Tag Archives: Mickael Barzalona

Stat of the Day, 7th May 2014

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 7th May 2014

Fifth of nine runners was the best Taradrewe could manage for us on Tuesday evening after a promising start. She had been pretty easy to back all day and was eventually sent off as one of the 4/1 co-favourites, after we'd advised a 3/1 BOG bet.

Approaching the 3rd from home, she still looked to have every chance, but quickly dropped out of contention, despite jockey Rachael Green's best efforts to drive her home. Rachael did however manage to steer Horace Hazel to victory at 12/1 an hour later for some consolation.

More late action for Wednesday with an all-weather, Class 4 handicap over 6 furlongs in the...

8.45 Kempton:

Where I'm backing Charlie Appleby's Intermedium at 4/1 BOG, a horse set to be ridden by Mickael Barzalona.

Charlie Appleby is a relatively new name in terms of trainers, but he has certainly made his mark already. To date, he has trained 25 winners on the all-weather from just 107 runners, with that 23.4% strike rate generating level stakes profits of 21.8pts, an ROI of 20.4%.

He has enjoyed most success here at Kempton with a record of 15 winners from 64 giving him a similar 23.4% strike rate, but the increased profits of 24.15pts are equivalent to 37.7% of all stakes invested.

And in these early stages of his training career, he has attracted my attention as one to watch when runnng his horses in a handicap for the first time, especially if the market likes them.

In fact at odds of 8/1 or shorter, 11 of his 33 handicap debutants have won, which in turn has produced 14.42pts profit (+43.7% ROI).

Mickael Barzalona has ridden 19 of those 33 horses and he has managed to steer 9 (47.4% SR) of them into the winners' enclosure with the resultant 10.65pts profit representing 56.1% of stakes.

Of Mr Appleby's handicap debutants priced at 4/1 or shorter (where we're likely to be today!), the record is 9 wins from 23 (39.1% SR) for 6.65pts (+28.9% ROI), with Mickael's contribution being 9/15 (60% SR) for 14.65pts (+97.7% ROI).

Mickael Barzalona is one of the best jockeys around in handicap races of up to a mile, as he has ridden 37 winners from 181 rides between five and eight furlongs. This 20.4% strike rate has already yielded 109.2pts profit to date, or 60.3% of stakes, whilst his record hare at Kempton up to a mile is 8 wins from 31 (25.8% SR) for 33.8pts (+109.1% ROI).

If we just considered his rides at 6/1 or shorter, he has ridden 22 winners from 70 (31.4% SR) with a record of 7/16 (43.5% SR) for 19.9pts (+124.3% ROI) profit.

Intermedium has been consistently frustrating in four maidens on the A/W to date (3 of them here at Kempton) over trips of 7f (three times) and a mile (once) finishing 2323, but weak finihing more than anything else seems to have been his undoing and it is hoped/expected that the drop in trip down to 6f will do the trick today.

Charlie Appleby's runners invariably attract support, so I advise taking the 4/1 BOG on offer from Betfair Sportsbook. Ladbrokes are also at 4/1, but they don't offer BOG until 10.00am. You can see all the prices in one clear view, when you...

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Here is today's racecard.

Stat of the Day, 26th September 2013

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 26th September 2013

Mitcd was very disappointing all round yesterday. She drifted out from our advised 6/1 to an SP of 8/1 and never featured. In fact she only beat one other runner home.

Little point dwelling on a poor result, as we head south down the A1 for a reunion with some familiar names/faces in the...

2.20 Pontefract

For the opening race on the card, a twelve-runner, Class 4 maiden for two-year olds. Only four of the entrants have raced before (a total of five runs between them) and Torchlighter's second place at Yarmouth (beaten by a neck) eight days ago is the only discernible piece of form.

As such, he is highly likely to be set off as favourite, but I'm going to oppose him with the unraced My Target, trained by Saeed Bin Suroor and ridden by Mickael Barzalona.

We've turned to this trainer/jockey combination to good effect in the past, but it's not the combo that forms the backbone of the stats behind today's pick, as they have only combined twice at Pontefract in the past.

Saeed Bin Suroor, however, has an excellent record at this track despite not overloading it with runners. He has had 19 winners from the 64 horses he has sent here prior to today for a strike rate a shade under 30% and profits of 9.36pts (+14.63% ROI) have been recorded at all odds.

All 19 winners were priced below 8/1, ideal for SotD purposes (:D) and came from just 55 runners, a strike rate of 34.6% for profits of 18.36pts, a return of just over a third of any stakes invested.

Saeed is of course well-known for his ability to get two-year olds out and winning on debut, as a record of 34 wins from 134 debutants over the last three seasons has shown. That's just over a quarter of all his two-year old debutants going on to win at the first time of asking, yielding a more than respectable ROI of 27.4% via 36.7pts profit at level stakes.

Without filtering those results down too far, we can simply impose a 12/1 cut off point, which rids us of 10 losing bets, moving the figures to 34/124 (27.4% SR) for 46.7pts (+37.7% ROI).

One last set of numbers to throw in the mix is that Saeed bin Suroor hasn't sent any two-year olds to Pontefract since 17th October 2011, but in the preceding three seasons (ie 2009/11) he had four winners from the dozen he did send.

There's very little to tell you about the horse, My Target, himself, as he's never raced before. I can, however, tell you that he is a half-brother to Questing, who has won three Group 1 contests in the USA and also won on debut and is out of Cape Cross from a dam (Chercheuse) who was herself a winner in Listed company over both today's 6f trip and also at 7f.

Current best BOG price is 11/4 with BetVictor, but 5.0 is available on the Betfair exchange, so I'd advise you to...

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The card for today's race is right here!


Stat of the Day, 24th August 2013

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 24th August 2013

It was another blank day for SotD yesterday, as Stagemanship seemed to run out of steam in the closing stages having led on the rails up to just over a furlong from home. He seemed to be toiling up the hill late on and finished quite a way behind the eventual winner Chief Barker, who inevitably became Richard Hannon's first winner in 35 attempts after I'd mentioned it yesterday!

Deja vu time today with the same jockey at the same track riding in the...

2.10 Newmarket (July)

As expected, Mickael Barzalona duly picked up a couple of winners here yesterday, further improving his fantastic record on the July course at Newmarket. After yesterday's efforts, he has now ridden 34 winners from 136 attempts here: an excellent record of exactly one winner in four (24.6%), producing level stakes profits of some 66pts (a 48.5% return on stakes).

From those 136 rides, he has a record of 12/38 (31.6%) for 25.44pts (+66.95% ROI) when riding here for Saeed bin Suroor, as he does today.

This year has been no exception to his outstanding run of form at this track, as he has clocked up 15 winners from his 49 rides (30.6%) for 19.1pts (+39% ROI) profit. From which he has achieved a record of 10/25 (40%) for 23.87pts (+95.5% ROI) for Saeed bin Suroor.

As I said yesterday, his July course figures aren't bulked out or skewed by big priced winners either: his best figures come when he's on a horse priced between Evens and 12/1 with 32 of his 34 winners being priced accordingly. These 32 winners come from 110 rides (29.1% SR) for 89.2pts (+81.1% ROI) profit and a record of 10/33 (30.3%) for 27.67pts (+83.8% ROI) for the bin Suroor yard and this year alone the overall record here is 13/39 for 26.4pts, a more than healthy 67.7% return on stakes and 8/22 (36.4%) for 24.11pts (+109.6% ROI) for Mr bin Suroor.

Messrs Barzalona and bin Suroor have 2 runners together today: Ustura runs in the 3.20 race and has a squeak of an E/W chance, but I'm going with newcomer Ghazi, due to the yard's excellent record with 2 yr olds on debut.
Last 3 seasons: 33/129 (25.6%) : +35.3pts (+27.4% ROI) with 33/120 (27.5%) for 45.3pts (+37.8% ROI) at 12/1 or less
This year: 14/45 (31.1%) : +23.3pts (51.7% ROI) with  14/43 (32.6%) for 25.3pts (+58.8% ROI) at 12/1 or less

With Barzalona on board: 7/18 (38.9%) at 12/1 or under for 11.97pts (+66.5% ROI)

Ghazi is an Exceed And Excel colt and is the first foal out of 11f winner Concordia who herself is a half-sister to top-class middle distance winner Lammtarra. This breeding does suggest he'll want further than today's 6f in time and he'll probably end up in the 1m2f to 1m4f area, but they all have to start somewhere.

It's not an easy race to call, but we can be sure that his yard will have him as ready as he can be for this one and a 1pt win bet on Ghazi at the opening show of 4/1 BOG looks a decent enough proposition to me today and it's a price that is widely available as of 0845 this morning. So to take your pick of the bookies, simply...

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Stat of the Day, 23rd August 2013

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 23rd August 2013

Nothing for us yesterday as Cool Macavity finished back in th 4th place of the five runners. He would have finished third, but for being eased down late on, but by which time he was already well beaten. He was friendless in the market, being sent off at double our original 3/1 price and didn't seem to last the trip, so the layers were right on this occasion.

I'm looking to make quick amends with a selection in the...

2.45 Newmarket (July)

Where we turn to one of my SotD mainstays: Mickael Barzalona, due to his fantastic record here on the July course at Newmarket. To date he has ridden 32 winners from 130 attempts here: an excellent record of just under one winner in four (24.6%), producing level stakes profits of some 63.5pts (a 49% return on stakes). This year has been no exception, as he has clocked up 13 winners from his 43 rides (30.2%) for 16.6pts (+38.7% ROI) profit.

Those figures aren't bulked out or skewed by big priced winners either: his best figures come when he's on a horse priced between Evens and 12/1 with 30 of his 32 winners being priced accordingly. This 30 winners come from 104 rides (28.9% SR) for 86.7pts (+83.4% ROI) profit and this year alone that record is 11/33 for 23.9pts, a more than healthy 72.3% return on stakes.

Now Mickael has a good list of rides today: 6 in total, so I'd expect a winner or two at the very least, but which to go for?

In the end, I've sided with Stagemanship at 11/4 BOG with Coral. Stagemanship is trained by Charlie Appleby, as are all Mickael's rides here today and their record as a trainer/jockey partnership is 9/27 on horses priced at 6/1 or under, which also suggests a couple of winners today, as does their record of three winners and two seconds here from just five attempts.

Stagemanship ran very green on debut at Nottingham in his only previous start, but looked very useful and rallied well once pressure was applied. He battled well that day and there looks to be much much more to this one than at first met the eye. So much so, that the handicapper may well have underestimated this $275,000 yearling with his opening mark of 77.

He's a son of Pivotal and the second foal out of a decent US winner over a mile and 9 furlongs, who actually stayed well up to 10 furlongs when asked and the way this one ground out his win in that Nottingham maiden suggests he'll develop into a decent sort too with bags of improvement/potential to come.

Another interesting (to me, anyway! :D) stat that is applicable here is the performance at the July course of horses that won a Nottingham maiden last time out. There are, admittedly, only 19 instances of this happening, but the fact that 6 of the 19 (31.6%) have won here for profits of 17.7pts (+93.2%) cannot be ignored.

In fact, all six ex-Nottingham maiden winners to come here and win came from the dozen priced at 7/1 or under, a nice neat 50% strike rate generating a huge ROI of 205.9%, courtesy of the 24.7pts profit.

The main danger here is Chief Barker, who holds a couple of Group 1 entries, but runs for a Richard Hannon yard desperately out of form (just one winner at 6/4 from his last 40 runners and 34 losers on the bounce), therefore I feel that at 11/4 BOG with Coral that Stagemanship could out do him for us today. That price of 11/4 looks quite generous, as he's as low as 9/4 generally, but you can always...

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Stat of the Day, 24th July 2013

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 24th July 2013

It wasn't a good day yesterday, I'm afraid, as Burning Thread could only finish last but one of the eight runners. Despite having a good draw and a good record at the track, he was struggling from about halfway before weakening in the final furlong.

Familiar faces are called upon today to get us back into the winners enclosure as we tackle the...

3.10 Lingfield

The Mickael Barzalona / Saeed bin Suroor partnership is a formidable unit as regular readers of SotD will know. They helped us to a couple of winners last week over at Newmarket, but they have some fantastic stats to back them up on this A/W track too. They team up twice here at Lingfield today and whilst Mansoreen, who runs in the 3.40 race, looks to be a decent E/W shout at around 7/1, my focus today is on National Poet.

First up, I should point out that the yard has a 41.7% strike rate on the A/W this year, thanks to 10 wins from 24 for 12.9pts (+53.75%) profit with three winners from seven here at Lingfield for 6.88pts profit (+98.3%). With runners priced between evens and 4/1, the yearly record is 9/19 for 9.38pts and 2/3 here at Lingfield.

National Poet has never run on the all-weather before, but Saeed bin Suroor has a 34.6% strike rate with horses making their debut on the all-weather. This is from a decent sample size (54 wins from 156) and has produced level stakes profits of 45.94 pts, an ROI of 29.45%. And when these horses are sent off at odds of 4/1 or under, the strike rate improves to a very impressive 51.1% (48 winners from 94) for profits of 63.3pts (+67.3% ROI).

When this yard has raced horses on Lingfield's Polytrack for the first time, they have a strike rate of 42.1% (16 winners from 38) for 20.33pts profit (+53.5% ROI), with a record of 15 wins from 25 with horses priced at 4/1 or under. That fantastic strike rate of 60% has produced profits of 24.81pts, a return of over 99% above stakes.

Now let's turn to our jockey, Mickael Barzalona, who also has a good record here at Lingfield with a 28.2% strike rate on all rides priced below 12/1, coming from 11 winners off 39 rides here and producing level stakes profits of 31.6pts (+81% ROI).

Finally, we're all very aware that when this jockey and trainer combine, the results are very good as 32 wins from 152 races since the start of 2012 will testify. That excellent 21% strike rate has brought in profits of 27.2pts at all odds on all tracks and this record moves to 22/72 (30.6%) with horses at 4/1 or under with two wins and three places from seven here at Lingfield.

As for the horse itself, today is just his third run of any description and both his breeding and the way he ran at Warwick a fortnight ago would suggest that he needed further than the 1m3f on offer that day. The extra furlong here today should suit him down to the ground and despite the yard also running the likely favourite (Exploratory) in the same race, it is interesting that the jockey has chosen our pick, who was by no means disgraced last time out, finishing 3rd of 12 and beaten by a couple of lengths but still staying on, which he'll need to today.

The racecard for this contest is here.

We've got a yard in great form, particularly on the A/W, a yard who excel at getting horses to perform first time on the A/W and an excellent jockey to steer National Poet home. His stablemate may very go off as favourite, but that suits me down to the ground, as it means I can take 3/1 BOG about him today. That price is currently available with both Bet365 and BetVictor, so to take your pick...

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Stat of the Day, 20th July 2013

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 20th July 2013

Folk Melody was a comfortable winner yesterday at a nice price of 3/1 on debut. She may be one to add to the notebook after that run. That puts us on three wins from four for the week and two of those have come from the Barzalona / bin Suroor partnership.

Back at HQ again today, but this time it's a Class 2 Handicap over ten furlongs. A competitive contest awaits the six runners in today's...

5.20 Newmarket

They say you shouldn't try to fix something that isn't broken, so no apologies for sticking with Mickael Barzalona and Saeed bin Suroor today.

As you probably know Mickael is 27/115 (23.48% SR) for 54.75pts profit (ROI = 47.6%) on this course and 9/33 (27.27%) for 17.5pts (+53% ROI) when the horse is trained by Saeed bin Suroor on this track.

At at odds of 6/1 or under, he's 20/58 here for 39.35pts with a record of 9/24 and 16.9pts profit for the bin Suroor yard.

I've kept those stats as brief as i could, because they're only an update from yesterday's piece.

As it's Saturday, we've plenty to choose from. In fact Messrs Barzalona and bin Suroor team up on five occasions here at Newmarket today, but I'm going with Thair.

Thair makes his handicap debut today after competing in much better quality races since shedding his maiden tag a little over a year ago. He seems to have been given a very fair mark for his handicap debut especially, when you consider he has already won a Listed race (Chesham Stakes) as well as making the frame in a Group 3 race at Sandown and also finishing 2nd in a Listed contest here at Newmarket as recently as his penultimate outing here at HQ just two months ago.

I'm happy to disregard his poor show a month ago in the King Edward, where the trip wasn't to his liking and he really didn't seem to take to the blinkers.

As an addition to the stats already quoted above, it is worth noting that Saeed bin Suroor has an excellent record with horses making their handicap debut. In fact since 2007, he has run 98 horses priced at 6/1 or below in a handicap for the first time, netting some 36 winners (36.73%) and 56.13pts profit: an ROI of 57.28%. The yard is 4/14 this season.

The racecard for this contest is here.

So, the jockey does well here, as does the trainer. The jockey rides well for the trainer here too and we've a handicap debutant from a yard with a great record with horses running in their first handicap contest.

We've got a horse that finished 2nd here in a listed contest here at Newmarket (albeit on the other track) over today's trip off a mark of 108 and runs for us off just 98 today.

If he can bounce back from last month's disappointment at Ascot, then a 1pt win bet on Thair at 4/1 BOG with Paddy Power looks to be a viable prospect for us, but as always, please...

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Stat of the Day, 19th July 2013

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 19th July 2013

After winners on Monday & Tuesday, followed by a non-runner on Wednesday, Ibecke was our first loser of the week. As expected, Boogangoo was the best of the 4 horses on display and our filly never really got close enough late on to land a telling blow. As it was, the finishing order mirrored the market and our pick was 3rd as the 9/2 3rd fav.

Familiar names today in a maiden at HQ, where he going is likely to be good to firm for the 7f trip in the...

6.20 Newmarket

Racing on the July course here at Newmarket often means one thing: winners for Mickael Barzalona. And even more so when he's sat on one trained by Saeed bin Suroor.

Mickael's record here on the July course currently reads as 25 winners from 113 attempts for level stakes profits of 52.24pts at Betfair SP (which is closer to BOG than ISP is!).
That's a 22.12% strike rate and an ROI of 46.23%.

On a Saeed bin Suroor trained mount, that record improves to 8/31 (25.81%) for 14.99pts profit, an ROI of 48.33%.

Those figures are obviously based on all rides, but if we look a little closer at the odds of the horses we generally get for our SotD picks, we see that Mr Barzalona has a 1 in 3 strike rate (19 winners from 57) on horses priced at 6/1 or under and these have produced profits of some 36.85pts (+64.65%)

On horses from the bin Suroor yard priced at a maximum of 6/1, he has ridden seven winners from twenty-two rides (31.82% SR) for profits of 14.4pts (+65.45%)

The jockey and trainer combine for two rides here tonight with two unraced horses. Whilst the 5/2 shot, 3yr old debutant For Posterity has a decent enough chance in the 8.25 race, Saeed bin Suroor has a far better record with his 2 yr old newcomers than those a year older.

All of which leads us Folk Melody, an unraced 2 yr old making her debut in a race that Godolphin have won in two of the last three runnings. She obviously has no form to talk about, but she's got some decent breeding behind her and I quote the Racing Post: "Dam 1m2f-1m4f winner, including a Canadian Grade 1, out of a half-sister to Listed winners Innocent Air (7f-1m2f) and Skipping (1m2f-1m4f), as well as the dam of Marcel Boussac winner Proportional; respected newcomer with Godolphin having won this maiden twice in three years"

The racecard for this contest is here.

The jockey's record here allied to his performances for the yard are enough on their own to suggest abet, but it's worth reminding ourselves of the yard's record with 2yr olds on debut.

In the 2011/13 timeframe, Saeed bin Suroor has had 30 2 yr old winners on debut from the 118 he has sent out, a strike rate of 25.42% and an ROI of 30.36% courtesy of 35.83pts profit. That strike rate rises to 33.33% (25/75) and profits of 25.04pts (+33.39% ROI) with horses at 6/1 or under.

And as today's selection is highly likely to be both favourite and in the 2/1 to 4/1 region, I just want to add one final set of numbers. The yard's record with 2yr olds on debut when fancied (ie 2/1 to 4/1) is 14 winners from 36 (38.9%) for 19.32pts profit (+53.67% ROI).

All these figures are highly impressive and despite a large field assembling for this one, I'm more than happy to stake a 1pt win bet on Folk Melody at 11/4 BOG with Paddy Power, as 5/2 and shorter seems to be the norm, so I recommend that you...

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Stat of the Day, 22nd June 2013

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 22nd June 2013

Walter White looked like Weary Walter yesterday as he seemed to tire quickly late on. He was pretty well fancied all round to take the race, too: it wasn't just us who backed him! He shortened from 9/2 to 4/1 as I was writing the blog, opened on course at 100/30 and was eventually sent off at 5/2.

Despite him finishing back in fourth place, it's still a good pick. As both Matt and myself have said on numerous occasions, if we can back 5/2 shots at 60% higher prices, we will turn a profit in the long run.

That is, admittedly, cold comfort this morning, as we'd all like short short-term profit too! I hope to put that straight with today's....

5.15 Newmarket

I'm going to try to be quick here, in case this one shortens as I type!

One of my favoured and most trusted stats is the C&D winner returning on the back of a win and that's where I start today. From the start of 2011, 43 former CD winners have run on the July course at Newmarket on the back of a win either here or elsewhere. 10 of those 43 have won on their return for a strike rate of 23.26% and level stakes profits of 19.44pts = an ROI of 45.2%.

This is an excellent place to start, but I want to make those qualifiers more relevant to SotD purposes, so I'm going to just consider runners within our usual odds range ie 2/1 to 6/1 and there have been 8 winners from 18 runners in that price bracket: a strike rate of 44.44% producing profits of 24.2pts (+134.4%)

Just one such runner today: Trojan Rocket, who will be ridden by Mickael Barzalona today, which is also a massive positive for the stats followers amongst you.

Mr Barzalona's record over the July course here at Newmarket is also excellent: 20 winners from 91 (22% strike rate) for profits of 52.4pts (+57.6% ROI) from all runners and when we look at this record on more fancied horses ie 12/1 or under, we then discard 17 losers to leave us with a record of 20/74 (27%) for 69.4pts profit (+93.8% ROI)

I expect Trojan Rocket to attract support as the day progresses, so I've taken a bet at 7/2 BOG with Bet365. This price is available at a couple of other firms too, so please....

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Stat of the Day, 30th June 2012

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day: 30th June 2012

The last day of June and, after a 13/2 advised winner yesterday in Greek War, we are remarkably less than a single point down on what's felt like a poor month. That is testament to the approach we take here, and why it's imperative you insist on getting value about your bets.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, value is NOT a price (e.g. 6/1 is better than 6/4). Rather, it is a better than true odds chance of the event occurring (e.g. 11/10 about the even money true chance of a coin toss landing on heads).

We’ll head back to HQ, the scene of yesterday's winner, to attempt to pull a positive monthly account rabbit from what looked a moderate slight losing month hat, in the…

4.05 Newmarket

By my calculations, SotD is around 0.71 points in the red for the month. As such it was very tempting to select Michelangelo in the opener at Newmarket. He's clearly the highest rated, and has much the most scope for improvement, and I think he'll win. At 4/5, I don't think he's bad value, but it's fair to say there's little scope for upside in that price. Which is a shame from an SotD perspective, if he goes and wins, and the selection doesn't. 😉

OK, to the last day of the month 'get out stakes' pick.

I am a huge fan of the old adage, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". So today, I'm getting straight back on the al Zarooni/Barzalona horse.

Both enhanced their already fine reputations on Newmarket's July strip yesterday, and they're now four from seventeen when pairing up, for a profit of 6.5 points. Not stellar, but not at all bad either.

Indeed, on both Newmarket strips (July course and Rowley mile), they're a more delicious ten wins from 35 runs, and a profit of 33.5 units at SP. Clearly, this is an emerging A Team (al Zarooni is obviously Hannibal, and Barzalona probably Face)...

In any case, they team up with one horse today, the once raced two year old, Quintilian. This son of Cape Cross finished fourth to the very highly regarded The Taj on debut, over six furlongs. He wasn't given a hard time of it once his winning chance had gone and, in my opinion, should have definitely been third there.

Today he races over an extra furlong which, on breeding, should be right up his street (he's bred to be a miler through and through).

More will be expected this afternoon and, in a race full of promising newcomers, the experience of that debut run, allied to a decent level of ability can see Quintilian come home in front.

Of the newcomers, perhaps the one most feared is Quintilian's stablemate (for obvious reasons - it's bloody annoying when you back the wrong one from the yard!), Blue Wave, who is a beautifully bred son of Raven's Pass. But the likes of Disclaimer, Inaad and Hoarding are all worth watching with an eye to the future.

[Incidentally, this is a race that Richard Hannon has won five times since 2004. He had Ninjago engaged, but he's now a non-runner. Worth looking out for, that one.]

Quintilian's currently 4/1 BOG with bet365 to continue Stat of the Day's record of every month being a winning one, and win only is the suggestion.


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Stat of the Day, 29th June 2012

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

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…

8.40 Newmarket

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.