Stat of the Day, 12th July 2013
Close but no cigar yesterday, as we were narrowly denied a win in the July Stakes. Mickael Barzalona looked set to improve upon his already impressive Newmarket stats with a well-timed burst for the line in a pretty tight finish (only a length separated the first four home!).
Unfortunately nobody had spotted the eventual winner Anjaal fling down the outside to land the race at 14/1 thanks to another great finish by Paul Hanagan (rider of our own winner on Wednesday!)
The end result was a runner-up berth of our selection at 7/2 with the positives being that we beat the SP by taking 9/2 BOG, we identified a weak favourite, which some of you will have laid (I did!) and we've found a horse capable of winning decent races in the future.
Moral victories don't enhance the bank account, though! So we need to try again, a quest which now takes us to the...
Bernard Llewellyn is one of those shrewd trainers who is very adept in his usage of jockeys with a valuable 5lb claim, which can make so much difference to a race.
Since 2010, he has managed to saddle up 23 winners ridden by 5lb claimers from 153 races. This 15% strike rate is almost double the sport's average and has helped to bring in profits of 84.9pts, a return over stakes invested of some 55.5%.
It's pretty clear to see that Bernard wants to win this race this year, as he's got three entries, tow of which are ridden by 5lb claiming jockeys. Of the two, Captain Sharpe seems quite badly out of form at present, which leaves us with Taste The Wine.
Taste The Wine likes it here at Chepstow with three of his six turf wins to date coming at the Monmouthshire venue (2/4 on flat and 1/2 NH). His overall record here reads as three wins and three further places from eleven starts for 20.2pts profits and over today's course and distance, he has finished 105125 for a 33.3% strike rate and 16.8pts (+280%) profit.
He's a good dual code horse and comes here fit from a very good third place over hurdles at Newton Abbot three weeks ago, so he'll be ready for this one. He last ran on the flat 33 days ago at Nottingham, when he ran a decent race to finish second and he comes here to run off a mark a pound lower today.
He's in good nick and looks (on paper, at least!) the best on show in what is a fairly weak contest. The very talented Oisin Murphy on board Silver Samba is likely to be the favourite and is most likely to be the big danger to our selection, but I'm happy to take my 1pt bet on Taste The Wine at 3/1 BOG with Stan James, but for your preferred bookie...