Monday’s Weekly Roundup – Horse Racing

Plenty to get through in this Monday’s article. Firstly, I will take a very brief look back to Saturday’s action and with it, a horse for the notebook from Haydock.

In the second part, I highlight a trainer whose runners are worth keeping on side this week, as well as taking a look at some trends/trainer stats for this weekend’s action at Newbury.

The Girls win Shergar Cup but Magic Moreira is a different class

The ‘Girls’ took the Shergar Cup on Saturday and Hayley Turner took the Silver Saddle, as the leading rider at Ascot’s annual jockey’s team challenge. Hayley just held off the late challenge of Joao Moreira by a single point. 

However, on the day it has to be the “Magic Man” who took the plaudits for me after wins on Berkshire Boy, trained by Andrew Balding who landed a treble on the card, and a super ride on Green Power to win the final race. 

You can see why Moreira gets his nickname, as he is a magical jockey. He is about to embark on a new career in Japan after plenty of success riding in Hong Kong. He’s just in a different class to most jockeys, both in front of the cameras and on the track. It’s just a shame we don’t see him ride on a regular basis in Britain.

It was fairly quiet last week after the excess of exciting racing at Glorious Goodwood and Galway Festivals. There’s plenty of high-class action to come with Yorks’ Ebor Festival, just 10 days away, more of that next week and next Friday & Saturday sees high-class racing from Newbury.

Saturday Eyecatcher

Markazi, was a very interesting runner for David O’Meara at Haydock. The 4-year-old had been racing in France and recently been purchased by his new connections for 140,000 Euros. Weak in the betting for his British start, he travelled well for most of the race but when Danny Tudhope asked the horse for his effort his response wasn’t immediate although he did run on steadily all the way to the line to take 4th. His last two wins in France had come in blinkers which were left off here. I would expect to see headgear return for his next start which could well be at York. He looks on a very winnable mark for his shrewd trainer. 

Hot Trainer

Ismail Mohammed, made it 3 winners from 4 runners in the past seven days when Nibras Again won at Haydock on Saturday. This is the trainers time of year.  Since 2014 his record with runners with the following traits:

Race Code: Flat only

Race Type: Handicap

Horses Age: 3yo +

Race Class: 3 to 5

Month: August & September

18 winners from 50 runners

Strike Rate 36%

SP Profit +61.75

A/E 2.07

26 placed

Place Strike Rate 52%

12 winners from 107 runners

Strike Rate 11%

SP Loss -34.24

A/E 0.74

36 placed

Place Strike Rate 34%

with the same qualifiers outside August & September.

The trainer has a handful of runners entered up this week and they will be worth noting given the stables form. 

Newbury takes centre stage at the weekend

I am a bit surprised given the number of racing festivals that the racecourse marketing team haven’t rebranded the two days as the “Hungerford Festival.”

The Group 2 Hungerford Stakes over 7f is the feature race of the fixture. First, run in 1949 over a distance of 1m. It was later reduced to today’s distance and raced over Newbury’s left-hand course. 

It became a Group 3 race in 1971 and was switched to the straight track in 2002. In 2006 the race was reclassified to a Group 2 race. Given the scarcity of Group races over the intermediate distance for older horses (3-year-old +) in the racing calendar, it hasn’t attracted the strongest of fields in recent years despite its status. Two of the best performances in the past decade came with the wins of Paco Boy in 2008 and Excelebration in 2011. 

Besides the Hungerford Stakes, other Pattern races include the Listed St Hugh’s Stakes for juveniles over 5f on Friday. On the Saturday’s card, there’s also The Denford Stakes (formerly known as the Washington Singer Stakes) for juveniles over 7f and the Group 3, Geoffrey Freer Stakes over 1m 5f for 3-year-old+ horses. 

The Geoffrey Freer has been used as a prep by horses heading down under for the Melbourne Cup. Given the race is also open to the classic generation a 3-year-old winner will often head to the St Leger as last year’s winner Defoe. Kite Wood also won the race before finishing runner-up in the 2009 St Leger. 

Hungerford Stakes – Trends

Trends always play a role in picking the winners of big races, and the Hungerford Stakes is no exception to the rule.

  • Two favourites have won in the past ten years and five winners were sent off 3/1 & under.  However, it’s a race where a big priced winner can pop up. Last years winner Massaat won at 12/1 and there have been 11/1 & 25/1 winners of the race since 2012.

  • Younger horses tend to dominate with 3yo & 4yos producing nine of the last ten winners of the race with the classic generation producing – 5 winners from 16 runners +26.75.

  • Horses with an official rating 110+ are 9 winners from 45 runners +15.95.

  • John Gosden & Clive Cox have saddled four winners between them since 2008 with the former 2 wins from 4 runners +12 4 placed. 

Newbury August Trainer Stats

Looking at the past ten years it’s clear that some trainers have been targeting this meeting. Here are some of the more interesting ones.

Saeed Bin Suroor (2yo’s)

5 winners from 10 runners

Strike Rate 50%

SP Profit +9.08

9 placed

Place Strike Rate 90%

(3 winners from 6 runners 50% +5.58 6 placed 100% with juveniles making their racecourse debuts). 

Sir Michael Stoute (2yo’s)

4 winners from 11 runners

Strike Rate 36%

SP Profit +27.38

8 placed

Place Strike Rate 73%

(2 winners from 2 runners 100% +11.38 with runners that had one career run). 

William Haggas (Handicaps) –

6 winners from 17 runners

Strike Rate 36%

SP Profit +10.96

10 placed

Place Strike Rate 59%

(6 winners from 12 runners 50% +15.96 8 placed 67% with runners that had not won on the going on the day)

There are another group of trainers who have a good record with their runners in handicaps at the meeting and I will be sharing any of their runners with Eyecatcher Pro subscribers next weekend. 

That’s all for this week. Good luck with your betting this week.

Next Monday, I will be taking a look at the Ebor Festival. 

John Burke

I have a MA in International Politics and having spent a number of years working in political campaigning but I eventually I realised that politics was not the world where I wanted to work I had been interested in horse racing since the late 1980s but in the early years I was merely just betting and watching racing like most people as a bit of fun and a hobby, then the hobby becomes a passion and that’s what happened to me with horse racing. I soon realised that to make money from my hobby I had to learn as much as I could about the sport and betting in general. The whole process took time but after a number of successful years of betting, I decided in 2011 to take the plunge, gave up my full time day job and decided to bet on horse racing as a part time business and I haven’t looked back since. I like to specialise in the better class of races and I love to solve the puzzles posed by big field handicaps the latter races often provide punters with great value betting opportunities. Whilst most of my time is spent reviewing previous races I like to keep things as simple as possible as even the biggest field handicaps can usually be pruned down to half a dozen strong contenders with the right sort of approach.

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