Stat of the Day, 3rd October 2014
Thursday’s run had some similarities with that of Wednesday’s selection. Both had travelled well and looked well set to mount a serious challenge in the latter stages. Both had jumped well without any real issues, but both made one critical error from which there was no way back.
On Wednesday, our hopes were dashed 2 from home and Tidal Bay went three from home on Thursday. He cleared the hurdle well enough, but stumbled on landing, his head went down and his jockey hit the deck!
I’d imagine the only people smiling were the bookies after our runner had been well backed in to 7/4, quite a bit shorter than the teatime 6/1 and the 5/2 we took.
In a bid to keep a horse on its feet, I’m going back to the Flat for a Class 3 handicap over 2 miles on decent (Gd to Firm) ground and the…
And the Roger Charlton-trained, 4yr old gelding Quest For More, who currently trades at 13/2 BOG.
Roger has a good long-term & short-term record here at Ascot…
Since 2003, 22 of his 118 runners at this track have been winners with the resultant 18.6% strike rate giving rise to level stakes profits of 60.6pts at an ROI of 51.4%. Those numbers are very good over a long period of time, but are even better in handicap races where he has saddled up 13 winners from 76 (21.9% SR) for 68.2pts (+89.7% ROI).
Quoting figures for such a large chunk of time, it’s forgivable to question whether the results are skewed by a couple of freak years a decade ago, so to balance this, I feel it’s important to look at more recent performance, where we find that in the last three seasons, Roger’s horses have won 9 of 36 (25% SR) races for 19.8pts (+55.1% ROI) with handicaps once again providing improved returns with 5 winners from 18 (27.8% SR) for 14.9pts (+82.6% ROI).
The recent figures are pretty similar to the overall picture, so I’m happy to take them as being valid reasoning today.
Quest For More drops down in class today…
Since 2008, Roger has dropped 134 runners down in class for flat handicap contests. 30 of the 134 (22.4% SR) have won on dropping down, producing level stakes profits of 96.3pts, or 71.8% of stakes, whilst those dropping down to today’s Class 3 level are 8/39 (20.5% SR) for 34.7pts (+89.1% ROI).
Quest For More steps back up in trip by a couple of furlongs today and Roger’s class droppers who have been asked to run 2 furlongs further than their last higher class run have gone on to win 4 of 10 races (450% SR) for 17.9pts (+178.6% ROI).
Quest For More is Roger’s only runner today…
I suppose there’s increased pressure on a trainer to justify the costs associated with sending out horses to run and if costs can be shared, all the better. Solo runners, therefore, are more draining on resources and it’s important to get a return from their outings. This is an area where Mr Charlton also does well, as since 2008 there has been 136 occasions where he has been represented by just the flat handicapper on that given day.
40 of these 136 solo runners (29.4% SR) have been winners and the level stakes profits of 51.4pts at an ROI of 37.8% is more than enough to cover the price of diesel even at today’s prices! Of those 136 runners, the record with horses priced below 12/1 is 39 winners from 115 (33.9% SR) for 53.7pts (+46.7% ROI). Class 3 runners priced below 12/1 have gone on to win 7 of 19 (36.8% SR) races, clocking up an impressive 27.1pts (+142.6% ROI) along the way.
Quest For More was only narrowly beaten on his last attempt at this trip, two starts ago. He finished half a length behind the winner in much better contest (Class 2) than this at York, where he stayed on strongly and had 14 other runners behind him. His run last time out can be excused, where on the face of it 12th of 16 runners and beaten by 9.5 lengths doesn’t look good, but there are mitigating circumstances.
That was the Old Borough Cup, an even better standard of Class 2 race than the York contest and in an attempt to remain competitive over a shorter trip, jockey Pat Smullen (riding the horse for the first time) sent him off too quickly and he couldn’t sustain the pace, dropping back through the pack, as the race unfolded. That race was the first time in a year (and 8 races) that he’s failed to at least make the first three home in a run of results reading 13331220 with the 0 being that Haydock run.
Aside from that failure at Haydock, his record in flat handicaps reads 1133122, so he’s very consistent, he is 41122 on good to firm ground and his best runs have come in these smaller fields. He’s reunited with jockey George Baker today and George has a record of 4132 on this horse and arrives here in pretty good form of his own, having ridden nine winners from 31 starts in the last fortnight.
If bouncing back to the form of his York outing, Quest For More stands more than a fighting chance at a decent price here. He’s currently available at 13/2 BOG in a couple of places and you could quite easily back him each way, but I think I’ll’resist that temptation today.
I’m not chasing the big winner to get October off the mark, but there are only 8 runners here and with the recent spate of non-runners at the end of a tiring season, I can see one of the more fancied horses not turning out. This then leads to another Rule 4 deduction and only 2 places getting paid out and the possibility that a runner-up finish won’t cover the win stake.
So, each to their own, of course, but the SotD record will read as a 1pt win bet on Quest For More at 13/2 BOG with SkyBet. The same price is available from BetVictor & Hills, whilst he’s as low as 9/2 in places! You can see all this clearly laid out, if you just…
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