Stat of the Day, 3rd March 2013
Trust Thomas ran reasonably well yesterday, but his 4th place finish just wasn't quite enough for him or us to make the frame at a decent price of 25/1. I suspect we'll see him go better at longer distances in the future.
We're staying in the North today for another crack at two miles and half a furlong. But today's contest is the last race on the card and is a Class 5 Handicap Chase, where we expect seven runners to tackle the good to soft ground in the...
Malcolm Jefferson is one of Matt's trainers to watch in handicap contests. Since the turn of 2010 Malcolm's record in handicap contests has generally been good, but his strength seems to lie in his chasers. In this time frame of just over three years, Mr Jefferson has enjoyed an impressive 17.7% strike rate from his chasers, courtesy of 29 winners from 164 starts. These winners have rewarded his followers with level stakes profits of over 109pts at SP: a return of 66.5%.
If those figures weren't impressive enough, his record in chases at Sedgefield is almost astounding: 8 winners from 22 = 36.4% strike rate for profits of 39.75pts = 180.7% return on stakes.
Malcolm has two such chances today: Milan Royale can't be dismissed lightly in the 4.50 race, where he could very well prove good value for the 13/2 currently on offer from Paddy Power, but our focus today comes a half hour later in the form of an old warrior: Schinken Otto.
Schinken Otto is a 12 yr old veteran of some 94 races over 10 years with pretty mixed results, if truth be told. Away from Sedgefield, he has been fairly disappointing and costly to follow. Just six wins from seventy three attempts for a level stakes loss of 49pts is hardly stirring stuff. Yet something happens when he comes here to Sedgefield, he seems to light up and really put in his best work.
His record at Sedgefield is terrific, with six wins from twenty one outings for profits of 29pts, with all six wins coming over Course & Distance where his record improves to 6/15 for +35pts. A return on stakes of over 230% is wonderful news for his fans. In fact, he has finished in the first three home in no less than thirteen of those fifteen C&D events.
He was last seen here seven weeks ago when landing the latest of those C&D victories on heavy ground off a mark of 98. He is admittedly another 2lbs higher today, but the ground is easier for him now and today's jockey Jack Jordan (say that with no teeth in!) is able to claim an invaluable 10lbs, so if they can quickly strike up an understanding, the weight shouldn't be the issue.
Sedgefield is Schinken Otto's home and it's not unfair to basically disregard his perfomances elsewhere, as he does seem to be a different animal when he comes back here.
Unfortunately, the fact that there's only 7 runners allied to the records of both trainer and horse here means that an E/W bet is highly unlikely today: I generally want 6/1 or better to spilt my stakes. I wrote this piece late Saturday night (11.45pm) and the best on offer was 5/1 BOG with Bet 365, Boyle Sports and Paddy Power, so I've taken a 1pt win bet on Schinken Otto at 5/1 BOG.
Over the course of the next 17 hours or so, the odds may well drift far enough for you to consider an E/W bet. Therefore, as always, I recommend that you...