Stat of the Day, 28th April 2014
No kind of run at all from Zafranagar on Saturday which brought to an end an excellent sequence of 10 placed finishes (6 winners, a 2nd and 3 x 3rd!). We'd taken 9/2 BOG about him and he drifted during the day before opening on course at 11/2.
Unsurprisingly, money came for him at that price and he was backed down to 3/1 at one point before being sent off as the 100/30 2nd favourite.
Jockey George Downing has held him up for a late run, but two furlongs from home, something appeared to be amiss and no surge came about. All we could see was the jockey standing tall and looking towards his own feet and then he cantered home well adrift of the leaders.
The Sporting life reported that his saddle had slipped and I suppose, we have to just take that on the chin: these things happen and we'll never know whether it was a good pick or not.
Hopefully nothing goes awry today in the...
Where at 9/4 BOG, Spectator is as short as I'm likely to go for SotD. This 3yr old gelding returns to the track for his handicap debut after three maiden races over today's 1m trip, the last of which was 20 weeks ago, but the break isn't of too much concern, as you'll see shortly amongst my reasons for selection, which are...
1. Trainer Andrew Balding's horses look to be hitting some decent form of late and historically he has done well here at Bath, achieving a 16.1% strike rate via his 43 winners from 267 runners, which has, in turn, produced level stakes profits of 62.02pts , or 23.23% of all stakes invested.
2. Since the start of the 2009 season, his yard's record with horses on their handicap debut is 23 winners from 169 (13.6% SR) for 58.9pts (+34.69% ROI) profit with a 7/37 record at today's Class 5 level. The 18.9% strike rate from those 37 runners has brought about profits of 46.44pts (+125.5% ROI) to date.
3. Mr Balding's male 3 yr old handicappers, who have three or fewer appearances to their name have 68 of 403 races when priced at 20/1 or shorter. That's slightly better than 1-in-6 at 16.87% SR and the resultant 171pts profits are equivalent to 42.43% of stakes and the record in Class 5 events is 22/100 (22% SR) for 96.54pts (+96.54% ROI).
I appreciate that we don't "tip" many 20/1 runners for SotD, so maybe the record at 6/1 or under is more relevant here and at 43 winners from 159, the 27% strike rate is very healthy, as are the 58.65pts (+36.9% ROI) profits with a Class 5 record of 13/40 (32.5% SR) for 20.25pts (+50.63% ROI).
4. And finally, I mentioned that Spectator hadn't been seen for 20 weeks and that I wasn't too concerned about it. This is because Andrew Balding has had 5 winners from the 19 handicappers in the last three seasons who were returning from a break of 3 to 5 months. I know it's a small sample size, but the 26.32% strike rate is noteworthy, but even more so because of the 28.17pts (or 148.3% of stakes) profit generated from these runners.
Spectator's best run of his three outings to date was on debut at Brighton, where he finished fourth within four lengths of the winner on soft ground. That's his only run on turf to date and after not looking as impressive in two A/W runs, he's expected to perform better here with some cut in the ground.
He's related to some decent sorts, including Side Glance who was a Group 1 winner less than six months ago and also has victories at Group 3 and Listed Class to his name. I'm not saying that Spectator will be that good, but he's sure to win races somewhere. He has been allocated a fairly soft-looking mark of 66 for his handicap debut and with jockey Kieran Shoemark taking off 7lbs, our selection will be receiving weight from seven of his eight rivals.
This doesn't look a particularly strong race today with not too many wins on display and if the stats above are maintained, we've every chance of scoring with a 1pt win bet on Spectator at 9/4 BOG. I'm on with BetVictor, but PP are also offering 9/4 with Bet365 showing just 2/1. For all the other prices...
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