Monday Musings: A long trek north

It must be an optical illusion. Something to do with the placing of the cameras at Aintree, but I cannot work out what’s happened to Becher’s Brook, writes Tony Stafford. Obviously it isn’t anything like as spectacularly dangerous as it used to be with the big, sloping drop on the landing side almost guaranteed to catch out one or two in every circuit of the Grand National. Now there’s no sloping drop to draw fallen jockeys into the Brook – and maybe even no brook.

What I did notice, having flopped into Wilf Storey’s vacant guest armchair on Saturday afternoon too late for the Becher Chase but comfortably in time for the Sefton, was that they no longer seem to have to twist and turn left in mid-air to continue onto Valentine’s. In the Sefton, two miles five and a bit, they were, as commentator Mark Johnson announced, halfway at the latter fence, the 11th, and they seemed pretty much to have gone straight on at the fearsome fence at which Captain Becher of historic Aintree yore came to grief, leaving his name to adorn the obstacle in perpetuity.

The trip North was partly to renew my 35-year association with the Storey family – the old sausage is recovering from a painfully-injured left shoulder - and also to check in on Apres Le Deluge, on winter holidays at Hedgeholm stud in Co Durham.

I wonder whether the Captain would have approved of the safety measures that many old timers believe have “neutered” the course. I have no such harking after the good old days, but it looked that they went straight on rather than turn half-left. Skilful course management to limit the potential for interference and consequent grief that was always the accompaniment to races over the Grand National fences, especially at Becher’s, or an optical illusion by the latest television director?

We still got a fatality, at the first in the Sefton, and sadly for the France-based Louisa Carberry, wife of Philip and therefore daughter-in-law of L’Escargot’s brilliant jockey, the late Tommy, who rode out two epic finishes – one successful, one in vain – in the days when Red Rum ruled Aintree almost 50 years ago.

I loved L’Escargot and whenever the names of jumping greats come up, I have to point out that he’d won two Gold Cups at Cheltenham before Dan Moore turned his attentions in later life to the Grand National. He was a 12-year-old when he eventually won it under 11st3lb in 1974, two years Red Rum’s senior, and the wonderful story goes that Brian Fletcher, who’d won the previous twice on Red Rum, told Carberry at the last to “go on, it’s yours!” He did, and it was by a wide margin, the weights having turned around considerably from their previous encounters.

Philip Carberry’s elder brother Paul also won the race, on Bobbyjo in 1999, so it must have been an even more agonising moment for the Carberry family when It’s Jennifer, a triple winner in France, fell at the first fence with Felix de Giles and was fatally injured.

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There was a similarly shocking incident at Sandown, which would normally be my choice of venue on that particular weekend, when the London National, over three miles and five furlongs – the course and distance of the old Whitbread Gold Cup every April – ended in confusion and tragedy.

The race commentary in the Racing Post talks of “stricken horses” in the plural and involved a yellow flag-waving official being apparently noted by jockeys who seemed to hesitate before continuing on to the finish rather than obeying the instruction.

Seven were interviewed and given ten-day bans, the timing of which means all seven will miss the valuable Christmas period. Whether the proposed appeals are successful or not, according to a friend, Scott Ellis, who had already set off for the station across the course, it was chaotic with hordes of punters gathered in front of every bookmaker’s pitch awaiting reimbursement. He’d had a “losing” bet using his phone and it wasn’t until he got to the station platform that he learnt the race had ben voided. Again there was a fatality, this time the epic old warrior Houblon Des Obeaux, and the pressure groups who would have jump racing abolished in this country will have tucked these two incidents 200-odd miles apart in their armoury.

One race I had been particularly keen to listen to on the William Hill Radio commentary in another friend’s car – the whole way north, Aintree, Chepstow, Wetherby and Sandown offered wall-to-wall coverage – was Sammy Bill’s second run over fences. Even with a 14lb raise for his debut chase win at Kempton, the Oliver Sherwood trainee still received a handy 11lb from Charlie Mann’s Fixed Rate, who had been off the track for 13 months.

Fixed Rate, a Juddmonte-bred son of Oasis Dream, won his first two races over fences last year, having run 17 times over hurdles. In 26 career starts, Fixed Rate won twice six from six on the Flat for David Smaga and Khalid Abdullah in France, three times over hurdles and two chases for cheerful Charlie.

It took the highly-promising Sammy Bill a long time to get past Fixed Rate on Saturday and I’m sure there are a few big races that will fall to these two talented six-year-olds in the rest of the season. Fixed Rate’s versatility reminded me of a conversation I had last week at December Sales with James Underwood, whose Bloodstock Review of the Year, is such a feature of the Tattersall’s  December sale when he gives it out to all and sundry totally free and gratis. James said it would be his last. “I am 91!" he suggested, to which I offered: “So what!” I was showing him a picture in another free book I’d picked up, a directory of stallions for 2020, a two-page spread of the stallion Intrinsic, who stands at Hedgeholm Stud in Co Durham.

“Oh, Oasis Dream!” he exclaimed. <He’s Intrinsic’s sire> “That horse can do anything with any mare. Sprinters,  stayers or middle-distance horses. He works with the lot!”

Five days later I could have added chasers to that list, but it was uncanny when yesterday, while looking out for Apres Le Deluge, a big grey gelding happily palled up with a quintet of barren mares quite close to the farmhouse, awaiting his return to action next year, the name Oasis Dream kept cropping up.

“That’s going to Oasis Dream; that’s by Oasis Dream,” said Andrew.

My point to James Underwood is that certain stallions get no help in the headlong search for potential mates for mares at the top end of the market. Intrinsic is a case in point. Owned by Malih Al Basti he boasts a top Cheveley Park Stud pedigree and a very active family yet has had only a handful of mares and consequently runners in his first crop. One or two have been placed at ridiculously-long odds, one at 150-1, one at 100-1, and a single UK winner was the Sir Mark Prescott-trained Najm in Mr Al Basti’s colours.

After that Najm was sold privately to race in France, and a glance at the Racing Post shows he won a 10k claimer at Chantilly almost immediately on arrival in his new home. As we went muddily around the farm on Sunday, Andrew Spalding said Najm has actually won three times over there and on looking at the France Galop site this morning I discovered he has indeed had three more races since Chantilly. Initially he finished second before winning twice since, all over 1500 metres at Marseille.

He has met the same horse, Pic Cel, in all three claimers, being beaten by a nose first time, gaining revenge over that horse by half a length on November 18th and then two weeks later giving 4lb and having two and a half lengths in hand over Pic Cel and a dozen others. Like his sire he’s improving with racing.

Intrinsic’s racing career, ten runs in all, featured wins in succession, the first for Sir Michael Stoute and Cheveley Park and the last three, culminating in the Stewards’ Cup for Mr Al Basti and sprint maestro Robert Cowell. Intrinsic, a very good-looking and impeccably-behaved horse deserves more support, as so many stallions do.

The trip was great, but when I got home I looked back at some old videos of races over the Grand National Course and still wonder what happened to the sharp left turn after Becher’s? Did I imagine it?

- TS

Sat TV Trends: 3rd Jan 2015

As we head into the first Saturday in 2015 the C4 cameras head to Sandown and Wincanton - As normal we've got all the LIVE races covered from a trends angle........



Wincanton (RUK/C4)

2.05 - Bathwick Tyres Yeovil Novices´ Limited Handicap Chase Cl3 2m4f110y CH4 

No previous runnings

Trainer/Jockey stats:
Paul Nicholss has a 24% record with his chasers at the track
Tom George has a 26% record with his chasers at the track
Paul Henderson is just 3 from 35 with his chasers at the track
Jockey Conor O'Farrell has a 31% record when riding over fences at the track


2.40 – Bathwick Tyres Poole Handicap Hurdle Cl3 2m4f CH4

3 previous runnings
3/3 – Won over at least 2m4f (hurdles) previously
3/3 – Ran within the last 2 months
2/3 – Returned a double-figure price
2/3 – Unplaced in their last race
2/3 – Aged 7 or 8 years-old
2/3 – Won by the Pipe stable
The average winning SP in the last 3 runnings is 9.3/1

Trainer/Jockey stats:
Paul Nicholls has a 32% record with his hurdlers at the track
Harry Fry has a 22% record with his hurdlers at the track
Jockey Hadden Frost is just 1 from 30 riding over hurdles at the course

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3.15 - Bathwick Tyres Handicap Chase Cl2 2m4f110y CH4

6 previous runnings
6/6 – Aged 7 or older
6/6 – Carried 10-13 or more in weight
6/6 – Priced 12/1 or shorter in the betting
6/6 – Placed in the top 5 last time out
5/6 – Won over 2m4f previously
4/6 – Run in the last 9 weeks
4/6 – Won 2 or less times over fences
4/6 – Favourites placed in the top 2
3/6 – Irish bred
3/6 – Aged 11 years-old
2/6 – Trained by Tom George
1/6 – Favourites
Big Fella Thanks won the race in 2013
The average winning SP in the last 6 runnings is 7/1

Trainer/Jockey stats:
Paul Nicholls has a 24% record with his chasers at the track
Jeremy Scott is just 2 from 28 with his chasers at the track
Nick Schofield has a 23% record riding over fences at the track
Sam Twiston-Davies has a 21% record riding over fences at the track


Sandown (RUK/C4)

1.50 – 32Red Casino Handicap Chase Cl2 2m CH4

8 previous runnings
8/8 – Won over at least 2m (chase) previously
7/8 – Aged either 8 or 9 years-old
7/8 – Ran within the last 2 months
7/8 – Priced 17/2 or shorter
7/8 – Never raced at Sandown
7/8 – Winning distance – 2 lengths or more
6/8 – Irish bred
6/8 – Officially rated 135 or higher
6/8 – Carried 11-0 or more in weight
6/8 – Favourite placed
6/8 – From the top 3 in the betting
5/8 – Won between 1-4 times over fences in the UK previously
4/8 – Unplaced last time out
4/8 – Favourites
4/8 – Went onto run in that season’s Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival
3/8 – Trained by Paul Nicholls
3/8 – Ridden by Ruby Walsh
2/8 – Ran at Cheltenham last time out
2/8 – Went onto win a race at that season’s Cheltenham Festival (Champion Chase, Grand Annual)
2/8 – Won their last race
The average winning SP in the last 8 renewals is 9/2

Trainer/Jockey stats:
PaulNicholls has a 28% record with his chasers at the track
AP McCoy has a 21% record riding over fences at the track

2.25 – 32Red Tolworth Hurdle Novices´ Hurdle (Grade 1) Cl1 2m110y CH4

10/10 – Won over at least 2m (hurdles) before
10/10 – Placed 1st or 2nd in their last race
9/10 – Raced within the last 6 weeks
9/10 – Priced  5/1 or shorter
8/10 – Won between 1-2 times over hurdles previously
8/10 – Came from the top three in the market
8/10 – Won by a horse aged either 5 or 6 years-old
7/10 – Won last time out
7/10 – Placed favourites
6/10 – Winners that went onto run at that season’s Cheltenham Festival
5/10 – Won by a horse aged 5 years-old
5/10 – Won by an Irish bred horse
4/10 – Won by the Paul Nicholls stable
4/10 – Favourites
4/10 – Ran at either Sandown (2) or Newbury (2) last time out
2/10 – Ridden by jockey Ruby Walsh
2/10 – Ridden by jockey Timmy Murphy
2/10 – Ridden by jockey Barry Geraghty
2/10 – Ran at Sandown before
2/10 – Won by the Nicky Henderson stable
2/10 – Won by the Jonjo O’Neill stable
1/10 – Won the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle later that season (Noland 2006)
The average winning SP in the last 10 renewals is 10/3
5 or 6 years-old have won 16 of the last 22 runnings
Since 1988 ALL winners have been aged 7 or younger

Note: 2002 – Running staged at Warwick
2003 – Running staged at Wincanton

Trainer/Jockey stats:
Nicky Henderson has a 26% record with his hurdlers at the track
Barry Geraghty has a 34% record when riding over hurdles at the track

3.00 –32Red Handicap Hurdle Cl2 2m110y CH4

8/9 – Ran within the last 8 weeks
8/9 – Won over at least 2m1f (hurdles) previously
8/9 – Aged between 5-7 years-old
7/9 – Unplaced last time out
7/9 – Placed in the top three last time out
7/9 – Had won between 1-3 times over hurdles in the UK before
6/9 – Went onto run at that season’s Cheltenham Festival (no winners)
6/9 – Carried 10-12 or less in weight
6/9 – Officially rated between 127 and 132
5/9 – Went onto finish unplaced in a Cheltenham Festival race that season
5/9 – Priced a double-figure price in the betting
4/9 – Irish bred
4/9 – Raced at either Ascot (2) or Cheltenham (2) last time out
4/9 – From the top 3 in the betting
2/9 – Trained by Nicky Henderson
2/9 – Trained by the Pipe stable
2/9 – Trained by Venetia Williams
3/9 – Won last time out
0/9 – Favourites

Note: 2002 & 2003 runnings were staged at Ascot

Trainer/Jockey stats:
Venetia Williams is just 3 from 38 with her hurdlers at the track
Oliver Sherwood is 0 from 22 with his hurdlers at the track
AP McCoy has a 24% record riding over hurdles at the course

3.35 – HBLB Handicap Chase Cl2 3m110y CH4

8/8 – Ran within the last 2 months
7/8 – Had won between 1-3 times (fences) in the UK previously
7/8 – Placed in the first three last time out
6/8 – Ran within the last 4 weeks
6/8 – Won over at least 3m (fences) before
6/8 – Priced 8/1 or shorter
6/8 – Carried 11-2 or less
6/8 – Officially rated between 124 and 133
5/8 – Aged 9 or older
5/8 – Came from the top 4 in the betting
5/8 – Irish bred
5/8 – Raced at either Sandown (2) or Newbury (3) last time out
1/8 – Favourites
The average winning SP in the last 7 runnings is 10.6/1

Trainer/Jockey stats:
Nicky Henderson has 21% record with his chasers at the track
Gary Moore has 21% record with his chasers at the track
Paul Nicholls has a 28% record with his chasers at the track


Follow Andy Newton Here - @NewtsDailyLays

Sat TV Trends: 7th Dec 2103

Sandown Park

A Big Day At Sandown This Saturday.....

Another huge Saturday of NH action with the C4 cameras heading to Sandown and Aintree - As always Andy Newton's got all the big-race trends and stats...... Read more

Sat TV Trends: 31st Aug 2013


It's Off To The Roodee This Weekend.....

The C4 cameras head to Sandown, Chester and Beverley this Saturday – As normal Andy Newton’s got all the key trends & stats for the LIVE C4 races…….. Read more

BDH Sandown Review: Gannon’s not Dun yet….

BDH Sandown Review: Gannon’s not Dun yet….

An interesting couple of days for us over the weekend and before I crack into the review of the 5f sprint at Sandown from Friday I just want to tidy up a few loose ends.

Starting with...


As far as his role as a BDH runner is concerned it's job done and thank you very much. On Friday he was very much a 'well drawn horse' and he rewarded us all at some very tasty prices. It will be interesting to see what the handicapper does but for the purposes of this here blog he happily moves off the BDH list. Good job Doc.


I think what Duke of Firenze (I'm going to call him DOF from now on!) confirmed to me on Saturday was that he needs the big fields to produce his best. Small fields tend to congregate and cluster up into 1 group, causing plenty of traffic jams for hold-up runners, such as DOF. In large field races the runners tend to fan out at the end of the race and gaps appear between runners as the petrol gauge starts to flicker on empty, gaps that Duke of Firenze obviously loves coming through in the closing stages. When the runners are spread across the track they naturally open up and fan out as the energy levels drop in the closing stages, this is where I feel Duke Of Firenze can be seen at his best.

He certainly met plenty trouble in-running on Saturday and he was hindered at least twice when looking to make forward moves. As mentioned this is more likely to happen in small fields when they cluster up so as frustrating as it is, it also isn't surprising.

For now he remains on the BDH list.

Now onto the meat of today's post...

Race in focus: 2.20 Sandown (05-07-2013) – LONDON'S RACE TRACKS RACINGANDMUSIC.CO.UK HANDICAP (Class 3 Handicap) 5f (14ran)

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How the race played out…

Doctor Parkes Sandown Race 05-07

As is generally the case with sprints at Sandown it is the runners drawn low and up with the pace that come out on top and it was no different in this contest. There was some fine analysis pre-race on Racing UK by Eddie 'the shoe' Fremantle about the effect of the draw at Sandown over the 5f trip, where he pointed out the advantage of being drawn in the low stalls. He himself had walked the track before the race and stated that there was a distinct advantage, in his opinion, to those drawn low. That was purely from him having walked the track and tested the underfoot conditions himself. As it turns out he was spot on and it was also something I had indicated in my Blog post on Friday. It is very much something to keep in mind when punting in these types of races at Sandown although obviously the bias is somewhat negated in the smaller fields (7 or less runners).

The pace map tells us that the pace was set by FAIR VALUE in the 6 box and he tracked across to the far rail early on. DOCTOR PARKES got a good break from the 2 box and that allowed jockey Neil Callan to position him just where he wanted him, something that proved pivotal in his victory. JOE PACKET didn't break quite as well and he was maybe just a quarter step behind where he wanted to be for most of the race, nevertheless he was still in a decent posi compared to some. Possibly the most interesting aspect of the pace was the fact that the top 5 stalls (boxes 10-15) all made the early decision to switch in behind the pack and run held-up. That isn't too unexpected as they all generally run that way anyway but in truth it was also their only real option from their unfavorable draws. Unfortunately it was also a moved that severely compromised their chances. Of the 5 of them the smartest riding came from Thomas Brown on STEPS who kept his mount on the outer of the main group, leaving him room to try and bullet home late with an unblocked passage (ooh er missus!). He did, however, have the 'best' of the wide draws and was in a prime slot to make that decision.

The end result…

The winner DOCTOR PARKES was well drawn, in the prime position throughout and took full advantage. This was a good performance and he won fairly readily in the end. He will possibly now be pushing on to a mark that he will start to struggle with, as always it will be interesting to see the handicappers reaction. Second placed JOE PACKET possibly didn't get the best start and had to fight his way back into it a bit but it was a solid run and there is every suggestion that he can win from this mark. He may just be better suited to being stepped back up to 6f. Third placed STEPS ran a very sound race from out wide, he was one that didn't have a great draw but the fact he stayed wide probably benefited him as he had a clear passage to the line. He is running from a career high mark at the minute but still remains competitive, it is a close call whether the handicapper has him in his grip or not; personally I would like to see him dropped just a couple of lbs. FAIR VALUE gave it fair effort from the front but just couldn't keep the closer's at bay and faded slightly in the final yards into fourth. His recent runs suggest he could well pick a race up from this mark though and an easy 5f is probably his best option. Fifth place TAAJUB didn't really take advantage of his good draw and found trouble by being held up. He is another that suggests he could win from his current mark. As previously mentioned it's hard to win from out the back and out wide over Sandown's flying 5 furlongs so for that reason I would be willing to crank up DUNGANNON's 6th placed run a notch or 2. It was an extremely difficult draw to win from and he did well to get so close and he did motor home once the gaps appeared; to only finish 2.5 lengths in arrears was a fine effort.

BDH(s) to follow…

DUNGANNON (6th) (A Balding)

This 6yo gelding put in some decent late work once the gaps appeared and whilst his finishing position probably doesn't fully justify his effort it should be enough to keep him under the radar of most punters.

Possibly the most interesting angle with this horse is his current handicap mark of 88. That is a full 7lbs lower than his last winning mark and 2lbs lower than his 2nd highest winning mark. If we also consider the fact that he has run well from marks as high as 99 & 97 then it isn't hard to make the assumption that he is currently sitting on a pretty handy mark.

It's also interesting to note that all his wins have come when returning within 28 days or less of his last run (on Friday it was 32 days since his last run)...

Form when returning within 28 days of last run - 010061013571

Form when returning after a break of 29 days+ - 569252678055

He doesn't necessarily run 'poorly' after longer breaks but the fact all his wins have come off shorter breaks suggests that ideally we want him on the track within a month.

He looks fairly adaptable when it comes to ground and to a certain extent distance (winning form over 5f, 6f & 7f) so his options should be open enough with regards to future targets. His handicap mark is clearly the most interesting aspect about him and I would be surprised if he can't take advantage of it very soon, especially off the back of his run at Sandown last Friday.

Conditions – Ideally we are wanting him back on the track within the month, the 28 day window looks his optimum and there should be plenty of targets for him to be aimed at. He has winning form over 7f but personally I think 5f or 6f would be the ideal trips for him, again there should be plenty of openings for him within the next few weeks.

DUNGANNON now enters my Proform ‘Horse Watcher’ tool and I will post on the Blog when he is due to run next.

You can read much more from myself over at my own site

Ben (BDH)

Sat TV Trends: 6th July 2013

Coral Eclipse

It's Coral Eclipse Day At Sandown.....

The C4 cameras head to Sandown and Haydock this Saturday with the Coral-Eclipse and the Old Newton Cup the highlights – Andy Newton’s got all the TV races covered from a trends angle. Read more

Sat TV Trends 15th June 2013


It's Off To Sandown This Saturday

The C4 cameras head to Sandown, York and Musselburgh this Saturday and like always Andy Newton’s on hand with all the key trends & stats. Read more

Sat TV Trends: 27th April 2013

Sandown Park

Who'll Be Landing Gold At Sandown?

It's Bet365 Gold Cup day at Sandown Park, while the C4 cameras are also heading to Ripon for a couple or races - As always we've got all the LIVE TV trends ......
Read more

Sat TV Trends: 9th Mar 2013


Imperial Cup Day At Sandown

The C4 cameras head to Sandown, with the Imperial Cup their feature, plus they are also at Wolverhampton for two races that include the Lincoln Handicap Trial. Read more

Stat of the Day, 2nd February 2013

Stat of the Day: 02/02/13

Stat of the Day: 02/02/13

Stat of the Day, 2nd February 2013

Another second placed finish yesterday, as Sun Cloud battled in vain to catch the winner in an attritional contest in the mud. We secured a small profit on the day to start february off on the right track and we'll look to build on that with a trip to Esher in Surrey.

Our contest today is the opening race on the card, as a decent looking field of nine runners are set to take on a Class 2, two-mile, handicap chase on heavy ground (soft in the back straight) in the...

1.50 Sandown

Today's card at Sandown is an all chase affair and when it comes to these chase contests here, Alan King has been the go to man in recent years. His record in the last two years reads 19821511P2, giving him a 40% win and 60% place strike rate in that time. The win bets alone have yielded 5.75pts profit at SP (57.5% POI).

Today's contest is a handicap affair and that good record of Alan's is virtually replicated with a form line of 982111P, giving a win strike rate of almost 43% for 5.25pts profit (75% POI) and E/W backers have seen a return in over 57% of the races.

In true SotD fashion, Alan King has just the one runner here today: Oh Crick.

Oh Crick is a decent handicap chaser on his day and made a good enough start to the season, finishing sixth in a pipe opener at Cheltenham, before running a very creditable second at Newbury in December, where he finished just four lengths behind Ulck du Lin ( who has subsequently won again), despite conceding a stone in weight to the winner. He is now only a pound higher than that Newbury run and a repeat of that level of performance should see him go close today.

Overall Oh Crick has a pretty decent strike of 22% wins and 39% places (8 wins and 6 places from 36) and backing him blindly has yielded 6.6pts profit (18.33%), whilst E/W backers have made almost 9pts. Admittedly not earth-shattering returns, but there aren't many horses out there showing a profit from blind backing over 36 races!

He does seem to go well at this time of year, though. His record in the month of February reads 11241, making 12pts for his backers and 15.4pts for E/W bets.

All this in mind, I'd have had him at around the 7/1 to 8/1 mark, but a poor run last time out coupled with him being weighted higher than he's ever won at (a claimer helps redress that, though!) means there's a bit more juice in the odds and today I'm suggesting a 0.5pts E/W bet on Oh Crick at 11/1 BOG with BetVictor. This 11/1 was the best around at 1030, Bet365, 888sport and Blue Square were all offering 10/1, but you really should...

Click here for the latest betting on the 1.50 Sandown

Sat TV Trends: 2nd Feb 2013

SandownSandown, Ffos Las and Wetherby provide the LIVE C4 action this Saturday – Andy Newton’s got all the races covered from a trends angle..... Read more

Sat TV Trends: 26th Jan 2013


It's Cheltenham Trials Day!

It's Cheltenham Trials Day this Saturday at Prestbury Park and we've got the key trends and stats for ALL 8 races..... Read more

Sat TV Trends: 19th Jan 2013

Sprinter Sacre

Sprinter Sacre runs at Ascot on Saturday

Weather permitting we'll have LIVE C4 action at Ascot, where Sprinter Sacre is on show in the Victor Chandler Chase....... Read more

Sat TV Trends: 5th Jan 2013

Welsh National

The Welsh National Takes Centre Stage

A huge day of LIVE C4 action this Saturday from Sandown, Wincanton and Chepstow, that includes the Welsh National...... Read more

Well I Declare, 8th December

Well I Declare, 8th December

Well I Declare, 8th December

Racing action from Sandown, Aintree, Wetherby and Chepstow are all featured in Mal Boyle's Well I Declare for..

...SATURDAY (08/12):


General stats: Five favourites (of one description or another) won via twelve races during the two-day meeting last year, whilst two of the four odds on favourites obliged. 

National Hunt Novice Hurdle due to be contested at 12.20: Nicky Henderson has saddled four of the last six winners of this event with the trainer coming to the gig on this occasion on a four timer.  All four winners saddled by Nicky were five-year-old and two of his three entries earlier in the week hailed from that vintage.  Favourites came to the party on a six timer last year but the 4/6 market leader could only finish third.

Pertemps series qualifier scheduled for 1.25: Paul Nicholls has saddled the only two successful favourites (in the last four years) during the decade.  Paul held two entries for the contest earlier in the week, as did Jonjo O’Neill who is the only other trainer to have saddled two winners during the study period.

Listed Handicap Hurdle event scheduled for 2.30: Eight of the last nine winners have scored at odds of 9/1 or less (two winning favourites), whilst four-year-olds have secured four of the last eight contests.

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Twenty nine furlong handicap chase scheduled for 3.40: The last six winners have carried a minimum weight of eleven stones, whilst the eight successful horses during the last decade ranged between 7/2 and 10/1, with not a single favourite amongst them.



General stats: The Murphy yard is potentially represented by the course and distance winner Quito De La Roque in the scheduled 1.50 event with the stable looking to improve its ratio to 3/3 at Aintree.

Maiden hurdle event scheduled for 12.00: Favourites have secured two of the five renewals of this event in which three market leaders have finished in the frame.

Two and a half mile handicap hurdle scheduled for 1.35: Six-year-olds have won six renewals of this event during the last decade.  Last year’s successful 5/1 favourite was the first to score in seven years since back to back 5/1 joint market leaders obliged in 2003/2004.   Six of the last nine winners have carried a minimum weight of 11-5.

‘Becher Chase’ due to be contested at 2.10: Just like last week’s ‘Hennessy’, this race is finally being won by fancied horses on a semi regular basis following years of renewals which favoured the bookmakers.  Only one market leader has obliged in the last seven years though that said, seven of the last nine contests have been secured by horses sent off at odds of 10/1 or less.  Unusually, Paul Nicholls was potentially represented by just one horse in this year’s event, a race which Paul has secured three times in the last eight years.  Join Together is the horse in question.

Class 2 two and a half mile handicap hurdle scheduled for 2.45: Four renewals have slipped by without a winning favourite being recorded following the success of four consecutive market leaders (of one description or another) between 2004 and 2007.  Four-year-olds have been the most successful vintage (four winners during the last decade) though that said, just three of the twenty-two five-day acceptors hailed from the junior ranks.

‘Grand Sefton’ event scheduled for 3.20: Eight and nine-year-olds have (equally) shared the last four renewals, whilst five contests have passed without a successful favourite being registered.  That said, five of the nine favourites have secured win and place positions which is a decent enough record in this type of event.



General stats: Tim Easterby does not lead the strike rate figures, though his regular winners at Wetherby are backed up by an LSP reading of twenty-six points.



General stats: John O’Shea’s LSP figure of eighty-one points demands attention.