Stat of the Day, 11th December 2013
No joy with our American angle yesterday as Hussar Ballad was a tad disappointing and never really got on terms.
Having taken an early 4/1, we beat the market by half a point, but after chasing the leaders to the pole, he was then ridden along in an attempt to challenge but he was already weakening with a furlong to go, eventually finishing 7th of 12.
I should, however point out that two of the races at Southwell were taken by USA horses at odds of 8/1 and 7/2, so there's still something there.
We stay on the All-Weather for a Class 2 Handicap over 11 furlongs, shown on your racecards as the...
Marco Botti's horses are in good form at present with 4 winners and 2 placers from 12 runners in the last fortnight, but followers of his methods will have come to expect this, as he generally does well in December.
He has a 10/32 record in handicap contests in the month of December with horses that we'd consider for SotD ie odds of a minimum 7/4 and above. The 31.25% strike rate has produced 56.4pts profit to level stakes, a remarkable return of 176.2% above stakes invested, and he's already 1 from 2 this month, as today's selection Halfsin was a 10/1 winner over course and distance here last Wednesday.
Halfsin was by no means Marco's first winner at Kempton this year, in fact he's had a great 2013 in handicap contests here, winning 12 of the 37 he's been represented in, a strike rate of 32.4% responsible for returning 27.6pts or 74.7% profit.
So, we know the yard's horses go well here and that they tend to fire in December and also that Halfsin was a course and distance winner last time out, but what else do we know about this horse?
He has taken quite well to the A/W surface here, having also finished third over C&D on his only other completed run at Kempton and he also has a decent record on the flat, with 4 wins and 2 places from 14. Today will be his twentieth trip to a track and he's still in that rare category of horses who have been profitable to back blindly over a reasonably large number of runs: 5.5pts at SP from 19 races = 28.95% ROI.
He's up 6lbs for last week's C&D victory, but they way he was still pulling clear at the end of a race he'd dominated from start to finish suggests he'll be able to shoulder the extra burden, but the rise has been accounted for in his 9/1 price today. If he's allowed to dictate affairs again and get another easy lead, the rest of the pack could very well struggle to get past him.
I've a sneaking suspicion that he's slightly overpriced here, but I'm going to play a cautious safety-first approach here with a 0.5pt E/W bet on Halfsin at 9/1 BOG. This price is widely available and I've used Bet365 for this one. You can choose to use a different firm whose prices can be seen when you...