It’s St George’s Day, the 1,712th anniversary of St George’s death. According to the sometimes accurate Wikipedia, St George is under pressure to retain his English patron saint status, largely because he’s considered obscure and not having direct relevance to the nation whose saint day he represents (he was born in Palestine, was a Christian soldier in the Roman Army, and was eventually killed for not renouncing his faith).
Apparently Georgie boy is up for eviction, with the two front-runners in the race to replace him being those trendy dudes, Edmund The Martyr (looking to reclaim his number one spot, having been usurped by George 400 years ago) and new kid on the block, Saint Alban. I’m told Cuthbert of Lindisfarne is also in the mix, but he’s considered Nick Clegg material to Edmund’s Dave and Stalebun’s Millibunk…
Enough already. Happy St George’s Day. If you’re English (or, so it seems, Canadian, Czech, Hungarian, Iraqi, Jordanian, Lebonese, Portuguese, Spanish, Albanian, Serbian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Georgian, Russian, or Syrian – doubtless others too, who Wikipedia, and therefore I, have failed to mention), raise a glass, pretend to be a dragon, or otherwise unashamedly celebrate somebody with whom you have no connection.
I’m thinking of adopting St Patrick…
To the meat of today’s post, and it comes in two parts. First, I went through the Gold reports last night, and picked out seven – yes, seven – interesting horses for today. And second, if you’re not already a Gold subscriber, I’m going to make you a very special St George’s Day offer.
Preamble over, let’s consider some horses in some races, and the reasons why they’ve been flagged here…
2.40 Warwick – Scorpiancer
We start with the least inspiring from a price perspective, but a reasonable goer on value grounds. Rebecca Curtis’ lad has his first run in a handicap this afternoon, and this has been a time to catch the Welsh white witch’s wunners in wecent times (when was the last time you read alliteration as laboured as that?!).
In the last year, la Curtis has waved her wand and cast her spell 19 times with handicap debutants. Seven have won, and three more have been placed, for a profit at SP of 39.33 points. Gold followers – and specifically those who have been using the brilliant Handicap 1st Run report – have been profiting handsomely from this angle, including with 16/1 Guard Of Honour on Sunday.
I absolutely love this Handicap 1st Run report. Biased, obviously, but worth the subscription fee alone. pic.twitter.com/UMu0tj2d5s
— Matt Bisogno (@MattBisogno) April 19, 2015
This report also threw up 33/1 winner, Anneani, yesterday. I didn’t back it, but some Gold subscribers did.
There wasn't enough data for me to be interested in either of these. Damn… This report is FULLY awesome: pic.twitter.com/5pilciEyoa
— Matt Bisogno (@MattBisogno) April 22, 2015
Today is a fairly moderate day on that report, in truth, and Curtis’ runner is more a 6/4 shot than 16/1 or 33/1. But value comes in all shapes and sizes, and Scorpiancer has just three rivals to beat; steps up a full mile on his run last time, and half a mile on any of his previous form, something he’s bred to do (by Scorpion out of a Silver Patriarch mare).
His jockey, Sean Bowen, is chasing the conditional jockeys’ title, which ends on Saturday, so he’s getting the leg up on live chances only right now. And Curtis has won with six of her 17 runners in the past fortnight.
4.20 Perth – Creevytennant
Another shortie with robust claims, Creevytennant appears on The Shortlist report today. He’s got green for all bar class, which is amber. His one win, one place, from four starts in Class 2 is of mild concern, but they were his two most recent runs, his last effort being a seven length verdict over Roalco Des Farges, a very good horse of Philip Hobbs’. In third that day was a certain Wayward Prince, Scottish National winner last weekend, so the form looks all right 😉
Creevy is speedy, and he likes the lead-y. In his six wins, he’s made all in the last five. There is another horse that might try to take him on – Witness In Court – but there have been others try to do that in his previous wins too, without success.
Fergal O’Brien’s old stager is four from seven on ground ranging from good to soft, to good; he’s two from two at Perth, both last year, including over course and distance; he’s three from three at this 2m4f distance; and he has comfortably the top speed figure (nice little rest since).
Again 13/8 is unexciting in absolute terms, but relatively he looks a fair play.
5.25 Perth – One For Hocky
Another ’13’ score on The Shortlist is One For Hocky. He too has a ‘four green, one amber’ profile, with the amber being on field size. Nicky Richards’ seven year old has won three of his dozen starts in fields of 8-11, but has been consistent in other runs as well.
Richards is in great form (3/10 +4.5) in the last fortnight, and the horse acts well on good/good to soft (four wins from nine starts). One For Hocky also appears on the Trainer/Jockey Combo 1 Year Course Form report today, with Richards and Brian Harding pairing up 16 times at Perth in the last twelve months, for four wins, three more places, and 22 units profit.
This horse was on a hat-trick when running third on soft last time (previous two wins on good), and has had a nice break after six runs in four months. Expected to be fresh and well, and with the drop back in trip not a problem, he looks interesting at 7/2.
5.35 Southwell – Reassert
The first of three much more speculative plays is Reassert, having his first run for Roy Bowring this afternoon. The Trainer Change report tells us how trainers have done with horses they’ve acquired from elsewhere on their stable debuts, and Bowring has done pretty well.
As we can see (click the image to open full size in a new window), Bowring has run nine horses first time for the yard in the last five years when they’ve been bagged from another trainer, and he’s won with three of them, placing with a fourth. That 33% strike rate was worth 33 points profit, and his runner tonight is a big price – 16/1 in a place.
The horse drops to Class 6 for the first time, and steps up two furlongs in trip (33%!). He also has his first look at a non-grass surface, and local trainer Bowring may already have given Reassert a quick spin across the sand dunes.
Like I say, it is a speculative nomination, because the son of Assertive has to move forward markedly on what he’s done so far. But there are four material points of differentiation this afternoon – trainer switch, distance increment, class drop, surface switch – which could collectively elicit sufficient improvement. And, of course, they could clunk collectively. At 16/1 it’s pretty cheap to find out.
6.55 Bath – Highland Blaize
A Trainer/Jockey Combination of some repute is Andrew Balding/David Probert at Bath. They’re top of the 2009+ combo pops, with eleven wins from 40 runs.
Another seven placed efforts cement them as a formidable partnership and tonight they team up with Highland Blaize, who is also making his handicap debut. In truth, his three runs in maidens were moderate, and have not worked out at all well.
But he’s been off 41 days, steps up in trip a quarter mile, and we know connections can get it done here. It’s not a strong race, with the top two in the market having earned their form, and market prominence, courtesy of the all weather. Firm ground is a very different proposition, as it is for Highland Blaize too (three maiden runs on all weather).
Since I did my research last night, the money has started to come for this fellow – he’s 6/1 from 8’s – so presumably he’s showing more at home now.
7.25 Bath – The Twisler
The last of the three speculatives is The Twisler, in a maiden. He too shows up on the TJ Combo report, with his trainer, Charles Hills, and jockey, Steve Drowne, scoring four times from seven starts at Bath, and making the frame with a fifth. It’s a small sample but some rocking numbers, and they were worth 11.75 points profit.
The Twisler has achieved little in three starts thus far, though easily his best effort was on debut on good to firm ground. The return to terra even firmer ought to suit, and it looks interesting if not significant that a horse qualified for handicaps and ostensibly ‘not all that’ should run in a maiden rather than a handicap.
Of course, connections may just be trying to nudge their mark down to a more manageable figure, but history tells us that they know what they’re doing and rarely leave Bath’s hilltop circuit without some prize money.
8.05 Southwell – Megamunch
And the last of the seven is Conor Dore’s Megamunch. He’s a bit of a specialist at Southwell – form figures of 123141 here – and trainer/jockey are in great form, as highlighted on both the 14 Day and 30 Day views on the Trainer Jockey Combo report.
In the past fortnight, they’ve paired up eight times, winning four and placing with one more; and in the past month – as shown below (as with all images in this post, click to view full size in a new window) – they’re seven from twenty with three more placing.
That monthly combination has been worth 25.5 points of profit, and there are few fears held by the course composition for Megamunch. Two runs at the trip have yielded a win, last time out by seven lengths; and Hayley Turner, the steering part of the combo, should get a nice stalking pitch from box one.
It’s a competitive race, but I’m happy to side with a bang in form team and a proven Southwell stick.
Now, that special St George’s Day offer. If you’re not currently a Gold subscriber, you’re missing out, as I hope I’ve demonstrated (in microcosm) above. I haven’t mentioned Stat of the Day, which is approaching 25 points profit in April, and is over 260 points up since we started; or the brilliant race cards; and I’ve barely touched on the speed and pace ratings, or Full Form Filter, or Instant Expert.
At the moment, you can trial Gold for two weeks for just £5 (the normal monthly subscription is £24, far and away the best value of any product of this kind).
But, today only, St George is delighted to offer readers a full month for £5. Two weeks is plenty to try out Gold, a month is enough to get your head around it and start profiting from its easy-to-use features. If you want to know what people are saying about Gold, click here. [That page is in need of updating with the scores of more recent testimonials we’ve received!]
Inside Gold, you’ll find:
…and a lot more besides
Go here to secure your £5 month’s trial – and good luck! 🙂
Happy St George’s Day!!
Enjoy it, we might be celebrating St Edmund’s or St Alban’s Day next year…!