Morning all, and we’ve got the St. Leger today which could go the way of top-form Pyledriver, based on a 200+ rating last time out. That was the Great Voltigeur (great name for a race) which was run over a slightly shorter distance, but the nature of his finish is perhaps what sets him apart in a very strong race, not that I’d advise you to actually back anything when you’ve got the likes of Santiago and Hukum running against him, both of whom could equally have claims. There you go.

3:50 at Lingfield, and Hiconic has been making money for us over hurdles this summer with four consecutive wins. An all-weather record that is less than stellar in comparison makes me suspect that it’s a toss-up as to whether the form transfers over to all-weather from hurdles or whether this is a hurdles horse, full stop. 2/1 might be a bit short for that kind of gamble, because it is a gamble.

Put Century Dream on a left-handed, galloping track, and you generally get a result. That’s not to say he can’t run right-handed, but his record on left-handed tracks is 6 wins from 7 starts, and that’s the kind of statistic I like when I’m looking at a horse the market thinks is worth 7/2. The 4:45 at Leopardstown is a stiff old test, but this one holds form, jockey and trainer ratings and looks good on speed ratings too. 6 from 7 can of course become 6 from 8 and look equally impressive, so with strong competition in a Group 2, it’s mainly a case of what value you can extract from the market whether that be win or place.

Now then – the 1:10 at Fontwell gives you the “top horse” of the day, which is Shantou Master. Curious story, this one. I’m going to bullet-point it for you:

  • Appalling record in point-to-point races
  • Strangely short 6/1 on rules debut
  • Won with a rating of 125 in the LR column
  • Takes top jockey rating today (Josh Moore has a 24% win rate at Fontwell)
  • RTH Selections have a near 30% strike rate at Fontwell

Perhaps it’s the jockey that does it with our selection? Either way, he’s 7/2 right now and my little propensity algorithm which is running in the background off the back of 2 years’ historic data says that he’s worth around 6/4. I say that without having really worked out the odds, but let’s say it’s a 45% strike rate, roughly, for horses who meet this level of propensity.

I realise this last paragraph may have tickled your fancy, and there’s a good reason I’m keeping propensity under wraps, and that’s because I think it can still do better. Working on it.

If you like winners, Yes No Maybe No has won so many races this season it’s hard to keep count of them, and that makes his record 4 from 5 on good ground. Irresistible, yes? At 5/4, you’ve got to consider that he’s upped a further 4lb after being upped each time and what’s more, he only won by a neck last time after being upped in distance. We’re dealing in fine margins here, but only Prabeni appears to nudge him on form ratings and that form was just one race (last time out) where his mark had dipped enough to let him win by 8 lengths. With the mark back up to where he was getting thrashed on a regular basis, he’s not one I’d back with any confidence.

Yes? No? Maybe Yes.

The rest of Saturday is up to you. Classy day, lots of options in each field, so tread carefully and look for some nice prices wherever you can get them.