Stat of the Day, 28th October
An old skool clunker yesterday, with Robinson Collonges sulking when he didn't get his own way in front and tailing himself off subsequently. Remember Harry Fry though, because he'll be winning lots of races this season.
To today, and we go with a more obvious choice but still one loaded with frustration potential, in the…
Paul Nicholls has been in the top two in the trainers' championship for a very long time. Losing horses to Harry Fry won't help his cause this year, but he's still just about the best senior trainer on the block.
His record at Wincanton is pretty good - fifty winners from 182 runners in the last five years - but shows a marginal loss on investment of just shy of two points. Look more closely, however, and you'll see that with the chasers Nicholls sends to the track, he does rather well.
Indeed, of the 57 he's saddled in that time, fifteen have won (26%) for a level stakes profit of 22.82 points. Not bad at all.
Today, he runs just the one chaser on the card, and that's the frustrating Minella Stars. This chap has had nine tries at fences, and been placed on all nine. Unfortunately, he's only won one and has been second fully five times!
But. But but. The win was last time out, and it was ground out over the longest trip he's faced to date: a furlong shy of three and a half miles. Today, he'll go another half furlong further, and as a plodder royale, I hope he'll relish it.
Minella Stars acts fine on good ground (two of his second places were the only twice he ran on it); he's happy in smaller fields (eight go here); and he's been second on both starts at Wincanton too.
There's a good chance that Reach For The Top and Only Witness will want to get on with it, and any further creation of a stamina test will play into the extremely slow but gallant hooves of our fellow.
He looks fair nailed on for the frame, but I'm going to risk all with the SotD point placed squarely on Minella Stars' game nose. He's a best priced 9/2 (BOG) with Betfred as I write, and that's fair enough, I'd say.