Stat of the Day, 6th December 2014
A close up two length third for Friday's pick, Ballyallia Man, but no dice for Stat of the Day's win only play.
Chris takes a short break for the weekend to recharge his batteries ahead of something pretty exciting next week - more in due course - so it's yours truly (Matt) taking the Saturday chair.
I'm heading to Esher and a sticky little four horse affair, where one looks to be good value in the...
As I say, a four horse race where tactics are sure to play a part. Luckily, Dunraven Storm is tactic agnostic, as he can go from the front or rate in behind, as necessary.
On the statistical front, there are a number that point to Philip Hobbs' charge. First, his record going right-handed is seven wins from ten runs. Compare that with an overall record of eight wins from seventeen runs, and we can see that Sandown really ought to suit.
Indeed his only left-handed win was last time at Cheltenham, when he saw off the re-opposing Vibrato Valtat (who was lobbed into this field as an after thought when his trainer saw the small number of declarations); and he's won all of his last four races going clockwise.
Dunraven Storm's form in chases is 11, and both times he's been no better than third favourite. Incidentally, the last day at Cheltenham, Court Minstrel - who is scheduled to run here - was a non-runner due to the soft ground. The ground tomorrow is going to be soft, good to soft in places (and his trainer says he's a fast ground horse).
He's a big horse is the selection, and he was built to be chaser. Progeny of his old man, Presenting, have an overall 9% record over hurdles, compared with a 12% hit rate over fences.
Trainer Philip Hobbs has been in superb form recently, and both he and Dickie Johnson, his rider, have strong course form, scoring four and three green form indicators on the Geegeez Gold race cards respectively.
He does have something to find with Irish Saint most probably, but with plenty in his favour, and significant knocks against two of his three rivals, the 9/2 with Paddy, BOG, is too big. One point win.
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