Well, this is the first of my new Monday articles.
It’s an opportunity to take a look back at some of last week’s horse racing highlights and also look forward to the week ahead in the racing world. As ever there will be plenty of stats highlighted for you.
Brilliant Battaash Blitz’s Rivals
I am writing this at the end of this year’s Qatar Festival or ‘Glorious’ Goodwood as it will always be known by most of us of a certain age. Well, the weather lived up to expectations as it was glorious all week. What a contrast with last year when the meeting began with heavy rain and was run on soft ground.
Battaash produced one of the best sprinting performances of recent years with his sensational win the 5f Group 2 King George Stakes.
It’s not been the best of seasons for his trainer Charlie Hills so this performance by his stable star will have lifted the mood in the yard.
The son of Dark Angel was always travelling powerfully through the race. Once jockey Jim Crowley asked the horse to go and win his race the response was electric, as Battaash quickened clear to put the race to bed in a matter of strides. He won by a comfortable four lengths at the line from that grand old sprinter Take Cover.
Despite carrying a 3lb penalty for last years easy win the race his win was no more than could have been expected on Official Ratings. But there was something visually stunning about the 4-year-old’s performance that made it look even better than the final winning margin suggests.
He will be back in Group 1 company again, with the Nunthorpe Stakes at York looming large. A race which he really lost at the start after playing up before entering the stalls. He looks a more mature horse now and deserves to head the market for York’s big sprint.
It was a case of “Hats off to Her Majesty” on Friday, as Seniority won the Unibet Golden Mile Handicap. It’s a race where a good draw is important but a clear passage is even more essential. The winner had a good draw in stall 3 but also got all the gaps opening when he needed them too. Seniority who was sent off the 9/2 joint-favourite deserved his success as he was clearly the best horse on the day but there were a few horses who didn’t get the best of runs when they needed it.
The other joint-favourite Escobar, trained by David O’Meara, was one of those who didn’t get the best of passages. The 4-year-old was travelling as well as the winner two furlongs out but didn’t get the best of runs when making his effort. That said, when the gap did appear he didn’t find much and could only finish 8th.
Another O’Meara trained runner Firmament was arguably even more unlucky, not for the first time, in the run and in the circumstances, it was a good effort to finish 7th. The 6-year-old’s losing run is mounting up. He hasn’t won since taking the valuable 1m handicap at the Ebor meeting in 2016, a race he finished third in last year.
He’s become a very well-handicapped horse, 13lb lower than when 3rd at York last August. It’s worth noting that his best two Racing Post Ratings (RPR’s) have come at York. He will surely be heading to the Ebor Festival for that race again.
Shergar Cup Takes Centre Stage
That’s last week out of the way so it’s time to look forward. Next weekend it’s Shergar Cup Day at Ascot. I have to confess it’s not a meeting I take much interest in from a betting perspective. Other‘s do like the fixture and Ascot will have a big crowd eager to watch this International Jockey’s Challenge.
For those of you looking for some pointers, I have had a look to see which trainers have done well with their runners at the meeting. Since 2013 two trainers have interesting records: Dean Ivory and Robert Cowell.
Dean Ivory –
2 winners from 3 runners
Strike Rate 67%
SP Profit +9
Place Strike Rate 67%
Robert Cowell –
2 winners from 7 runners
Strike Rate 29%
SP Profit +3.5
Place Strike Rate 43%
Those four winners have come at 4/1, 6/1, 5/1 & 7/2.
So, it will be worth seeing checking to see if either trainer has any runners at this years Shergar Cup.
This will be a regular Monday feature where I look at those trainers who enter the new week in hot form.
These are the stats for trainers in the past week who have entries over the next five days.
Jamie Osborne –
3 winners from 4 runners
Strike rate 75%
SP Profit +26
Place Strike Rate 75%
Jamie Osborne has one runner at Windsor, this evening –
6:30 – Reckless Endeavour
Jeremy Scott – 2 winners from 2 runners
Strike Rate 100%
SP Profit +7.75
John O’Shea – 2 winners from 3 runners
Strike Rate 67%
SP Profit + 9
Place Strike Rate 67%
Jeremy Scott has possible runners at Newton Abbot on Monday and John O’Shea has a few potential runners entered from Wednesday onwards.
Favourites Offer Punters Value At Windsor
Monday racing wouldn’t be the same without Windsor. Interestingly in the last 12 months, favourite-backers have been on very good terms with themselves with the market leaders producing the following set of results:
73 winners from 173 runners
Strike Rate 42%
SP Profit +17.47
Place Strike Rate 66%
If you were to just focus on 2yo & 3yo’s only, the results have been even better.
57 winners from 115 runners
Strike rate 50%
SP Profit +31.21
Place Strike Rate 74%
An impressive set of stats with favourites performing 24% better than market expectations. It’s a stat that could be worth noting until the end of the season at the Thames sidetrack.
Next week I will take a look at the fate of the favourites at Thirsk.
I would normally be taking a look at Saturday’s big race from a trends & stats perspective but because it’s the Shergar Cup, I will leave that until next week.
Good luck with your punting this week and hopefully the above stats will point you in the way of some winners.