Weekly Diary

First, to Doncaster for St Leger Day, and I can’t say it was a brilliant one from a punting perspective. Although I was surprised by the drift on Kew Gardens, who was being offered at 7/2 in places in the ring on Saturday. It would have been churlish not to have taken advantage of the bookmaker’s generosity. Apart from that, it was a day to forget betting wise.

This week I am focusing on Saturday’s St Leger, before looking at some stats to keep onside next week.

Kew Gives O’Brien sixth St Leger Win

Kew Gardens gave Aiden O’Brien a sixth win in the oldest Classic race in the UK. If it wasn’t for Ballydoyle/Coolmore, who have given great support in recent years, I am not sure where this race would be. Probably open to older horses like the Irish version, or open to geldings. Thankfully, it’s still a Classic generation race.

The steadily progressive winner achieved a Racing Post Rating of 121. That’s the same as last year’s winner, Capri. That initial rating is an indication that this year’s renewal was a good one.

For those of you who purchased the Race Advisor Dark Horses Guide at the start of the season, you might well have backed Kew Gardens ante-post at 25/1 for the race. He looked the sort of colt who would improve as the season went on. Indeed, I ended my section on him by saying “he already has the look of a St Leger horse”!

Lah Ti Dar, owned by musical mogul Lord Lloyd-Webber, was eventually sent off the 7/4 favourite. She ran well enough to get within 2 ¼ lengths of the O’Brien horse. I have to say, I had expected her to travel better in the race than she did. Maybe she just lacked a bit of experience.

Did she stay? Yes, for me she did. The filly finished 2 ½ lengths clear of the third, and would have won most recent St Leger’s. A drop back to 1m 4f looks the way to go, and she must have a great chance over that distance in the Fillies & Mares race on Champions Day.

Of the rest, Aiden O’Brien had anticipated a good run from Southern France and he was proved correct. The colt had every chance two furlongs from home and looked, for a few strides, as if he would finish closer than he did. He just didn’t have the pace or class, at this stage in his career, of the two who finished in front of him. He needs a good stamina test, which he got here, and he looks one to follow in the big Cup races next year.

Dee Ex Bee, many people’s idea of the best each way bet in the race, plugged on to be 4 th, some 9 lengths behind the winner. He’s a lazy & frustrating horse who achieved a Derby RPR of 119, but that performance apart, he’s now run to around 109 to 111 in five of his last six races. You can probably rate the race around him at about 110. He doesn’t find it easy to win, although the ground probably wasn’t as slow as he would have liked. It needs to be very soft or heavy ground if he’s to win a Group 1 race. The 2m Champion Long Distance race on Champions Day could be a good target, especially with plenty of ease in the ground.

Old Persian ran well enough in 5th, but he was a clear non- stayer. I am mystified as to how his stablemate Loxley went off a couple of points shorter in the betting at 6/1. Someone expected a good run, but he was poor and fell out the back of the telly into 10th.

Raymond Tusk wasn’t disgraced in 7th and could certainly better as a 4-year-old, as could Proschema who was 8th.

All in all, a good renewal of the historic race, and the form should work out well. No hard luck stories, with the two best horses in the race finishing first and second.

Doncaster Eyecatcher

The Glasgowwarrior, trained by Jim Goldie, was finishing his race of strongly to grab 3rd in the Mallard Handicap over 1m 6 ½ f. The 4-year-old has a Cesarewitch entry for which he is a best priced 66/1 with Paddy Power. The second half of the Autumn Double is a month away but he looks a decent ante-post bet at 50/1 or bigger.

The Week Ahead: A Stats Perspective

More competitive racing this week, although no Group 1 action. On Thursday we have the start of Ayr’s three-day William Hill, sponsored Ayr Gold Cup Festival (Western Meeting). The feature race being the annual cavalry charge known as the Ayr Gold Cup on Saturday

Monday – 17/09


Nigel Hawke:
4 winners from 7 runners
Strike Rate 43%
SP Profit +7.10
5 placed
Place Strike RTE 71% 

at the course in the past 5 yearS, including:
2 wins from 2 runs
Strike Rate 100%
SP Profit +10
in September.

He has got two entered up for Monday’s fixture:

2:00 – Mead Value

3:30 – Heart Of Kernow

Tuesday – 18/9


Trainer Ed De Giles’s runners are always worth noting at Chepstow, in particular, his runners sent off at odds of 9/1 & under. Since the start of the 2014 flat turf season, he’s had:
15 winners from 40 runners
Strike Rate 38%
SP Profit +49.25
A/E 1.85
23 placed
Place Strike Rate 58%
(each way SP Profit +58.40)

His record with runners in Class 5 & 6 races is:
15 winners from 35 runners
Strike Rate 43%
SPm Profit +54.25
A/E 2.07
22 placed
Place Strike Rate 63%
(each way SP Profit +66.27)

Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday – 18/09, 19/09 & 20/09


David Simcock boasts a great win strike rate with his runners at Yarmouth, in particular those runners sent off 9/1 & under. Since 2014 such runners have produced the following set of results:
23 winners from 68 runners
Strike Rate 34%
SP Profit +33.39
A/E 1.42
31 placed
Place Strike Rate 46%

with his 2 & 3yr olds performing best:
16 winners from 36 runners
Strike Rate 44%
SP Profit +34.26
A/E 1.88
21 placed
Place Strike Rate 58%.

Thursday – 20/09


The market is a good guide to the chances of trainer Richard Whitaker’s runners at Pontefract. Those going off 9/1 & under are:
10 winners from 25 runners
Strike Rate 40%
SP Prfit +27.08
A/E 2.22
14 placed
Place Strike Rate 56%.

Friday/Saturday – 21/09 & 22/09

John Gosden’s juvenile runners well found in the betting, 9/1 & under, at Newbury in September are worth backing. Since 2014 he’s had:
5 winners from 6 runners
Strike Rate 83%
SP Profit +10.67
A/E 1.93
6 placed

Place Strike Rate 100% (form figures 121111)

Saturday – 22/09


Trainer Martyn Meade boasts a fine record on the Newmarket’s Rowley Course. Since 2014 he’s had:
11 winners from 43 runners
Strike Rate 26%
SP Profit +151.5
A/E 2.1
21 placed
Place Strike Rate 49%
(each way +190.90)

You could basically back in runners blind at the track. But even if you were to focus on his runners racing up to a mile, and starting at 9/1 & under, a healthy profit would have been made:
7 winners from 15 runners
Strike Rate 47%
SP Profit +32.5
A/E 2.86
9 placed
Place Strike Rate 60%
(each way +38.12)

Ayr Western Meeting Stats

Last year’s Western Meeting was abandoned due to a waterlogged track. Here a couple of interesting trainers’ stats from the meeting, as well as some trends for Saturday’s Ayr Gold Cup.

Trainer Stats:

If you are looking to follow a couple of trainers at the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Festival, you could do worse than follow:

Andrew Balding
3 winners from 8 runners
Strike Rate 38%
SP Profit +21.5
A/E 3
4 placed
Place Strike Rate 50%

Mick Channon
3 winners from 9 runners
Strike Rate 33%
SP Profit +21
A/E 3.7
4 placed
Place Strike Rate 44%

Ayr Gold Cup Trends

As the 2017 renewal didn’t take place, I have just used the last nine running for the trends. The results contain:
9 winners from 232 runners
36 Placed

In recent years the race has been a good one for trends’ followers. In particular in regard to odds of the winners and the draw.

Looking at the draw by segment:

Qtr 1 – 0 winners from 56 runners 7 placed (Exp/Wins 3.13)

Otr 2 – 4 winners from 62 runners 13 placed

Qtr3 – 5 winners from 62 runners 11 placed

Otr 4 -0 winners from 53 runners 5 placed (Exp/Wins 2.91)


Odds SP: 20/1 & under – 9 winners from 116 runners
29 placed

Wins At Track: 0 – 9 winners from 189 runners 33 placed

Horses Age: 3 to 6 – 9 winners from 191 runners 33 placed

Runs Last 90 days: 2+ – 9 winners from 193 runners
30 placed

Using the latter four filters we get:

9 winners from 63 runners
Strike Rate +66
A/E 1.81
20 placed

And if you add in those runners drawn in the second & third quarters of the field we get:

9 winners from 38 runners
Strike Rate +91
A/E 3.01
15 placed

Until next week.

All the best,
John Burke
for The Race Advisor

John Burke

I have a MA in International Politics and having spent a number of years working in political campaigning but I eventually I realised that politics was not the world where I wanted to work I had been interested in horse racing since the late 1980s but in the early years I was merely just betting and watching racing like most people as a bit of fun and a hobby, then the hobby becomes a passion and that’s what happened to me with horse racing. I soon realised that to make money from my hobby I had to learn as much as I could about the sport and betting in general. The whole process took time but after a number of successful years of betting, I decided in 2011 to take the plunge, gave up my full time day job and decided to bet on horse racing as a part time business and I haven’t looked back since. I like to specialise in the better class of races and I love to solve the puzzles posed by big field handicaps the latter races often provide punters with great value betting opportunities. Whilst most of my time is spent reviewing previous races I like to keep things as simple as possible as even the biggest field handicaps can usually be pruned down to half a dozen strong contenders with the right sort of approach.

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