Today we have another guest post from one of my favourite racing experts, Ben Aitken of Narrowing the Field fame. Take it away, Ben
Hi everyone. It has been around a month since my first Course Connoisseurs post and today I just want to give a little update on how the horses included in the guide have fared since then (at their favourite track of course) and also provide you with an additional Course Connoisseur from my own personal list.
First let’s take a look at the horses that have run from the FREE NTF guide that (hopefully) most of you will have downloaded –
FANROUGE – Bath Course Connoisseur
Ran once and finished 4th. It was a tight race and the door was shut on her a couple of times which clearly didn’t help matters. It was, however, a Class 3 contest and the figures do suggest that she ran pretty close to her best.
SHESHA BEAR – Epsom Course Connoisseur
Ran twice finishing 4th and 3rd (placed at 6-1). In both races she was given an agonising amount of work to do, being held-up way off the pace out the back by her jockeys. She did run into a place on her last run but dropping a couple lbs in the weights certainly would not go amiss.
NUMBER THEORY – Haydock Course Connoisseur
Ran once – WON ONCE! The 4yo landed the valuable Old Newton Cup in fine style at 8/1 (Betfair SP 12.77) producing a career best effort in the process.
At the moment those are the only 3 from the FREE NTF guide to have run but NUMBER THEORY’S victory at his favourite track made it a profitable wee spell for the guide and is a great ‘live’ example of how this type of research can pay dividends; I hope a few of you were on
The new Course Connoisseur that I want to share with you today comes from the National Hunt ranks. There is actually a small break in the jumping game at the moment as the jockeys are released for their, much deserved, summer vacation but as National Hunt is my area of expertise I wanted to go down this route for today’s post.
The horse under scrutiny is the Andrew Parker trained SUPER ALLY, who sits snuggly in my files as a KELSO Course Connoisseur.
Kelso is a tight track, and at times a punishing track, and also slightly unusual with its extended and testing climb to the winning line but this Flemensfirth gelding has mastered the track in fine style, so much so that all 4 of his career victories have come at the Borders track.
Take a look at his overall form figures at the venue –
SUPER ALLY’S Kelso form figures – 8-1-1-1-3-1
A 67% WIN strike-rate at the track is extremely eye-catching. Looking a bit closer it is also easy to ignore his 8th place finish at the track which came on his first ever start over hurdles and in hock deep heavy ground over 17f; a set of circumstances that are far from ideal for him.
He looks very much a staying chaser so if we only take into account his form at Kelso over 22f or further his track figures improve to 1-1-1-3-1.
If we look at his form out with Kelso we see a remarkably different set of figures –
SUPER ALLY’S non Kelso form figures – 6-0-5-2-0-6-P-3-P
Pretty clear indicators that Kelso is his domain and this is where he saves his best form for.
Clearly you need to take other factors into account when analysing the chances of any horse in a specific race but if you know the horse has a particular liking for a specific track, like SUPER ALLY at Kelso, then you are already in the process of building up a profile on the horse and putting yourself in a strong position to stay ahead of the crowd.
In summary then we know that SUPER ALLY…
– Has strong course form (8-1-1-1-3-1)
– Runs at his best over 2m6f or further
..and by looking closer at his CV we also know that…
– All 4 of his victories have come when ridden by Timmy Murphy
– He probably doesn’t want it too soft underfoot – Form on heavy is a miserable 8-5 and best RPR figures were recorded on Good ground
The gelding has only 7 chase starts and 7 hurdle starts to his name and there is every reason to believe there is still a bit of juice left in his handicap marks. There will be plenty of opportunities for him at the track this season with the main aim being the valuable Borders National in December. He could well be up to that level of class and he should be taken seriously when he sets hoof on the Kelso turf in the future.
If you missed the FREE Course Connoisseurs guide first time around it is still available on my website – www.narrowing-the-field.co.uk – I’m currently giving away a FREE version of the guide when you sign up to my FREE NTF service. Simply pop your details in the sign-up box on this page – http://www.narrowing-the-field.co.uk – and you will be sent a link that allows you to download the FREE NTF Course Connoisseurs guide. There are also numerous other FREE NTF guides you can download at the same time including my ‘Introduction to the Dosage Method’ guide and a FREE version of my 2010/11 National Hunt book, a book that stretches to 190 pages!
Ben Aitken (NTF)
Owner and creator of www.narrowing-the-field.co.uk and author of ‘Narrowing The Field – Using the Dosage Method to Win at National Hunt Racing’