Stat of the Day, 25th August 2013
Four winners from six for Mickael Barzalona at Newmarket highlighted how strong he is at that venue and he has certainly helped my profit/loss figures this summer. He also helped SotD to a 4.5pts return yesterday as he cajoled Ghazi to a win on debut. The horse had to be firmly ridden from a long way out, such was the greenness of his running, but finally with less than two furlongs to go, the penny seemed to drop and he straightened up for home.
The official winning distance was a mere half-length, but in truth it was all quite cosy in the end. He's sure to be asked to go further in time and may well be one to watch as he progresses. There's no Barzalona/Newmarket combinations today, I'm afraid, but I do have an interesting entry in the highly competitive...
Three year old horses running in open age handicaps receive a weight for age allowance and this allowance becomes far more noticeable in races of a mile and a half or further. As with any angle in racing, some trainers are more adept at exploiting this allowance and whilst Mark Johnston is the master of this, fellow trainer Ed Dunlop is no slouch either.
In the past three seasons Ed has had six winners (and four others placed) from just seventeen such entrants with this 35.3% strike rate generating level stakes profits of 15.7pts, a return of 92.4% of stakes.
This is also the time of year when Ed's horses are usually at their peak with his record in handicap races in the months of July & August over the past three seasons reading as 26 winners from 118 runners priced at 12/1 or under. This gives a very healthy 22% strike rate and profits of 34.1 pts or 28.9% of stakes. It should also be noted that 41% of those runners made the frame, making these two months very profitable for the yard.
Today, Mr Dunlop employs the talents of Frankie Dettori to ride the 3 yr old filly Bantam, a horse developing into a really consistent sort who was 5th of 15 on debut at Newbury back in May, but has made the first two home in each of her five subsequent outings on turf since (22121) despite being asked to run on ground conditions varying from Good to Firm right through to Heavy!
Both of her wins to date were over today's kind of trip (1m 3.5f at Windsor and 1m 4f at Salisbury last time out) and she showed a good turn of pace to win her latest contest. She is making steady progress, having risen from a mark of 75 to today's 84 in the space of her last three runs. She ran well enough off 80 last time out and today's extra 4lbs is more than negated by that 10lb (in real terms) weight for age allowance as above, meaning she's effectively competing off 74, despite having won off 75 & 80.
The booking of Frankie Dettori today is interesting too. He may not be the rider he used to be, but he's still one of the best around. His deployment here today, allied to the trainer's record in handicaps at this time of year, as well as the weight allowance makes the 9/1 BOG on offer look really attractive. The prudent call is, of course, to hedge our bets. Therefore today's play is a 0.5pts E/W bet on Bantam at 9/1 BOG with BetVictor. This price is also currently available at Betfred and William Hill.
I wrote this at midnight and prices are subject to change, so I'd strongly recommend that you...
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