Stat of the Day, 4th February 2013
It was another case of close, but no cigar yesterday as Close Together only managed a second place finish. She stayed on well at the finish as I expected her to, but was ultimately beaten by the best part of 1.25 lengths. She was closing in on the winner Precision Strike, who effectively won the race on the final turn, some two furlongs from home. Talented claimer Philip Prince set his horse for home early and stole a march on the rest of the field, opening up a considerable gap, which our selection didn't manage to close. Both our mount Close Together and the winning jockey Philip Prince will have winners again soon, I feel.
There's not a lot to choose from today and there's nothing catching my eye at Wolverhampton, so that narrows it down to some NH action in South Yorkshire. The going on Town Moor is expected to be Good to Soft and we're going to try to tackle the conundrum of a Class 5 Handicap Hurdle over 3 miles and a half furlong, where 18 runners contest the...
John Quinn's horses have a tendency to go well in hurdle events here at Doncaster, where he has saddled up seven winners from twenty since the turn of 2010 with a further three making the frame. This 35% strike rate has produced 41pts profit (205%), whilst E/W backers have collected on 50% of the time to the tune of 45.5pts (113.75%).
This form has been even more impressive of late with five of his last ten hurdlers here going on to win with one more being placed and those five wins have generated 40pts profit.
The yard itself is in good nick with 8 winners and 3 placers from just 27 races over the last two months and this is the time of year that Mr Quinn seems to get his horses in top form: nine winners and four placers from thirty-eight runners in the last three Februarys are testament to this.
John has two hurdlers out today: the highly respected Countrywide Flame looks up against it in the 3.00 race, but our selection half an hour later, Luccombe Chine, looks a better bet for a chance of a return.
Luccombe Chine is an 8yr old mare who won a 2m6f Cartmel handicap on soft ground in August, but didn't live up to that performance on her last two runs. It has been suggested that she probably travelled too well for her own good at Wetherby on very testing ground and I'm sure that far better ground on offer today will help her in her quest to step back up in trip. She certainly has ability, but the last two runs will have been noted by the market, yet it's also hard to argue with the current form and the overall Doncaster record of the yard.
She might not win today and the market would tend to suggest this, but any improvement on that Wetherby run last time out should be enough to make the frame, as the bookies are paying on four places today. That said, the prudent option is a 0.5pts E/W bet on Luccombe Chine at 10/1 BOG with Corals (as of 10.50am), but you really should...