Stat of the Day
Stat of the Day, 1st January 2015
Happy New Year everyone!
Last Shadow was denied the "honour" of being our last runner of 2014, as the Uttoxeter card fell foul of the weather. He now goes in today's 2.55 Exeter, where he has a decent chance of at least a place, but I'm not going there with him today: competitive 18-runner handicaps are not the way I like to play SotD.
Plus I did actually like Thundering Home for a place at a decent price (14/1 BOG) in that race, so I'm leaving that one for SotD purposes and aiming a little higher with a tilt at the...
Which is also a very competitive affair, but only ten runners are expected to tackle 3 miles in this Class 2 handicap hurdle and with stamina doubts about several of the competitors here, I'm siding with the 100/30 BOG shot Southfield Vic, who is trained by Paul Nicholls and will be ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies today, just as he was when winning by 13 lengths at Taunton over 3m 0.5f on soft ground three weeks ago.
Trainer and jockey are both in good form...
Paul Nicholls' horses have won 8 of their 37 races (21.6% SR) in the last fortnight, whilst Sam has ridden 7 winners from 31 (22.6% SR) in that same time. Together they have teamed up on 21 horses, winning 5 times (23.8% SR)
In fact, 2014 was a very good year for the partnership...
As Sam rode to victory fourteen times on Paul's handicappers from a total of 84 rides. This 1-in-6 strike rate accumulated reasonable level stakes profits of 11.04pts at Betfair SP (our closest approximation to BOG prices, although BOG results are invariably better!), representing a return of 13.14% on stakes invested.
That's not a bad return from a "big-name" trainer, but if you only considered those sent off in the 2/1 to 11/1 bracket, the 10 winners from 68 is a slightly lower strike rate of 14.7%, but the profits of 19.4pts equate to an ROI of 28.5% and more profit from fewer bets is always the way forward!
Mr. Nicholls fares very well here at Cheltenham...
...especially in handicap hurdle races, where his record since 2008 reads 20 winners from 148 runners (13.5% SR) for level stakes profits of 15.31pts (+10.34% ROI). As above, these aren't massive returns, but are still decent for a trainer whose runners are often overbet.
His Class 1 runners let the stats down slightly, probably due to the intensely competitive nature of those races, so if we exclude the Class 1 events, we are left with a far more palatable 16 winners from 89 (18% SR) and increased profits of 22.7pts (+25.5% ROI). Once again, if we impose a simple odds filter, we can restrict our betting to the runners priced 2/1 to 9/1 and still have 14 winners from 55 (25.5% SR) for 33.9pts (+61.6% ROI) profit.
Southfield Vic makes his handicap bow today...
Since 2008, Paul Nicholls' has tasted success with 57 of his 274 (20.8% SR) handicap debutants, recording profits of 78.2pts along the way at an ROI of 28.6%. Here at Cheltenham, that record is 10/52 (19.2% SR) for 16pts (+30.7% ROI) profit. His Class 2 handicap debutants are 13/47 (27.7% SR) for 44.6pts (+94.8% ROI), whilst those priced up at odds of evens to 11/1 have won 54 of 232 (23.3% SR) races for 87.5pts (+37.7% ROI) profit.
I could, of course, make several profitable permutations from those handicap debut stats, but I won't bore you with the detials, but I will end this section with this...Paul Nicholls' handicap debutants running here at Cheltenham priced from 2/1 to 8/1 are 10/37 (27% SR) for 31pts (+83.7% ROI) profit.
Southfield Vic was a winner over a similar trip three weeks ago...
And since 2008, Paul Nicholls' handicap hurdlers running over a trip within 1 furlong (above or below!) of a win 11 to 60 days ago, have gone on to record a successive win on 20 of 70 (28.6% SR) occasions, producing level stakes profits of 58.6pts (+83.7% ROI) in the process, whilst those sent here to Cheltenham under the same circumstances are 7/15 (46.7% SR) for 52.9pts (+352.7% ROI) profit.
Southfield Vic proved last time out that he has the stamina required to deal with this trip today, and conditions should be slightly easier for him here. he was a comfortable 13 lengths winner that day, proving he gets the trip, but he's still unexposed as a stayer. He was a good second on his hurdles debut on my wedding anniversary back in March, when beaten by just a length at Wincanton over 2m6f on good to soft ground.
He was headed late on that day by the winner, Saddlers Encore who went on to win again next time out. Our runner then had an 8 month break before reappearing at Ludlow and although he needed the run, was still good enough to fill the runner-up berth once more. He had Brownville a neck behind him and Summer Hawk 24 lengths back that day and those two both went on to win next time out, as did, our runner, of course.
He's now got a record of 221 over hurdles, likes a bit of cut in the ground (1221 on good to soft or soft), he's also 1221 in races of 10 or fewer runners and has won under the steering of Sam Twiston-Davies already.
Readers of our other excellent form tools will instantly spot that I'm taking on the shortlist horse, Ulzana's Raid here and whilst I'm not decrying that horse's chances, I just feel that Southfield Vic has been leniently treated off an opening mark of just 127 and that the Shortlist horse might just struggle to concede 20lbs to our runner and he's also up another 4lbs for winning over course and distance by just a nose last time out.
I might have got it wrong, but I think the shortlist horse is now in the assessor's grip and that Southfield Vic is the one to beat here. So, for me (and you, hopefully!), it's a 1pt win bet on Southfield Vic at 100/30 BOG. That price is available with both Paddy Power and Coral, so why not...
...click here for the latest betting on the 2.30 Cheltenham
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