Stat of the Day, 26th February 2013
Just enough wasn't enough yesterday, as M J Woodward failed to cling on to the lead he held around the home turn. He was eventually run out of the places too in a tight finish, as he went from 1st to 8th inside the final furlong.
Such was the competitiveness of the race, he was still less than 3 lengths off the winner at the post and less than 6 lengths covered the entire 11-runner field.
We're heading North to Yorkshire today for an interestingly open-looking Class 4 Handicap Hurdle. It's another 11-runner contest and the trip is 3 miles 1.5 furlongs on Good to Soft ground for the...
It's a horses for courses SotD today, as we examine the merits of an 8 yr old bay mare who seems to be well suited (on paper at least!) by today's conditions.
Carmela Maria has had a fairly modest NH career if we're totally honest: just 3 wins and 6 places from 29 races, where backing her blindly would have seen you break even at SP and make a small 1.65pts profit to E/W stakes. So we need something else to convince us to back her.
Today's race is a handicap event and all three previous wins have been on handicap company, where she has 3 wins and 4 places from 22 starts. Win and place strike rates of 13.6% and 31.8% have produced profits of 7pts (+31.8% POI) and 11.65pts (+26.5%) respectively, whilst all those wins and places have come in Class 4 contests like today's. At this level, her strike rates improve to 17.6% (for +12pts = +70.6% POI) and 41.2% (for 17.25pts = POI of 50.7%)
All three NH victories have come here at Catterick, where she is 3/8 for +21pts. All have been at today's trip where is she is 3/6 for +23pts over C&D.
All three wins have also come in fields of 10 to 13 runners and whilst wearing blinkers. The cut in the ground should be of too much an issue either, she has decent form in those conditions too.
So, today sees us considering a Catterick Class 4 Handicap race over the preferred trip of 3m 1.5f where our selection is in a field of 10-13 runners wearing blinkers. And whilst it look like I may have filtered this down a little too much, it does show that today represents her optimum conditions, as this will be the fifth time she has raced with all those parameters in place: winning three of the previous four.
I'm looking at a safety-first E/W bet today and the best price available (9.50am) is 7/1 BOG across the board.
It's unusual for all the firms to agree so early in the morning, so you shouldn't have any problems getting the same price as me. I've still some got a little bonus money left in my BetVictor account, so I'll be backing Carmela Maria with them, but to see what your favourite bookie is offering...