Stat of the Day, 29th September 2013
A reader was wondering on Saturday whether I'd lost some faith in my own selections, I assure you all that is certainly not the case, although the performance of our latest runner was very trying indeed.
I've watched the race a few times now and I've decided to put it down to experience, as "one of those things". Briefly, and for the record, Living The Life was backed in from our advised 9/4 down to even money and then stumbled out of the stalls giving her rivals a good head start.
She raced keenly/strongly to make up lost ground, passed all before her whilst running fairly wide and erratic and then opened up a commanding (or so it seemed) lead with less than 3 furlongs to go. It was after the 2 pole that she started to run out of steam and Greensward came from a virtual mile back to snatch the race in the shadow of the post.
Had the race been 50 yards shorter, we'd have had a nice win, 50 yards longer and she'd have lost by more than a length. These are the margins we deal with, I suppose. Anyway we're off to the home of The Oaks and The Derby today for the...
And whilst this isn't quite up to Derby or Oaks standard, it's a n interesting race nonetheless. We've got a 2yr olds Class 4 Nursery over 7 furlongs to contend with and the preference today is for Andrew Balding's handicap debutant Mime Dance.
Andrew has a really good record in recent years with horses making their handicap debut. Since the start of the 2010 campaign 18 of his 96 handicap debutants priced under 12/1 have gone on to win: that's a strike rate of 18.75% and is responsible for fantastic profits of 50.85pts, or 53% of stakes invested. Andrew also has a 24% strike rate with all his runners at this track in the last two years when priced in general SotD territory ie below 8/1.
Mime Dance has progressed well in three Class 5 maidens finishing 331, culminating in a course and distance win here 16 days ago. He has also run in a Class 2 maiden in the race immediately before his first victory. He wasn't at all disgraced that day either, finishing 5th of 17 and beaten by 5 lengths at 25/1. The mere fact that he contested that event suggests he's destined for better things than this Class 4 level.
That recent course and distance win was on softer ground than today, but he has also run well here over C&D on good to firm ground when 3rd behind Fire Fighting and Peak Royale who have both also gone on to score since.
An opening mark of 74 seems fair and talented jockey Thomas Brown is also able to take a further 3lbs off here, making his weight very competitive indeed. Provided Thomas gets the tactics right, we should be knocking on the payout window come 2.20pm.
I mention the tactics element, because he idled a little when in front last time out, but responded to pressure applied to stay on and he'll no doubt want further than this in future. If he's kept to his work and produced late, then the 5/1 BOG currently on offer from Stan James looks very good indeed. So it's a 1pt win bet on Mime Dance today. I've taken a piece of that 5/1, but you should always...
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