Here's our regular Friday column from the excellent Nick Hardman of Betting Insiders (http://dailypunt.com/nickhardman )
Goldencents (adv 5/4) and Lady Eli (adv 13/2) got us off to a flyer last weekend, the latter putting in an awesome display of speed to win going away from the field.
We followed that up on Saturday with Aurore D’Estruval annihilating her small field. She was widely available at 11/8 before being backed into odds-on favouritism.
This week we will take a trends look at the November handicap from Doncaster and a quick preview of the Wentworth Stakes and Badger Ales Trophy. First we focus on a trainer with an impressive strike rate at Musselburgh.
The man in question is Donald McCain Jr. He has had more winners at Musselburgh over the jumps than any other trainer in the last 5 years.
His 29 winners have come from 102 runners at a strike rate of 28% and a level stakes profit of £32.25.
His handicap hurdlers at Musselburgh underperform compared to his other runners (2-29, 7% strike rate; level stakes loss -£22.75).
If we remove those runners then his stats look like this:
D. McCain Jr – chase, bumper and non-handicap hurdle runners at Musselburgh 2010 – 2014:
Strike Rate: 37%
Level stakes profit: £55.00
He has the following runners this Friday up at Musselburgh:
1.00pm Al Musheer (Juvenile Hurdle)
1.30pm Master Dee (Maiden Hurdle)
2.30pm Welsh Bard (Handicap Chase)
4.00pm Gingili (NH Flat)
Those stats were further boosted by 5/1 winner Roserrow on Thursday in a Novice Hurdle.
If you want to dig a little deeper, then I can tell you that D. McCain Jr is 5-22 (23% strike rate) in handicap chases, 12-33 (36%) in non-handicap hurdle races and 4-7 (57%) in NH flat races at Musselburgh since 2010.
Saturday sees a decent flat card at Doncaster with the highlight being the November handicap. I have run through the trends and we are looking for a horse rated 93 – 99 (all of the last 10 winners), aged 4yo to 6yo (7 of the last 8 winners), carrying 8st 10lbs to 9st 2lbs (all of the last 7 winners), won over 1m 4f or further and has raced in the last 60 days.
No favourite has obliged since 1995 and all of the last 7 winners were drawn in stall 9 or higher.
A top 4 finish LTO accounts for 13 of the last 17 winners and at least 4 runs that current season accounts for 16 of the last 17 winners. Putting all that together leaves us with:
Doncaster November handicap trends horses:
Esteaming @16/1 and Manhattan Swing @16/1
Elsewhere on Saturday, if the word “good” disappears from the current “good to soft” going then Jack Dexter will be in his element on a track where his form figures read 1113 on soft ground and he would be my pick in the Wentworth Stakes.
He put in his best run of the season on Champions Day (heavy ground) when 3rd behind Gordon Lord Byron and Tropics. This represents a drop in class for Tropics and Jack Dexter and they would both have to seriously misfire for one of them not to take this.
The Badger Ales Trophy looks highly competitive again this year and Standing Ovation has a great chance of retaining his crown.
He is 3-3 at Wincanton and although he went off the boil after landing this in 2013, he appeared back to his best LTO at Cheltenham when 2nd to Roalco De Farges.
Standing Ovation’s trainer David Pipe has won this race three times since 2007.
Even more impressive is Paul Nicholls who has won this 7 times since 1999. He has two entries, Benvolio and Just A Par. However, both make their seasonal reappearances here and the Nicholl’s horses have tended to need a run this season.
Lamb Or Cod represents the in-form Philip Hobbs and he loves good ground. If it stays good he will be a major player.
Alfie Spinner is closely matched on recent running with Standing Ovation and could run well at an each-way price.
On a final note, three weeks ago we gave you a couple of Godolphin microsystems for the all-weather racing at Kempton.
So far these two systems have pulled in 9.82pts profit at SP so keep an eye out for the Charlie Appleby and Saeed Bin Suroor runners at Kempton in the coming months.
All the best Nick