Stat of the Day, 22nd February 2014
I rarely pass comment about the way a jockey rides on a losing selection, as it can seem like a case of sour grapes, but I'm fairly convinced that Matraash would have had more of a chance yesterday, if ridden differently.
He stayed on strongly and was doing all his best work at the finish, but was still beaten by just over 5 lengths back in 5th of 7 runners. Our 11/4 shot was backed in to become the 2/1 favourite, yet he looked anything but, as he was inexplicably held too far back approaching the turn for home.
He raced wide around the bend and had far too much to do, meaning the race was already lost with a quarter of it still to run.
We're staying at "Leafy" today for another crack at getting back amongst the winners in the...
Where I've taken 9/2 BOG with Hills about David Barron's Tarooq.
Tarooq won over course and distance last time out and is now 2/2 over C&D. His complete record at Lingfield (A/W) reads 12521131 and he was won a total of 9 times from just 20 starts on A/W tracks to date, whilst holding a record of 4/4 over 6f on the A/W.
His trainer David Barron has saddled up 10 winners from 35 (28.6% SR) here at Lingfield over the last 5 years recording level stakes profits of 36.9pts (+105.4% ROI).
Graeme Gibbons takes the ride again today, just as he did for Tarooq's last run, when they not only won over course and distance, they also broke the track record for this trip. He is up in class, but there is an old school of thought that if you're quicker then the rest, you'll still win, provided you've not too much weight to carry. That said, he's up 5lbs for that last run, which I actually think is still quite fair.
Graeme Gibbons has a good record on David Barron's sprinters. Over trips of 5 to 7 furlongs on any ground officially worse than good or on the all-weather, he has won 38 of 208 races (18.3% SR) for 93.5pts (+44.95% ROI) profit from all runs. That record is 17/78 (21.8% SR) for 43.9pts (+56.2% RO) on the all-weather alone.
Those stats are, of course, lifetime figures and more relevantly the last four years show Graeme's record on the Barron sprinters as 37/196 (18.9% SR) for 98.05pts (+50% ROI) and an A/W record of 17/74 (23% SR) for 47.9pts (+64.7% ROI), which pretty much tie in with the career stats.
So, in short, we've got a horse that thrives on the A/W and goes particularly well over track and trip. The horse holds the course record over today's trip and his trainer has a good record here overall. His jockey rode him to victory LTO and he also has a good record on the yard's sprinters.
There's enough there to suggest Tarooq will be competitive and he holds several of today's rivals on past form. Those rivals aren't well drawn here either, whilst we get to run from stall 2, which could allow Tarooq to dictate affairs. He'll be difficult to beat if he holds control of the race and looks decent enough value at 9/2 BOG today.
I've gone with Hills for this one, but that price is quite widely available, as can be seen if you...