Stat of the Day, 11th February 2013
I thought Flying Pickets gave a really good account of himself yesterday, despite seemingly being given far too much work to do late on. He was held back too far from the pace for my liking and encountered plenty of traffic when trying to weve his way home. He had to be switched twice and this won't have helped in trying to overcome quite a large deficit in the closing stages. He ran well when asked for an effort and stayed on to the line, but it was yet another second placed finish, I'm afraid. A little light relief for the traders, as our 5/1 shot was sent off at 3/1.
Plumpton's off today, so we're left with two meetings to choose from. And the safer option today would appear to be to avoid the Yorkshire mud at Catterick and head for the Dunstall Park Polytrack once again for a 10-runner, Class 4 Handicap, where the trip is a shade under nine and a half furlongs for the...
Willie Musson's recent record at Wolverhampton has caught my eye this morning. I was just looking over the results from the last year or so and I noticed that since the turn of 2012, he has had nine winners from just 37 runners here at Wolverhampton. That's a very satisfactory return of just over 24.3% and one to attract most people's attentions. If you add in the fact that further seven runners have made the frame, giving a place strike rate of 43.2%.
Quite often, trainers with such good record pay for it in terms of the P/L figures, as 25% winning ratios generally contain plenty of short-priced jollies. This isn't the case here, as the nine winners have produced almost 25pts clear profit at SP (+64.9% POI) and each way backers have benefited from a similar return (24.21pts). A nice bit of gravy, as some would say!
Willie's got just the one runner today and he's a very interesting sort, whilst being a bit of a punt.
The horse is Mountain Range and he makes his debut for Mr Musson today. He was previously trained by John Dunlop and after a decent enough season as a three-year old, seemed to lose his way a little last year and didn't actually win a race in 2012 with a record of 6736780. But after that 10th place finish (12 ran!) in December 2012, he was sold out of John Dunlop's yard for 11,000 Guineas and he's the type of horse that Willie Musson is so adept at getting the best out of.
He has already won twice off higher marks than today (3 career wins to date at 68, 75 and 82: runs off 74 today) as a 3yr old and is very well handicapped if Mr Musson can get him back to anything like that sort of form; but it does remain to be seen if he'll "get" the Wolverhampton track, his four previous A/W outings have been at Lingfield and Kempton. His three career wins have been at trips ranging from 1m to 1m 2f including a win on polytrack at Kempton, just over a year ago off a mark some 8lbs higher than today.
He is the type that Willie Musson does well with and if a return to his previous form can be found, he looks very well treated at the weights. There are, fo course, several ifs and buts surrounding today's selection, but this is reflected within the price. I've just taken 23.0 for him to win on Betfair and 5.4 for a place, but as I guarantee you'll get the same prices, the official line is a 0.5pt E/W bet on Mountain Range at 16/1 BOG with Stan James (price correct as of 10.30 am and also available at Hills), but please do...