Key players in the York handicaps....

Last Updated: 13.05.2019

Monday, 13th May 2019

Key players in the York handicaps….

The flat season is fast gathering momentum now – with form in the book and most horses stripping a good deal fitter and sharper than they were last month....

We get some cracking races to shoot at this week – with York hosting it’ 3-day Dante meeting which starts on Wednesday and runs through to Friday....

Our focus will be the handicap races. There’s quite a few to pick from. And if the shape of the field and the market suits our purposes, I’ll be sticking my head above the parapet and seeking to identify the horses that can get competitive off prices that underestimate their true chance....

Easy said. Tougher done, of course. But this is our game and we know no other way....

Click here for a quick spin through the races of potential interest to us this week....

  • Significant handicap players....

History is an informative guide....

It tell us what has happened before and, whilst that is no guarantee that the same themes will play out again this week, it can alert us to a few pointers that it might prove useful to be aware of when you come to dig out selections for this week’s handicap events....

The Yorkshire trainers like Richard Fahey, David O’Meara, Michael Easterby, Tim Easterby and Mark Johnston pepper this week’s handicap events with entries....

They hit plenty of winners and places between them too. But plenty of their horses lose too and each runner must be assessed on a case-by-case basis....

Of more interest to me are yards that combine with discrimination with positive outcome in the better handicaps run at the meeting (those at class 4 or better)....

For example, John Gosden has gone well with his handicappers at the meeting over the last 7 seasons....

In telling you that, I’m not telling you anything particularly ground-breaking. But intuitively knowing something might be the case is not the same thing as being truly informed about the detail. And the detail is this....

Gosden has fired just 11 bullets at the handicaps at this meeting since 2012 and banked three winners and 2 places. If he sends one or two this week, take note. They are likely to be very competitive....

Michael Appleby is another handler to have done well at this meeting’s handicaps despite relatively minimal participation – 2 wins and 4 placers from 15 runners.

A winner at 16s and placers at 16s and 20s suggest his knack at this meeting might be flying under the market radar....

Roger Varian ends to go will with the handicappers he sends. Rarely does one win or place at a half-decent price. But nevertheless, the Varian record deserves mention. Twelve runners since 2012 produced 2 wins and 3 places....

Sir Michael Stoute is another discerning player in this week’s handicap events – 13 runners producing 3 wins and 3 places over the last 7-years. And William Haggas should be on your radar too with 3 winners and 4 placers over the period from 15-runners....

Against the Crowd - York Stats

What each of these handlers have produced in the past does not guarantee any winners this week, of course. That’s not the point of this information....

The point is that these handlers have a notable record of success from relatively few handicap runners at this meeting....

They tend to target with intent and to do so effectively. And that’s good to know. You can expect them to be similarly minded this time round....

  • The last word….

That’s all from me for today.

I’ll be back in your inbox tomorrow with my contrarian take on Wednesday’s handicap targets....

Until then. Stay tuned.

Nick Pullen

Against the Crowd