Tag Archive for: Southwell trainers

All-Weather Analysis: Southwell Racecourse

The all-weather track at Southwell racecourse was re-laid from fibresand to tapeta in the spring/summer of 2021, and racing resumed on 7th December 2021. Hence, for this sixth track in my all-weather analysis series, I will be using racing data from 7th December 2021 to 30th September 2022, writes Dave Renham. This gives us relatively limited data at this stage (293 races in total) but it will still be interesting to see what shows itself. My race data collection has once again been taken solely from the Geegeez Query Tool and therefore all profits / losses have been calculated to Industry Starting Price. I will include Betfair SP data when it is worth sharing.

Personally I liked the old fibresand surface as it offered some playable biases, but there’s no point dwelling on the past! Let’s start digging into the future, and the tapeta numbers.

Running Style at Southwell

For running style data I only examine handicaps and usually handicaps of 8 or more runners. For this piece, however, I am going to use 7 or more runners just to give us a little extra data to work with.

Southwell 5f Run Style Bias

Let’s start as usual with the minimum trip of 5f. It is a straight five at Southwell; the only distance raced on the straight course there. Here are the run style splits for the new tapeta surface (40 races):

 

 

Front runners have certainly had the best of it to date, and by some considerable margin. 40 races is usually enough to start building up a picture. The A/E indices correlate strongly as one would expect:

 

 

If these types of figures continue in the coming months, Southwell’s 5f trip will become one of the most potent front running biases on the sand.

I also thought it would be a good idea to work out the Percentage of Rival Beaten (PRB) figures for each run style in these 5f handicaps. These were manually calculated and an explanation of them can be found in my first Dundalk article.

Here are the PRB splits:

 

 

These correlate positively with the earlier two sets of stats. The beauty of PRB is that it includes all runners in all races, which creates a much bigger data pool. All things considered, I am confident there is currently a strong front-running bias in 5f handicaps on this new surface at Southwell.

 

Southwell 6f Run Style Bias

Onto 6f now and this is the first distance run around a bend.

 

 

Front runners continue to have a good edge according to the win percentages, although it doesn't seem to be as potent over this extra furlong. 41 races in the sample so similar to the 5f data shared earlier. A look at A/E indices next:

 

 

There is a positive correlation with the A/E indices and the win percentages once more. PRB figures now:

 

 

Front runners have a decent edge using this ‘measure’ once again, while the other three running styles are all around the same mark. All three data sets are giving a positive edge for front runners, and I am hopeful this trend will continue over the winter. There does not seem too much to choose between the other three running styles.

 

Southwell 7f Run Style Bias

There have been 32 handicaps with 7+ runners over this trip since the re-laying so the smallest sample to date. Here are the figures in tabular form:

 

 

As can be seen, front runners have not enjoyed the advantage over this 7f trip. Indeed I worked out their PRB figure and it is very low at 0.43. It is a smallish sample so I would not want to be making sweeping conclusions just yet, but my gut feel is that front runners are not the way to go at this trip. Currently run style is not a factor I would consider too deeply over this distance at Southwell.

 

Southwell 1m Run Style Bias

A quick look at the 1 mile handicap data:

 

 

There is very little between each group now in reality at this trip of 1 mile and, so far, it looks to play very fairly.

 

To finish this section I will combine all longer trips together into one group.

 

Southwell 1m3f+ Run Style Bias

This gives us just under 60 handicap races to breakdown:

 

 

Front runners over these distances have a poor record, while the best approach seems to be held up early.

It appears at this stage, therefore, that in terms of run style at Southwell, we have two main trips to focus on. Five furlongs, where the front running bias looks very strong, and six furlongs, where the front running bias is significant enough to be of interest. Also, when we look at 1m 3f+ races, it could pay to avoid front runners while potentially keeping an eye on hold up horses. 

 

The Draw at Southwell

Here is the Southwell racecourse map.

 

 

It is a 10f oval circuit with a 5f straight track. Let’s now drill down into the draw data:

 

Southwell 5f Draw Bias

The shortest distance first and, as mentioned, the only straight track race distance. Here are the splits since the course was re-laid to tapeta:

 

 

These stats potentially suggest that low draws may enjoy a very small edge, and if we look at the win and placed stats combined, this starts to look a more likely scenario:

 

 

In order to hopefully confirm that there has been a low draw bias of some description, we need to see the percentage of rivals beaten (PRB) data.

 

 

I think this underlines the fact that lower draws have had a tangible edge to date. Also, if you ringfenced stalls 1 to 4, their combined PRB figure stands at an even higher 0.57. The most successful stall has been the lowest one (draw 1) – this draw has seen its runners produce a huge PRB figure of 0.66.

It is also worth noting that if you had backed all low drawn runners in every qualifying 5f handicap you would have made a profit of around £19.00 to £1 level stakes equating to a return of around 12p in the £.

It is still early days, but the signs are we may have a low draw bias to try and take advantage of. The old 5f stats on the fibresand also favoured low which I guess may give us further confidence in these initial findings.

 

Southwell 6f Draw Bias

Here are the draw splits for the 6f trip:

 

 

Middle draws potentially fare best. How about the PRB figures?

 

 

There is nothing in it on PRB, which is the most accurate measure of potential draw bias. The A/E indices for each third are within 0.1 of each other, too, so taking all data into account it seems 6f is a level playing field so far from a draw perspective.

 

Southwell 7f Draw Bias

Onto 7f now and, like the 6f trip, they race around a single lefthand bend.

 

 

This race sample of 32 is the smallest to date and although these figures suggest middle draws are being squeezed a little, I personally don’t think there is anything significant going on here draw wise. The PRB figures will shed more light:

 

 

As we can see, middle draws don’t seem at a disadvantage after all. Low draws may have a slight edge but I would like to see another year’s worth of data to see if this is actually the case. It looks pretty fair at this stage.

 

Southwell 1m Draw Bias

Nothing to report over 1 mile really. The 30 races have seen 10 wins for low draws, 9 for middle and 11 for high.

Time to move away from the draw – it seems a level playing field from 6f upwards. As stated earlier, there may possibly be a small low draw bias over 5f.

From this point on I will be looking at ALL races, not just 7+ runner handicaps.

 

Trainers at Southwell

Clearly, recent data is going to be limited for trainers. Indeed just seven trainers have saddled 50 or more runners in this time frame. My starting point will therefore be to look at pre-tapeta data; specifically, reviewing fibresand trainer stats going back to 2016. Here are the top trainers from that period (minimum 70 runs; win SR% 13% or more):

 

 

From here I am going to focus on the top six trainers in terms of strike rate and look at their record over the past year to see if we can glean anything. Here are my findings:

 

 

The first thing to say is that there are limited data for all six trainers. However, the figures for the Balding and Barron’s stables look promising – they are in the same sort of ballpark as before. The others are below par although Karl Burke has had five second places and if, say, two of those had won his figures would be close to pre-tapeta levels. Likewise, if two of Archie Watson’s four seconds had won he, too, would be back to the 22% win SR.

Tim Easterby’s figures are slightly more concerning but it is still early days, so best to wait another year at least to see if his form picks up (Note: After this piece was researched Tim Easterby saddled two winners on 9th Oct 2022 at 9/1 and 40/1!)

Keeping with the Easterby family, the David and Mick Easterby stable have saddled 10 winners from 30 runners in the last year producing returns of 91p in the £. Their 2016 to 2021 fibresand data on the other hand produced just 9 winners from 148 runners. There are some racing statistics that simply cannot be explained!

Before moving on I thought it might be worth comparing the PRB figures for the six trainers across the two time frames. At least this way we get slightly more detailed data for the last year:

 

 

The figures for the last year are around what I would have expected for five of the trainers given what we knew from the fibresand days. It seems, though, that Karl Burke’s recent figures are not so different after all.

The three Bs of Balding, Barron and Burke are stables that are likely to go well in the coming months. I would not write off the other three yet – we need a few more runs in the sample for them I feel.

 

Jockeys at Southwell

I’m not going to go into great detail here due to the limited data, but one jockey who has started well since the resurfacing is Daniel Muscutt. At time of writing, he has ridden 13 winners from just 49 rides (SR 26.5%) for a profit of £32.51 (ROI +66.3%). What impresses me more than his bare stats is that he has ridden winners for 11 different stables. Hence there is no trainer bias going on here. Time will tell whether he can keep up this hot streak.

Before moving on, Ben Curtis and Clifford Lee both had excellent fibresand stats going back to 2016. Between them to date they have had only 32 rides between them on the new surface, so too early to tell whether they will maintain their high performance level in the future.

 

Southwell Gender bias

We have seen a gender bias at each of the all-weather courses I have studied so far. Here are Southwell’s tapeta figures:

 

 

For this angle, we have a decent data set and it seems the gender bias is occurring here, too. I also checked out the PRB figures and males have an edge of 0.514 to 0.468.

When we have another year’s worth of results I personally will dig a bit deeper into specific areas like market or distance / gender data.

 

Southwell Market factors

Time for a look at the win% strike rates for different positions in the betting; starting with favourites and moving down to position 7th or more:

 

 

Second favourites have performed above the norm so far but I would expect the 24.5% win SR% to drop to around 20% in time. Favourites are about par losing around 9p in the £ to SP.

A look at market rank A/E indices next:

 

 

These are a bit up and down, but this is almost certainly down to the fact we have less than a year's worth of data. The favourite figure, however, is approximately what we might expect.

Over time I would expect these figures to mirror other courses and, hence, I would focus most of my attention on the top five in the betting despite the mixed data we see above.

 

Sire Performance at Southwell

The data set for sires is really limited. Only eight sires have had 50 or more runners. We will need to wait at least two more years to start seeing any potential patterns. Damsire data is similar with just five damsires having 50 runs or more.

 

Southwell Horses for courses

Once again our data is limited for this section. One horse has actually won four times (from 9 starts) in the last year and that is Back From Dubai. He won four on the bounce in the early part of 2022, but since then is 0 from 4, his handicap mark taking a deserved hike in the process. Daafy is 3 from 8 (PRB 0.77) and Fine Wine is also 3 wins from 8 starts (PRB 0.67).

 

Southwell Takeaways

To conclude, despite there only being roughly a year of racing on the new surface we do have some key takeaways.

There looks to be a strong front running bias over 5f in handicaps.

At 6f, front runners also have an edge, although not as powerful as the 5f one.

Back to 5f, there is potentially a slight low draw bias, and it will be interesting to see how that plays out this winter.

Males outperform females as we have seen at all other all weather tracks, while favourites have produced a par performance.

Trainers wise, the Balding and Barron yards - as well perhaps as Karl Burke - are worth generally keeping on side.

 

That's all for this piece. I'll be back next week with the final chapter, looking at Dunstall Park, better known as Wolverhampton Racecourse.

- DR

Southwell Statistics: Horses for Courses?

There are few racing betting mediums as divisive as Southwell All-Weather, writes Jon Shenton. I know people who barely acknowledge its existence, and yet, in the other camp, are people like me: I absolutely love it with every fibre(sand) of my being!

Indeed, I love winter all weather racing, full stop. It’s probably as a result of me getting some (well earned) gardening leave from January to March 2017, when I really started to immerse myself in the world of racing. Those halcyon days of studying my new toys (Geegeez Gold being the main one) in the morning and watching the racing in the afternoon on ATR will live long in the memory.  I was drawn to Southwell because it seemed a bit easier to navigate than the complicated world of National Hunt racing.  No vagueness on ground, no fences or hurdles to consider, and a whole stack of course form to evaluate.  Perhaps some moderate, relative early success helped too.

Whilst it may not be to the taste of everyone, supporters assert that the deep, stamina sapping test provided by the track offers a unique challenge and adds to the rich tapestry of UK racing. Arguably, it serves as an outlet for horses to show their ability who aren’t ordinarily suited to other racing surfaces.

It also has the important attraction of familiar names returning year after year, which as we know isn’t then norm for the racing on the level. It may be a stretch to claim superstar status for the main protagonists, but there are legends such as La Estrella (16 wins from 21 runs at the course) and General Tufto, who has run no less than 125 times on the fibresand over the last 10 years. 125 times and still counting!

To be honest, that’s even more frequently than I’ve attempted to explain odds and probability to my poor, not really interested, long suffering and very tolerant partner. Yes, on occasion I’m surprised I have one too! Anyway, let’s crack on. What follows are a few thoughts and insights which I hope will inform your Southwell wagering hereafter.

 

USA Bred horses at Southwell

It’s relatively well documented that horses with a pedigree originating from the good ‘ole US of A are worth consideration on the fibresand.  There is certainly logic in this given the perceived proximity between the Southwell surface and the dirt tracks of America.  The table below illustrates track runners by sire origin, for all races in 2012 onwards (three major countries only included)

 

Origin of Stallion Runs Wins Win% P/L (SP) Place% ROI (SP) A/E
(GB) 7881 892 11.3 -1815.6 29.3 -23.0 0.86
(IRE) 5919 700 11.8 -1327.8 30.1 -22.4 0.85
(USA) 1248 225 18.0 155.6 38.8 12.5 1.03

Southwell (AW) runners by country of origin, 1st Jan 2012 to present

 

The picture is pretty clear: US-bred horses outperform their UK- and Irish-bred counterparts significantly, winning more often (18%), beating market expectations (1.03) and returning a profit (12.5%) at SP.

Having said that it’s not ‘backing blind’ territory in my opinion, especially given the fact there are some exceptionally big priced winners in the sample. The biggest of all was a 100/1 shot, the Derek Shaw-trained Hammer Gun, who is definitely worth putting in the tracker for future Southwell entries as we will see shortly.

The Hammer bolted up in that particular race and, if you’re going for the Hail Mary play, I can think of worse places to do it than backing a US-bred runner at Southwell who is unproven on the surface.

As USA horses have a positive record at the track it would make some sense for American stallions to have similarly favourable numbers.

The below table shows sire records at Southwell for the same period.  This time I’ve only considered runners with a maximum SP of 20/1.  The usual reasons apply: I’m looking for angles which will return with a modicum of regularity.  Whilst there can be value at larger prices if you look hard and wait long enough, it’s not a game I want to play, or perhaps I can’t afford too long between drinks.  20/1 works for me, I know some of you prefer shorter. If you do, the data is there in the Geegeez Query Tool – go play!

 

Stallion Runs Wins Win% P/L (SP) Place% ROI (SP) A/E
Key Of Luck (USA) 67 15 22.4 21.8 47.8 32.5 1.39
Dubawi (IRE) 79 26 32.9 64.2 45.6 81.2 1.34
Ballet Master (USA) 53 9 17.0 1.3 43.4 2.4 1.30
Poets Voice (GB) 53 11 20.8 35.2 54.7 66.4 1.26
Refuse To Bend (IRE) 64 16 25.0 -5.2 40.6 -8.2 1.23
Speightstown (USA) 85 20 23.5 8.2 51.8 9.6 1.21
Street Cry (IRE) 129 35 27.1 40.5 50.4 31.4 1.21
Invincible Spirit (IRE) 130 32 24.6 22.0 37.7 16.9 1.20
Showcasing (GB) 55 10 18.2 24.0 45.5 43.6 1.12
Captain Gerrard (IRE) 105 21 20.0 54.3 40.0 51.7 1.10
Clodovil (IRE) 58 11 19.0 3.8 34.5 6.5 1.10

Sire performance at Southwell (AW) 1st Jan 2012-present at 20/1 SP or less

 

The table of top Southwell AW stallions has smattering of USA sires on the list, no major shock there. And, in the case of Street Cry, he was raced on dirt in America and latterly Dubai, winning the Grade 1 Stephen Foster in US and the Grade 1 Dubai World Cup in Dubai.

Ordinarily I’d now be searching through these data, trying to find a few nice angles to share and adopt over the next few months. In general, though, Southwell is a different proposition. Angles still have relevance but the number of course specialist horses can paint a different picture. I’ve already referred to the fact that one of the joys of the track is the number of repeat runners. Taking the top of the stallion charts (Key of Luck) we can see where the problem lies in angle creation.

 

This graph shows all of Key of Luck’s runners by individual animal, illustrating runs (blue) and wins (orange). The conclusion rapidly emerges: all of Key of luck’s progeny wins have been delivered by three individual horses, with 14 of the 15 coming from The Lock Master and Serenity Now! Even the most prolific stallion on the list, Street Cry, sire of the Australian darling, Winx, has a third of his victories from just two horses, namely Tatting and Fluctuation.

Based on this I don’t feel like many genuine angle opportunities exist in sire data. The samples are too small and the number of progeny involved are insignificant in many cases. No, for me, finding the right individual horses is the key. Then tracking and following them closely can be a productive method with which to approach the fibresand puzzle. Having said that, any Key of Luck or Street Cry progeny running at Southwell are still of interest and I’ll be watching them all closely and backing where conditions appear to be right.

 

Southwell trainers

Like any track across the world there are handlers who seem to know what is required for the unique Southwell test. Using the same approach as the sire table above here is the equivalent view for trainers, again sorted by A/E.

 

Trainer Runs Wins Win% P/L (SP) Place% ROI (SP) A/E
Carroll, D 101 24 23.8 37.6 41.6 37.3 1.63
Fell, Roger 55 11 20.0 33.8 38.2 61.4 1.48
Bailey, A 84 17 20.2 59.8 40.5 71.1 1.29
Furtado, Ivan 60 12 20.0 18.0 33.3 30.0 1.28
Brown, D H 67 15 22.4 -6.8 43.3 -10.2 1.25
Nicholls, D 103 22 21.4 32.9 37.9 31.9 1.25
McCabe, A J 184 34 18.5 31.1 36.4 16.9 1.19
Dwyer, C A 82 19 23.2 14.3 53.7 17.4 1.16
Shaw, D 251 44 17.5 5.5 41.8 2.2 1.15
Burke, K R 118 28 23.7 28.7 40.7 24.3 1.13
Kirby, P A 60 11 18.3 -11.6 40.0 -19.3 1.11
Butler, John 75 19 25.3 9.8 45.3 13.1 1.10
Bowring, S R 209 33 15.8 -12.4 35.9 -5.9 1.09

Southwell (AW) runners by trainer from 1st Jan 2012 to present at 20/1 or less SP

 

As is becoming tradition it feels right to have a quick delve into the top name on the list, in this case Declan Carroll.  The Malton-based trainer sends a high proportion of runners to the Nottinghamshire track. Indeed, the only course that is frequented more by his team is Thirsk, relatively local to the outfit.

Again, like the Key of Luck data, on the face of it, it seems that backing the Carroll stable representatives blindly is a good idea. In truth, it might be: there is a healthy strike rate, fantastic A/E performance and a reasonable return on investment.  On closer inspection though, we run into a familiar theme.

 

 

This graphical representation shows Carroll horses that have had 3 or more runs on the fibresand track from 2012 onwards at an SP of 20/1 or less; we can see quite clearly that Monsieur Jimmy and Shearian with their six wins apiece (the orange line) account for over half of the trainer’s wins during the nearly six years analysed. I think this illustration reinforces the fact that successful horses generally return to the track time and time again.

In other words, there is a selection bias in these small samples. It’s a repeat of the sire analysis scenario, and again begs the same question: is it worth following specific yards on the fibresand, or is it worth following specific horses?

The answer is difficult, as are all such responses to small sample sizes skewed by individual elements. What is not in doubt specifically is that Carroll knows what it takes to nurture a successful Southwell career for a horse and, once he knows he has one with the right aptitude, he isn’t afraid to keep running them.

By way of example, let’s examine the record of Shearian at the course under the tutelage of Carroll (he was with Tracy Waggott previously).

 

 

Impressive stuff. In spite of a remarkable track record, Shearian still, however, went off at a price of 15/2 on the 12th November this year. This, despite him winning in his previous run over course and distance.  Granted, he hit the crossbar on this occasion, in a grade where he’d largely struggled, but netted the rebound three days later with a comfortable victory back in Class 6. However, considering his price shortened significantly on the 12th throughout the day the bet represented potentially great value.

That value was present due to his previous eight runs (four on tapeta, four of turf) being fairly unproductive. To Shearian followers that is absolutely of no consequence whatsoever: his lamentable record away from Southwell is 61 spins for just two wins, both as far back as 2013. The cynic in me would point towards a summer of official rating reduction in preparation for a bountiful winter campaign cruising around the Rolleston venue, his AW rating having reduced from 73 to 65 over the period in question.

I recognise that you can always find examples to fit any given narrative; however, it does seem that Southwell form offers more reliability for predicting future prospects at the track.

 

Horses for Southwell

I’d love to be able to statistically assert and prove that course form is more important at Southwell than most places and I think I can do that, at least partially.

The graph below is quite simple in what it’s trying to show but not so easy to explain.  It contains data for all AW runners, by track, from January 2012 for 3YO+ and 4YO+ handicaps only.  I’m selecting these age groups due to the likelihood of more horse runs, and logically more course form to check. It’s the journeyman (or woman) type of horse that I’m interested in here.

Anyway, the graph below shows win rate by how many victories a horse has had at the track previously:

 

 

The thick blue line represents Southwell.  What it depicts is that, compared to the other all-weather tracks of the UK, a previous course win means the horse is more likely to win again at the same track. Newcastle is an interesting newcomer, and runs it close, albeit sample sizes are tiny for the three and four previous wins data points for that course.

This statistical evidence is all well and good, but it still doesn’t quite sit right. That is due to the fact that field sizes could have a bearing on the data.  If we take the black line above (Kempton) we can see that it languishes at the bottom, or close to it, across all bandings.

The only reasons that can be the case are either that Kempton has larger field sizes, i.e. more horses running equals lower strike rates, after all only one horse can win (dead heats not withstanding); or because course form doesn’t stand up as well as elsewhere.  The fact Kempton is “poor” in all categories does point to it having a higher than average number of runners per qualifying race.  The table below confirms this, to some degree at least:

 

Track Average field size Multiplier
Southwell 9.15 0.94
Chelmsford 9.02 0.93
Wolves 9.66 1.00
Lingfield 9.21 0.95
Kempton 10.52 1.09
Newcastle 10.89 1.12
Overall 9.70 1.00

Average field sizes for AW races from 1st January 2012 onwards

 

Kempton does indeed have notably larger fields than the average AW line up. Interestingly, however, so does Newcastle, a potential course specialist track in the making. So what does this mean, and for what can we use it?

In the table it confirms that a win at Newcastle is harder to get than a win at Chelmsford, and indeed anywhere else in the UK all weather landscape, based purely on field size. To prevail at Newcastle a horse has to be the best of 10.89 animals on average. At Chelmo, the cream of the crop rises above 9.02 horses, a significant 1.87 (17%) fewer.

To try and obtain a like-for-like comparison of course form, effectively taking field size out of the equation, we have to boost Newcastle and Kempton performance to take account of the higher volume of runners per race. Conversely, we’ll be downgrading Chelmsford, Lingfield and Southwell accordingly by deploying the multiplier column in the table above.

It leaves the following picture:

 

 

These data appear to show that in the pursuit of finding winners previous course form is considerably more valuable on the tapeta of Newcastle than other all-weather courses.  The new surface at Gosforth Park is still relatively new having only been in place for racing for just over two years, so the picture may change over time; but the fact that all races at up to a mile are on a straight track is a notable difference from the remainder of the all-weather scene and may contribute to it emerging as a "specialists' track".

However, even with the adjusted numbers previous course form still holds up well in comparison for Southwell.

Of course, this doesn’t necessarily directly translate to profitable angles, as course specialists are often well found in the market after all. But using data intelligently to assist in constantly improving our race reading ability has to be a good thing. If we find a course specialist with a favourable looking setup in terms of pace and draw (for another article, or check out Dave Renham’s excellent general series), we’re looking at a bet on the assumption that the price is reasonable. 

 

A Dozen Fibresand Masters

Let’s wrap things up. Much of this article has referred to course form and the longevity of horses who run at Southwell on a repeated basis. The below table shows some of the stars who thunder around the Notts oval with regularity. Each has had at least one run at Southwell during the past 12 months, and the table is sorted by A/E, with a minimum of 10 runs required to qualify.

 

Horse Runs Wins Win% P/L (SP) Place% ROI (SP) A/E
Custard The Dragon 10 6 60.0 18.8 80.0 187.5 2.75
Hammer Gun  11 6 54.6 111.6 63.6 1014.4 2.64
Piazon 13 6 46.2 20.3 61.5 155.8 1.90
Luv U Whatever 21 9 42.9 15.6 81.0 74.3 1.41
Stand Guard 14 6 42.9 -3.7 71.4 -26.6 0.88
Captain Lars  15 5 33.3 5.3 33.3 35.5 1.37
Philba 12 4 33.3 5.5 66.7 45.8 1.87
Shearian 21 7 33.3 25.6 47.6 122.1 2.28
Razin Hell 22 7 31.8 26.3 59.1 119.6 1.61
Royal Marskell 16 5 31.3 21.6 50.0 134.9 1.89
Pearl Nation  13 4 30.8 -0.1 61.5 -0.9 1.14
Samtu  13 4 30.8 29.3 46.2 225.0 1.43

 

Record breaking Stand Guard has since retired and there may be one or two others who have hung up their racing shoes, but the list should still be broadly active and, hopefully, profitable. Piazon and the aforementioned Shearian have already got their 2018 winter campaigns off the mark and I’m sure some of the others will be troubling the judge in the coming months. I’ve got a keen eye on Hammer Gun, and Samtu if reverting back to the flat, in particular. Here’s to a productive Southwell campaign for us all and a bit of Hammer Time over the festive period!

 - Jon Shenton (@jonnyshents on twitter)