Stat of the Day, 9th January 2013
Yesterday's pick was a disappointment in the end, as Laflammedeglorie seemed to travel very well for over two miles, despite not jumping as fluently or cleanly as one would like from a fairly short-priced favourite. Unfortunately when push came to shove in the final half mile of a three-mile contest, he had nothing in the tank and soon folded, eventually pulling up before the 3rd from last fence.
It's off to the Town Moor in South Yorkshire today for a Class 4 Handicap Chase. The trip for this one is 2m 3f and we're expecting 8 runners to contest the...
When it comes to chase events at Doncaster, you don't normally need to look much further than James Ewart's runners.
Thirteen and a half months ago (25th November 2011 to be precise!) James sent two chasers to Doncaster for the first time in three years. He was rewarded with his return that day with two winners at Evens and 4/1 and he has subsequently sent another nine chasers to Town Moor since that day. The record of these eleven entries is nothing short of remarkable as the form line now reads 11121311616.
Seven winners from eleven is a fantastic achievement and this 63.6% strike rate is responsible for a whopping 29.8pts profit = some 270% return on stakes. Even the more cautious E/W backers amongst us have reaped the rewards of following Mr Ewart's chasers here, as nine placers (81.8%) have brought in level stakes profits of 36.5pts from the eleven bets.
Obviously not all of those eleven races were handicap contests; in fact the record looks even better when we isolate the handicap races. There have been seven of these so far with the following results: 1112116, five winners from seven (71.4%) have brought home 26.5pts profit (+379%!), whilst E/W punters have been paid out on six occasions (85.7%) to the tune of 33pts.
James Ewart is actually double-handed here at Doncaster today with two horses both competing in separate Class 4 handicaps. Civil Unrest (currently 7/1) is the first of the pair to run, as he tackles 3m2f in the 1.40 race. Whilst I wouldn't totally discount his chances of a place (or better!), I think that Mr Ewart's best chance of picking up at least some petrol money comes later in the day with Vosges.
Vosges fared reasonably well as a hurdler in 2011, winning twice on soft ground (so today's surface should hold too many horrors for him) and also gaining one runner-up position from just six hurdles contests. He has since turned his hand to chasing and despite still not having a chase victory to his name in nine attempts, he maintained a decent level of consistency making the frame five times from seven outings last season.
He has run twice already this winter: both at Musselburgh and his seasonal opener was disappointing when finishing last of six in early November. he ran off a mark of 120 that day and looked like he needed the run. He then reappeared at Musselburgh 31 days later (10/12/12) and finished 4th of 10 that day, just missing out on a place in the final yards. He ran off 117 on that occasion over a 2m 4f trip.
The drop back in trip by a furlong should suit him more today and his mark for today's contest is now just 114: his two career victories have come at 113 and 116, so he's at his game today after another 31-day rest, we could very well be in business. As I said earlier the ground shouldn't be an issue either.
The race looks a fairly open contest with pros and cons around many of the runners and a quick look at the early markets allied to the horse's place strike rate suggests an E/W bet should be on the cards, as both Betfred and Boylesports are offering 7/1 BOG. My play is 0.5pts E/W on Vosges at 7/1 BOG with Boylesports, but for the other firms' prices, you really should...