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  • Sorry for the ongoing issues that you may have been experiencing whilst using the forum lately

    It really is frustrating when the forum slows down or Server Error 500 pops up.

    Apparently the hosts acknowledge there is a problem.
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Thoughts and selections

mick

Sire
Cheers F Frontrunner the last racing book i bought ( which was years ago ) was It Can Be Done by Kevin Blake. My interest was down to the pre publication puff which spoke of him having £1000 EP bets with Ladbrokes. Disappointingly the Book did not explain how this was achieved, but the interesting - surprising aspect was he claimed to make his profits via focusing on Irish 3yo Hcaps.
 
1:55 Cartmel - class 4 Novices hurdle over 2 miles 1 1/2 furlongs, 7 runners

Stats give me a shortlist of Blueberry Wine, Fever Roque & Darkest Day. Notice the long odds on favourite is not on there, but that doesn’t mean the stats are saying it’s not going to win. They are basically telling me that it is not good value but price says it is still the most likely winner. In same way, if I have big priced runner on my short list, that doesn’t mean it’s going to win, just that it might run better than it’s price.

Looking at the form of 3 shortlisted runners.

Blueberry Wine - although trainer has a good record in the race, this horse’s form is nothing special. Even his best effort, the 3rd at Chepstow is not as good as it might look at first glance. Yes he was close behind 120-rated horse, but afterwards the handicapper seemed to take the view that it wasn’t a strong race and dropped that horse to 115 and he still got beaten in a handicap off that mark next time. Only had 3 runs, so still open to improvement but I think he needs to.

Fever Roque - placed 3rd of 8 on debut in a bumper in April, bettered that effort on hurdling debut when running well above market expectations to finish 3rd of 9 at 28/1. To me that form looks stronger than Blueberry Wine’s. Although the winner was a big price, 2nd & 5th were rated in 80s on the flat. Also as stable’s runners are not known for doing well on debuts, there is possibility of some improvement to come.

Darkest Day - had some consistent placed form for Gary Moore before finally winning on 13th attempt, in a handicap hurdle at Plumpton. Disappointed in two runs since including at Plumpton, a course where he had a good record. Now with a new trainer, a change of scenery could help, and he wears cheekpieces for first time, so there is possibility of improvement. Like the favourite, he also has to carry the penalty, which leaves him 20 lbs behind the favourite on official ratings. So a win is probably too much to expect, but I think he could run well.

So final decision would have been between Fever Roque & Darkest Day, FR is likely to have more improvement so would have been my preferred choice. But as the favourite is such a short price, I would not have felt confident about taking it on so would have most likely swerved the race or looked at without the favourite market for a possible bet,
 

mick

Sire
Notice the long odds on favourite is not on there, but that doesn’t mean the stats are saying it’s not going to win. They are basically telling me that it is not good value but price says it is still the most likely winner. In same way, if I have big priced runner on my short list, that doesn’t mean it’s going to win, just that it might run better than it’s price.
An interesting comment and explanation and i am guessing your underlying confidence Re the stats involved also plays a part. ? Re an odds on Fav fortunately in the races i work this seldom occurs but generally when faced with a short priced Fav i take the easy out and swerve the race because while i would not wish to back it i would also feel leery about opposing it.

Re a possible who is well away from the front of the market this is the area where opinions become more varied and the market less accurate. :)
 

Coseleymon

Yearling
1:55 Cartmel - class 4 Novices hurdle over 2 miles 1 1/2 furlongs, 7 runners

Stats give me a shortlist of Blueberry Wine, Fever Roque & Darkest Day. Notice the long odds on favourite is not on there, but that doesn’t mean the stats are saying it’s not going to win. They are basically telling me that it is not good value but price says it is still the most likely winner. In same way, if I have big priced runner on my short list, that doesn’t mean it’s going to win, just that it might run better than it’s price.

Looking at the form of 3 shortlisted runners.

Blueberry Wine - although trainer has a good record in the race, this horse’s form is nothing special. Even his best effort, the 3rd at Chepstow is not as good as it might look at first glance. Yes he was close behind 120-rated horse, but afterwards the handicapper seemed to take the view that it wasn’t a strong race and dropped that horse to 115 and he still got beaten in a handicap off that mark next time. Only had 3 runs, so still open to improvement but I think he needs to.

Fever Roque - placed 3rd of 8 on debut in a bumper in April, bettered that effort on hurdling debut when running well above market expectations to finish 3rd of 9 at 28/1. To me that form looks stronger than Blueberry Wine’s. Although the winner was a big price, 2nd & 5th were rated in 80s on the flat. Also as stable’s runners are not known for doing well on debuts, there is possibility of some improvement to come.

Darkest Day - had some consistent placed form for Gary Moore before finally winning on 13th attempt, in a handicap hurdle at Plumpton. Disappointed in two runs since including at Plumpton, a course where he had a good record. Now with a new trainer, a change of scenery could help, and he wears cheekpieces for first time, so there is possibility of improvement. Like the favourite, he also has to carry the penalty, which leaves him 20 lbs behind the favourite on official ratings. So a win is probably too much to expect, but I think he could run well.

So final decision would have been between Fever Roque & Darkest Day, FR is likely to have more improvement so would have been my preferred choice. But as the favourite is such a short price, I would not have felt confident about taking it on so would have most likely swerved the race or looked at without the favourite market for a possible bet,
For me its a race where i couldn't back the fav because of price but i wouldn't feel confident enough to back one against him as only 7 runners so no good for ew
 
An interesting comment and explanation and i am guessing your underlying confidence Re the stats involved also plays a part. ?
Yes, and sample size usually determines the confidence level, lower the sample size lower the confidence, and for this race sample size was fairly low. Just for interest, main negative stats for today’s favourite were to do with jockey, not this jockey in particular as she has actually done very well from limited opportunities, but the relatively inexperienced jockeys in general in similar situations. Other thing is, trainer’s record in this race is not that great, he has had a couple of beaten favourites in this in recent years, then again none of them were 1/5 shots.

I agree with both you C Coseleymon that it’s probably one of those races where you can neither back the favourite nor oppose it with confidence.
 
Odds on shot won as the market expected. Form reading of the shortlisted horses wasn’t too bad, McCain horse whose form looked a negative was last to finish despite going off 2nd fav. Of my final two Darkest Day (33/1) finished 2nd but I would have chosen the other one who was unplaced as the anticipated 2nd time improvement didn’t happen.
 
Nijinsky Stakes (4:50 Leopardstown) - Listed race for 3 year olds over a mile and half, 8 runners

Stats give me shortlist of Flying Visit, Fernando Vichi & Sacred Rhyme

Form

Flying Visit - ran 11 times as a 2yo, and had some ok form including a Group 3 win here over 9 furlongs, but has not progressed at 3, well beaten last twice in Dante (Group 2) and Gallinule (Group 3). Top rated and dropping in class, but needs to bounce back to form, and the fact that he had so much racing at 2 makes me think even his best may not be enough against some potential improvers.

Fernando Vichi - clear winner of a maiden over a mile here on his 2nd start, 4 horses to have run from that race have won 6 races from 14 between them since then. FV has not won since, but has been running in Group 2/3. 3rd of 7 in the Derrinstown Trial last time, none of them could get near the impressive winner Bolshoi Ballet but even if you take him out of the race it still looks very strong form with Lough Derg in 2nd & Mac Swiney in 4th. I don’t think FV needs to improve a lot on that run to be involved here.

Sacred Rhyme - something amiss last time when very disappointing favourite finishing last, but had been improving with every run before that finishing 3rd of 15 in Listed Salsabil Stakes on previous run. That form is not bad, and if you can forget the last run then she has place chances and is a big price.

My final decision would have been between a win bet on Fernando Vichi or place only bet on Sacred Rhyme. Market is a bit of negative for both. Other things that create little doubts for me, Fernando Vichi was behind Flying Visit in the Ballysax so form of that race puzzles me a bit (but both horses were making their reappearance, so it maybe a case of Flying Visit being readier then). And for Sacred Rhyme, negative could be that Shane Foley has deserted her to ride Agrimony instead.
 
Woodcote Stakes (2:00 Epsom) - Class 2 Conditions race (used to be run as a Listed race until 2016) for 2 year olds over 6 furlongs, 10 runners

Stats give me a shortlist of just two, Raging & Sienna Bonnie

Raging - ran well to finish 2nd on debut at Salisbury behind a well backed winner despite the huge market drift (6/1 to 20/1), the winner again won easily next time stepped up in class so it’s probably not bad form. Raging was perhaps a little disappointing when only 4th at Bath next time, but he was drawn 13 against the first 3 finishers drawn 2, 3 & 4 so that effort can be marked up a bit. Won a 3-runner event on soft going at Haydock last week.

Sienna Bonnie - ran above expectations to finish 2nd behind Crazyland on debut. Before that race, I didn’t think it will be a strong race but I have changed my opinion of it as the form has worked out quite well. The 4th & 7th won next time, and Sienna Bonnie was a similar distance behind Crazyland in the Marygate (Listed) at York when they finished 3rd & 7th. Between the debut and the Listed race, SB was found a weak race at Bath that she won by 8 and half lengths. I seem to remember reading her trainer Jonathan Portman saying before her debut that she will be better over 6 furlongs, so here it is, but even without the improvement I think she has a chance to be competitive in this.

So, form is a positive for both the shortlisted runners, Sienna Bonnie’s debut form looks stronger. But on their Bath runs and a line through Madame Mango & Major Gatsby, Raging appears to have a slight edge. My preference is still for Sienna Bonnie despite the fact that fillies have a poor record in this race, they are 0 from 26 (only 3 placed) in last 20 years.
 
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2:00 Perth (good) - class 4 novice hurdle over 2 miles 4 1/2 furlongs, 5 runners

Shortlist is Will Carver & Gordon’s Jet

Form

Will Carver - improved with every run, close 2nd behind 144-rated Faivoir in a 3 runner race at Newbury before losing his maiden tag with a 12 lengths win at a Kempton despite making mistakes. Every chance he could have more improvement, but is short enough in betting.

Gordon’s Jet - has run well in both runs since coming over from Ireland. Was a rare runner at Chepstow for Brian Ellison when winning on stable and hurdling debut. Probably bettered that effort under a penalty when denied by the narrowest margin by a 100/1 shot next time. He was 9 lengths ahead of 3rd horse with OR 121, so despite the shock result I feel it is pretty strong form.

On a line through Famoso, Will Carver has a clear edge, and according to official handicapper Will Carver is 17 lbs better than Gordon’s Jet, but in my opinion, for what it’s worth, it is much closer between them. And with possible improvement for stepping up in distance, GJ would have been my selection (especially at the 11/2 that was available earlier, 7/2 now so value has gone) if I was betting.
 
Tony Bethell Memorial Handicap (8:15 Pontefract) - 2 miles 1 furlong, class 4, good to firm, 6 runners

Smallest field for this race since 2003 at least, but it still looks a tricky race, my stats give me shortlist of Ottonian & Arabescato.

Ottonian - only 1 from 12 since joint Donald McCain, that win came over hurdles in March. Although beaten over 10 lengths when 4th of 6 at Carlisle 10 days ago, it doesn’t look too bad an effort as it was a stronger race and he has now been dropped 2 lbs. Not sure if that is enough of a drop, but top rated horses have a good record in this with 5 wins from last 16 runnings, 4 from 10 when there was a clear top rated. Yet to race on ground this quick.

Arabescato - much improved since the start of year with 3 wins already this year and also some placed efforts. Most of those runs came on the polytrack at Lingfield but has continued to run well on turf since joining John Butler, and won the Jamaican Flight Handicap at this course in April. Winners of that handicap don’t have a great record, have to go back to 2012 to find the last winner to go on to win another race in same year, so that is a little bit of negative. Only narrowly beaten at Lingfield on Saturday from same mark as today.

On form, Arabescato is clear choice from the two, and collateral form line through Thai Terrier also gives him an edge over Ottonian. To me, it’s a question of whether the handicapper has caught up with him, not finding it easy to answer that question, on positive side he is only 4 so may not have finished improving yet. I am not sure I would have had a bet in the race, probably would have waited to see the market for clues as I would not want to see a drift on Arabescato.
 
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