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Saturday, February 5, 2005




4.00pm £50,000 Agfa Diamond Handicap Chase 3m 110yds

For the latest best odds, go to www.britodds.com
BP= best price at the time of writing

1) F-54 Ad Hoc Paul Nicholls 11-11-12 Christian Williams
He goes well round here, as shown by his two wins in the betfred Gold Cup. He has not yet been at the top of his form so far this season, though on the other hand he has not been disgraced. May need to come down a bit more in the ratings and race over a longer distance. BP= 11/1

2) P169 Horus Martin Pipe 10-11-11 Jamie Moore
Won the Edward Hanmer Chase at Haydock back in November but no encouragement on latest two starts, including at Doncaster last week and makes little appeal. BP= 18/1

3) 6P11 Bathwick Annie Paul Keane 9-11-00 NON RUNNER

4) 7318 Maximize Martin Pipe 11-10-13 Timmy Murphy
Hard to predict if he will be on a going day, though Timmy Murphy has done better on him than other jockeys. BP= 16/1

5) U4-3 Lucky Bay Bridget Nicholls 9-10-11 Jason Maguire
Very encouraging reappearance when third behind Boy’s Hurrah, when he may well have won but for blundering at the last. Good chance again here on 10lb better terms for three and half lengths, providing he doesn’t suffer from the bounce factor. BP= 11/2

6) -P3U Granit D’Estruval Ferdy Murphy 11-10-09 Brian Harding
Last season’s Irish National winner and would have finished at least second in the Scottish equivalent. Has not been seen at his best so far this season and may be a more attractive proposition later in the season. BP= 10/1

7) 7392 Innox Francois Doumen FR 9-10-08b Tony McCoy
Often runs a fair race on his trips to Britain and it was a good run here last time out behind Historic. Goes on the ground and an interesting proposition with AP McCoy in the saddle but has only won two of his 32 races. BP= 8/1

8) P504 Roveretto Martin Pipe 10-10-07b Rodi Greene
On a losing run over two years now and hard to fancy in this company. BP= 33/1

9) 2236 Lou Du Moulin Mas Paul Nicholls 6-10-03t Ruby Walsh
Consistent sort and finished sixth behind Boy’s Hurrah here last time. A novice who has yet to properly prove himself. BP= 11/2

10) 2324 Champagne Harry Nigel Twiston-Davies 7-10-02 Tony Evans (3)
His form over fences hasn’t yet matched his good form in staying novice hurdles last season but this novice chaser comes here on the back of a break and will like the ground. Stable does well in this sort of event with novices and is one to consider. BP= 14/1

11) FP-2 Mercato John Best 9-10-00 Richard Johnson
Has run well here in the past, winning Grand Military Gold Cup and finishing second in Royal Artillery. This is more competitive and he is making his first appearance since May. Best watched. BP= 14/1

12) /5-4 King On The Run Venetia Williams 12-10-00 Sam Thomas
Had some decent form way back in 2001/02 season but nothing in his come-back run at Wincanton behind Bathwick Annie to make him appeal here. BP= 12/1

13) 2211 Boy’s Hurrah Howard Johnson 9-10-00 Graham Lee
Gutsy winner over the course and distance on his latest two starts, jumping from fence to fence. Should run his race again though this is a tougher task as he is 5lb out of the handicap. However, he keeps improving and, against this rather disappointing lot, he is good value at this price, with each-way backers getting their money back if he comes second or third. BP= 9/2

Generally a disappointing lot for a race worth this much, so BOY’S HURRAH is the one to side with.

Sandown, Saturday, February 5, 2005


Past Trends

all of the last 18 winners had run between two and six times earlier in the season

17 of the last 18 winners have been aged between five and nine

16 of the last 18 winners were placed in the first three earlier that season

15 of the last 18 winners carried 10st 12lb or less

14 of the last 18 winners were placed in the first four on their last outing

Baracouda was a star turn at Sandown last season for this competitive 2m 6f handicap and he did not let his fans down, idling on the run-in but still proving good enough to deny Irish raider Yogi by two lengths.

All of the last 18 winners had run between two and six times earlier in the season, which of this year’s 14 runners immediately rules out Dream Falcon, who has already raced eight times this term and Samon, Fountain Hill, Meggies Gamble and Covent Garden, none of which have been seen on a racecourse more than once this season.

17 of the last 18 winners have been aged between five and nine - the one exception was Hill-Street-Blues, who was 10 when he struck for trainer Jimmy Fox 17 years ago.

As interesting as this statistic is, all of the remaining nine contestants meet this criteria so Codebreaker must look elsewhere.

16 of the last 18 winners were placed in the first three earlier that season. The two anomalies were Black Sapphire in 1992 and the Luke Harvey-ridden Taberna Lord five years earlier.

Once again Codebreaker is frustrated in its endeavours to find the winner - the remaining seven have all finished in the first three this term.

Lighter weighted horses have tended to fare best here as 15 of the last 18 winners carried 10st 12lb or less.

This means that last year’s runner-up Yogi, who this year is carrying top-weight of 11st 12lb as opposed to 10st in 2004, disappears from the reckoning together with The Dark Lord, Petite Margot, Liberman and Attorney General, who are all due to shoulder 11st 1lb or higher.

13 of the last 17 winners were placed in the first four on their last outing including the last four winners.

Team Tassel was unplaced on his latest start at Cheltenham in December so Codebreaker considers him unlikely to be entering the winner’s enclosure here.

16 of the last 18 winners had their last start in January - the two exceptions were Baracouda, who was last seen in action in December and 1997 scorer Tullymurry Toff, a winner at Haydock in November.

Gallery God, trained by Simon Dow, has not raced since taking a novices’ hurdle at Fontwell in December and the In The Wings gelding disappears.

Separating Touch Closer and SUPREME SERENADE is no easy task but the latter is this week’s Codebreaker selection.

Touch Closer is eight, an age group which has only prevailed once since 1986, courtesy of Buckhouse Boy in 1998. In contrast, the selection is two years younger and six-year-olds have been successful five times during the same period.

For old articles (from 1st March 2000) go to the Newslink Archive

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