Stat of the Day, 8th March 2014
We had to settle for third place for the second successive day as 11/8 favourite (we got on at 4/1!) Thorpe Bay couldn't keep up with the post to post winner. Our selection tracked the leader, but had no extra when it mattered and even relinquished the runner-up spot in the closing stages, eventually going down by 2.5 lengths.
What I will take from this, is the satisfaction of getting 4/1 about an 11/8 shot and if we do this often enough, we will make decent long-term profits.
We'll return to the scene of this defeat and hope for better in the...
Since the start of 2010, trainer David Barron's record in handicap races here at Wolverhampton stands at a very creditable 15 wins from 70 (21.4% SR) for 56pts (+80% ROI) profit.
David is also well-known for producing decent sprinters and his record over 5 and 6 furlongs on the All-Weather is very good indeed. Over the last five years, he has saddled up 36 winners from 136 horses sent off at 8/1 or under over 5-6f on the All-Weather. This 26.5% strike rate has so far yielded level stakes profits of 48.8pts or 35.9% of stakes, with the record at Wolverhampton reading 8/29 (27.6% SR) for 17.13pts (+59.1% ROI).
David has three runners at the track today, but only Hitchens runs at 6f or shorter and is therefore, my pick for today. This horse may not have won since August of last year, but his five defeats since then have been at Listed or Group 3 level and this Class 2 event signifies a major drop in class today.
In fact looking at his past form, I see that when he last won, that was a Listed race at Chester off 108 and yet he reappears here off just 102, which could well be very significant as...
...since the start of 2011, David Barron's horses who hadn't won for at least five races and were now racing at 8/1 or under off a lower mark than their last victory went on to win 13 of 50 races, a strike rate of 26% bringing about level stakes profits of 47.16pts, or 94.32% ROI.
On best form, Hitchens looks very well set to take this race and he has been running in far tougher assignments than this of late. He's a 10-times winner (from 42 starts) at this trip and he's 2 from 5 in this company. More interesting, though, is his excellent 5/19 record at Group 3 / Listed class, which should put him a cut above his rivals today.
At 10.30pm on Friday evening, the best I could get for you was 5/1 BOG, so it's a 1pt win for me at that price. I'm on with Bet365, but both Betfred & Coral are currently matching that price as you'll see when you...