On Wednesday we have the start of the four-day St Leger Festival at Doncaster. If the final classic of the season wasn’t enough to wet your appetite. Across the Irish Sea we have Irish Champions Weekend on Saturday and Sunday. Plenty then for us racing fans to look forward to from Wednesday right through till Sunday.
I will be taking a look at some interesting stats from the St Leger Festival in the Stat of The Week section…
Enable powers towards the Arc!
Enable returned to the racecourse for the first time since her win in last year’s Arc. How impressive was she? The 4-year-old looked even better than she did last year. Looking more like a colt than the filly she is.
You could see she was up for the race in the paddock. Her backers must have wondered if the excitement of being back on the track would lead her to boil over in the race. They needn’t have worried.
In the race Frankie quickly took her to the front with her only real rival Crystal Ocean tracking her in second as expected. When Frankie asked for her effort two furlongs from home she powered away in her customary style to win by 3 ¼ lengths.
Granted, she was getting 5 lbs better than weight for age. So, on Saturday’s form she would only have a length or so to spare over Crystal Ocean, if he was to run in the Arc, but she can surely run better than this level of form.
Now there’s always the danger of her bouncing in the Arc although her trainer remains confident that won’t happen.
Enable will be hard to beat at Longchamp. Despite her short price and great seasonal return there remain other runners who can take advantage, if she doesn’t bring her A game to the Arc. The most likely winner but by no means is it a one-horse race.
Simply Breathless, a recent Monday notebook horse (30/07), won at Ascot on Saturday and those who backed the filly were rewarded with odds of 6/1.
At this time of year and with the start of the winter jumps season just a month away. I tend to cut down the number of flat horses going into the tracker, unless I think a horse is being targeted at big race. However, occasionally I will look for a horse that can win on the synthetics in the coming weeks.
This week’s horse for the tracker is the Hugo Palmer trained Tenedos. The 3-year-old didn’t have things go his way, before and during his race at Kempton on Saturday. Having unshipped his rider on the way to the start. He was then slowly away and did well to finish 3 ¾ length behind the winner in 4th.
A winner at Kempton on his racecourse debut back in October. He clearly benefited from the return to the polytrack, on his handicap debut, and his first start since a gelding operation.
On the evidence of this run, the 1m 3f distance wasn’t a problem either and he might even be worth a try at 1m 4f. This was only his 4th career start so he remains open to a bit more improvement.
There is surely a small handicap in him in the coming weeks if he can build on this promise.
Stat of the Week:
The St Leger Festival Stats
As mentioned earlier here are a few general stats for the upcoming St Leger Festival. In the past 5-years there have been – 144 winners from 1512 runners.
Top three in the betting provided 62% of the winners from 30% of the total runners.
Top four last time out provided 65% of the winners from 54% of the total runners
Fate of the favourites
On average favourites win about 33% of all flat races. How have clear favourites fared in the past five years at this meeting?
• Clear Favourites have produced 45 winners from 126 runners 36% +18.94
Breaking those results down into no-handicap and handicaps and looking at last time out placings:
• Non-handicaps – 27 winners from 72 runners 36% +10.39 A/E 1.08 44 placed 61%
• Handicaps – 18 winners from 54 winners 33% +8.55 A/E 1.24 37 placed 69% (+17.38)
• Favourites that won their last race are – 22 winners from 54 runners 41% +12.54 A/E 1.14
• Favourites that had finished outside the top four on their last start do even better – 9 winners from 19 runners 47% +15.3 A/E 1.67 16 placed 84% (+22.30)
So last time out winners and those who finished outside the top four offer favourite backers the most value. As do clear favourites in handicap races with the latter out performing market expectations by 24%.
It was nice to get a winner last week with Rollicking. The second selection Wiley Post could only finish 3rd although he was backed into favouritism before the race.
I am off up to Perth for today’s tip.
2:40 – Trainer Michael Scudamore doesn’t have many runners at Perth (0 from 1 in the past five years). He saddles the mare Northern Beau, who has plenty of placed efforts during her career under rules and is – 0 wins from 9 runs 7 placed over hurdles, including a third placed effort at Worcester last month.
The 5-year-old makes her chase debut in this 3m novices handicap chase. By Canford Cliffs out of a Galileo mare she is not bred for fences or 3m. However, she did win two Irish point to points in the spring of 2017 over the distance and races like she will stay it.
If all eight declared runners stand their ground she has each-way claims.
Northern Beau – 8/1
All that’s left is to wish you a profitable week’s punting.