Stat of the Day, 14th May 2015
2nd of 8 at our advised 7/2 for Elite Force at bath on Wednesday evening and absolutely no complaints at all. Richard Hughes got as much as he could out of the horse and was just beaten by a better horse on the day.
The favourite coasted home by five lengths and once second place was secured, our mount was eased down towards the line and still had the best part of three lengths over the pack. These things happen and there’s nothing to be done/said about them, so onto Thursday and the…
No, I’ve not taken leave of my senses and yes, I’m aware that a competitive 18-runner Listed race isn’t the usual MO for SotD, but let’s look at the evidence to support a bet on Homage here.
He’s trained by William Haggas, whose record in Flat handicaps since 2008 with runners priced from 5/2 to 12/1 reads as 132 winners from 630 runners, a 21% strike rate that has to date yielded 202pts profit at an ROI of 32.1%.
That’s impressive enough, but his record here at York is even better with 16 winners from 51 runners (31.4% SR) for profits of 66pts (+129.4% ROI) and in big-field (15 runners or more) handicaps here, he has 11 winners from 26 (42.3% SR) for 70.5pts (+271.2% ROI).
Andrea Atzeni will be in the saddle aiming to extend/improve his record of 7 winners from 35 rides for Mr Haggas with that 20% strike rate producing level stakes profits of 21.8pts (62.3% ROI) with a record here at York of 3/6 for 36.8pts (+613.7% ROI).
Homage moves up a class today, but he’s in good company aiming to join the 45 Haggas winners from 151 runners stepped up a class in flat handicaps. The resultant 29.8% strike rate has generated profits of 108pts at an ROI of 71.5%
And will be his first Class 1 outing, but of those 151 runners above stepped up in class, 79 of them were moving up for the very first time, yet almost a third of them managed to win at the first time of asking. 26 winners from 79 (32.9% SR) has given rise to profits of 55.6pts (+70.4% ROI).
And the horse himself? Well, he has 4 wins and 2 places from 11 starts to date, with 3 wins and 2 places from 9 runs on turf. He has only raced once at York in the past, when winning a 15-runner handicap here on soft ground at the slightly longer 8.5f trip, that was back in October and he hasn’t raced since, suggesting he may well have been targeted to come here fresh.
Some people may see a 216 day absence as a negative, but closer inspection of Homage‘s past reveals a win at Haydock in May 2013 off a break of 217 days and a win at Windsor in June 2014 off the back of a 291 day absence, so it’s entirely possible that this is the plan after all.
Despite that previous York win coming on soft ground, he’s going to be fine here, as he’s also 2/2 on good ground and he’s 2/2 going left handed and although he’s never raced the dead mile on turf before, he is also 2/2 over 8.5 furlongs.
There’s enough there to interest me and at around the 10/1 BOG mark, I’d be inclined to hedge my bets and take a rare E/W bet. The logic here is that a win still generates 6.25pts and a place still ensures a small profit and a run for your money.
A quick look at the market presents you with several options, both BetVictor & Ladbrokes are offering 10/1. Victor is BOG, Ladbrokes will go BOG at 9.00am. Both offer 4 places at 1/4 odds for the place. There’s a whole stack of 9/1 BOG on offer with the standout coming from Paddy Power who are the only firm currently offering 5 places at 1/4 odds.
All things considered with the prospect that Homage might drift in the market anyway, I’m going to take the 9/1 E/W BOG from Paddy and take his 5 places as extra security. If you prefer to use one of the alternatives, do check the prices haven’t changed by…
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