Great St Wilfrid Handicap
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Great St Wilfrid Handicap - 17th August 2013
I thought I'd take an in depth look at Ripon's premier event in an effort to 1) try and pocket a few quid and 2) tune myself up for some of those big handicaps at York next week!
So here goes:
As always with these big field handicaps, we need to look to past trends to whittle the field down to a manageable number.
In the last 10 years, only one winner of the race has been drawn higher than 11 ( and that was Pepper Lane in 2011 - not the only time that horse is the exception to the rule in this race!)
Luckily for us, this rather neatly excludes nearly half the field from our reckoning, allowing us to exclude: Hoof It, Prodigality, Secret Witness, Confessional, Dr Red Eye, El Viento, Summerinthecity, Zacynthus and Thunderball.
Very nice indeed!
The next trend is one on age - No horse older than 7 has won the race in the last 1o years which allows us to get rid of: Borderlescott (very sad to see the old warrior go but at 11 years old he would be a massive trendbuster) and Regal Parade.
It's also worth noting that there has been no 3 year old winner of the race in the last 10 years. However, I'd rate that as interesting rather than conclusive as there have been very few 3 year old runners in that timeThe other strong trend for the race is a fitness one. Horses with a LTO run within the last 15 days provide 9 of the winners in the last 10 years. (Again, the exception to this rule is Pepper Lane who won last year after a break of nearly 2 months).
Sticking to the 15 day rule allows us to rule out: Captain Ramius, Rodrigo de Torres, Baccarat and Dick Bos.
That leaves us with a shortlist of 5 and they are:
Louis the Pious
Now let's look at those 5 in a bit more detail.
LOUIS THE PIOUS - A decent third in the race last year, and now in the hands of David O'Meara who is 2 from 2 in the race over the last 2 years! I wouldn't want to put anybody off him but I have a niggling feeling that his off the pace running style will play against him here. I'll be backing him but only as a cover bet to return stakes.
SPINATRIX - This is the one I really like in the race. Fresh from a battling half length victory over Pearl Ice just last week over course and distance, I think this one is the value bet of the race at 9/1 with Tote, Betfred and VC.
BLAINE - There is plenty to like about this one but the 3 year old trend is against him. Combine that with two very poor efforts of late and I'm happy to let him run on this occasion. Watch him hose up now! (Perhaps a very small each way cover bet at 40/1 wouldn't go amiss)
POLSKI MAX - The 3 year old trend is against this one also and I can't shake the nagging feeling that this horse is a lot better on softer ground. Possibly a very small each way cover bet at the generally available 33/1
PEARL ICE - Weighted to turn the tables on Spinatrix today, I'm a little bit concerned that he was outbattled by that one LTO and it makes me very nervous. Nonetheless, this is second best in the race and I will be having an interest at 11/1 with Coral.
So to summarise, my bet of the race is:
Spinatrix @ 9/1 (Tote, Betfred, VC)
Pearl Ice (Next best) @ 11/1 Coral
The rest of the shortlist I will be covering with insurance bets.
Have a great weekend and be lucky whatever you are backing!