Today we have our regular Friday look at the racing from Nick Hardman of Betting School Insiders Club…
Doncaster Racing Tips
Doncaster St Leger meeting is well under way and today the stayers take centre stage in the Group 2 Doncaster Cup. I have had a look at the trends and winning profiles for today’s feature race as well as the final Classic of the season (the St Leger) and the Portland Handicap which take place on Saturday.
The Doncaster Cup is a race where the market usually gets it right with 16 of the last 18 winners coming from the top 4 in the betting and 12 of the last 13 winners returning odds of 7/1 or shorter.
All bar one of the last 13 winners were rated 110. Nine of the last 18 winners arrived here on the back of a win and 13 of the last 18 winners had a top three finish last time out. A race within the last 15 -30 days looks positive, accounting for 12 of the previous winners since 1997. Two horses tick all those boxes and they are:
Friday 2.40pm Doncaster Cup – Estimate @6/4 & Times Up @4/1
It would be some feat if Times Up were to win this for a third consecutive year.
However, he seems to love it around Doncaster and has career course form of 521411. He has had just 3 runs this year with his latest run (3rd behind Pale Mimosa at York) being by far the best. He had a similar profile coming into this race last year (form figures 603) and looks sure to make a bold bid.
The final day of the meeting sees the final Classic of the season in the St Leger.
From a trends perspective, 9 of the last 17 winners won last time out and 16 of the last 17 winners had finished in the top 3 on their last run. Favourites have a 50% record with 9 winners from the last 18 (including joint-favourites) and 16 of the last 17 winners have come from the top 6 in the betting.
Only 3 winners since 1998 have defied an absence of more than 60 days and no horse has won this race in that time having raced in the 15 days prior to lining up here.
We are also looking for a horse that has had between 3 and 5 runs in the season as they account for 15 of the last 17 winners.
The last 8 winners were all rated 109+.
Only one horse ticks all the trends boxes and that is:
Saturday 3.50pm St Leger – Snow Sky @11/2
Definitely a race for the each-way player, the Portland Handicap has seen just 1 winner return at single figure odds in the last 10 years. That exception was Poet’s Place @4/1 in 2010.
All the other winners since 2005 returned at odds between 11/1 and 20/1. In fact, there have been just 4 winning favourites since 1997 and they obliged in 1999, 2000, 2002 and 2010.
Not only have we seen a downward trend in the performance of the favourite in recent years but we have also seen a shift in success towards the older horses.
From 1997 to 2001 the winning horses were all aged 3yo or 4yo. However, since 2001 there have been no 3yo winners and just two 4yo winners (including Angels Will Fall who won this race last year as a 4yo and was the first to do so since 2005). Five year old runners account for 6 of the last 7 winners and these appear to be the group to concentrate on.
A recent run looks essential as all bar 2 of the last 17 winners had raced in the 30 days leading up to this. Given this is an intermediate distance it is no surprise to see that 12 of the last 17 winners had winning form over 6f or 7f.
From a ratings perspective, 9 of the last 10 winners were rated between 95 – 100. Given this race usually attracts a field of 20+ runners, you can narrow that ratings band down to 95 – 97, which accounts for 5 of the last 7 winners. One horse ticks all those boxes and that is:
Saturday 2.40pm Portland Handicap – Out Do @14/1
If you fancy taking more than one against the field then relaxing the stats to include those rated 95 – 100 and aged 5yo+ brings Clear Spring @33/1, Compton Park @12/1 and York Glory @25/1 into the equation.
You can read more of Nick’s thoughts and learn his methods at the Betting School Insiders Club