Wednesday, 29th July 2020
The ground is drying out quickly down in West Sussex – as expected. The going is good for this afternoon’s Day 2 card at Glorious Goodwood….
My betting focus is on the 16-runner Unibet You're On Goodwood Handicap over the extended 2m4f trip at 1.45….
I went live with my thoughts on that race yesterday. If you missed that, catch up here….
I am always a day ahead of the action at the big meetings. Whilst everybody else is focused on what’s unfolding out on the track this afternoon, my thoughts have already turned to tomorrow’s action….
There is a good reason for this. I like to have a crack at getting the best price possible about my picks. Getting to work earlier than everybody else gives me the best chance of doing that.
It doesn’t always work out or run smoothly – but more often than not it does – and I rarely find myself suffering because I’ve turned up late at the back of a queue….
As regular readers know, it is the proper big-field handicaps at C2 level that get my betting juices flowing….
The market commonly makes mistakes when analysing such races. The layers frequently misjudge horses and situations. There are always ‘live’ contenders to be found at value prices for a contrarian punter like me….
Day 3 delivers a 3yo handicap for us to shoot at – the Unibet You're On Handicap at 1.45….
This is a C2 contest for 3yo horses over the 10f trip. A field of 13 runners is a little disappointing – but what can you do?
Tomorrow’s feature handicap is restricted to 3yos….
Ahead of the race it is worth being aware of how individual yards with runners in tomorrow’s race are going in the 3yo handicaps this term….
The information doesn’t necessarily lead us directly to a bet – but we can factor what we learn into our deliberations….
The table below tells the story. It highlights performance figures during 2020 in 3yo handicaps at C4 or better – ordered by total place percentage….
Roger Varian and John Gosden are going very well. So too Charlie Appleby. It’s another wheat from chaff job with Mark Johnston. Paul and Oliver Cole have done as much as they could hope for with much more limited resources than the bigger yards have at their disposal….
It’ also worth being aware of how yards have performed specifically in the 3yo handicaps run at the Glorious Goodwood meeting. It might give us some indication of who really sets out to target these races on a consistent basis….
The table below tells the story. It highlights performance figures in 3yo handicaps at the Glorious meeting from 2006 onwards – ordered again by total place percentage….
Mark Johnston produces the usual mix of volume and inconsistency. John Gosden and Charlie Appleby score well. Roger Varian is building foundations. I would expect a better TP% for William Haggas – but perhaps he saves his better 3yo handicappers for the Ebor meeting at York?
Something else to look at is the record are the records of the individual riders around the Goodwood bends. It takes a bit of nous and a bit of skill to get the best placing for your mount in races where interference and scrimmaging are commonplace. Some riders get the job done better than others….
The table below highlights the performance records of tomorrow’s riders in races of 12+ runners around the Goodwood bends since 2009 ordered by my favourite quick and dirty metric – total place percentage….
The figures speak eloquently enough by themselves about how who does well. As a side point, I think Oisin Murphy and Jim Crowley would be looking at those figures with a sense of disappointment. Room for improvement as they used to say in my school report….
There is no end of data and information to look at. And I can’t all include it all here. You wouldn’t want me to….
Whatever you look at though, the time comes when you need to make a decision….
The bookies are pretty cautious with this one – five of the 13 runners are trading at 6s or shorter. Fair enough. But I’m always going to be looking a little further down the list….
…. and Ralph Beckett’s LUCANDER seems potentially over-priced to me at the general 20s & 18s….
He got well beaten at Newmarket last time in a decent 3yo handicap on his first go at 10f. No doubt about that….
But prior to that he’d looked very promising as a juvenile. Beckett had said he expected the horse to train on from 2 to 3. And the horse had produced a likeable effort first time up at Haydock in June – one I’d expected him to come on for. But it didn’t happen….
Maybe at some point between Haydock and Newmarket the horse decided to withdraw his cooperation and to put in a bid for retirement….
More likely is that something wasn’t right, or something went wrong, on the day. Some punters can’t forgive a bad run. I get that. But I look for wrong prices rather than winners and when I see a price that I like then I swing the bat at it. That’s how I play….
This price feels too big. Lucander will improve for 10f – whatever happened last time. I’m certain of that. And I’m betting that a horse with a cracking attitude – and with two-time winning rider Rob Hornby back on duty in the saddle tomorrow – can bounce back and deliver a better run for my money than the price suggests….
Nick’s contrarian picks….
To recap on where my idea of the value lies tomorrow afternoon….
In the Unibet You're On Handicap (1.45 @ Goodwood).
That is my take on where the value lies – but you will no doubt have your own ideas and that’s exactly as it should be.
That’s all from me for now....
I’ll be back tomorrow with my take on Day 4 at Glorious Goodwood….