Stat of the Day: 3rd July 2012
Yesterday's selection was a non-runner after Ffos Las were forced to abandon their card due to heavy rain. Remarkably, 150 miles north and east of there - where we're headed today - the going remains good after a little light rain.
It's Shakespeare country this evening, and the…
Ian Williams is one of those trainers I love. Effective in most circumstances, and often with his light hidden at least partially under a bushel. Take today for instance. His overall record at Stratford is a perfectly pleasing nine wins from 47 runs, and a fifteen point profit.
But closer inspection reveals he's not had a chase or National Hunt Flat win at the track in the last five years, despite saddling fifteen horses under those codes.
In other words, Ian Williams is nine from 32 over hurdles, for a 30+ point profit.
Tonight, he runs two in handicap hurdles, and one has a more obvious chance than the other. Whilst Oh No Not Harry may improve in the 7.40, he has to if he's to get involved and he's passed over in favour of stablemate Rebel Dancer who runs an hour earlier.
This chap isn't really hiding anything from the handicapper: he is as good as he is. And, in point of fact, that's pretty good, especially in the context of this race.
Tonight Rebel Dancer carries second top weight in a Class 4 two mile handicap hurdle on good ground. His last win was in a good (to firm) ground Class 4 two mile handicap hurdle. Since then, he's run eleven times over hurdles, and in all bar one he's raced in higher class.
Indeed, he's been running in Listed and Grade 3 hurdles for much of that time, including when second in the Listed Gerry Feilden Hurdle. More recently, he was ninth behind Champion Hurdler Rock On Ruby in the 2011 running of the same race, and he now drops to a much more winnable contest.
Rebel Dancer was beaten in Class 4 company on his penultimate start, but that was in a muddling five runner affair. Here, he's fourteen rivals to overcome, and the gallop should be much more suitable.
Since that dawdling third, his last run was in Class 3, where he beat all bar Knight In Purple, who chinned him by less than a length. He was checked in his final run that day, and would probably have otherwise won; and the third placed horse was sixteen lengths further back.
Compensation may await this evening, at 5/1 BOG (Paddy Power), and given his propensity for finding one or two too good, each way is the sensible play.
Click here for the latest odds on the 6.40 Stratford.