Portland Handicap – Key Trends and Free Tips

The Weekend Bulletin (Sat 15th Sept’18)

Last time around we shared one of our long standing contributors, Alan Dudman (betting.betfair), ante-post picks for the Flying Five Stakes over at the Curragh which are staging a cracking Irish Champions Weekend from tomorrow.

Unfortunately connections took an alternative route with Speak In Colours as he ran at Haydock in the 32Red Sprint Cup and he gave it his best shot in finishing 7th just behind the short priced favourite Harry Angel. That is the unfortunate side of long range betting but backing winners at big prices can more than compensate for the ones that don’t pan out.

For the coming weekend Doncaster feature the final Classic of the season, the St Leger, with 12 due to go to post headed in the market by Lah Ti Dar who last time out romped home by 10L in the Galtres Stakes at York.Free Race Profiling Instructions

The day’s proceedings get underway with the Class 2 Sprint, the Portland Handicap, which was one of the races that Nick Hardman covered in his trends article for the brand new Insiders Members Report (Issue 161). With that in mind the following is a summary of Nick’s findings which he will be using to narrow down the field to a select few contenders:-

Portland Handicap 5f 140y (1.50pm Doncaster Sat 15th Sept)

Not a bad race for favourite backers with 6 obliging since 1997. If you do not fancy the jolly then it has paid to look outside the front 4 in the betting as those from 5th favourite down have won this 15 times since 1997.

Last time out winners have a poor record (3-68, 4.4% strike rate) and may be ones to avoid. Likewise, 3yo’s have won just two renewals since 1997 and it looks like the best option is to stick to the 4yo and 5yo sprinters who account for 14 of the winners in that time, including 10 of the last 11.

There is the usual bumper field of 20+ runners due to race and we can begin to whittle the field down if we concentrate on those who arrive on the back of a top 6 finish as these account for 15 of the last 21 winners. In addition, a run within 28 days is a positive as all bar 3 of the last 21 winners tick that box. Given this is an intermediate distance it is no surprise to see that 16 of the last 21 winners had winning form over 6f or 7f.

From a ratings perspective, 11 of the last 14 winners were rated 95 – 100. 8 of the last 10 winners all carried 9st or more in keeping with those higher up the handicap. I am not too sure of the influence of the draw at Doncaster but 11 of the last 12 winners exited from a double figure stall so, from a trends point of view, a high draw has been largely beneficial in the last decade.

Between 1 and 5 handicap wins looks about right (17/21) and look for the class angle as 15 previous winners had tasted success at class 1 or 2 level previously.

Interestingly, horses dropping down from class 1 races are 1-47 and should be avoided on that score, with 18 previous winners having contested a class 2 or 3 contest last time.

Those trends leave us looking for the horses that fit the following profile:

• Rated 95 to 100
• Carrying 9st or more
• A run in the last 28 days
• A win at 6f or 7f
• Outside the top 4 in the betting
• Aged 4yo or 5yo
• Top 6 finish LTO
• Drawn 10 or higher
• Ran in a class 2 or 3 handicap last time out
• 1 to 5 handicap wins
• Previous class 1 or 2 winner

Sat 15th September

Doncaster 1.50pm
Golden Apollo @14/1 e/w (1/5 odds, 5 places)
Open Wide @16/1 e/w (1/5 odd, 5 places)
Blue De Vega @14/1 e/w (1/5 odds, 5 places)

Together We Can Win

Darren & Steve

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