Stat of the Day: 29th June 2012
SotD continues to endure a poor month, and this has been exacerbated by the frustrations of Yarmouth. For the second time this month at that track, I nominated a trainer's horse, only for his other runner on the day to prevail.
Yesterday, it was the turn of Les Verguettes to run moderately (9/1 from 11/1), as Charity Box bolted up a short time later at 5/1.
It's been that sort of month in truth, and these things happen. Yin and yang and all that. All we can do is keep on keeping on, and wait for the wheel of fortune to point back in our direction once more.
We'll take said wheel to HQ this evening, for the…
A sixteen runner Newmarket handicap may not be everyone's idea of a decent punting proposition, but there are reasons to be cheerful nonetheless.
First, we're siding with a chap called Mahmood al Zarooni, who has quickly established himself as a top drawer trainer. (It helps that he trains Godolphin horses, which are invariably expensive and well bred beasts!)
Moreover, at Newmarket, al Zarooni has registered 22 wins from 79 runs and a profit of 87.47 points. His three year old tally is 13 from 42 (31% strike rate) and 54.27 units of profit.
Second, as a three year old taking on older horses, Greek War should be near top weight, but due to weight for age allowances he carries bottom weight.
Third, Greek War looks to sure to appreciate the longer trip here, being a son of middle distance sire, Monsun, and having performed well at two over a mile. This extra quarter mile should be right up his street.
Fourth, Greek War has the services of flamboyant Frenchie, Mickael Barzalona, this evening. Nobody is riding better than him at the moment, and nobody is riding Newmarket's July strip better than him either. Indeed, he rode a four-timer here last Saturday.
He's only had five rides since then, which included two wins and a 16/1 second (beaten the width of the proverbial cigarette paper). Barzalona is in ferocious form.
Of course, in a race like this there are bound to be plenty of other fancied horses. The other three year old in the field, getting those same healthy allowances, Main Line is expected to improve; Sir Michael Stoute and Johnny G are represented too; as are the punting stables of Noel Quinlan, Willie Musson and Barney Curley (though the market speaks against the last name pair currently).
But I'm happy enough to side with two men - al Zarooni and Barzalona - at the top of their games, and a horse with allowances and plenty of scope to improve.
13/2 BOG with BetFred is the best available, and I'll go 'all in' (i.e. win only) this time.
Click here for the latest odds on the 8.40 Newmarket.