11 May 2019

Pertemps Long Distance Handicap Hurdle (Class 2)

If you followed me in last week, I hope you enjoyed Magna Grecia's win in the Guineas. It all fell nicely and I think he'll be underestimated over his next two starts (unless he bolts up). He's a very strong stayer at the trip and yet lacks nothing for pace.

Magna Grecia was my only bet of the day, but today is trickier. I've backed several in my Key Racing Gold thread on the ENIGMA FORUM and choosing between them isn't easy as I like them all.


At this Haydock meeting, one of the prime angles is to know which meetings / races supply the majority of winners. For instance, did you know that just 5 courses have supplied the last 21 straight winners of the Swinton Hurdle? Moreover, did you know that all 21 ran last time out in a class 1 or 2 hurdle?

It's just that kind of meeting.

So, with this in mind what can we know about the Long Distance Hurdle? For me, the prime takeaway is the return generated by top-five finishers in class 2 handicaps at the Cheltenham April meeting:

Since 2004, 24 qualifiers staked 1pt EW have produced 14 win or placed for a level stakes profit of +£87.25 pts (standard EW terms.)

NO HASSLE HOFF is the sole qualifier this year and has a very strong frame chance, but at the price I'm just going to try for the win. The course, going and step up in trip all look perfect too.

2.00 Haydock, No Hassle Hoff 2pt win 9/2, maybe more on the exchanges

** Unplaced, nice trends match but it wasn't wet enough for him **

Herbie authors the Key Racing Gold thread on the ENIGMA Forum - check the performance at: WWW.ENIGMARACING.NET/RACING-FORUM

It's Swinton Hurdle day at Haddock


4 May 2019

Qipco 2000 Guineas Stakes (Group 1)

Sir Charles Bunbury was the man responsible for setting up our first classic of the flat season - a trifle unlucky to found a race remembered for it's prize fund than named in his honour. Doubly so, because he also co-founded the Derby and stood aside for the Earl of Derby to label that one.

The straight (but bumpy) Rowley mile course was intended for the aristocracy of England to test their sporting blood and eye for a thoroughbred, but times have changed. The richest source of winners in the modern era are colts grazed and nurtured in Ireland.

The hallmark of a live Irish contender is to go straight there without a public prep. Since 1998, if you had combined these factors with horses who were Group winners as 2-y-o's, the outcome would have been: 11 wins from 32 qualifiers (+30.26 pts to SP).

Moreover, since 1998, every winner bar one either ran over 7 or 8fl last time out. The last one to step up successfully from 6fl was Island Sands in 1999. Unsurprising, as they usually go too fast so the Guineas is a race that really tests stamina. A big negative for Ten Sovereigns.

MAGNA GRECIA is the sole qualifier this year and a Group 1 winner last term. The form of his close 2nd to rising Frenchstar Persian King over C&D lends credibility to his form in the Futurity Stakes, even if the race itself looked suspect.

As Donnacha was on board for that he may well have had the pick here - but whatever the politics, it would be no surprise if he's on board the Ballydoyle No. 1.

3.35 Newmarket, Magna Grecia 1.5pt EW 5/1, 4x1/5 various

** Feedback - WON going away, never really in doubt with an assist from the draw **

Herbie authors the Key Racing Gold thread on the ENIGMA Forum - check the performance at: WWW.ENIGMARACING.NET/RACING-FORUM

A worm's-eye view of the 2019 Qipco 2000 Guineas