Stat of the Day, 13th October 2012
And so, after an incredible run of results, Chris takes a breather. No pina coladas by the pool on some far off tropical island for him, but at least a weekend away from the keyboard, as 'new dad' Matt returns from his paternity for a stint in the SotD chair.
I return on an absolutely terrific day's racing. Not an easy day's racing, but hugely competitive and compelling stuff. So, if we're going to be dealing with competitive stuff, why not have a stab at the most competitive of all the races, the Cesarewitch?! That's the...
Just the 35 of them go to post for this two and a quarter mile flat handicap, one of the hardest of the season for backers. In what is ostensibly such an obtuse puzzle, there is one horse which has a bulletproof stats profile. Of course, paper and turf are different barometers of performance, and the latter is where his mettle will be tested this afternoon.
Countrywide Flame is favourite in many books for the race, and deservedly so. This fellow, who won the Triumph Hurdle as a 33/1 shot (when tipped here at geegeez by yours truly), has an incredible placed strike rate of ten from eleven since joining John Quinn.
His career stats are impressive whichever way you look at them, and here's a quick resume:
141321 on good to soft since stepped up from five furlong (five furlongs?! This is a two and a quarter mile race! He actually ran in races won by Ballista and Mayson on first two career starts!)
134112123121 since joining John Quinn (including FOUR Grade 1 hurdles)
1 in a field of 16+ (Triumph Hurdle)
In terms of the Cesarewitch trends, a low draw has traditionally been an advantage - Countrywide Flame is drawn seven of 35; ten of the last fourteen winners finished top four last time out - our boy was a winner; ten of fourteen have carried 8-11 or less - CF has 8-05 to lug here; 11 of 14 were rated 95 or less - CF is 88; and, half of the last fourteen winners had run between sixteen and thirty days prior to rocking up here: Countrywide Flame last ran 29 days ago.
And, for good measure, he's one of just a handful who like to race on or very close to the pace, a job which is perfectly set up from trap seven.
In other words, if this race was run on paper, the others may as well not bother showing up! Alas, they insist on running it on the grass, so we'll have to 'go through the motions' of watching them race... 😉
Obviously, it's a 35 runner handicap, so anything can happen, but there are a lot of positives to merit nominating the favourite in the race, especially given that a) he's 8/1, b) that's best odds guaranteed (though I can't really see him drifting), and c) a number of bookies are paying five places. I'll be wagering each way BOG with a five places bookie, and hoping for a robust run for the fish and chip money, but you can and should always…
Click here for all the latest odds for the 3.35 Newmarket.