Stat of the Day, 26th July 2013
Second place was the best we could manage yesterday, after Lord Ben failed in his bid to make all from the front on his reappearance from a break of nearly 4 months. Unfortunately he made a hash of the 6th fence from home and lost momentum, allowing the even money favourite to take the race.
It's a three-mile, Class 5, Handicap Hurdle in Staffordshire, where a grand total of 18 runners will line up for the...
As regular readers of this column will know, I like to follow horses in form returning to the scene of a course and distance win. Certain tracks seem to lend themselves well to these horses and Uttoxeter is definitely one of them.
Since the start of 2011, 54 previous Uttoxeter course and distance winners have returned to the quirky Staffordshire track on the back of a win last time out. Of those 54 runners at all odds, a decent 15 have come back as winners, a very healthy 27.8% strike rate producing 30.56pts profit at level stakes, an ROI of 56.6%: very handy indeed.
44 of those 54 runners have run at below 8/1, yielding 14 of the 15 winners to date. That's a strike rate of 31.82% for 13.22pts profit and the strike rate improves to 39.3 % (11/28) with horses priced at 4/1 or under, which our selection might very well be.
That selection today is Moon Melody, who took advantage of a plummeting handicap mark and the reapplication of blinkers to absolutely hack up at Southwell 12 days ago over today's 3m trip. He'd been a little out of sorts since winning a 2m 3f chase at Sedgefield back in September, but he seem to steal a march on the handicapper over at Southwell last time out.
He hosed up by a good 16 lengths whilst easing down that day and that was off a mark of just 69, despite running off marks of over 80 as recently as two races previously. He is obviously penalised for that win, having been raised 6lbs, but he is still technically 11lbs well in at the weights and with the blinkers being worn yet again, should be a major player if in the same frame of mind.
Eddie Linehan is on board again today, taking another useful 5lbs off and we know the horse gets the track. He admittedly hasn't always been the most reliable of horses, but I doubt he'll ever get a better chance of landing back to back victories.
As it's a large field and the bookies will pay four places at 1/4 odds, it's understandable to take the safer E/W option if possible and as Moon Melody is currently 9/2 BOG with Betfred, BetVictor and Ladbrokes, there's just enough scope to do so.
Fortune, however, is rumoured to favour the brave, so I'm in for a 1pt straight win bet at 9/2 BOG with BetVictor, but to see what's on offer from your regular bookie...