Stat of the Day, 8th February 2013
Yesterday highlighted one of the possible perils of backing a hold up horse. We don't make excuses here at SotD or at Geegeez in general for picking a loser, but I do think we may well have been robbed of a victory at Huntingdon.
Our selection Quaddick Lake was badly hampered by a faller and came to a virtual standstill to avoid falling himself. Full marks to Nick Scholfield for not only staying on board, but rallying Quaddick Lake for a challenge: he finished like a train and made up at least 10 lengths on his way to a gallant third placed finish.
Fortunately we'd gone E/W, so the 13/2 SP ensured a small (15%) profit, but I think a win could well have been ours.
Hopefully, that won't be the case with our potential front runner in chase action today, as we head to the North East for a handicap event over 2 miles and a half furlong on heavy (soft in places) ground for the eight runners contesting the...
This race looks a decent contest today and with the testing ground and tough fences, it pays to side with a horse with a decent track record.
Prince Tam's career record is far from spectacular if I'm honest: just 4 wins and 3 places from 37 races, but when this nine-year old comes to Newcastle, his ears seem to prick up and he runs really well here, perhaps he relishes the challenge posed by the Gosforth Park course.
All four of his career wins have been here at Newcastle, where his record stands at four wins (30.8%) and one other placed finish (38.5% in total) from thirteen races. This has yielded level stakes profits of 10.38pts for the win bets and 9.26pts for E/W backers. These are healthy enough returns for one horse alone, but two of his unplaced finishes were at a different distance to today's trip, leaving him with a course & distance record of 4/11 for +12.38pts and a place record of 5/11 for 11.26pts.
So we know he can handle this tough jumping course and I don't think the ground will pose a problem either: he has won here on both soft and heavy ground in the past.
His form had actually been a bit hit and miss in recent race, but he who showed signs of a return to form at Kelso last time, when beaten by 11 lengths into second place at 7-1 on his latest outing in a 2m 1f (heavy) chase at Kelso almost four weeks ago. He now has the cheekpieces refitted and these were in place for all four of his C&D victories, so it's expected that they'll help again today.
He ran off a lowered mark of 88 last time out at Kelso and runs off the very same today and really should be in the mix at that level: his last win was off a mark of 90.
He won't have it all his own way today and it is a tough looking race, last year's winner Transact will also look to feature prominently again. There's just about enough in the market to take the safe option again today, so my bet is another 0.5pts E/W bet on Prince Tam at 6/1 BOG with Betfred (Corals also go 6's), but you can always...