Stat of the Day, 20th September 2013
Aficionados of cult 80's TV series The A-Team will recognise the saying "I love it when a plan comes together!"
And that's exactly how I felt at around 4.02pm yesterday after Jubilante had clocked up another winner for us, beating the front running Love Island by just over half a length.
I said in my piece yesterday "I expect this to be a strongly run race, which will also be of benefit to us today, she seems to perform better when there's some early pace for her to follow."
The field travelled at a reasonable pace and our mount had some work to do with two furlongs to go, having been held up under cover in the early stages. Jockey Jimmy Fortune then switched her out wider and set for home under a strong ride, eventually passing the five runners in front of her and taking the lead with about a half furlong to run.
The SP was 3/1, but fortunately we'd taken the BOG option and made an extra point. September is often a tricky month, but we're having a decent run of late and I hope to continue in the same vein with today's runner in the...
Saeed Bin Suroor (yes, him again!) is no stranger to this column, but when you clock up stats like his, it's understandable.
Not many trainers can be backed blindly at a specific course and return a level stakes profit. However, Saeed's record at Newbury is exceptional. Backing every horse he has sent here in the last ten years would have produced an overall profit and the figures since 2008 show 28 winners (24.14% SR) from 116 runners at all odds.
This has given his followers a profit of 68.3pts or 58.9% of stakes invested. His record here this year reads 6 winners from eighteen. You don't need a calculator (or me!) to work out that strike rate, whilst the profit from those runners is 13.13pts (an ROI of +72.9%).
Quite often, a trainers profit is artificially skewed by a big winner or two, but that's not the case here. Saeed Bin Suroor's runners often attract the punters' money and many of them go off at odds of 4/1 or shorter, yet they still show a profit! The figures with horses priced between Evens and 4/1 are as follows:
Since 2008: 22 winners from 56 = 39.3% for profits of 34.5pts (ROI of +61.6%)
This year: 5 winners from 12 = 41.7% for profits of 9.55pts (ROI of +79.5%)
It should also be noted that amongst his winners here at Newbury, he has saddled up three of the last four winners of this particular race. So, all we need now is a horse running here at Newbury and trained by Saeed bin Suroor and this is the only grey area about today's piece, as he has two runners at the course and both contest this 7f Listed event.
This gives us a choice between Free Wheeling and Tawhid. Whilst Free Wheeling arrives here in decent form from Australia via Meydan and is certainly no mug, I'm a little concerned about his 29-week lay off from the track since running at Meydan and it's actually 45 weeks since he ran on any turf and over 15 months since he ran on any ground with some "give" in it.
He's certainly got ability, having won a group 2 race and two listed contests in the past, but I feel that he'll probably just need a run and can't afford to concede the 3lb weight difference to Tawhid, who has also been in excellent form, but at a higher level than this contest.
He won his maiden at the third time of asking in a Class 5 race on soft ground, before being pitched straight in at Group 3 level. He has run consistently well at Group level with a record of 143234 (the penultimate of which was a third place in a Group 2 here at Newbury a month ago).
To date, Tawhid has won two of his three races on soft and/or heavy ground, finishing second in the other one, meaning he certainly won't lack stamina today and he also has a course and distance victory under his belt, when he was a 4-lengths winner of the Group 3 Horris Hill Stakes on heavy ground back in October.
Cheekpieces are being worn today to aid his concentration after he found trouble at Haydock last time out, after not receiving the best of rides and it is hoped/expected that the addition of the cheekpieces and the booking of the very talented Silvestre de Sousa will provide a bit more focus today.
Unofficially, I'll be doing a reverse forecast between the two Bin Suroor runners, but the SotD play is a 1pt win bet on Tawhid at 5/2 BOG. This price is widely available, so to take your pick of the bookies, simply...
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