Stat of the Day, 19th January 2013
SotD's 'binary January' is the gift that keeps on giving right now, with a second nice priced winner in a row. Advised at 6/1, Akasaka was sent off the 7/2 second favourite and won with a bit in hand. In fairness, he was a 95 rated horses running against largely much lesser rated animals, and it showed.
Saturday's programme is decimated again, and so we'll stay over in Ireland for the heavy ground card at Naas and, specifically, the...
It's a serious longshot poke today, and of course, more likely to be nowhere than somewhere. But, emboldened by a couple of recent winners - and mindful that faint heart never won fair maiden (although discretion is the better part of valour!) - I'm tilting at the biggest price I've ever put up on here.
The horse in question is Maller Tree, in the Grade 3 hurdle. This fellow was tailed off last time over three miles, but that's not his true running, and he palpably didn't stay that day.
In thirteen runs in non-handicap company, Maller Tree has been in the bookie places on ten occasions. That's 71% of the time. True, here there are only two places to aim at, and there is an odds on jolly and a well backed second choice in Solwhit and So Young respectively.
But both of those have something to prove: Solwhit is a seconditis horse, which might bounce after his first run in around two years; and So Young is a two miler who has gotten away with further only in a very weak maiden hurdle and a three runner dawdle. (He might get away with it again here, but he's no price to be supporting that possibility).
Third choice in the market is Whatuthink, a horse well suited by conditions but one which will try to make all. When he last did that against Maller Tree, the selection beat him by 43 lengths! Now that's not Whatuthink's running in fairness, but there remains a reasonable chance that Maller Tree can beat him again.
With Whatuthink and Imperial Shabra likely to take each other on early, and So Young normally prominent too, there could well be some throat-cutting amongst them this afternoon. If that scenario was to unfold, then the... 50/1!!!... about Maller Tree looks tempting.
It obviously won't last, but there's plenty of 33/1 around too, and that's fair enough. Each way at 50's BOG with bet365 the call, but do...
p.s. I was tempted by Red Somerset in the 2.20 Kempton, whose recent record (ten places from eleven starts for today's rider) and price - 16/1 - is fair enough for a small each way tickle.