Stat of the Day, 2nd April 2013
Nothing doing yesterday as Woody Waller failed to finish the race. He didn't run badly and kept himself well in touch, until weakening in the latter stages. He was, as suggested, the outsider of the field, but was by no means disgraced despite being eventually pulled up two from home.
We're coming down South today, to Devon in fact for a decent-looking Class 3 Handicap Hurdle. The ground is set to be good to soft (good in places) for the fiteen runners contesting today's...
It's not very often you'll see the name Paul Nicholls crop up on SotD, nor is it a common occurrence to see one of his runners available at 9/1, despite the horse having a 100% record.
Yet, all of those unlikely events have come together today, as we'll be placing our daily shilling on Watergate Bay, who is Mr Nicholls' only hurdler on display today and will be looking to maintain his yard's excellent results over the Exeter hurdles in recent years.
Paul has sent 23 hurdlers here in the last two years and as you'd expect, he has been quite prolific. His returns from those races are 8 winners (34.8%) and a total of 16 placed (69.6%), including those winners. And once again today, the yard will be asking Daryl Jacob to get this horse home and the jockey himself is no stranger round these parts, having secured nine place finishes from fifteen attempts over hurdles here in the last two years.
What about the horse itself? As I said earlier, it has a 100% record to date. However, that's just from one outing and that race was some 495 days ago, which probably accounts for some of the reasons for the current long price. That win came at Taunton back in late-November 2011 where he stayed on well to win comfortably over a trip just a half furlong longer than today's 2 miles 3 furlongs.
Mr Nicholls' horses don't often fail for a lack of fitness and the long layoff for this one won't strike too much concern to his yard and as a brother to the very useful Fistral Beach, I'd assume that better things than this are expected of Watergate Bay.
Today's selection is a fairly speculative punt and much of today's selection is based on trust/gut feeling that the yard will have this one ready, but it's not every day that we'll get such long odds on a Nicholls-trained horse at a provincial meeting. Thus the call today is a 0.5pts E/W bet on Watergate Bay at 9/1 BOG with Stan James, but as ever, I recommend that you...