Welcome to the BetBright STATZONE, where we give you the stats and you make the decisions!
Okay, not the best Saturday of LIVE racing but things hot up again next week with the flat action ramping up a few more gears, plus we’ve the small matter of the Scottish Grand National.
The ITV4 cameras head to Musselburgh to take in four races, while they are also at Haydock to view three races from their card. Anyway, as always, we’ve got it all covered here on STATZONE with all the key trends, trainer/jockey stats, plus our verdict, on each of the LIVE ITV4 races across Saturday afternoon – we’re confident these trends will point you in the direction of a few winners, or at least help narrow down some of the big fields – So, let’s get started!
HAYDOCK Horse Racing Trends (RUK/ITV4)
2.05 – Challenger Middle Distance Chase Series Final (A Handicap Chase) Cl2 2m3f203y ITV4
One previous runnings
Ballybolley won the 2016 running
Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies won the race in 2016
One winning favourite
Trainer Paul Nicholls has a 43% record with his chasers at the track
Trainer Evan Williams is just 1 from 27 (4%) with his chasers at the track
Jockey Daryl Jacob has a 56% (9 from 16) record riding chasers at the track
STATZONE VERDICT: The Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained BALLYBOLLEY (e/w) took this race 12 months ago and looks to have a fair chance of following-up. Last year he won off a rating of 129 so off 133 is only 4lbs higher this time, but dotted-up by an easy 8 lengths that day to suggest he’s more than capable of defy this bigger mark. He’s a horse that thrives on better ground so the good surface is a big plus and in Daryl Jacob he’ll have a jockey that’s got a stonking 56% strike-rate when riding over fences here at Haydock. Of the rest, recent winners No Planning, Some Buckle and Easy Street are interesting, while with just 1 winner from 27 over fences at the track the Evan Williams-trained Aerlite Supreme is overlooked.
2.40 – Challenger Staying Chase Series Final (A Handicap Chase) Cl2 3m24y ITV4
One previous runnings
No Duffer won the 2016 running
Trainer Tom George won the race in 2016
Trainer Tom George has a 26% record with his chasers at the track
Trainer Charlie Longsdon is 0 from 14 with his chasers at the track
STATZONE VERDICT: Just the one previous running of this race so not a lot to go on trends-wise. Recent winners, Rathlin Rose, Shanroe Sands and Regal Flow all have a chance, but with the Tom George camp going well at the moment and also having decent 26& record with their chasers at the track then anything they run should be given a second glance. At this stage they’ve Moss On The Mill, who was a good winner at Wincanton last time out, entered, while they’ve also BEHIND THE WIRE (e/w). Moss On The Mill is up 8lbs for that recent 3 ¾ length victory so despite a horse going the right way has a bit to prove to defy that extra rise. Behind The Wire was also a winner last time out – this time at Newbury. He got home a comfortable 3 ¼ lengths that day, but also has to defy a rise – he’s 9lbs higher. However, he was eased close home that day so there should be more to come and with the track here at Haydock being similar to Newbury then this 6 year-old is taken to continue his upward curve. He’s won on a variety of different ground, including today’s good surface, so no issues on that score either.
3.15 – Challenger Two Mile Hurdle Series Final (A Handicap Hurdle) Cl2 1m7f144y ITV4
One previous runnings
Thunder Sheik won the 2016 running
Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies won the 2016 race
Trainer Tom George has a 31% record with his hurdlers at the track
Trainer Harry Fry has a 29% record with his hurdlers at the track
Trainer Tim Easterby is just 1 from 24 with his hurdlers at the track
STATZONE VERDICT: Again, just the one previous running to go on here. The Harry Fry team, that have a decent 29% record with their hurdlers here, are going well so their entries at this stage – Brotherly Company and Golden Birthday – are noted, while the same applies to the Tom George camp. They’ve a slightly better 31% record with their hurdlers at Haydock, so their Stamp Your Feet would be interesting if making the final line-up. However, the call here is MIDNIGHT MAESTRO. From the Alan King yard, this 5 year-old will have the services of Barry Geragthy and heads here off the back of a 4 length beating of Brotherly Company last time out. That win was on his handicap debut and on just his fifth career start so despite a 7lb rise there should be a bit more to come. Yes, that recent win came on a soft surface, but he’s also won on good-to-soft ground so there is not too much too worry about regarding the ground.
MUSSELBURGH Horse Racing Trends (RUK/ITV4)
1.50 – toteplacepot Easter Saturday Handicap Cl3 (4 yo+) ITV4
No previous runnings
Trainer Richard Fahey has a 17% record with his 4+ year-olds at the track
Trainer Paul Midgley has a 16% record with his 4+ year-olds at the track
Trainer David Barron has a 3% record with his 4+ year-olds at the track
Jockey Danny Tudhope has a 19% record riding 4+ year-olds at the track
Jockey Paul Hanagan is 1 from 2 (50%) riding 4+ year-olds at the track
Jockey Phil Dennis is just 1 from 27 (4%) riding 4+ year-olds at the track
STATZONE VERDICT: No previous runnings of this race, but a few fair trainer and jockey stats to apply to the contest. Trainers Richard Fahey and Paul Midgley have by far the best winners to runners ratio at the track with their older horses, so Fahey’s PENWORTHAM (e/w) and Midgley’s Russian Realm are of interest with preference for the former. This 4 year-old returns from a 7 month break, but the Fahey horses have hit the ground running during this early part of the flat season. He was a nice winner last time out – back in September – at Chester and we can expect him to have got stronger through the winter months. A 6lb rise makes life harder, but he went well in his opening runs last season and this 7f trip looks ideal for him. The final icing on the cake is Paul Hanagan riding. Of the rest, the Irish radier – Ionization – is hard to assess but rarely runs a bad race and is one for the shortlist, as is past course and distance winners – Roll On Rory, Mishaal and Bertiewhittle. Twin Appeal might be fitter than most, having run twice already this season – finishing third both times – but the David Barron team are only 1 from 27 with their 4+ year-olds at the track so despite being another previous course and distance winner a word of caution is attached to his chance.
2.25 – totescoop6 Borderlescott Sprint Trophy Conditions Stakes (Class 2) (3yo+) 5f ITV4
9 previous runnings
9/9 – Returned 17/2 or shorter in the betting
9/9 – Had won over 5f before
9/9 – Drawn in stalls 7 or lower
9/9 – Didn’t win last time out
8/9 – Officially rated 97 or higher
8/9 – Favourites placed in the top 3
7/9 – Aged 6 or older
7/9 – Had won 6+ times before
6/9 – Winning distance ½ length or less
5/9 – Winning favourites
5/9 – Came from stalls 4 or 5
5/9 – Won this after 5+ months off
5/9 – Finished 2nd or 3rd last time out
4/9 – Trained by Bryan Smart
4/9 – Had won at Musselburgh before
3/9 – Irish bred
3/9 – Ridden by Tom Eaves
2/9 – Trained by Tim Easterby
2/9 – Ridden by David Allan
The average winning SP in the last 9 runnings is 7/2
Trainer Mick Appleby has a 29% strike-rate with his 4+ year-olds at the track
Trainer Eric Alston has a 26% strike-rate with his 4+ year-olds at the track
Trainer David Baron is just 1 from 33 (3%) with his 4+year-olds at the track
Jockey Robert Winston has a 27% record riding 4+year-olds at the track
STATZONE VERDICT: Not the best renewal of this Conditions race, based on recent runnings, and really it will be a small shock if the Paul Midgley team are not taking this. They’ve three in the race, but with two good chances in the shape of Line Of Reason and MONSIEUR JOE, but really with 9lbs between the pair and racing off level weights then Monsieur Joe will take the beating – Desert Law is their other runner in the contest. Yes, he’ll need to overcome a 259 day absence from the track, but he’s gone well fresh in the past and despite being 10 years-old now ran very well in some decent Listed races last season. Draw 5 looks ideal and he also ticks most of the main trends. Of the rest, we’ve already mentioned Line Of Reason and with this one being the second-highest rated in the field then it could easily be a 1-2 for the Midgley team, while Lexington Abbey and Glenrowan Rose are others to note.
3.00 – totepoolliveinfo Royal Mile Handicap (Class 2) (3yo) 1m ITV4
Only 2 previous runnings
Trainer John Quinn won the race in 2015
Trainer William Haggas won the race in 2014
Both previous winners carried between 8-0 and 8-9
No winning favourite
Trainer William Haggas has a 40% strike-rate with his 3 year-olds at the track
Trainer Mark Johnston has a 20% strike-rate with his 3 year-olds at the track
Jockey Joe Fanning has a 24% record riding 3 year-olds at the track
Jockey PJ McDonald is just 2 from 34 riding 3 year-olds at the track
STATZONE VERDICT: Just the two past runnings to go on. 12 runners head to post but with trainer Mark Johnston having three and Richard Fahey saddling four then we’ve seven runners covered from just these two stables. Johnston’s Mailshot will be fit after a consistent spell on the all-weather and along with Rusumaat these look the best of the Johnston trio. Fahey runs Navarone, Society Red, Cullingworth and RASHFORD’S DOUBLE (e/w), but with Paul Hanagan booked to ride the last-named then he’s the call. This horse ended last season on a real high after wins at Newcastle (twice) and Nottingham, plus there could be more to come. Another winter on this 3 year-old’s back would have benefitted him and despite being 6lbs higher in the ratings here was a horse clearly on the up at the end of last term. Yes, this is also a big step up in class, but he gets in here with just 8-5 to carry and connections clearly feel he’s worth a crack at this grade. Novoman, from the Haggas yard that have a decent 40% record at the track looks a big danger though. This 3 year-old has been gelded over the winter, but ran well on all his previous 6 races last term – winning once. He’s another that will be stronger this season and, as I say, the yard love sending horses up to this Scottish track. Mazyoun, from the Hugo Palmer yard is another to consider.
3.35 – totepool Queen’s Cup Handicap (Class 2) (4yo+) 1m6f ITV4
Only 2 previous runnings
Trainer Brian Ellison won the race in 2015
Trainer Jim Goldie won the race in 2014
Both previous winners aged 7
Both previous winners returned a double-figure price
Both previous winners carried between 8-5 and 8-12
No winning favourite
Trainer Tim Easterby is just 6 from 66 (9%) with his older horses at the track
Jockey Tom Eaves is just 9 from 108 (8%) riding older horses at the track
STATZONE VERDICT: A tough race to unravel here, with only two past runnings. We are yet to see a winning favourite with both past winners returning a double-figure price in the betting. It might be something of nothing, but it’s interesting that both past winners were aged 7 years-old, so with Shrewd the only horse fitting the bill on that score he’s worth a mention. Trainer Tim Easterby is just 6 from 66 (9%) with his older horses so you might want to take that into account if you fancy My Reward, but with the Jim Goldie and Brian Ellison yards both having won this race in the past then the safe call might be to side with runners – being they know what it takes to land the prize. Brian Ellison has STIPULATE (e/w) entered. This 8 year-old heads here fit from a spell over hurdles and has also raced here at the track many times (albeit over the sticks). He’s been dropped 4lbs since his last flat run and despite having a bit to prove is starting to look dangerous off this sort of mark. Jim Goldie runs SIR CHAUVELIN (e/w). This 5 year-old returns from a 5 months break, but won first time out on the flat last season (twice) and wasn’t disgraced in some much better races last season. Trip and ground look ideal and with a decent pot on offer then he’s sure to be fully wound-up on his seasonal reappearance. Of the rest, the powerful Richard Fahey team have Gabrial The Hero and Angel Gabrial running, while the Mark Johnston camp also have two good-looking chances with Solider In Action and Isharah.
That should be all you need, if you can’t make the right decisions with all that info, there’s no helping you!