3.05 Ascot (18-06-13) – KING’S STAND STAKES (GROUP 1) 5f (19 ran)

It was safe to say we had a fantastic end to Royal Ascot 2013! As if Lethal Force romping home in the Diamond Jubilee wasn’t reward enough we were then blessed with the dual attack of York Glory & Dinkum Diamond streaking home in 1st & 3rd in the 26 runner Wokingham!

York Glory was the first ever BDH horse and this was his first run since I highlighted him as 1 to follow, indeed he is the first ever BDH horse to run subsequent to me highlighting them (well I guess he and Dinkum Diamond share that honour!); it really was a fantastically memorable day.

I also want to say a big thanks to you guys. You have obviously taken the methods in use at BDH to heart and that is by far the best endorsement I can get. The many tweets, comments, facebook messages and emails from you lot have been gratefully received.

Last weeks Royal Ascot action gives us plenty of straight track action to tuck into and source future York Glory’s for our punting pleasure. My plan is to review a number of those races this week and add more horses to our BDH to follow list.

For the record York Glory will now be removed from the BDH list as his form is now clear for all to see. That doesn’t mean I won’t back him in the future and I’m certainly not saying to you guys to not back him, far from it. The idea here on BDH is to look for runners that ran well from bad draws and look for spots in their following runs where we can back them under more favourable conditions. For York Glory that was Saturday and he has done the business for us in fine style. If I back him in future runs it will be for other reasons than he was a BDH horse. He was well drawn on  Saturday, took advantage of that and landed us a punt; job done.

The first Royal Ascot review race is the King’s Stand Stakes from last Tuesday…

Race in focus: 3.05 Ascot (18-06-2013): King’s Stand Stakes – 5f, Group 1 (19 ran)

How the race played out…

Kings Stand Stakes

As you can see from the pace map there was a bit of a middle to high pace bias in play here, the low numbers realized this quite early on and the field almost congregated as one down the middle in the early stages. Joseph O’Brien made the decision to stick to the rail from his high draw and was the only runner to do this, as such you can completely ignore his run as he spent the entire race in a wide no-mans-land.  I wouldn’t say it was a huge draw/pace bias at play here but horses down the bottom (low stalls) were the most inconvenienced by how the pace did play out.

Bungle inthejungle was the one from low to middle that could have set them a decent pace to aim at but he seemed to struggle with the early pace and as such didn’t act as much of a pace-setter at all.

The end result…

For the winner SOLE POWER the pace played into his hands to a certain extend and there was plenty happening in front of him to tow him into the race for his late charge, whilst at the same time the runners fanned out enough to give him late space and a straight blast to the line.  Second placed SHEA SHEA made the most of an average draw and didn’t get as good a tow into the contest from Bungle inthejungle as he probably would have hoped. It was a fine effort and he was unlucky not to collect the spoils. He is a real Group 1 animal and it was his class that got him so close to the prize from his unfavourable draw. Third placed PEARL SECRET was ideally placed in stall 10 to come from off the pace and this was a solid effort on reappearance. Fourth placed JACK DEXTER had the same problem as Shea Shea but he is a real hold-up horse and the lack of pace down their side was even more detrimental to his chances. He needs to come off a strong pace and he really didn’t get that down his side so this was a commendable effort indeed.

BDH(s) to follow…

JACK DEXTER (4th) (J Goldie)

The performance of Jim Goldie’s 4yo was eye-catching for 3 reasons…

1) He had an average draw and no real pace to aim at

2) The race was run on ground that would not have been ideal for him

3) There must be a train of thought that he is better over 6f and possibly even 7f

We have already touched on the first point and as mentioned this was a mighty run considering he likes to come through horses off a strong pace, which he didn’t get here.

On the 2nd point consider this if you will; ALL 6 of his career wins have been gained of SOFT or HEAVY ground. On Saturday they were riding on officially GOOD ground and previous form tells us that would not have been his optimum.

Let’s look at his ground form figures…

Form on Good or better ground – 3700454

Form on Good to Soft ground – 26

Form on Soft or worse ground – 111111

Unbeaten on the soft stuff! They were not all ‘run of the mill’ races either. Within that form line is a trio of valuable races worth upwards of 20k to the winner.

If we look at his distance form lines we also see that his form over 6f & 7f is slightly more eye-catching than his 6f form…

Form over 5f – 3714

Form over 6f – 115410106

Form over 7f – 21

It isn’t as strong an argument as his ground preference but the longer races give him a bit more time to reach top gear and finish with a rattle.

This run was also his first step into Group 1 company, a step up he took with what looked like consummate ease.

Such was the close and dramatic finish of this race by the front 2 I can see Jim Goldie’s horse being overlooked a bit here, hopefully keeping his price up for future assignments.

Conditions – I think what we really want for him is a bit of cut in the ground. Soft and Heavy are a big YES for him but I would also have him in mind on Good to Soft conditions as well. I have a feeling that conditions with cut in them not only bring out the best in him but also blunt the finishing power of the others in front of him, allowing him to pick them off late. He clearly also needs to be draw on the side with pace so he can get a tow into the race. 

He looks a similar type to Goldie’s other hold-up style sprinter Hawkeyethenoo so we can be confident that ‘Big Jim’ will also place this lad to his best abilities. We may have to wait for the ground to start turning again before we get our money down although this is Britain, the next downpour may well be just around the corner!

JACK DEXTER now enters my Proform ‘Horse Watcher’ tool (horse tracker in other words) and I will post on the Blog when he is due to run next.

I will be back again tomorrow with another Royal Ascot review as I continue to build our BDH war chest…

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Royal Ascot Day 4: Pointers, Pace & Pedigree…

Will the Guineas 1-2 fight out the finish again today?

Day 4 of Royal Ascot 2013 doesn’t hold a huge deal of interest for me if I’m honest, nothing I want to put a guide together for anyway. Instead what I have for you is a few trends pointers, pace maps and Dosage profiles for you to add into your own analysis.

As always though lets take a quick look back at yesterday’s race in focus; The Ascot Gold Cup.

First up I have to say, on reflection, it was a slightly unsatisfactory race. They crawled along for the first 4 or so furlongs and even turning for home they were still quite well bunched. The last thing I wanted to see was SADDLERS ROCK & COLOUR VISION trying to make the pace in the early stages, the simple facts are that front-runners struggle to win this race, especially when they are setting no sort of pace. I was slightly happier when EARL OF TINSDAL took up the lead but even then he took a long time to inject any sort of pace.   Personally I wouldn’t be too convinced how strong the form will prove to be for this renewal.

On the figures front here is how the short-list played out…

SADDLERS ROCK  (15/18) – 8th at 9/2

COLOUR VISION (15/18) – 4th at 12/1

LAST TRAIN (15/18) – 11th at 14/1

TIMES UP (13/18) – 13th at 11/1

MODEL PUPIL (13/18) – 7th at 33/1

RITE OF PASSAGE (13/18) – N/R

COLOUR VISION looked the most likely to do the business and credit where credits due it was a big run and some sort of return to form. Front-running or at least sitting right on the pace isn’t his cup of tea and if there is one that do I want to take from the race it may well be him.

Yesterday’s poll was also a tad unsatisfactory for us. The Lark was an early enough N/R so that didn’t effect things too much but the late withdrawal of Alive Alive Oh pretty much screwed the poll over! Don’t worry though, I’m happy to pull a veil over that one and let you redeem yourselves by taking part in today’s vote…

.

Now onto a few pointers for day 4 of Royal Ascot 2013…

2:30 Albany Stakes

2yo fillies over a straight 6 furlongs, not really my usual area of attack I’ll be honest! Obviously there isn’t much to go on with this lightly raced bunch, even the Dosage doesn’t really help matters, but there are a couple of trends that may ‘very mildly’ help to narrow the field…

11/11 had 1 or 2 previous career starts

9/11 ran within the past 30 days

7/11 won last time out

To be honest that doesn’t chop off much of the field at all! It’s one of those types of races.

The pace bias is obviously important in these large field sprints but again we have little to go on and no real solid idea of how these fillies are likely to ply their trade on the pace front. Based on what we have seen from them so far this is ‘potentially’ how the pace ‘may’ work out…

Albany Stakes

All a bit of guess work but from the limited data we have so far it could be a middle to high pace bias, not something I will stick the mortgage on though!!

Essentially I’m not getting involved in this. If you are able to use anything from the above to help you then great, personally it will be a note taking race for myself.

3:05 King Edward VII Stakes

A short-priced Ballydoyle fav taking a whack out of the market here so if you want to be against him you will have some juicy odds on your side.

This is a fairly strong Dosage race so lets see if that side of things paints any sort of picture for us…

King Edward VII Dosage Trends

DP          15/15 had 12 points or more in DP

                13/15 had 22 points or more in DP

               

DI            11/15 had a DI of 1.29 or below

                0/15 had a DI below 0.65

               

CD          11/15 had a CD of 0.33 or below

                1/15 had a CD below -0.06

               

DPA       (13/15) – DQ – 5 / 20+ – 8 / PATB – 0

Applying that to today’s small but select field gives us…

Snug Fit

CONTRIBUTER

5-3-10-5-1 DQ 24 1.18 0.25
THA ‘IR 2-3-10-3-2 DQ 20 1.00

0.00

Can’t be discounted

HAVANA BEAT

1-2-5-2-0

/

10

1.22

0.20

FANTASTIC MOON

1-1-7-1-2

PATB

12

0.85

-0.17

Not ideal

MUTASHADED

1-0-6-5-0

/

12

0.50

-0.25

GREATWOOD

2-0-11-7-2

20+

22

0.52

-0.32

Wide of the mark

BATTLE OF MARENGO

8-3-13-4-0

20+

28

1.67

0.54

HILLSTAR

4-3-10-0-1

/

18

2.00

0.50

Interestingly that plonks the fav outwith the majority ranges.

Is he good enough to overcome his Dosage figures and the penalty he carries? He could be quite a bit ahead of this bunch and it won’t really be a surprise to me if he laughs in the face of his Dosage negativity here. If you want a negative to try and take him on though, there you go…

3:45 Coronation Stakes

A healthy turn out for this fillies Grade 1 and we have both the English & Irish 1000 Guineas winners in attendance.

The Dosage isn’t a huge help in this race and I also fired through the trends and the top 2 came out as SKY LANTERN (13/13) and JUST THE JUDGE (12/13); no real surprise on that score. The draw hasn’t been overly kind to the 2 of them though and they may have to dig in to get a good position, so they certainly have that to overcome. I reckon I’ll sit and watch this one myself…

4:25 Wolferton Handicap

Not a race that really tickles my fancy but here are a couple of pointers if you want to get try and nail the winners…

10/11 had their last start within the past 16-60 days 

9/11 were 4yo’s

From a draw perspective, over this trip at Ascot you really don’t want to be drawn any higher than stall 11

Applying those 3 rather crude ‘rules’ leaves us with…

REWARDED – ALBASHARAH – CHAPTER SEVEN – MOBACO

Good luck if you are getting involved.

5:00 Queens Vase

Despite being a staying contest for 3yo’s this isn’t a particularly strong race for the Dosage trends at all.

Essentially this has been a market driven race with most recent winners starting in the top 3 of the market, in fact 4 of the last 5 winners have started as favourite.

In these long distance races I often look to the sire stats and over 2 miles and further at Ascot it is the MONTJEU progeny that catch my eye. Digging in to my Proform Database tells me their recent record over staying trips at the track is a rather fetching…

9/47 | 19% S/R | +£47.04 BFLSP – Win & Place 15/47 | 32% S/R

They are also winning more than the market expects them to.

A quick scan of today’s runners tells me that Montjeu has one of his kids running for him in the Queens Vase; the current 2/1 fav LEADING LIGHT.

He has a penalty to carry (only runner in field that does) but he is rated upwards of 8lbs superior to the others.

Once again, best of luck if you are getting involved.

5:35 Buckingham Palace Stakes

29 runners blitzing down the straight 7 furlong course; time to look at the draw and decipher if there is any pace bias likely to be in play…

Buckingham Palace

Hmmm…precious little clues there really as it looks a pretty even spread on the pace front. It may just favour middle to low drawn horses but the key horse could be Maverik from box 18. If he goes high then that gives them an advantage, if he stays middle then it’s a completely different complexion.  My gut feeling is that he will stay middle and it will be middle to low that is where the pace is. That, however, is only a gut feeling and nothing more.

If the bottom numbers do blitz away it could be something down low that is grabbing onto their coattails and gets a good tow into the race that eventually prevails in this puzzler.

Once again, best of luck if you are getting involved.

In essence this isn’t a Royal Ascot day I’ll get overly involved in, if indeed involved at all. There is an ‘NTF Summer Stunner‘ running at Market Rasen today who I’m much more interested in to tell the truth. If you have the FREE Summer Stunners guide you will know who I’m talking about, if not then grab yourself a copy here.

I will be back tomorrow with a full-on Dosage & Trends assault on the Diamond Jubilee Sprint as I aim to finish Royal Ascot week the way it started; with a Group 1 sprint winner!

Happy Royal Ascot punting if you do indeed plan on getting involved.

Ben (BDH)

Royal Ascot Sprints: Do you want to be making the pace, behind the pace or off the pace?

The 5 day extravaganza of Royal Ascot kicks off tomorrow with equine stars from all over the planet looking to strut their stuff in front of Her Maj.

I plan on covering 1 race a day here at BDH, in a similar fashion to the way I covered Epsom for you. Unfortunately I don’t have time this week to produce the full guide (usually I have a subscription based service for Royal Ascot) but the FREE 1 race a day guides should be excellent value for you all :). I have had plenty of you asking if there will be some sort of subscription service from myself for this flat season but as you have probably guessed the answer to that is no. This has also raised the question of will there be National Hunt service for 2013/14? The answer to that is a resounding YES! Don’t worry on this score, the NTF service will resume in October time with the usual full and in-depth race coverage as well as a number of new and exciting features for NTF members.

Now I have cleared that up, today I want to take a quick look at pace profiles at Ascot over the straight 5f and 6f tracks. Obviously at some tracks it can pay to be making the pace over the sprint trips (front-runners) and at other tracks the best option is to strike late from out the back (hold-up horses). There are a number of races over these sprint trips at Royal Ascot and they will all be well contested affairs with little room for maneuver, you not only want your horse drawn where the pace is but you will also want it in the correct position to strike and maximize it’s abilities.

So, are there any biases when it comes to running styles and pace positions over the sprint trips at Ascot?

To find out the answer I opened up my trusty Proform database and started digging. I looked at all races at the track from 2008 to present over both 5f & 6f and also filtered it to fields of 10 or more runners.

5 Furlongs races at Ascot – Pace Analysis

In the period analysed there were 47 races over the 5 furlong trip, contested by 725 runners. Here is the running-style breakdown…

Front runners –  11/58 | 19% S/R | +£111.50 BFLSP – W&P 17/58 | 29% S/R

Close to Pace – 25/350 | 7% S/R | +£34.96 BFLSP – W&P 87/350 | 25% S/R

Held-up – 11/315 | 3.5% S/R | -£65.05 BFLSP – W&P 45/315 | 14% S/R

Front runners win more than they should based on market expectations, Close to Pace runners win about what the market expects and Hold Up runners win less than expected.

Over the 5 furlong trip at Ascot the figures tell us that you ideally want to be sitting close to the pace. Hold-Up runners win their share of races but it isn’t as much as the market expects. The most interesting angle is undoubtedly the front runners over this minimum trip as they markedly out-perform market expectations, have provided huge profits to level stakes and have won as many races as the hold-up runners but from a massively smaller sample size.

6 Furlongs races at Ascot – Pace Analysis

In the period analysed there were 63 races over the 6 furlong trip, contested by 937 runners. Here is the running-style breakdown…

Front runners – 6/79 | 7.5% S/R | -£29.81 BFLSP – W&P 14/79 | 18% S/R

Close to Pace – 27/437 | 6% S/R | -£104.70 BFLSP – W&P 83/437 | 19% S/R

Held-up – 30/457 | 6.5% S/R | +£21.13 BFLSP – W&P 103/457 | 23% S/R

Interestingly all 3 running styles win roughly the amount of race the market expects them to.

So stepping up a furlong tells us there isn’t any real bias in terms of running styles although the drop off in winning front-runners compared to 5 furlongs is noticeable, it is clearly tougher to hang on out front over 6f than it is over 5f.

Whilst I was at it I also wanted to take a look to see if any jockey had a stand-out record over the sprint trips at Ascot, specifically in trying to negotiate the really big fields (16+ runners). Nothing stood out for me over 5f but there was one guy who’s record over 6f in large fields is particularly strong; Mr Johnny Murtagh…

J Murtagh record at Ascot in 6f races with 16 or more runners

5/13 | 38% S/R | +£19.70 BFLSP

It is a small enough sample size but nevertheless it is a fairly solid indication that he can place his horse in the perfect position to strike in these tricky contests.

Things improve if we only look at his runners that started at 10/1 or less…

5/8 | 63% S/R | +£24.83 BFLSP

Again it isn’t huge numbers we are dealing with here but nevertheless it is worth keeping in the think tank…

I will be back tomorrow with a FREE race analysis guide on day one of Royal Ascot 2013.

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Ben (BDH)