Stat of the Day, 24th June 2013
Man of Leisure was beaten by a better horse on the day, I'm afraid. The winner Sea Lord ( a former winner off 115 on the Flat) had too much pace for our selection on the run in and pulled some seven lengths clear in the closing stages after a tight battle up to the last hurdle. We had to settle for a 2nd place at 9/2, but there was no disgrace in our mount's run: I do, however, think, he's better off back at 2m 4f with the mark he has currently been allotted.
A two-mile Class 5 Handicap (Flat) awaits us in the North Yorkshire evening sunshine (fingers crossed), where eleven runners are to do battle on good ground for the....
Trainer John Berry is one of those wily/canny trainers who uses the jockey weight claim system to its full advantage. He doesn't use 7lb claimers all that often, but when he does, he has a knack of finding the right race to send them to.
Since 2006, he has used a 7lb claiming jockey in twenty-four races, winning six of them and making the frame on another six occasions. At betfair SP, that 25% strike rate has yielded 44.76pts (+186.5%), whilst the 50% place strike rate has benefited E/W backers to the tune of 62.9pts, a very healthy 131% return on investments.
His record with such jockeys is pretty consistent with four wins from fifteen since the turn of 2011 (7/15 placed) for profits of 16.84pts (+112.3%) with E/W profits of 23.4pts. All those four winners were priced at 10/1 or under, where his record is 4/9 for +22.84pts.
In recent times, he has turned to Noel Garbutt as his claimer of choice, and Noel's record on John's horses reads 11322 (+13.12pts) with a record of 112 on today's selection Zarosa.
Zarosa is a 4 yr old filly who has made signficant progress of late. She ended her 2012 campaign with a comfortable 5-length victory at Nottingham over 2 miles on soft ground at Halloween. She then had a good five and a half month break from the track, before reappearing at Newcastle.
She won on that seasonal debut (1m4f, good) too and then competed once again back at Nottingham on a soft ground, 2-mile trip where she was only beaten by a neck by the progressive Albonny, despite having raced wide on occasions. If she runs to a similar level today and keeps a tighter line, then there's no reason why she can't continue her progression here and extend the run of Jockey/Trainer.
The main danger will, of course, be the favourite Enchanted Garden, but I've doubts about him handling his 6lb penalty for a recent win and I'm sure he'd prefer some more cut in the ground. Nevertheless, his presence at around the 2/1 mark, means we can place our 1pt bet on Zarosa at decent odds of 4/1 BOG. This price is quite widely available as of 10.15am, so for your pick of the bookies (I'm using BetVictor again), please...
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