in 2016, with the ground on the soft side of good, defeating the classy Brando in the process. Out of sorts since, I fancy he could put-in a decent performance, back on a fair mark, with conditions more to his liking.

Sir Dancealot looks to uphold the recent good record of three-year-olds. David Elsworth’s youngster will be ridden by Ryan Moore, and as such is understandably attracting support in the betting. He was runner-up in the Bunbury Cup at Newmarket last time out, finishing ahead of the Wokingham runner-up Steady Pace. It took him a while to get going that day, but he stayed on strongly up the final climb. He’s handicapped to go close, but will need to travel better through the race to be near enough to strike.

I’m siding with Polybius for David Simcock. By the mighty Oasis Dream out of a Selkirk mare, the six-year-old is running better than ever, and is on the right sort of handicap mark to take this. I’ll also have a few quid on Outback Traveller in the hope of a return to form. Best of luck to those having a punt.

Barney can win the Eclipse ‘Generation Game’

It’s the prestigious Coral-Eclipse at Sandown on Saturday, with the eagerly anticipated clash of the generations.

One of the truly great Flat races, the Eclipse roll of honour bears the names of some of the sports heroes. In recent times, three-year-olds Golden Horn and Sea The Stars captured the Sandown feature. The sensational Dancing Brave took this en-route to his Arc success in 1986. And in the early 1970s, racing legends Mill Reef and Brigadier Gerard also captured this celebrated event.

Not only does the Eclipse pitch three-year-olds against their elders, but we have the added intrigue of Guineas and Derby runners clashing at an intermediate trip. The question of whether a classy miler can see-out those extra two furlongs, against high-class thoroughbreds proven over the Derby trip, is a thrilling conundrum. Many have failed, despite a pedigree that suggested otherwise. Saturday’s renewal poses just such questions from a field of nine.

Barney Roy is potentially the star of the show. Runner-up in the Guineas at Newmarket, when struggling to cope with the dip, he made amends when finishing powerfully to land the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot. He’s a son of Excelebration, out of a Galileo mare, giving hope that a step-up in trip will not unduly inconvenience him. It was noticeable at just how strongly he finished off the race last time, and that performance would have influenced the decision in heading here.

He had finished several places ahead of Eminent in the Newmarket Classic, with that rival going on to finish a close fourth in the Derby at Epsom. Though Hannon’s colt does remain very inexperienced, with just four runs to his name, this does leave him open to plenty of improvement, and he looks to be the class act in the race.

Eminent is clearly a talented colt, and was a little unlucky in the Derby, when finding himself short of room on a couple of occasions. Like Barney, he also has just the four career starts, and may well ‘come-on’ again from his Epsom effort. A powerful looking son of Frankel, he has no stamina doubts following that Epsom run, and indeed this mid-trip may prove his optimum. His trainer Martyn Meade believes that he has ‘strengthened up’ since the Derby, and he looks a leading contender.

Aidan O’Brien came close with The Gurkha 12 months ago, and last took the event in 2011 with So You Think. Cliffs Of Moher arrives having been mugged late-on in the Derby by stable companion Wings Of Eagles. The Epsom form has been knocked by many, yet horses coming out of the race have kept winning. This fella is another lightly raced three-year-old, and looks closely matched with Eminent. The pair made a similar run at Epsom, and had Meade’s colt not been squeezed up just inside the two-furlong mark, they may well have been head to head at the line. I doubt Cliffs Of Moher has the gears of Barney Roy, but he’ll certainly see-out the trip strongly.

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With the trio of three-year-olds at the head of the market, the older brigade is led by the Royal Ascot Prince Of Wales’s second and third place pair. Roger Charlton took the Eclipse in 2013 with five-year-old Al Kazeem, and has one with a very similar profile in Decorated Knight. Both won the Tattersalls Gold Cup in Ireland, though AK followed up with victory at Royal Ascot, whilst Decorated Knight was unable to overhaul Highland Reel in this year’s race. This is undoubtedly his trip, and though he may lack the ‘wow’ factor, he’s a fast improving sort with a huge chance.

If we give Charlton’s charge a chance, then we must consider Ulysses. The pair crossed the line in unison at Ascot, and Sir Michael Stoute’s contender had previously won the Gordon Richards Stakes at Sandown, a race won by Al Kazeem in 2013. Stoute has won this race five times, and this improving sort by Galileo looks to be another leading contender. Should the youngsters fail to impress, both he and Decorated Knight look best placed to take advantage.

This is rarely a race for an upset, with only Mukhadram winning at double-figure odds in the past 10 years. Seven of those wins have gone to those at 4s and under, with favourites accounting for five victories.

The leading five appear to have it between them, it’s merely a question of whether the Classic generation are up to scratch. I’d be surprised if one of them isn’t too good for the ‘old boys’, and it’s Barney Roy that I’ll be siding with. Cliffs Of Moher looks the main danger, with Ulysses capable of further improvement to prove best of the oldies. Should Barney win well, Godolphin would suddenly find themselves in a dominant position, having high-class Ribchester at a mile and BR at 10 furlongs. This could prove a huge day for the ‘boys in blue’.

Best of luck to all those having a punt.

Stat of the Day, 5th July 2017

Tuesday's Result :

8.20 Stratford : No Such Number @ 4/1 BOG 6th at 5/1 Led to 2 out, then faded badly, last home.

Wednesday's pick goes in the...

8.10 Kempton...

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

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

Who?

Clowance One3/1 BOG

Why?

Roger Charlton's horses are going well, winning 11 of 45 (24.2% SR) over the past month and 6 from 20 (30%) over the last couple of weeks and he now runs a 5 yr old gelding who was only beaten by a head twice into third place when last seen a week ago, also on this track and under today's jockey Kieran Shoemark.

Roger's stayers (1m7.5f to 2m0.5f) are 7 from 13 (53.8% SR) for 37pts (+284.6% ROI) profit over the last three years, from which...

  • males : 6/11 (54.5%) for 35.85pts (+325.9%)
  • handicaps : 6/7 (85.7%) for 33.06pts (+472.3%)
  • on A/W : 3/4 (75%) for 17pts (+425%)
  • Kempton : 2/3 (66.6%) for 14.87pts (+495.6%)
  • Class 3 : 2/2 (100%) for 7pts (+350%)

And in addition to the above, since 2010, his runners priced at 4/1 and shorter turned back out just 4-15 days after a 2nd or 3rd placed finish are 24/47 (51.1% SR) for 24.6pts (+52.3% ROI) profit and these 47 include...

  • handicappers @ 12/23 (52.2%) for 19.7pts (+85.8%)
  • A/W runners @ 6/14 (42.9%) for 5.9pts (+42.2%)
  • 4-7 days since last run = 4/5 (80%) for 7.46pts (+149.2%)
  • and 5 yr olds are 2/3 (66.6%) for 2.82pts (+94%)

...giving us...a 1pt win bet on Clowance One3/1 BOG which was available in a half dozen or so places at 5.55pm on Tuesday. To see what your preferred bookie is offering, simply...

...click here for the betting on the 8.10 Kempton...

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

REMINDER: THERE IS NO STAT OF THE DAY ON SUNDAYS

Here is today's racecard

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!

The Usual Suspects have eye on the Classics

With Cheltenham, Aintree and Punchestown behind us, the time has come to focus solely on the new Flat campaign, and specifically this weekend’s Guineas Meeting from Newmarket.

Yes, the first Classics are almost upon us, and the usual suspects look set to dominate in both the 1000 and 2000 Guineas. Once again, it’s Ballydoyle that head the markets for both, with last year’s top juvenile Churchill, short-odds to beat the colts on Saturday. This could be the first of many Coolmore/Godolphin clashes throughout the season, with the ‘boys in blue’ represented by second-favourite Barney Roy, trained by 2014 winner Richard Hannon.

Aidan O’Brien has won five of the last dozen renewals, though had the disappointing favourite for last year’s race, Air Force Blue. He was by American stallion War Front, who has proved a rather unpredictable sire, despite strong and persistent backing from the guys at Coolmore. He appears to produce precocious juveniles, though the undoubted talent isn’t always carried forward to a three-year-old campaign.

There may therefore, be more confidence behind Churchill, as he is by the outstanding stallion Galileo. He’s out of a Storm Cat mare, making him similar in profile to 2015 winner Gleneagles.

Galileo has proved the common thread running through numerous recent winners. And his name appears in the pedigree for Hannon’s challenger Barney Roy. By top-class miler Excelebration out of a Galileo mare, he was an impressive winner of the Greenham Stakes at Newbury on his seasonal reappearance. He thundered home on that occasion, and Hannon is clearly looking forward to Saturday’s race: “Barney Roy is a horse we have been very excited about for a long time and he confirmed our views in impressive style when taking the Greenham. He still ran a bit green that day and I believe the step up in trip and the extra experience will stand him in good stead. I am very pleased for Sheikh Mohammed and Godolphin that I can take a horse of his quality to the race.”

Another fancied contender is the Martyn Meade trained Eminent. Winner of the Craven Stakes, this powerfully built colt is by Galileo’s most famous son, the mighty Frankel. He defeated Rivet last time out, needing every yard of the mile trip when pulling clear in the latter stages. Haafhd was the last horse, in 2004, to win both the Craven and the Guineas.

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It’s Aidan O’Brien that also sends out the market leader for the 1000 Guineas on Sunday. Rhododendron completed her juvenile campaign with a stunning success at Newmarket in the Dubai Fillies’ Mile. Another from the Galileo production line, this filly is out of the Sun Chariot winning mare, Halfway To Heaven. It’s a cracking pedigree, as Team Coolmore look for their fourth win in six years. Outstanding fillies, Minding and Legatissimo have won the last two renewals.

Despite an incredible career, that has gleaned victories worldwide, John Gosden is yet to win the 2000 Guineas, and has only captured the fillies’ classic once. That’s not to say that he hasn’t come close to winning many more, and he has certainly produced outstanding milers, with the likes of Kingman, Raven’s Pass, Nannina and Elusive Kate springing instantly to mind.

Daban is his hope for Sunday’s renewal, following her win in the Nell Gwyn a couple of weeks back. The stable has started this campaign in dazzling form, and this filly looked exciting last time, showing a stunning turn-of-foot late on. Following her win, Gosden said: “She can only improve. I was expecting a good show from her. She’s a sweet, lovely filly and is very relaxed at home. She does have that cruising speed and ability to quicken which is what a good thoroughbred has.”

Fair Eva is another well-fancied filly carrying famous silks. Trained by Roger Charlton, she is the daughter of Frankel and runs in the instantly recognisable colours of Prince Khalid Abdullah. Placed in the Lowther and the Rockfel last autumn, her trainer is happy with her progress and confident of a huge run: “I'm very pleased with her and I'm satisfied she will stay a mile well,” Charlton told At The Races. “I think she has an excellent chance of finishing in the first four as she's already a Group Three winner and Group Two-placed - she justifies her place.”

Just how well these three-year-olds have trained-on is about to be tested. There-in lies the difficulty of assessing the chances of contenders for these early-season classics. A high-class pedigree, powerful connections and coming from one of the leading yards, is often the best starting point, when trying to pick the ‘Classic winner’ from the classy also-rans.

Hannon and Moore to Score at Donny

Doncaster gate-crashes the pre-Aintree party, as this year’s Flat season gets underway, with the Lincoln Handicap the all-to-familiar curtain raiser.

The switch of codes always feels a little strange, with the Grand National yet to be run. But the running of the Lincoln reminds racing fans that winter is well and truly over, and that we should have at least one eye on the forthcoming Flat campaign, with Newmarket’s Guineas meeting little more than a month away.

The original Lincolnshire Handicap was established in 1849, and was run at Lincoln over a trip of two miles. In 1853, the Lincoln Spring Handicap came into being, at one and a half miles. Finally, in 1855 the race was shortened to its current distance of a mile. When Lincoln Racecourse closed in 1964, the race was moved up the A1 to Doncaster, and became known simply as the Lincoln Handicap.

Horses aged four, five and six have proved the dominant force, with Hunters Of Brora in 1998, the last to win from outside this age group. That’s bad news for seven of tomorrow’s intended runners, including the well-fancied Top Notch Tonto.

Favourites have also struggled in recent times, with just three successful from the last dozen renewals. This doesn’t bode particularly well for Roger Charlton’s Yuften, who looks sure to be sent off a relatively short-priced market leader. His handicap mark of 105 is also a little high for trends followers. Only two horses have won this race from a mark above 102 in the last 20 years, and that’s despite the handicap becoming more compressed in recent times.

As mentioned, Yuften heads the market for this year’s race. The six-year-old moved to Charlton’s yard towards the end of last season. He was a fast finishing third at Wolverhampton earlier in the month, and may well have improved for the run. He won the valuable Balmoral Handicap at Ascot on Champions Day, finishing strongly to get on top late-on. He looks sure to go close, though he’ll probably need to improve again, to win off his current mark.

Donncha is second in the market, and was runner-up in this 12 months ago. He was consistent throughout the last campaign, without ever getting his head in front. He’ll likely run well, but I’m struggling to see how he could have improved enough to win.

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Richard Hannon Snr took this race in 1996, and Team Hannon have a strong contender in Oh This Is Us. The four-year-old looks progressive, and arrives after a winter at Meydan; something that worked for last year’s winner Secret Brief. Ryan Moore takes the ride, and I fancy he’ll go very close, despite his handicap mark being at the top end of ‘trends acceptable’. He has course form, having won at the track in November.

Bravery is an intriguing contender, having been transferred from Ballydoyle to David O’Meara during the winter. The Yorkshire trainer has a habit of performing minor miracles with new recruits, and Bravery certainly has the pedigree to impress at this level. He’d been tried over further by O’Brien, having failed to make the grade at a mile, though there were glimpses of talent earlier in the campaign. He’s something of an unknown quantity at this level, and may be worth a small wager at 12s.

Master Carpenter is also worth a mention. The six-year-old looks to be on a winning handicap mark, having spent much of last season running in listed and Group events. This trip looks the bare minimum nowadays, but his run behind Convey at Pontefract last July suggests he’s not without a chance. His odds of 33/1 look tempting.

These 20-plus runner handicaps are always a nightmare to call, and being the opening day of the Flat season certainly doesn’t help. But I find myself drawn to Hannon’s Oh This Is Us. He’s a progressive four-year-old, who should benefit from his couple of spins at Meydan over the winter. I’ll also be having a few quid on Master Carpenter at 33s, off a lenient looking handicap mark. I do fear Bravery under his new handler David O’Meara.

Best of luck to those having a punt.

York Talk

With York’s Ebor Festival now less than a week away, trainers are finalising plans, and a few surprises are on the cards.

The four-day event is one of the highlights of the summer, taking place on a racecourse widely viewed as one of the best in the country. A feature race on each day helps to attract top class thoroughbreds, as does the record prize money of more than £4 million.

The Group 1 Juddmonte International becomes the richest race ever run at York, with £900,000 going to the winner. The race has attracted one of the highest rated racehorses in Postponed, and he is likely to be a short-priced favourite for the prestigious event.

One that doesn’t make the start for the Juddmonte is the Roger Charlton trained Time Test. The trainer explained the decision on his website yesterday, saying: “Time Test will not be running in the Juddmonte International at York next week. We weren't totally happy with his work this morning. He is likely to be given a short break before any future plans are made.”

Later in the day, Charlton spoke to Racing UK, saying: “He (Time Test) worked with Countermeasure, his normal lead horse, this morning and certainly every time that he's worked this year he moves up on the bridle and then quickens four or five lengths clear and has an impressive turn of foot as he's shown in his races. He moved up as though he was going to go winging past him and in the end didn't. The Juddmonte next week is naturally a proper Group One race with some very good horses in it and there's no point running in a race like that if your gut feeling tells you your horse isn't 100% so we decided to scratch.”

The trainer had better news of his outstanding juvenile filly Fair Eva, when adding: “She worked well this morning and heads for the Lowther at York. George Baker rode her and was very happy. She won well at Ascot in a good time, and the Lowther sits well in the calendar.”

Any disappointment at Time Test’s omission was quickly set aside with the news that Limato may well be supplemented for the Nunthorpe Stakes. It would be an incredible turnaround for Henry Candy’s four-year-old, who started this campaign as a miler, running a promising fourth in the Lockinge Stakes. He was then, somewhat surprisingly, dropped in trip to contest the Darley July Cup. The decision proved a masterstroke, when he romped to success in the six-furlong contest.

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It remains something of a surprise that connections should now look to the Nunthorpe over the minimum trip; a race for the ultimate speedsters. He will need to work well this Friday before a decision is made, and will then need his favoured quick ground to make the line-up.

Candy explained when speaking to Racing UK: “Mr Jacobs (owner) is going to see him work on Friday morning and if he works OK and the weather forecast's right, then he will supplement him for £30,000 for the Nunthorpe. That's a fairly bold thing to do because the difference between a six-furlong race at Newmarket and five-furlong race at York is pretty amazing. If he didn't go to York, he would go to Goodwood for the Celebration Mile. Even though he's four years old, we're still learning a lot about him and we've got plenty of options.”

Limato’s inclusion would certainly be a huge boost for the race, and likely set up a clash with this season’s leading five-furlong exponent, the Clive Cox trained Profitable.

A sprint wouldn’t be the same without a Robert Cowell contingent, and he looks set to have several in the Nunthorpe line-up. He spoke of his contenders with At The Races, saying: “Goldream will be a runner if the ground is fast and I was absolutely delighted with how he ran at Goodwood. Having a race under his belt now, I think he's got a live chance wherever he shows up.”

The trainer also spoke of a juvenile sprinter that could take on his elders at the Knavesmire. Cowell’s Norfolk Stakes victor Prince Of Lir, disappointed in France recently, but is very much in the picture for York’s Nunthorpe: “He could well show up. I had a chat with the owner a couple of days ago about him and we're keen to go all the way through to declaration stage and see what the ground is like,” said Cowell. “He won't show up if it's good to firm ground, but he could show up if it's good or softer. I'd put a line through his Papin form. It wasn't him and he scoped a little bit dirty when we brought him back. You'll see a different horse next time up.”

One that is set to side-step the Hungerford Stakes at Newbury in favour of York, is the classy filly Nemoralia. Runner-up in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot, Jeremy Noseda has decided to wait for the Ebor Meeting, and a return to the track that saw her impressive seasonal debut back in May. The Newmarket handler feels that the Group 3 City of York Stakes, would be a more sensible option over the stronger looking Hungerford.

The Gurkha Can Eclipse Godolphin

A thrilling clash of the ages adds spice to one of the most prestigious events of the Flat racing season.

The Group 1 Coral-Eclipse at Sandown sees the three-year-olds take on their elders, and it’s Aidan O’Brien’s French Guineas winner The Gurkha that heads the market.

The race was established in 1886, and at the time became Britain’s richest, with prize money of £10,000. The event has slipped down the ‘rich-list’ over the years, but is no less significant, renowned for attracting outstanding racehorses, with a roll of honour to match the very best.

Busted, Mill Reef and Brigadier Gerard took the race in the late 60’s and early 70’s. Sadler’s Wells, Dancing Brave and Nashwan were successful in the 80’s, along with Pilsudski and Daylami in the 1990’s.

Since the year 2000, the list of winners is truly dazzling. Giant’s Causeway, Refuse to Bend, Sea The Stars, So You Think, and Golden Horn are some of the giants of Flat racing that have been successful. Sea The Stars and Golden Horn in particular, were Classic winning three-year-olds that took this race during stunning campaigns, as their paths led inexorably toward thrilling victories in Europe’s most prestigious race, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp.

Over the past dozen years, the age of ‘Eclipse’ winners have been pretty evenly split between three, four and five-year-olds. The profile of a winner has been that of a top-class youngster, or a highly progressive older horse, usually just bubbling below top-class in their youth.

At a mile and a quarter, the trip demands a suitable blend of speed and stamina, with many three-year-olds arriving here over the years needing to prove their ability to stay the trip. In 2014, the Newmarket guineas winner Night Of Thunder failed miserably to get home, despite Galileo appearing on the dam’s side of his pedigree. Stamina is always a doubt until proven.

The Gurkha is expected by many to appreciate the step up in trip. The French Guineas winner, was outstanding at Deauville, and stayed on well behind Galileo Gold at Royal Ascot, after finding trouble in running. Visually, it appears likely that he will find the trip ideal, and his pedigree gives hope. The one slight doubt, is that O’Brien has always said how quick the colt is, and that certainly appeared the case in France.

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Another positive for Ballydoyle’s colt is the markets. Fancied runners tend to go well in the Coral-Eclipse, with five favourites having won the last seven renewals. Only two of the last dozen winners had started at odds greater than 10/1.

Aidan O’Brien has a strong record in the race, with five victories since the turn of the century. So You Think was the yard’s last winner in 2011, though he came close in 2013 when Declaration Of War finished runner-up to Roger Charlton’s Al Kazeem.

Charlton will be hopeful that the ground does not scupper plans for Time Test. The colt is undoubtedly a classy sort, but is known to prefer fast ground. The four-year-old won his seasonal return at Sandown, when edging out Western Hymn in the Group 3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes. His fourth place finish in last year’s Juddmonte International suggests he has to improve a fair bit if he is to win this, though he is likely to have strengthened from three to four. On fast ground he’d have to have a great chance. Unfortunately for Charlton, there’s no chance he’ll get it.

The aforementioned Western Hymn is ultra-consistent, though is another that would appreciate quicker conditions. He was third in this race 12 months ago, and finished in the same position behind My Dream Boat in the Prince Of Wales’s last time. His Group 1 record suggests a place finish is the best he can expect on Saturday.

The Clive Cox trained My Dream Boat has to have a chance, especially if the ground remains on the soft side. He’s twice beaten Western Hymn this season, and sees out the 10 furlong trip well. He looks something of a grinder to me, and I fancy he’ll be caught short of toe at the crucial part of the race. More rain would certainly improve his chances.

Another that should cope well with conditions is the Charlie Appleby trained Hawkbill. He’s a fast improving three-year-old, who was last seen winning the Group 3 Tercentenary Stakes. He travelled all over the opposition on that occasion, and still looked like a horse with plenty to learn. He’s by the top American Stallion Kitten’s Joy, out of a Giant’s Causeway mare. This is a huge step up in class, but he’s an intriguing contender.

I fancy that the three-year-olds will take all the beating in Saturday’s showpiece. The Gurkha isn’t much of a price, but I think he’ll win. He has the strongest form, and was doing his best work late on at Ascot. Hawkbill looks the danger. Godolphin can do no wrong, but this week I’ll be taking them on.

Eclipse Contenders On Weather Watch

The build-up for Saturday’s Coral-Eclipse at Sandown continues, and once again the weather is expected to play a leading role.

Rain remains key to just who turns up for the Group 1, with the ground at present officially good to soft on the round course. Clerk of the course Andrew Cooper is hoping that local forecasts are accurate, and that by Saturday the ground will have dried further.

When interviewed yesterday Cooper said: “I think we continue to improve here. In terms of a going report, at the moment I've left the round course as good to soft as that is what it was when I walked it this morning. Since then we have had some patchy drizzle, but no more than that. It is a pretty overcast day and I am not anticipating us getting a great deal in terms of rain. It doesn't look like it is going to be as soft as we thought earlier in the week based on where we were and the forecast we have been given. I suspect it might be on the slow side of good. That is looking the likely outcome.”

Such talk gives hope that Time Test will take his place in the line-up, having missed previous engagements due to the ground. His trainer Roger Charlton was in no mood to speculate yesterday, when saying: “It's all been said before about why he hasn't run and people can read into what they like, but it is frustrating. Let's wait until Saturday to see what the ground is like as there is no point guessing. It could be an exciting clash with The Gurkha, but I am not going to make any bold statements about it.”

Many believe that softer ground would suit race favourite The Gurkha, though Aidan O’Brien appeared to dispel that myth when interviewed on Tuesday, saying: “The Gurkha worked this morning and went nicely. It's very possible that he will run and we'll probably make a decision tomorrow. Soft ground isn't ideal for him but he does have form on it.”

And yesterday O’Brien confirmed his French Guineas winner an intended runner on Saturday, saying: “The plan is to declare The Gurkha in the morning and to run him in the Eclipse as long as the ground continues to go the right way.”

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The Gurkha did show at Royal Ascot that he copes well with more testing conditions when chasing home Galileo Gold in the St James’s Palace Stakes. He also impressed back in April, when scooting to victory in a heavy ground maiden at Navan. All evidence points to him being less inconvenienced than several other Coral-Eclipse contenders, should Sandown’s ground remain ‘tacky’ in 48 hours.

Clive Cox will be hoping that further showers hit the Esher track, providing his fast improving colt My Dream Boat, with his optimum conditions. He caused a huge upset in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at the royal meeting, when coping best of all with the testing ground. Cox spoke of his Group 1 hero on Tuesday, saying: “He's at home with ease in the ground, there's no doubt about it, but what he also has is an air of quality - he's confirmed that he can change gear on that ground. He's not just a mudlark but he's more effective with ease in the ground than on too firm a surface.”

With Godolphin flying at the moment it came as no surprise when they decided to supplement Hawkbill for the event, after his impressive win at Royal Ascot in the Tercentenary Stakes. Clearly this is a further step up the ladder as regards quality of race, but his trainer Charlie Appleby appears confident his horse is going the right way, saying: “We're very happy with the way he has come out of Royal Ascot and the more racing experience he gets the more he’s maturing. He'll like conditions as he's proven on soft ground and is a forward going horse so the track will suit as well. We're taking on the older horses and high-class three-year-olds, but Hawkbill won’t be out of place in the line-up.”

The three-year-olds taking on older horses is always an intriguing aspect of this prestigious race. Let’s hope that all the leading contenders arrive at the start, for what should be a rousing renewal.

Fabre leads Formidable French Challenge

Fabre holds Aces

Fabre holds Aces

The French have something of a stranglehold on the Breeders’ Cup Mile, with the most recent win coming in last year’s renewal thanks to the Jonathan Pease trained Karakontie, who aims for a repeat success on Saturday.

Pease also sent out the winner in 1997 when Spinning World charged clear inside the final furlong. When announcing his intention to retire at the end of the season he spoke of his greatest achievements saying: “The highlights of my training career have been winning the 2004 Arc with Bago and three Breeders' Cup races: in 1994 (Tikkanen), 1997 (Spinning World) and 2014 (Karakontie).” He arrives this week at Keeneland hoping to sign off in style.

Freddy Head is responsible for the most prolific winner of the Breeders’ Cup Mile. Goldikova dominated the race from 2008 to 2010 and incredibly attempted a fourth straight win in 2011, when finishing a gallant third. An outstanding mare, she won a host of Group 1’s beating mares and colts alike.

Twenty years earlier Head was riding an exceptional mare to victory in America. Miesque was trained by Francois Boutin and took the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket in 1987. She broke the Hollywood Park track record when winning her first ‘Mile’ and a year later retained her crown when destroying a strong field at Churchill Downs by four lengths. She finished her career with 12 wins from 16 starts, 10 of those victories at Group 1 level.

Pascal Bary was an assistant to Boutin early in his career, and mirrored the success of his old boss when taking the Breeders’ Cup Mile in 2002 and 2003. He managed the feat with two different horses, one of them another terrific filly in Six Perfections. A year earlier Domedriver had caused a huge upset when defeating the outstanding miler Rock of Gibraltar.

The first French trainer to strike gold in the race was Robert Collet, when he saddled Last Tycoon to victory in 1986. A year later Collet completed an extraordinary training feat, when he saddled Le Glorieux to a trio of Group 1’s in three different continents. The horse managed to win in America, Berlin and then in Japan. He later had a rather less spectacular spell at stud, though was responsible for the mare Buck’s, who in turn became the dam of non-other than Big Buck’s.

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Anyhow, back to the matter at hand, and this weekend’s Breeders’ Cup Mile with the prospect of further French success. Andre Fabre dominates the betting with Esoterique and Make Believe. The latter took the French Guineas at the start of the season, and roared back to form with a win at Longchamp earlier this month in the Prix de la Foret. The son of Makfi has gears, and looks the sort to do well in this.

Esoterique has had a terrific season competing at the highest level. She comes here off the back of a stylish win in the Sun Chariot Stakes. Adaptable as regards ground conditions, she is a powerful mare with plenty of speed, as she proved when only just beaten by Muharaar at Deauville in August. She looks sure to go close in this event that has gone to so many classy mares in the past.

Impassable is another French filly that cannot be discounted. Carrying the famous Wertheimer silks that were worn to victory so often by Goldikova, she lacks the experience at the top level though was a cosy winner of a Group 2 last time at Longchamp. That win was even more impressive, coming after a four month absence.

The Brits are dependent on Roger Charlton’s classy colt Time Test. Conditions may well have turned against him as he looked at his very best on rattling ground at Royal Ascot in June. There’s also the likelihood that he is a better horse at 10 furlongs, and this tight track over a mile may prove problematic.

Yet another filly looks to be the best of the home team. Tepin warmed up for this with a stunning seven length victory in a Grade 1 over course and distance. She appeared to appreciate the ease in ground conditions and looks a real danger to the European challenge.

That challenge could well prove to be a glorious one once again, in a race that has so often proved rewarding. Monsieur Fabre appears to hold a pair of Aces, though there remains uncertainty as to whether we see a King or a Queen crowned come Saturday.

Stat of the Day, 23rd October 2015

Stat of the Day, 23rd October 2015

Thursday's Result :

8.55 Chelmsford : Slovak @ 100/30 BOG : WON at 9/4 (Made all, ridden over 1f out, soon hung right, kept on well)

Friday's selection runs in the...

4.20 Doncaster :

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

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

Who?

Wheat Sheaf @ 7/2 BOG

Why?

This 3 yr old was last seen going down by a short head as a runner-up at Wolverhampton 10 days ago and now not only steps up a grade, but is also asked to go an extra 2 furlongs for his third handicap start, making him of interest for a couple of reasons.

  1. Since the start of 2009, Roger Charlton's horses who finished 2nd or 3rd last time out and then reappear 4 to 15 days later, have gone on to win 27 of 71 races with that 38% strike rate generating 43.5pts profit at an ROI of 61.3%, with those beaten by less than four lengths LTO winning 25 of 63 (39.7% SR) for 46.1pts (+73.2% ROI).
  2. And in that same 2009-15 time frame, Roger's 3 yr old handicappers running at the same class or within 1 class (up or down!) of their last run, but are stepped up in trip by at least 2 furlongs and have made less than 5 handicap starts are 14 from 66 (21.2% SR) for 29.7pts (+45% ROI).

    Of those runners, the ones with less than 3 previous hcp runs are 12/56 (21.4% SR) for 24.3pts (+43.4% ROI) and those running at trips of 1m to 1m3.5f are 9/33 (27.3% SR) for 34.2pts (+103.8% ROI).

And my recommended bet?

1pt win on Wheat Sheaf at 7/2 BOG with either of Hills or Paddy Power, but if you need to see what the other firms are offering, simply...

...click here for the betting on the 4.20 Doncaster

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REMINDER: THERE IS NO STAT OF THE DAY ON SUNDAYS

Here is today's racecard.