This week I will be taking my usual look back at the weekend’s horse racing action, as well as highlighting a couple of trainers whose runners are worth noting at the Cambridgeshire Newmarket Meeting.
Honours Shared in Ayr Gold Cup
You could have cut the tension with a knife at Ayr, as punters awaited the result of the photo finish to this year’s Ayr Gold Cup. Son Of Rest and Baron Bolt crossed the line together in a head-bobbing finish.
Irish raider Son Of Rest had been backed down from 33/1 early in the week, and was punted off the boards into 5/1 favourite before the off. The 3-year-old travelled sweetly through the race, and quickened-up well on the heavy ground. He took a few lengths of the field, and looked sure to win. He began to idle, and that allowed Baron Bolt to catch the favourite and probably just head the favourite in the final few yards. To Son Of Rest’s credit, he battled back to land a share of the spoils.
It’s not often a valuable Heritage Handicap like the Ayr Gold Cup ends in a dead heat. But as the photo showed there was nothing to separate the pair at the finish.
In another stride the Irish horse would have won, but in many ways, it would have been sad if either horse had lost, as they both gave their all coming clear of the rest of the field.
Take Cover Bows Out
Following on from the retirements, through injury, of Alpha Centauri and Saxon Warrior last weekend, this weekend doughty sprinter Take Cover bowed out of racing to take a well-earned retirement. The 11-year-old battled on well, but had to settle for the runners-up spot at Newbury on Saturday on his last outing.
The gelding’s career ended with 15 winners from 45 starts, placing on another 10 occasions. A cracking 33%-win strike rate. His best year was arguably in 2016, when he won the Group 2 Qatar King George Stakes at Goodwood, a race he also won in 2014, and was runner-up in 2015. In 2016 he was also 3rd in the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes at York behind Mecca’s Angel and Limato.
He showed this summer that he was no back number, when winning the ‘Beverly Bullet’ for the second year running back in August. He was one of the best horses out of the stalls, and was a credit to his small yard. He’ll be missed by those of us who had some nice punting days in the past seasons.
Alaadel, trained by Stuart Williams, was 7th of 23 in the Bronze Cup on Friday. He was beaten 4 ½ lengths at the finish but should have finished closer as he didn’t get the best of runs a furlong out. I doubt he would have won but with a clearer passage he would have got into the places.
The 5-year-old enters the final weeks of the flat season fresher than most. This was only his 3rd start and given his age is relatively lightly raced, just the 10th career starts. He’s with shrewd connections and showed here that he’s on a competitive mark.
He handles a big field and is capable of winning soon. It will be interesting to see if the trainer gives him another try over 7f.
The Week Ahead: A Stats Perspective
Thursday see the start of the three-day Cambridgeshire meeting. Plenty of top-class action on the Thursday & Friday. However, Saturday is the stand out of the three days as we have bet365 Cambridgeshire Heritage Handicap, the first race of the Autumn Double. There are also two Group 1 juvenile races the Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes and Middle Park Stakes.
Here are some trainer stats worth noting this week.
Kevin Ryan is a trainer to follow at Hamilton in Sept & Oct. Since 2014 he’s had:
8 winners from 16 runners
Strike Rate 50%
A/E 2 11
Placed 69% – each way +20.24 with runners sent off 9/1 & under.
Richard Fahey is another trainer whose runners are worth following at Leicester in Sept & Oct. Since 2014 he’s had:
8 winners from 14 runners
Strike Rate 57%
SP Profit +25.48
A/E 1.98 9
Place Strike Rate 64% – with his 2-year-old runners sent off at odds 9/1 & under.
Jonjo O’Neill does well with runners at Warwick at the start of the winter jumps season. Since 2014 he’s had:
6 winners from 15 runners
Strike Rate 40%
SP Profit +24.63
Place Strike Rate 53% with his handicap runners at the track that are sent off at odds 9/1 & under.
Keith Dalgleish has had:
4 winners from 5 runners
Strike Rate 80%
SP Profit +8.54
Place Striek Rate 100% with runners sent off at odds 9/1 & under at Perth in September.
Thursday, Friday & Saturday
Newmarket – Cambridgeshire Meeting
Here are some trainers whose runners at the Cambridgeshire Meeting have been profitable to follow. The stats below are from 2013 to 2017. To ensure a decent sample size, I have concentrated on those trainers who have had at least 15 runners in the period under research.
Trainers with runners 9/1 & under
1. Charlie Appleby:
8 winners from 15 runners
Strike Rate 42%
SP Profit +17.89
Place Strike Rate 58%
2. John Gosden:
15 winners from 41 runners
Strike Rate 37%
SP Profit +34.68
Place Strike Rate 56%
His record improves if you concentrate on those qualifiers that had finished 1st or 2nd on their last start or were making their racecourse debut:
13 winners from 27 runners
Strike Rate 48%
SP Profit +40.3
Place Strike Rate 67%
Until next week.
All the best,
for The Race Advisor