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Monday Musings: Stoute and Fleet wins the King George

It rained on Friday, but not enough for Cracksman to run in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes at Ascot the following afternoon, writes Tony Stafford. John Gosden’s colt’s absence, together with the late defection of Ballydoyle’s principal hope Kew Gardens, seemed to leave the midsummer feature at the mercy of Sir Michael Stoute and so it proved.

Many of the King George’s since Stoute’s first victory with the ill-fated Shergar in 1981 have featured fancied runners from the Freemason Lodge stable. Poet’s Word, in beating stable-companion Crystal Ocean in a memorable tussle nine lengths clear of the rest, was Stoute’s sixth in the race, which started life in 1951.

Poet’s Word recorded the second-best time ever in the race, bettered only by the German colt Novellist in 2013. Track records at Ascot are generally considered only valid since 2006 when the home straight was remodeled with the construction of the present grandstand, but there has been little apparent difference in overall race times compared with pre-2006.

The fastest times for Ascot’s mile and a half have generally come in fast-run King George’s and for a while the record was held by the Race of the Century in 1975 when Derby winner, Grundy, overcame Bustino after Dick Hern’s use of two pacemakers almost defeated Grundy with the previous year’s St Leger hero.

That time stood for a relatively short period and unusually it was broken in the Hardwicke Stakes of 1983 when the Irish mare Stanerra, trained by the part-time handler and Dunnes Stores family member Frank Dunne, more usually an owner with Jim Bolger, won two races within three days at Royal Ascot.

Relishing the lightning-fast ground at the meeting, the five-year-old won the Prince of Wales by four lengths as a 7-1 shot and then rolled over Electric by a length and a half in the Hardwicke with Be My Native, the Coronation Cup winner from the previous month, 12 lengths back in third in a time 0.03sec faster than Grundy’s 2min26.98sec.

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More recently, another Stoute winner, Harbinger in 2010, recorded 2min 26.78sec. The fastest-ever King George time was set three years later by the German colt Novellist, whose talent has never been fully recognized over here. In an 11-race career, Novellist suffered the first of only two defeats after four wins, when runner-up to Pastorius in the German Derby. That was followed by a fourth behind the 2012 King George heroine and fellow German, Danedream, in the Grosser Preis von Baden five weeks after that filly’s Ascot triumph.

From then it was wins all the way for Novellist, who went through 2013 with victories at Baden-Baden (Group 2), in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud and then Ascot before putting right the Grosser Preis von Baden defeat of the previous September with a workmanlike win at odds of 1-6, after which he went off to stud in Japan, with so far unspectacular results.

What was spectacular, though, was the five-length romp away from Trading Leather, Stoute’s Hillstar and favourite Cirrus des Aigles at Ascot in 2min24.60sec. Poet’s Word’s time of 2min 25.84sec (2.66sec fast) stands up well after Friday’s rain on a day when no other race was run in anywhere near standard time.

Although on the day, the O’Brien team made only a minor impact on the eventual result, the fact that second string Rostropovich – number one Hydrangea found the ground much too fast – set a strong gallop and sustained it until well into the straight, played to the Stoute pair’s strengths. Fifth behind Coronet and Salouen hardly flattered him.

When William Buick on Crystal Ocean, the St Leger runner-up to Capri last year, went into a two-length lead on Saturday, few in the stands expected him to be reeled in, but as in the Irish Oaks James Doyle again came fast and late to gain a memorable win on his first ride in the race.

Doyle’s rise to prominence will have pleased one television pundit. In his early days, Doyle was often championed by James Willoughby as a jockey out-performing his opportunities, and that remains very much the case, although the opportunities are now much more numerous.

The days when the King George was the unchallenged midsummer target for Europe’s best horses are long gone, although the fact that two high-class and still-improving stayers such as Poet’s Word and Crystal Ocean were on show, adds some much-needed gloss. The fact remains, though, that prizemoney here has been fairly static in face of dramatic rises elsewhere.

The King George winner earned considerably more on his first race of the year when runner-up to Hawkbill in the Dubai World Cup. His career, typically with Stoute, has been a case of gradual improvement and after Saturday, more credence will have been afforded Poet’s Word’s defeat of Cracksman and the aforementioned Hawkbill in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes last month.

While it is hard to imagine Goodwood 2018 being in any way comparable to last year when incessant rain so disrupted the going, the sight of a leaden sky for the first time for a couple of months as I looked out from my office towards the Olympic Stadium just after dawn today, suggests caution.

If the heatwave returns leaving the ground to stay on the fast side, I’ll be going with the Brian Meehan-trained Bacchus in the Stewards’ Cup on Saturday. The Wokingham winner got what looked a less-than-inspired ride (unusually) from Frankie Dettori at Newbury just over a week ago, but is reportedly in fine fettle. There is a slight chance that he might go instead for the Maurice de Gheest over an extra half-furlong, so it might be wise to wait until final declarations on Thursday morning before committing.

I’ll be at Goodwood for the first four days of the meeting, but will switch to Newmarket on Saturday where Laxmi will tackle the valuable fillies’ nursery for Tooth, Siddiqui, and Sharma from what we hope is a fair mark. Ray’s colours will also be on show half an hour later with My Law, who deserves a break after her Newbury stumble out of the gate which deposited Fran Berry on the ground.

As Steve Gilbey said after that latest kick in the teeth (or Tooth):  If we didn’t have bad luck, we’d have no luck at all.

Stat of the Day, 25th August 2017

Thursday's Result :

2.25 York : Madeline @ 3/1 BOG - 2nd at 7/2 : Keen early, tracked leaders, pushed along and unable to quicken 2f out, ridden and stayed on to go 2nd inside final furlong, not pace to challenge...

Friday's pick also goes in the...

2.25 York :

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?

Dartmouth @ 4/1 BOG

Why?

On a day when there aren't a lot of horses that jump out from a statistical point of view, this is a fairly straightforward/obvious pick. At 50%, he has easily the best strike rate of all 9 runners in this contest, after winning 8 of 16 starts to date and in those 16 races so far, he is...

  • 7/12 in fields of 5-10 runners
  • 5/10 in non-handicap contests
  • 5/7 under Ryan Moore
  • 4/7 in Group races
  • 4/4 at odds of 5/2 to 4/1
  • 3/4 going left handed
  • 3/3 beyond 1m4f
  • 2/3 at Group 2
  • and 1/1 here at York

In addition to his own suitability, his yard is in good form and despite not having a winner here on Thursday they'd landed 10 winners from 28 in the previous fortnight and 5 from 14 in the previous week.

Plus Sir Michael Stoute's runners here at York are 10/35 (28.6% SR) for 32pts (+91.3% ROI) over the past couple of seasons...

...giving us... a 1pt win bet on Dartmouth @ 4/1 BOG which was offered in a half dozen places at 6.05pm on Thursday, whilst Hills were best priced at 9/2 BOG. To see what your preferred bookie is offering, simply...

...click here for the betting on the 2.25 York 

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, 6th May 2017

Friday's Result :

5.00 Musselburgh : Cosmic Ray @ 3/1 BOG WON at 5/4 Tracked leader, led over 2f out, hard driven, stayed on well to win by a length and a half.

Saturday's pick goes in the...

2.05 Goodwood...

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?

Dubka7/2 BOG

Why?

A 1m4f Listed contest for fillies on good to firm ground and our pick is a 4 yr old, who has 4 wins from 6 starts to date, including...

  • 4/4 at this trip
  • 4/4 in fields of 4-10 runners
  • 2/3 on good to firm
  • 2/3 going right handed

So, conditions are fine. Now to her trainer, Sir Michael Stoute. The yard is in good nick : 9/30 in the last fortnight and 6 from 17 in the past 7 days with a place strike rate of 71% : all good!

Sir Michael's runners are also 5/18 (27.8% SR) for 13.4pts (+74.5% ROI) in Listed races here at Gooodwood since 2009 and in all contests here in that same time, he has a 20.7% strike rate (40 winners from 193).

So, we also now know that the yard does well here, but what about the fact that Dubka hasn't run for 205 days? Well, you'll be pleased to learn that Sir Michael's runners returning from a break of 3 to 10 months are 41/181 (22.7% SR) for 59.9pts (+33.1% ROI) since the start of 2015, of which...

  • in non-hcps : 27/119 (22.7%) for 46.9pts (+39.4%)
  • females are 11/62 (+17.7%) for 36.5pts (+58.9%)
  • at Class 1 : 11/35 (31.4%) for 19.1pts (+54.5%)
  • 4 yr olds are 12/28 (42.9%) for 26.1pts (+93.1%)
  • and over this 1m4f trip : 6/15 (40%) for 25.8pts (+171.8%)

And finally (!), Dubka is one of the many offsprin of the renowned Dubawi, whose progeny love running at this trip with 91 winners from 388 (23.5% SR) for 174.7pts (+45% ROI) over 1m4f, from which non-handicappers are 32/125 (25.6%) for 94.7pts (+75.8%) with Class 1 races providing a record of 20/75 (26.7%) for 53.8pts (+71.7%)

...giving us...a 1pt win bet on Dubka7/2 BOG which was on offer from Bet365, Betfred & Totesport at 8.45pm on Friday, but to see what your preferred bookie is offering, simply...

...click here for the betting on the 2.05 Goodwood

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 are to Betfair SP, as (i) I NEVER bet to ISP and neither should you and (ii) although inferior to the BOG odds we secure, BFSP is the nearest approximation I can give, so I actually expect to beat the returns quoted.

Stat of the Day, 12th October 2016

Tuesday's Result :

9.15 Wolverhampton : Mrs Burbidge @ 3/1 BOG still to run (Result/report to follow)

Wednesday's pick goes in the...

3.40 Bath :

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?

Dubka at 5/2 BOG

Why?

This 3 yr old filly gets a very useful 9lbs weight allowance here as she bids for a 5-timer in only her sixth outing. She was outpaced on debut, finishing 6th over an inadequately short 1m2f, before rattling up four wins at 1m4f. She finished very strongly last time, winning comfortably by more than three lengths, suggesting this step up in trip should suit her.

She's 1 from 1 under Ryan Moore, who rode her to victory three starts ago and Ryan has won 28 of his 113 (24.8% SR) rides in Listed contests for Sir Michael Stoute since 2009, generating level stakes profits of 14.6pts (+12.9% ROI) along the way.

And of those 113 rides, he is...

  • 23/64 (35.9%) for 10.9pts (+17%) at odds of 4/1 and shorter
  • 19/64 (29.7%) for 15.4pts (+24.1%) on 3 yr olds
  • 16/52 (30.8%) for 37.9pts (+72.9%) on those returning from a break of 16 to 45 days
  • and 11/32 (34.4%) for 5.13pts (+16%) on LTO winners.

Meanwhile, over the last two seasons, Sir Michael's runners racing over trips of 1m4f and beyond on the Flat are 36/145 (24.8%) for 68pts (+46.9%), from which...

  • 3 yr olds are 24/104 (23.1%) for 28.5pts (+27.4%)
  • non-handicap races : 25/92 (27.2%) for 51.5pts (+56%)
  • on good to firm : 22/71 (31%) for 46.7pts (+65.8%)
  • at Class 1 : 15/56 (26.8%)) for 26.5pts (+47.3%)
  • LTO winners : 12/50 (24%) for 13.9pts (+27.8%)

And the final reason wny I think she'll get the extra distance today is the fact that her "dad" is none other than Dubawi, whose offspring are currently 764/4344 (17.6% SR) for 754pts at an ROI of 17.4%, which are staggering numbers really.

Of those 4344 runners, those racing over 1m2f to 2m on the Flat are 190/927 (20.5%) for 456.5pts (+49.2%), with a record of 45/186 (24.2%) for 182.9pts (+98.3%) at Class1 with 18 winners from 69 (26.1% SR) for 68.7pts (+99.6% ROI) in Listed contests.

...giving us...a 1pt win bet on Dubka at 5/2 BOG, from any one of the half dozen or so firms quoting the same price at 6.55pm on Tuesday, but to see your preferred bookies' odds, simply...

...click here for the betting on the 3.40 Bath.

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

REMINDER: THERE IS NO STAT OF THE DAY ON SUNDAYS

Here is today's racecard...

Stat of the Day, 17th September 2016

Friday's Result :

3.40 Ayr : Clem Fandango @ 7/2 BOG WON at 11/4 (Tracked leaders, led over 1f out, ridden inside final furlong, ran on well to win by almost 4 lengths)

Saturday's pick goes in the...

5.00 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?

Dubka at 9/4 BOG

Why?

This 3 yr old filly has won three of her first starts to date, with her only defeat coming on debut over a shorter trip. She's 3 from 3 over this 1m4f trip and 3 from 3 in fields of 10 or fewer runners.

The current unsettled weather shouldn't be an issue, as she has won on good to firm ground and also on soft! And she won at Class 2 last time out, but now drops down a grade, so I'd expect a good run today and in addition to those factors...

1. She's by Dubawi, whose offspring are 107/482 (22.2% SR) for 350.6pts (+72.8% ROI) on the Flat over trips of 10.5 to 14.5f, of which those running on Good/Good to Soft ground are 48/222 (21.6%) for 213.3pts (+96.1%), whilst Class 3 runners are 17/67 (25.4%) for 43.3pts (+64.6%).

2. She's trained by Sir Michael Stoute, whose handicap class droppers are 25/97 (25.8% SR) for 18.3pts (+18.9% ROI) profit since 2011, of which...

  • on the Flat : 21/81 (25.9%) for 18.3pts (+22.6%)
  • 3 yr olds : 20/66 (30.3%) for 29.6pts (+44.8%)
  • 26-75 days since last run : 14/44 (31.8%) for 15.6pts (+35.5%)
  • dropping from Class 2 : 11/38 (29%) for 14.2pts (+37.4%)
  • now running at Class 3 : 9/35 (25.7%) for 8.82pts (+25.2%)

3. Over the last two seasons, Sir Michael's runners over this 1m4f trip are 26 from 105 (24.8% SR) for 71.4pts (+68% ROI) on the Flat, with...

  • handicappers winning 16 of 56 (28.6%) for 50.6pts (+90.3%)
  • those running on good/good to soft are 8/40 (20%) for 35.35pts (+88.4%)
  • and class 3 runners are 3/12 (25%) for 14.76pts (+123%)

...which gives us...a 1pt win bet on Dubka at 9/4 BOG, which was available from Bet365 and Betfair Sports at 5.55pm on Friday, so to see your preferred bookies' odds, simply...

...click here for the betting on the 5.00 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...

Stat of the Day, 29th July 2016

Thursday's Result :

5.10 Nottingham : Oriental Relation @ 7/2 BOG 4th at 5/2 (Tracked leader, led over 1f out, son ridden, headed final furlong, no extra)

Friday's pick goes in the...

2.35 Goodwood :

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?

Thikriyaat at 11/4 BOG

Why?

They say that if at first, you don't succeed, you should try again, so it's a second visit of the week to Glorious Goodwood and here's why...

Thikriyaat really caught the eye when making up plenty of ground to finish second behind Ribchester in the Group 3 Jersey Stakes at Ascot, just over six weeks ago.

He'd met serious trouble in running from the 19-runner field and this ended his perfect 3 from 3 start to his career, which kicked off with a win over this 1m trip. So we know he gets the trip and the way he finished last time suggests the step back up is right and with fewer rivals to contend with, a clearer passage might be all that's needed.

He was eventually just over 2 lengths adrift of Ribchester that day, but we can draw confidence in the latter's narrow (NK & SH) defeat in 3rd place behind The Gurkha and Galileo Gold in the Group 1 Sussex Stakes here over this course and distance on Wednesday.

His yard is in great form with 7 winners from 19 (36.8% SR) over the last 7 days, including 3 wins from 7 Class 1 races and stablemate Ulysses won a Group 3 contest here on Wednesday.

Looking slightly further than the last week, Sir Michael Stoute's male runners here at Goodwood are 28/121 (23.1% SR) for 22.1pts (+18.3% ROI) profits. Of particular relevance today are the facts that, like Thikriyaat...

  • 3/4 yr olds are 26/96 (27.1%) for 41.2pts (+42.9%)
  • 16-60 days since last run : 22/82 (26.8%) for 39.2pts (47.8%)
  • at 5/1 or shorter : 24/77 (31.2%) for 11.74pts (+15.25%)
  • fields of 7-12 runners : 20/68 (29.4%) for 31.4pts (+46.2%)
  • in 3yo only races : 15/55 (27.3%) for 19.2pts (+34.9%)
  • Class 1 : 8/36 (22.2%) for 13.8pts (+38.4%)
  • beaten by 1 to 4 lengths LTO : 7/24 (29.2%) for 7.32pts (+30.5%)
  • 2nd LTO : 6/23 (26.1%) for 5.28pts (+23%)
  • at group 3 : 5/16 (31.25%) for 9.73pts (+60.8%)

AND...if you backed all of Sir Michael's males here since 2009 who were aged 3 or 4, priced at 7/1 or shorter in fields of 7 to 17 runners some 16 to 60 days after their last run, you'd have bagged yourself 17 winners from 39 (43.6% SR) and a £20 stake on each of them would have made you a cool £650 at an ROI of 83.4%.

Oh, and of those 39 runners in the niche micro above, Group 3 runners are 3 from 7 (42.9%) for 13pts (+185.5%), obviously including Ulysses from Wednesday!

...all of which points to a 1pt win bet on Thikriyaat at 11/4 BOG which was available in over a dozen places at 11.15pm, but to see your preferred bookies' odds, simply...

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

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...

Pot Hunters: Irish Raiders in UK/UK Raiders in Ireland

Gosden/ Dettori a good team in Ireland

Gosden/Dettori good team in Ireland

English Horses in Irish Group 1s

The introduction of British Champions Day is 2011 has proved a beano for Irish trainers; of the 20 group races run at the meeting since its inauguration, nine have gone to Ireland, writes Tony Keenan. That Ascot card tends to be run on soft ground which plays its part as even when our horses aren’t at their best on it, they tend to be accustomed to racing on it.

How UK-based trainers feel about this is probably unpublishable but they went some way to redressing the balance at Ireland’s premier flat meeting last year, the inaugural Irish Champions Weekend. 50 UK runners took part and, even allowing that 15 of those were in a two-year-old sales race, their record was impressive, winning eight of the 16 races and three of the Group 1s with The Grey Gatsby, Cursory Glance and Brown Panther. Again, the responses of Irish trainers on the Sunday evening of the weekend were likely unpublishable!

The fact remains however that Irish racing needs English runners and vice versa; ours is a symbiotic relationship. We don’t have enough horses to sustain proper Group 1 racing on our own as a look at average field sizes over the past decade confirms. From 2005 to present, the average field size in an Irish Group 1 was 8.71 runners but if you took out the UK runners it drops to 6.56. That’s an unsatisfactory figure whatever your perspective; punters are more likely to play when the full each-way terms are available whereas purists prefer to see bigger fields that produce a stronger pace and hence truer results.

At this stage, it’s important to point out that horses running abroad do better than the home runners and this applies in both Ireland and the UK. Irish flat horses running in Britain have hit at a rate of 13.01% since the start of 2010 whereas the UK horses have won 10.82% of their races; meanwhile, the UK raiders have won 14.19% of their Irish races with the home team at 9.12% in the same period. This is common sense. Taking a horse to a track that can be accessed by road is obviously less of an ordeal, in both effort and monetary terms, than using a ship or a plane. If a trainer thinks a horse is worth racing in another country, chances are there is the expectation of a good run.

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Even allowing for this, UK horses have an excellent record in Irish Group 1s. Since 2005, they are 43/271 in these races for a strikerate of 15.87% with a level-stakes loss of 54.42. Irish runners are 85/840 with a strikerate of 10.12% and a level-stakes loss of 339.47. What is more interesting however is when we focus on the most recent cohort of raiders.

UK horses in Irish Group 1s, 2005 – present

Years Wins Runs Strikerate Level Stakes Actual/Expected
2005 – 2009 15 132 11.36% -58.77 0.75
2010 – present 28 139 20.14% +4.35 1.06

 

So despite having roughly the same number of runners in both periods, UK raiders have won nearly twice as many Irish Group 1s in the past five years (or so) than they did in the five years before that. The reason or reasons for this are hard to say. Aidan O’Brien certainly hasn’t been winning less at the top level – he had 24 Irish Group 1 winners between 2005 and 2009 and has had 27 since – but maybe it’s the other Irish trainers that are falling behind a little.

The Ballydoyle trainer obviously presents the main stumbling block to further UK success and the raiders often do best in the races he is, if not weak, weaker in. O’Brien’s team of older horses are rarely as dominant as his juveniles and three-year-olds, the better ones often sent to stud rather than racing on at four; only 8 of his 51 Irish Group 1 winners since 2005 were four or older. That pattern is even more marked with the fillies with the trainer having run just three older fillies in an Irish Group 1 in the past decade. Some of that is bad luck – neither Alexandrova nor Peeping Fawn made it to the track as four-year-olds despite being in training – but most of it is due to the fillies being seen as more valuable as broodmares than on the track.

This presents a window of opportunity for UK horses.  If you’d backed all the raiders in Irish Group 1s open to older horses (five races: the Tattersalls Gold Cup, the Pretty Polly Stakes, the Matron Stakes, the Irish Champion Stakes and the Irish St Leger) since 2010, you would have hit 20 winners from 96 bets, a strikerate of 20.83% with a decent level stakes profit of 11.09 points and an actual over expected of 1.19. That profitable pattern is even more marked with older fillies; such runners are 6 from 21 with another 7 places and an actual over expected of 1.46.

The face of the top UK trainers in Irish Group 1s is largely as expected:

UK Trainers in Irish Group 1s, 2005 – present

Trainer Winners Runners Strikerate Level Stakes Places Actual/Expected
J. Gosden 8 17 47.06% +10.21 10 1.88
R. Charlton 3 6 50.00% +6.25 5 2.11
M. Stoute 3 17 17.65% -2.75 10 0.87
R. Hannon(s) 3 20 15.00% -6.85 8 0.62
R. Varian 2 4 50.00% +9.38 2 2.13
J. Noseda 2 5 40.00% +10.63 2 1.96
M.  Bell 2 7 28.57% +2.00 5 1.16
E. Dunlop 2 7 28.57% +0.38 4 1.46
M. Johnston 2 10 20.00% -0.67 4 1.24

 

The sample size here is thin but John Gosden stands out (as mentioned previously here). He’s a trainer that has improved in the last five years or so, going from a very good handler to an excellent one, from top ten in the title race to perennial champion trainer contender. He’s already won an Irish Group 1 this season with Jack Hobbs and his older top three-year-old Golden Horn will bid to get his season back on track in the meeting’s feature, the Irish Champion Stakes. Indeed, since, 2009, he’s won eight of eleven Irish Group 1’s he’s contested.

Michael Stoute has had his share of hard luck in these Irish Group 1s, saddling seven placed horses as against three winners, and the Matron Stakes is a race he tends to aim one at, winning it in both 2003 and 2007. Integral is in the mix for that race this season though the leading UK challenger, Amazing Maria, is trained by a man who has yet to have an Irish Group 1 runner, much less a winner, in David O’Meara. His dual Group 1 winner hits a few other key trends, notably being an older UK-trained mare, and her trainer is unlikely to draw quite as much ire from the home contingent should he win, given he’s from Cork!

Stat of the Day, 29th August 2014

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 29th August 2014

A poor show from Taqneen at Ffos Las yesterday indeed, as he folded quite tamely to finish stone last of 10 runners.

We backed him at 5's, he opened at 4's and ran at 5's, so even nothing there to shout about.

Last August was one of only two unprofitable months in the last year for SotD and this month has proved "challenging" once again, but I've still two opportunities remaining, the first of which runs in the...

4.45 Sandown:

...a Class 4 handicap for three year olds over ten furlongs, where Ryan Moore rides Sir Michael Stoute's handicap debutant Savant, who steps up in trip from a mile for this contest. All of those snippets of information are relevant to today's selection, so let's break it down.

1. Sir Michael Stoute has won 26 of 108 (24.1%SR) races for 3yr olds only here at Sandown since 2008. The level stakes profits of 53.9pts are a whisker shy of a 50% return above stakes.

2. Ryan Moore's record in handicap races at this track is decent enough: 25 wins from 120 (20.8% SR) in the last four seasons with 16.8pts (14% ROI) from those winners.

From the 25/120 stat, we can filter down as follows...

Those sent off at 5/2 to 8/1 won 17 of 75 (22.7% SR) for 27.3pts (+36.4% ROI), of which...
...10 winners from 38 (26.3% SR) in 3yo races producing 28.3pts (+74.4% ROI) profit, from which...
... 5 winners came from the 17 horses trained by Sir Michael with that 29.4% strike rate bringing in 13.4pts profit at an ROI of 78.9%.

3. In UK flat handicaps since the start of the 2011 campaign, 3 yr old horses who stepped up in trip by two furlongs after being unplaced last time out, went on to win 132 of 834 (15.8% SR) of the longer races with the 221.5pts profit equating to some 25.4% of stakes. Those figures are based on 1pt level stakes with a 14/1 cut off point.

From those 834 sub-14/1 runners, those running at odds of 5/2 to 8/1 won 84 of 396 (21.2% SR) for 72.2pts (+18.2% ROI).

4. And finally, Sir Michael Stoute isn't averse to stepping his runners up in trip for their handicap debut and 23 winners from 105 efforts since 2009 says it works for him. This 21.9% strike rate has produced 22.9pts profit at an ROI of 21.8% to date.

Savant has shown some promise in three maidens so far, despite failing to even make the frame. He proved he could handle soft ground when fourth on his racing debut over course and distance three months ago and caught the eye when fifth of fourteen at Kempton over a mile  just over three weeks ago.

That 1m trip seemed a little sharp for him and he should relish both the step back up in trip, but also the softer ground on offer today. Despite finishing 5th that day, he was less than 2.5 lengths adrift at the finish. He was 1.75 lengths behind 3rd placed Above The Rest who subsequently reappeared at Nottingham a fortnight ago to make all in a five-length victory.

His breeding suggests Savant will get 1m2f and he seems the typical Stoute handicap improver, so I'm happy enough to propose a 1pt win bet on Savant at 11/2 BOG. That price is available at both Boylesports and BetVictor and I've gone with the latter, purely because their site is a bot more user-friendly!

You can, of course, use any bookie you like and you can find all their offered odds when you...

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Stat of the Day, 5th July 2014

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 5th July 2014

Every man and his dog wanted to back Enquiring on Friday evening and we were all ultimately very disappointed by the way he folded very tamely a furlong from home.

That said, I hope some of you took my later advice and didn't back it, once the price became ridiculously short.

I'd like to remind you all of my attitude towards this SotD daily service. Yes, I want the horses to win, but they have to also offer some value. I took 9/2 about Enquiring, which I felt was a fair price. At his SP of 5/2 I wouldn't have been interested.

The records, however, will show a 1pt loss, irrespective of any discussion about odds. I've not been too impressed with the performances of my runners so far this month and I aim to set things straight in today's......

1.30 Sandown

Where I've just taken 4/1 BOG about Sir Michael Stoute's filly Royal Seal, who will be reunited with jockey Ryan Moore this afternoon.

Both the trainer (21.6% SR) and the jockey (21.9% SR) have performed really well here at Sandown over the last few years and both come here in generally good form. Sir Michael's horses are 6/21 in the last fortnight, whilst Ryan Moore is 6/17 in the last week alone.

Royal Seal was a winner two starts ago, before being raised to Class 2, which she found difficult and now drops back a grade to C3. Over the last four years, Sir Michael is 17 from 46 (37% SR) for 28.5pts (+62% ROI) profit with horses dropping down in class and priced at 6/1 or shorter.

When she won at Yarmouth two starts ago, that was a 7f contest, but her latest saw her run over an inadequate 5f and although she didn't get the run of the race and was outpaced at times, she stayed on well to get within 2.5 lengths of the winner. She is upped in trip today back to her preferred 7 furlongs and if we look at other 3yr olds stepping up in trip on the back of an unplaced run, we see the following...

126 of 801 (15.7%) 3 yr olds have won handicap races when stepped up by 2 furlongs and priced below 12/1 and who were unplaced last time out. The 126 winners have produced an overall profit of 185.9pts, or 23.2% of stakes.

Just over half of those runners competed at trips of 10f or shorter with 67 of 405 (16.5% SR) proving successful and recording profits of 140pts (+34.6% ROI) in the process.

And finally (from a stats point of view), Ryan Moore takes the ride again today, after being on board when Royal Seal won that maiden at Yarmouth, but he wasn't in the saddle last time out. Ryan is certainly one of the best around, so there's no insult intended when I suggest he might get a bit more out of this horse today.

In fact, over the 6 last seasons, when Ryan has ridden a Stoute-trained horse that he didn't ride last time out, but did ride 2 starts ago, he has 34 times of the 127 occasions he has been reunited with a horse he missed LTO. 34 from 127 is a 26.8% strike rate and has generated 65.4pts (+51.5% ROI) profit.

So, in short without any more numbers (!) we've a horse with proven form at the trip ridden by an inform jockey who has ridden her to victory previously. The jockey goes well here, as does the trainer in general and the trainer's yard is also in decent form.

All of which suggests we've a good chance of collecting from a 1pt win bet on Royal Seal at 4/1 BOG. I've placed my bet with Bet365, but I know of at least four other firms currently matching this price, as you'll see for yourself, if you just...

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Hanging out with Sir Michael Stoute…

Sir Michael holds court on Newmarket's gallops ahead of the July Festival 2014

Sir Michael holds court...

A magnificent morning in Newmarket was an ideal setting for a surprisingly chirpy and forthcoming Sir Michael Stoute, assuming centre stage at a media day held ahead of the July Festival next week.

HQ's senior trainer looked in rude health - something he's not been able to take for granted in recent years - as he gave generously of his time and knowledge to a group of journos unaccustomed to such soundbite largesse.

The master of Freemason Lodge has a small but select squad engaged for next week, headlined by Falmouth Stakes-bound Integral (pronounced 'In-teg-rule' by most present, bit I'm sticking with 'Inter-gruel'). Winner of the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot, Integral steps up from that Group 2 to Group 1 company for the first time since finishing a length second to Sky Lantern in the Sun Chariot Stakes last backend.

Integral heads to the Falmouth Stakes next week

Integral heads to the Falmouth Stakes

Your first 30 days for just £1

That's on the Friday, and before then Arab Spring is likely to run in the Princess Of Wales's Stakes on the opening day of the three day fixture. He won the huge field Duke Of Edinburgh Handicap in the manner of a Group horse, pulling away by a pair of lengths at the line. Arab Spring "keeps progressing" according to his trainer, and he may not need to find too much more than that Royal meeting performance to come out on top in a race Stoute has won nine times stretching all the way back to Shardari in 1986.

In Saturday's Bunbury Cup, the rejuvenated Sir Michael may well run Abseil. Winner of a decent Epsom handicap, Abseil ran well enough at Royal Ascot, and finished within five lengths of Field Of Dream there. The trainer is unconcerned by the step back in trip, feeling Abseil is equally adept at both seven furlongs and a mile, and he's another progressive-looking four-year-old from the grand-daddy of training older horses.

Possibles to supplement that July Festival trio are Idea, beaten far enough in the Britannia Stakes but well worth another try in a mile handicap; and, Bragging, for whom the ground may have been soft enough when second last time at Nottingham. She may head for a seven furlong fillies' handicap next Friday, and looks worth another try on fast ground.

Away from discussing his team for next week, Sir Michael proffered forth his opinions on a range of requested subjects.

Asked about his recent resurgence, he put it down simply to "having some nicer horses in the yard in the last couple of years". Looking at the ease with which this sometimes elusive character controlled his crease - in the company of his good friend, ex-West Indian cricket legend, Michael Holding - it would be hard not to suggest that the apparent rudeness of his health was also a factor.

Indeed, Sir Michael was playing his verbal shots with loose aplomb, scattering responses to every corner of the assembled hack pack.

On Ryan Moore, he was concise and unequivocal. "The best in the world right now", was his answer to how important the champion jockey is to the yard.

On his affection for the July Festival, "I thoroughly enjoy it, and not just because it's down the road. They put on great racing, and there's a very good atmosphere".

And, in closing, one horse to follow beyond next week might be Cannock Chase. Winner of his last three, most recently the Group 3 Tercentenary Stakes at Royal Ascot, the three-year-old son of Lemon Drop Kid was mooted as a possible for the Gordon Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, or possibly the Prix Eugene Adam at Maisons-Lafitte. A noted trial for the St Leger, the Gordon is over a quarter mile further than the hat-trick was achieved, with the Leger being another quarter mile still.

Nevertheless, as a speculative wager for the fifth Classic, he looks worthy of a throwaway penny or two. Not quoted just now, keep an eye out for him. IF he stays, he'll be a runner. It's a fairly big 'if', but then he'll be a fairly big price when one of the books opens up.

Stat of the Day, 30th August 2013

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 30th August 2013

Josefa Goya only managed to beat two of her ten rivals yesterday, but that doesn't really tell the whole story. She was hampered twice in the race, once a furlong from the start and then again a furlong from the finish. Her momentum was broken on both occasions and although she probably still wouldn't have won, such incidents didn't help her or our cause. I should also add that Kieran Fallon (quite rightly, in my opinion) didn't attempt to drive her home when the race (and the places) was well beyond her.

It's just a 40 minute drive North West from Lingfield to see today's runner in the...

5.00 Sandown

Where Legends represents Sir Michael Stoute, whose yard is in very good form at present with 5 winners and 4 places from just 15 runners in the last week alone. Sir Michael also has a decent, if not stellar record here at Sandown where he has saddled nine winners from forty-six runners (19.6%) for profits of 10.62pts (+23.1% ROI) in the last two seasons. Seven of those winners have come from the twenty-eight runners priced under 6/1.

Today, I'd also expect Legends to go off at under 6/1 too, as this 3yr bay colt makes his handicap bow. The Stoute yard has a good record with 3yr old male horses making their handicap debut and since 2010 have had 18 such winners from 76 runners: a strike rate of 23.7% producing modest level stakes profits of 6pts (+7.9% ROI) when backing them blindly, but with runners priced under 6/1, that record improves to 17/53 (32.1%) for 14pts (+26.5% ROI):a far more palatable set of figures. It should also be noted that the record this season is five wins from eleven for 10.44pts!

Legends steps up in trip by two furlongs from his last maiden outing and stepping horses up in trip for their handicap debut is an often successful ploy by Sir Michael and his team. In fact, they have a 28.6% strike rate in the last three seasons employing this tactic. This is courtesy of eight winners from twenty-eight for profits of 6.76pts (+24.1% ROI). And tying in with our horse's expected odds today, all eight of those winners came from the 18 runners priced under 6/1: a strike rate of 44.44% with the 16.76pts profit representing a return of 93.1% over stakes invested.

This horse showed plenty of initial promise when 4th of 11 over today's course and distance on his racecourse debut, where he finished ahead of Poyle Thomas, a subsequent Class 3 winner. He tailed off in his second race, but that was over a mile and a half at Newmarket, which clearly looked too long for him, whilst his last run at Kempton saw him finish 3rd of 14 whilst staying on over what now looks an inadequate trip of the bare mile.

He showed enough in that last outing to suggest there's scope for improvement today and he is expected to be aided by the extra two furlongs whilst not being too badly treated with an opening handicap mark of 75.

The best price on offer at present for our 1pt win bet on Legends is the 5/1 BOG with Coral and BetVictor, so I've had a piece of that, as I expect that to contract over the course of the day. You can, however, shop around and the easiest/best way to do that is to simply...

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Glorious Goodwood Trainer Stats

Glorious-GoodwoodAhead of this week’s 5-day Glorious Goodwood Meeting Andy Newton’s got 3 stables that do well at the track and 3 not so well…… Read more

Trainers Stats: 16th July 2013

Sir-Michael-Stoute-001Andy Newton’s got 3 flat and 3 NH yards that have their horses in cracking form……see which ones here. Read more

Stat of the Day, 2nd October 2012

Stat of the Day 02/10

Stat of the Day 02/10

Stat of the Day, 2nd October 2012

A poor start to the new month on a day when I couldn't even pick my own nose! Pretty much everything I looked at yesterday lost, so it's just as well that the SotD pick was my only bet of the day. As for that one, Edgeworth was backed in from our advised 14/1 to an opening show of 9/1, but there was little/no market confidence in him and he eventually drifted back out to 12/1. He was pretty much in the rear for the entire race, made a little (but not much) headway and eventually finished 120th of 14 runners, some 9 lengths away from the winner and 6 lengths or so from grabbing us a place, which never really looked on the cards at any point in the proceedings.

Today looks as tough to call as yesterday was and with Ayr only just passing an inspection this morning and a prospect of further rain there, we'll stay in England today, leaving us with Sedgefield and/or Wolverhampton and I'm going to be taking a safety first option in more ways than one today as we tackle a 10-runner, 7-furlong handicap on the polytrack, negating any fears about the ground for the...

3.30 Wolverhampton

In the last 6 months at Wolverhampton, Sir Michael Stoute has sent eleven runners to post, returning a very creditable 3 winners ( 27%) and an almost incredible 9 placers (82%) in an impressive record that reads 12121235432 and today he has an excellent chance of continuing that great run with the filly Cantal.

Cantal is a well-bred filly, who broke her maiden tag at just the second time of asking by taking Lingfield maiden last October. She has been lightly raced in the subsequent 11 months: running just 3 times in handicaps but finishing 3rd, 2nd and then third behind Idler at Kempton last time and giving a very good account of herself that day. Idler, incidentally, has won another 2 races in the last fortnight.

She is still running off the same mark of 79 as those last two place finishes and a repeat of that form would be enough to secure at least a top three result today. I don't think she's badly treated at the weights and there could very well be some more improvement to come for this one.

The conditions seem to be right for her today too, her only win to date was on a left-handed polytrack (Lingfield), as is Wolverhampton and over today's trip of 7 furlongs.

I said I was playing it safe today and the current best available odds of 11/2 BOG with Stan James just about allows me enough room to advise a 0.5pts E/W bet on Cantal with a view to at least getting our money back, but as always, I recommend that you...

Click here for all the latest odds for the 3.30 Wolverhampton.

PS Sir Michael does have another runner later 4.30 at Wolverhampton. Moonship, owned by Khalid Abdulla is an interesting looking sort: a half-brother to Derby / Arc winner Workforce. He might not be quite ready to win just yet at 12/1 BOG , but he's certainly one that's expected to at some point. Look out for the famous "Frankel" colours.