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by Dave French

July 17, 2021

With David Massey away this week we have a guest post from Cotswold Racing.

Marmite time. You either love him or you don’t (I think that is the best way to proceed in the current PC climate!), but Jamie Spencer is probably the most polarising jockey I know, when it comes to having opinions on your favourite rider.

There are no two ways about it, the guy has been a great jockey, made a wonderful career from horse racing and shown enormous talent in the plate, but, to me, it still feels like we don’t get what we should from him.

In putting this together, I have read many interviews with Spencer, who by his own admission, at times, hinted that he felt he was not worthy of the big jobs at Ballydoyle and Godolphin and that was probably why he had lost both by the age of 24. However, he has never seemingly struggled to get rides, should he want them. Indeed his popularity must be at an all-time high, because he felt confident enough to make a statement several weeks ago that he would only be taking rides that he or his agent consider could win. What a nice position to be in, in life I thought, that you can pick and choose when you work and who you work for in your 40s!

Instead of the press making a big thing of this, it was calmly accepted as part and parcel of the 2021 version of Jamie Spencer. It feels like Spencer had never been in a more positive place in his life. The press were lapping it up and I guess trainers were too, because he is still getting rides aplenty.

Indeed, it was only this week,  that I saw Spencer being credited with the victory of Tilsit in the Betfred Summer Mile at Ascot. I had to check the result as I was sure he was on Century Dream for the Crisfords. Sure enough Kieran Shoemark had ridden Tilsit to victory, but such is the media desire to promote Spencer, the actual headline in the Racing Post was “Jamie Spencer plays his part as Tilsit tees up Sussex showdown”. Surprising that they credit Spencer, yet Shoemark, who could really have done with the headlines, isn’t mentioned.

All this leads me to my main point. As a Professional Punter and value seeker, Spencer is a dream ticket.

I saw an often quoted figure the other day that said 70% of Spencer’s mounts, he rides from the back of the field. Now, surely, each jockey sets out to win each race they run in, so it would therefore make sense to suggest Spencer thinks 70% of his mounts can overtake every horse in the race to win. I might be so bold as to suggest that the number of racehorses that can actually overtake the entire field is probably quite a lot less than that. See where I am going with this?

Already, there was an inevitable market reaction to the news Spencer would only ride when he thought he could win, with a lot of his rides after that announcement going off quite short. However, when you add his desired riding style into the probability mix of his mounts winning, and the notion his mounts are already going off shorter than they should be, the actual value of his rides plummets.

It doesn’t mean he won’t ride winners, of course he will, but of all the big named jockeys out there at the moment, his rides will probably be sent off overbet the most. This is a valuable tool in sizing up value in Spencer’s races.

In the Super Sprint tomorrow, 3.40 Newbury, whilst I have the utmost respect for the two market principles, there is no value in their prices. Hannon has such a great record with his horses and the ladies do rather well too. A low draw is no good and the progressive Symphony Perfect for Ricahard Hannon and Hayley Turner could be a nice each way alternative at 20-1.

Today's Selection from Cotswold Racing is

Newbury 3:40 Symphony Perfect – each way bet

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Disclaimer: All views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of TGH Trading Ltd or it's employees.

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Dave French

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  1. I think his appalling ride on Rodrigo Diaz, slaloming up Newbury's home straight after being backed into11/4 jolly, just proved your point.

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