Stat of the Day, 18th September 2013
After a week in the doldrums, Letsby Avenue got both SotD and Robert Thornton back in the winners' enclosure.
The horse handled the step up in class, distance and weight with ease and bar a couple of "lazy" jumps at the final two obstacles, won comfortably at 3/1.
We had taken 7/2 BOG early doors, but a total of 35p was deducted via Rule 4 meaning we were better off at SP.
It was also a welcome return to action for Choccy with a winner on his only ride of the day on his comeback from a bad fall at Southwell some six months ago.
Something a little more left field today as we head across the Irish Sea for the...
Where my spotlight falls on trainer Paul Deegan and his runner Srucahan. Paul isn't one of the more well-known Irish trainers, but his yard is in some decent form at the moment. Five of his ten runners in the last week have finished in the first two, with three of them going on to win, including a Listed contest at The Curragh last Sunday with Avenue Gabriel.
Now Paul doesn't send many runners to Listowel, in fact he has been represented just twenty-three times in the last four years, but those runners have yielded 10 placers (43.5% SR), including six winners (26.1% SR).
Those are pretty decent strike rates, which look even better when you consider that his runners aren't generally fancied in the market and it seems that he's more than capable of "landing a touch" here in County Kerry. This is backed up by his level stakes profits of 65.2pts, a return on stakes of over 283%, with E/W backers reaping profits of 81.85pts too: that's a very healthy ROI of 178% from safety-first E/W betting!
Paul has two runners here this afternoon: The Panhandler looks well up against it in the maiden that opens proceedings here today, but race 2 is a 7 furlong handicap on heavy ground, which should play to the strengths of Srucahan. This 4 yr old bay gelding has won four times from eight starts on heavy ground and has also finished second in one of those races.
He's not the best horse in the field, but I genuinely feel that some of the more fancied runners will struggle with the conditions and if he runs to his ability, should be there or thereabouts this afternoon. He's no mug though, despite being on a 10-race losing streak (only one of those was on heavy enough ground for him, when he was 5th in a listed race far stronger than this one.) as his record at the end of last season will testify.
He closed his 2012 campaign out with back to back wins in heavy going inside 4 days at The Curragh and at Cork, before taking a rest. he reappeared at The Curragh in March and won again, also on heavy ground. His best form has, admittedly, been at 6 furlongs, but I think his ability in testing conditions will see him staying on better than most today.
His recent (lack of) form, allied to him being unproven at the trip will mean that he'll be a typical Paul Deegan Listowel runner ie he'll not be fancied by the market and he'll go better than expected. Paul's horses, incidentally have a record of 1012 on heavy ground here at Listowel with the "2" being Srucahan's only previous run here.
As of 9.45am, the best available price was 14/1 BOG with 1/4 odds available for three places. With this in mind, I'll take the cautious approach and place a 0.5pt E/W bet on Srucahan with BetVictor. I should, however, point out that Ladbrokes are currently offering the same price, so the best option is to...
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