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Saturday, February 10, 2007


Lingfield Park, Saturday, February 10, 2007
4.45pm Go Pontin's Handicap 1m 2f

GOING: Standard (Polytrack)

for the best odds go to www.BritOdds.com
BP= the best price at the time of writing

1.(6) 03/57- Country Affair (USA) Paul Webber 4-9-03 Jimmy Fortune
Has not run since April, is trying this trip for the first time and his best form came when third in a nine-furlong Polytrack maiden at Wolverhampton in December, 2005. BP= 33/1

2.(7) 4/4-4 Oscar Snowman Marcus Tregoning 4-9-02 Richard Hughes
Promising first run on the Polytrack at the end of last month under an inexperienced rider in a maiden here over a mile. Should stay this extra distance and must go close. BP= 6/5

3.(4) 84561-2 Samarinda (USA) Pam Sly 4-9-01 Mickey Fenton
Consistent sort. Won a maiden over course and distance at the end of last year. Then a close second in a handicap here and the form has worked out well though he has gone up another 4lb. BP= 9/1

4.(1) 16575-9 Count Kristo Brendan Powell 5-9-00 Alan Kirby
Well beaten on recent return here after a break. Has yet to prove he goes on the surface. BP= 40/1

5.(2) 4557-34 Sky Quest (IRE) NON RUNNER

6.(3) 80012-4 Generous Lad (IRE) A B Haynes 4-8-12 Dane O'Neill
Fourth over 12 furlongs here and is now racing off his highest-ever mark. Others look to have better prospects. BP= 8/1

7.(5) 5433-11 Spot The Subbie (IRE) Jamie Poulton 4-8-09 John Egan
Has won two Polytrack handicaps recently over a mile - here and at Kempton. Has gone up 6lb for the latest success but the form has not really worked out - worth opposing over this trip. BP= 15/8

The clear value is Samarinda who is a solid performer and has been running well in fair races. Oscar Snowman and Spot The Subbie could still be better but they have something to prove.


3.15pm, Newbury, Saturday, February 10, 2007

Past Trends

18 of the last 19 winners were aged between five and eight

18 of the last 19 winners raced between two and six times earlier that season

18 of the last 19 winners finished in the first two at least once earlier in the campaign

3 of the last 19 winners were successful from out of the handicap

15 of the last 19 winners finished in the first three on their last start

No horse in the last 19 has carried more than 11st 7lb to victory

Avoid first season novices

The Grade Three totesport Trophy Hurdle has long been one of the highlights of the jump season and with £150,000 in total prize money up for grabs, this year’s renewal is as competitive as ever, with 21 runners set to do battle.

Dual winner Geos (2000 and 2004) scored the second of his triumphs as a nine-year-old but he is the only one of the last 19 winners not aged between five and eight.

This trend rules out the 10-year-olds Self Defense and Caracciola, as well as the Irish-trained trio of Pedrobob, Moore’s Law and New Field who are nine.

Geos bucked another trend when scoring his 2004 victory off the back of one previous run that term. Each of the other 18 winners dating back to 1984 had raced between two and six times.

The David Pipe-trained My Immortal easily won a Towcester novice event on his sole start but would have to defy the norm and emulate Geos, while Heathcote has had eight starts already this season and both are overlooked.

Good form in the current campaign is important in such a high-class handicap with only King Credo (fourth both starts) in 1993 winning the totesport Trophy having been unable to finish in the first two at least once that season.

Quatre Heures’ best placing in three starts is sixth, so Ruby Walsh’s mount is discarded.

Importantly, 15 of the last 19 winners finished in the first three last time out including six of the last seven. Kawagino, Victram, Orcadian, Pirate Flagship and Bongo Fury all failed in this respect and are passed over.

All of the past 19 winners returned at odds of 16/1 or less, which rules out Private Be who is a general 25/1 chance, Rio De Janeiro (33/1) and Crow Wood who is priced between 25/1 and 40/1.

This leaves five in-form candidates with solid claims in Acambo, Mister Hight, Papini, Overstrand and Tarlac.

The Martin Pipe-trained duo Make A Stand (1997) and Copeland (2002) both carried 11st 7lb to victory but no horse in the past 19 renewals has shouldered more than that to victory.

This rules out the David Pipe-trained favourite Acambo, subject of a big plunge this week, who has top-weight of 11st 12lb and the Willie Mullins-trained Mister Hight who is burdened with 11st 11lb.

Looking back at the number of times winners ran prior to landing the totesport Trophy, Codebreaker’s analysis shows that 12 of the past 19 winners raced three times or less, meaning that Overstrand is dropped from consideration as he has run five times this term.

This leaves a very difficult task in trying to split the Nicky Henderson-trained pair, Papini and Tarlac.

Henderson has a fantastic record in the race having won four of the last eight contests with Sharpical (1998), Geos (2000 & 2004) and Landing Light (2001).

Codebreaker’s study of Henderson’s four recent successes in the race reveals that Sharpical in 1998 and Geos in 2000 both contested the Ladbroke Handicap Hurdle at Leopardstown immediately prior to landing the Totesport Trophy at Newbury. Sharpical was sixth while Geos was second.

The Ladbroke is now staged at Ascot and Henderson relied on Tarlac this season, with the JP McManus-owned gelding running on from the back to take second behind Acambo in that valuable event, while Papini took the less competitive Ladbrokes.com Handicap Hurdle at Sandown in January.

This means that this week’s Codebreaker selection is TARLAC who was a Group Three winner on the Flat in Germany and is a progressive young hurdler.

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

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