Stat of the Day, 10th August 2013
Yesterday was a good day for us as we got ourselves back in the winners’ enclosure after George Baker gave Victorian Number a really nice ride. Drawn 9 of 9 isn’t ideal over 6f at Lingfield, but George got his mount away sharply to ensure he nothing in front of him around the first bend.
He raced 3 wide in the leading trio, until it looked like his challenge was over approaching the furlong pole. However, he found more when asked for another effort and soon kicked clear in the closing stages with the only danger coming from fast finishing course and distance specialist Hinton Admiral who finished half a length back in second.
It was great to get the winner of a race that was tough to call, but even more gratifying was taking the 11/4 BOG early doors and seeing our pick open on course at 7/4 before going off as 6/4 favourite.
The North West beckons today and the last race on the card. It’s a decent-looking Class 2 handicap over a mile and a half and we’re expecting nine runners to contest the…
It’s pretty much all about Sir Mark Prescott today for a number of reasons, that I’ll keep as brief as possible!
Firstly, the yard is in good form with five winners from seventeen already this month. This is pretty much to be expected as he tends to do very well at this time of year anyway. Throughout his career, he has a 26% strike rate in August, courtesy of 119 winners from 457 runners, with a near 30% strike rate in handicaps (29.96% via 83/277) for profits of 57.8pts, a return of almost 21%.
There is no freak year to skew those results and that record for the 2011/13 period is 20 winners from 74: a strike rate of just over 27%.
Now despite sending out over 2500 runners in the last 10 years, Sir Mark has only sent 67 here to Haydock, but a strike rate here of over 25% (17 winners) would suggest that he should come here more often! In the last 4 years alone, his record here is 9 winners from 28 (32.14%) for 16pts (+57.2%) profit with all nine winners coming from twenty handicap contests.
That 9/20 record for 24pts is further narrowed down to 7/13 (53.85%) for 11.83pts (+91%) when only considering horses priced at 4/1 or under, which is where we usually tend to find our horses running.
So, it’s August and Haydock has a meeting and Sir Mark is represented in just one race and thankfully it’s a handicap where we’ll find Big Thunder, who will be ridden by Luke Morris this afternoon and Luke has a 41.3% strike rate when riding a horse priced at 4/1 or under for this yard and has won three times in five attempts for the yard here at Haydock.
As for Big Thunder, the 3yr old grey is having a fantastic season with a record of 31111 on turf with a second place (beaten by a half-length) on his sole A/W run of the year. And despite rising from an opening handicap mark of 61 to today’s 94 in the space of just over 10 weeks, I’m still not convinced that he’s stopped improving and I also don’t think that the handicapper has got his measure just yet either.
He’s 1/1 over today’s 1m4f trip and he’s 1/1 here at Haydock. Luke Morris has been on board for all four of his victories to date, so he knows how to best handle him. He ran well under serious pressure to beat Glenard at Ascot last time out and he seems to relish a battle, which he should get today.
The trainers record at this time of year and his record here are both exceptional. We’ve got a horse in the form of his (albeit short) career and a jockey that not only knows him well, but has a good record when riding for this yard. So, despite a further 8lb rise in the weights today, I’m more than happy to take the 7/2 BOG on offer for Big Thunder. I’ve got money from yesterday’s winner in my BetVictor account, so I’ll use them again today, but I should add that both Ladbrokes and William Hill are also offering the same price, so why not…