Stat of the Day, 23rd September 2012
A fine shout by Chris yesterday, and a very good run from No Quarter, who tracked the pace-setting leader, but could never quite peg him back. He stuck on for third, rewarding those of you who bet the 7/1 shot each way. For SotD purposes, it will go down as a loser, however, as we nominated a win only bet.
It's worse than trappy today, and as I've given Chris the day off - well earned of course, and he's off to Uttoxeter races - I thought I'd put up a real randomizer poke this afternoon! 😉
In truth, the horse could as easily finish last as first, but that is factored into his price. Let's head across the water to the…
2.45 Gowran Park
A twenty runner handicap hurdle is rarely an obvious place to go pin-sticking for a Stat of the Day selection, but there really is a dearth of options on the British side of the Irish Sea.
Consequently, we'll row in with the top weight here, a horse with recent form figures under both flat and National Hunt codes of 00000. Yes, this really is a dark 'un!
As ever with Stat of the Day, though, that tells but part of the story. Bachelor Affair is a ten year old now. And he's recently been running on what would have been unsuitably soft ground in the main.
Today, back on a quicker surface and, more materially, back at Gowran Park, he must have a chance in a race where his historical performances dictate he shoulders the most weight. In other words, the pick of his form is the best in the race.
For those who don't know, top weights in handicaps win more often than second top weights, which in turn win more often than third top weights... and so on, in beautifully linear fashion all the way down the weight scales. Of course, that doesn't mean that Bachelor Affair will win, nor even that he has the best chance, today. But it does mean that he's not the hopeless case that his recent form and odds imply.
Let's look at his record more closely: six career wins, five of them over hurdles, and three of them here at Gowran Park (from just five tries). His most recent win, this time last year, was off a one pound higher mark (117), and on softer than ideal ground - all other wins on good or firmer. Today's going is currently good.
All six wins were over today's two mile trip, and this is the easiest race he's entered since his last win.
The pace scenario looks promising, with our boy a confirmed front-runner on a strong pace-favouring course/distance. Norther Bay, another with a squeak, likes to race very close to the pace too, but Bachelor Affair might just get his own way out front. His jockey, Tommy Treacy, has ridden all six of his wins and so knows exactly how to ride him.
In short, he's a punt with a chance... and he's 28/1! That's best odds guaranteed with William Hill, and each way is the obvious play, with four safety net places. Bachelor Affair could easily run down the field this afternoon, but he's never a 28/1 shot, given his form as recently as three to five starts back over hurdles, which was 131.
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