Day 1: 2.40
UPDATE: Well Kickboxer ran ok and momentarily gave us an exciting run for our money, before flattening out. Balmont Mast was poor. Not much more to be said there. Algar Lad was dismissed because he was yet to prove he truly stayed. Yes he hadn’t proved he didnt as such but this isn’t an easy 6. I was glad to hear OMeara say he wasnt sure if he would stay, which is why he was entered in the 5f race tomorrow. He had’t won about C3 before that race, from a few goes, and was 8lb above his last win. That is what makes these races so tough, but also enjoyable and challenging. He is clearly still improving for OMeara. The draw stats stood up, and so did the odds/market stats.
Astaire – 5th. Typical 🙂 I thought he looked the winner for most of the way and Spencer looked to be the most comfortable alas there was no finishing kick and not much left under the bonnet. I still cant quite believe he got done for 4th but that is racing. So close to a 40/1 last Saturday, back with a bump today. – 4 points on the day, giving back some of the +14 points from last Saturday.
I couldn’t find any trends in HorseRaceBase for this race but have had a look at some draw stats.
Since 2010 there have been 16, 20 runner, 6f Handicaps at York.
Stalls 1-10: 4/16
Stalls 11-20: 12/16
Stalls 17-20: 7/16 (44% winners from 20% of stalls)
There are also the trainer stats above, with the likes of Fahey, Nicholls, Ryan, Tim Easterby and OMeara needing to improve their records in this type of race.
KickBoxer 12/1 1 point win
Balmont Mast 20/1 ½ point EW 5 places
Having been through this race I narrowed it down to Polybius, Balmont Mast, KickBoxer and Mass Rally. Hoof It Also Caught the Eye.
It is interesting that all of the last 10 winners were priced 14/1 or under, suggesting it is a race the market usually gets right to some extent. 7/10 7/1 or under.
KickBoxer and Polybius are two 4 year olds who are still open to improvement. I picked the former because he has decent big field form already, and experience of the track. He is in new ownership and with a new trainer who could well find more improvement. Historically the draw may not be too kind however Bogart is on that side so he could drag him into the race. Polybius has a decent draw if recent history is anything to go by. I expect a bold run and for him to go close if fully tuned up and handling this type of race. But he does have that to prove. With only 7 runs he is still in the ‘could be anything’ category so hopefully I haven’t let a winner go by.
At bigger odds Balmont Mast is interesting for the ‘Irish Sprint King’ as I will call him. He was a decent listed animal in 2013 and since then has travelled the globe with mixed results but I don’t think it is hard to put a line through most of those runs. His two starts this term have been promising and he wouldn’t have liked the ground last time out. A strongly run race over 6f here could be what he needs and he is also drawn well. If he puts it all together I can’t see him being far away. He was the most interesting of the bigger priced ones to me.
Mass Rally could well win this well. Everything is in his favour and his prominence in the market suggests a big run is expected. I find it hard to take 9/1 about a horse who is 3/48 in their career. If he turns up wanting to win he will go very close, but I am happy to leave him.
Hoof It interests me. 3/6 at York, 4/4 in May in handicaps, has won after a break, and is back down to a winning mark. The negatives are his age and the fact he hasn’t shown too much for some time now. He will probably lead the near side and if he stays there all the way I will kick myself. However I would like to think something with younger legs will beat him as he hasn’t shown signs that he could bounce back to his best, albeit from a ‘profile’ perspective he is fine.
I have been through every horse in the race and I was happy to leave everything else. I won’t go into detail here but will be happy in my own mind if something else wins, and will know why I haven’t backed them!
PACE – there isn’t loads of out and out pace but the likes of Hoof It and Bogart may try and lead them. I don’t think there is a draw advantage in terms of Pace, but I could be wrong. Unless there is a bias in the ground I don’t think one side will be miles ahead of the other, but time will tell.
Day 1: 3.10 Duke of York Stakes
- 17/18 Drawn in Stall 1-9
- 94% winners, from 65% runners
- 10+ , 1/87, 12 places.
- Stalls are over on the far side, so it would makes sense that being drawn closer to the rail is an advantage.
- 16/18 Top 5 LTO
- 89% winners, from 66% runners
- 2/74, 8 places, outside top 5 LTO
- 8/18 were age 5. 44% winners, 27% runners.
- An interesting stat, however that is the only one of note.
- 9/18 Top 3 in market
- 50% winners from 23% of runners
- 16/18 had previously ran over further than 6f in career
- 2/52, 6 places, had not. 11% winners from 21% runners.
- Tim Easterby: 2/15, 4 places
- William Haggas: 0/5, 1 place
- Jim Goldie: 0/10, 0 places
- Kevin Ryan: 2/12, 4 places
Astaire 13/2 1 point EW 5 places Paddy Power
A strict interpretation of the trends would leave Astaire, Gammarth, Gathering Power and Muthmir.
I don’t think the middle two will be good enough but they may well go close to the places. Not for me today.
History suggests being drawn higher than 9 is challenging, but far from impossible. As such Naadir and Lightening Moon have it to do from the middle of the track.
Muthmir could be the star sprinter of this season based on what he did last year. The break and lack of good to fast ground put me off, just. I couldn’t really dissuade you as he could be a machine and if he is primed, and gets luck in running , he will go very close, and will maybe win well. He is probably worth a saver.
I backed Asatire last time out although it is disconcerting that he appears to be drifting. I was going to stick with 1 point win but then saw that PP are offering 4 places. He should be in the box seat, either with an uncontested lead or just tracking anything that is faster than him (I don’t think there is anything, not from the other pace setters) and there should be no excuses. He likes the course and distance, came second in the race last year, is race fit and in all honesty I would be shocked were he not in the top 4, in essence making it a bet to nothing. Of course it is never that easy but bar an accident or something unforeseen, and provided he doesn’t get in a dual up front, he should go close. The fav, or another may pass him late, but I don’t think 4 other horses will pass him. We shall see.