Off-piste angles - a winning partnership....

Last Updated: 06.12.2018

Thursday, 6th December 2018

Off-piste angles – a winning partnership….

You will probably appreciate that win, lose or draw with our contrarian bets, there is always plenty going on behind the scenes at ATC….

If you want to try and make informed judgements in the racing markets, then you must at the very least be as informed as you can be….

You can’t fake it. There’s no other way. Anything less is to be half-cocked at best and guess-betting at worst….

And being informed – and remaining informed – requires a constant diet of work and application….

  • Keeping us busy….

This service specializes in – and focuses its primary attention on – the better big-field handicaps run over jumps and on the flat across the year….

It means we can ignore a lot of the racing. But even when you focus solely on the big handicaps there is still plenty of work to be done. The devil is in the detail, after all. And you must dig for the detail….

And we dig. We consistently make the effort to study all the better class handicaps – whether we have bet in them or not – to keep tabs on the horses that run in those races and to keep abreast of all the news and issues that might impact future target races and the horses that might run in them….

And we are constantly crunching the numbers and trawling the data and studying the actual running of the races for insight and information that we might otherwise be ignorant of – and which might give us the edge in the market….

And then there are what I call the general jobs – the stuff that creates the contextual framework within which the big handicaps (and other races) are run….

Keeping tabs on yards that are in form and those that aren’t….  Monitoring the relationships and collaborations between trainers and jockeys…. And looking at patterns and micro-trends within the wider performance record of owners, trainers, jockeys and horses….

Not all this stuff is directly related to the races I specialise in for betting purposes. But it does have a bearing….

And sometimes it delivers information that doesn’t help with my contrarian bets at the weekend – but which might be useful elsewhere….

Think of these things as off-piste insights, angles and observations. Not directly applicable – at least not yet – to the races we target on ATC. But worth knowing about nonetheless….

  • A young jockey on the up-and-up….

One thing I monitor in the background as a matter of course are the performances of apprentice jockeys – the riders at the start of their careers….

A good claimer who can take a few pounds of a horse can be worth his/her weight in gold in handicaps. A few pounds can, of course, make the difference between a horse getting competitive and being too high in the weights to do anything but run down the field….

Oftentimes a claimer will be riding in a class of race below those we target at the weekends and at the big Festivals….

But it is well worth knowing who’s who and what they are doing – for when they step up into the kinds of races that we like to play in….

One such rider I would draw your attention to right now is the 5lb claimer Charlie Hammond. He’s going well of late….

Since 1st September his rides have been going in at a strike-rate of 20% – 55 rides delivering 11 winners. He’s a young jockey very much on the up and up….

The downside is that there hasn’t been any profit in backing his runners blind. Had you backed all his last 55 rides, you’d be sitting on a loss of 14.23 points to level stakes – or -£284.60 to £20.00 bets….

But you often need to dig a little deeper to get to the golden seam that does deliver profit. And in this case, the golden seam is the group of horses Hammond has ridden for Dr Richard Newland….

  • The sweet spot in the record….

Hammond and Newland have combined on 17 occasions since 1st September – producing 10 winners at a cracking rate of 58.8%....

Better still, the rides have been worth backing – delivering a 16.77-point profit when backed to 1-point level stakes on the nose….

That’s a 98.8% return on investment over the period – and to £20.00 stakes it amounts to a bottom-line betting surplus of £335.40 – which would have gone a long way toward covering the ale bill over the period….

Clearly, Newland is the man getting the best out of Charlie Hammond’s claim right now. And no doubt he will be looking to make the most of the rider’s claim going forward….

For sure, he will continue to use the rider in lower-class handicaps. And, if you wanted to back the pair when they combine at a lower level – on the nose, in your Lucky 15s or your Placepots – then I won’t be the man to put you off….

  • Raising the bar….

But what’s of most interest to me is that Newlands and Hammond are starting to look like they are ready to strike and do the business at a higher level….

Prior to 1st September the pair had combined in handicaps at class 2 or better on 21 occasions – rides that yielded just a single winner….

But something has changed. The penny has dropped. Hammond is getting better with experience and his four rides for Newland at class 2 level or better since the beginning of September have yielded two winners….

The highlight was the victory in the Scottish Champion Hurdle Trial at Ayr at the start of November on Le Patriote….

And there was another good performance in October’s Pertemps qualifier at Cheltenham on Aaron Lad who finished 6th of the 20 runners…

Last month Newland put Hammond on his Storm Rising in the valuable Greatwood Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham at the end of last month. They finished down the field but the fact that Hammond got the ride indicates that Newland has plenty of faith and confidence in him….

  • Creeping onto our radar….

It is worth bearing this partnership in mind over the next few months. A good 5lb claimer is a great weapon for a target trainer to have at his disposal. And Newland is nothing if not a fine exponent of that craft….

The partnership has struck up a winning knack. Trust has been built and the better rides are starting to appear now for Hammond….

You can be sure Newland will want to be taking advantage of a 5lb claimer full of confidence in the better races – with the most money up for grabs….

And with that in mind, we can expect the pair to be teaming up in some of our target races over the winter. And when they do, it will be of interest….

In the meantime, if you like the stats and you like the angle, don’t be afraid to go in and back the pair in lower class handicaps – especially if you can get a nice price and the horse ticks the right boxes….

The Hammond/Newland alliance is cooking on gas. They’re on a winning streak. And we’re not at the end of it yet. There’s plenty more to come – and no doubt some of it at nice prices….

  • The last word….

That’s all from me for today.

I’ll be back tomorrow.

Until then. Stay tuned.

Nick Pullen

Against the Crowd