The Weekend Bulletin (Sat 11th May)
Last time around we featured Alex Peperell’s preview of the Qipco 2000 Guineas and his big priced selection, Shine So Bright (adv EW 33/1), attracted solid market support to go off at half the odds the colt had been available at in the run up to the Classic. He was quickly out of the gate and led the field for most of the way until not quite being able to go on with the others inside the final and had to settle for a creditable 6th place.
For the coming weekend there is decent racing at Ascot and Haydock and the former features the 2019 renewal of the Tote Victoria Cup Heritage handicap which was given the Nick Hardman treatment trends wise for the brand new Insiders Club Members Report.
The latest edition, Issue 183, also includes Alan Dudman’s preview of the Dante Festival at York (15th – 17th May) along with Mark Foley’s overview of the next Golf Major, the USA PGA Championship which is due to get underway on Thursday May 16th.
You can find out more about how the Insiders Club can help improve your punting enjoyment and more importantly your profits here.
Now over to Nick for his run through of the key trends to build into the mix for Ascot’s feature handicap.
Tote Victoria Cup (Heritage handicap; 7f) Ascot 4.00pm
A right old cavalry charge over 7f and a good opportunity to land a big priced winner.
There have been plenty of big priced winners over the years including Flash Fire and Ripp Orf at 20/1 to add to a list that has seen 33/1, 25/1 (three times) and 16/1 (twice) winners since 2000.
The last 20 renewals have seen just one trainer, David Elsworth, win this more than once so look out for his runners as he won this in 2015 and 2018.
16 of the last 20 winners posted a top 5 finish on their most recent start so look for a decent effort last time out whilst 4yo and 5yo runners have supplied 16 of the last 20 winners so I would be inclined to stick with that age group again this time around.
A race in the last 40 days is another positive stat and fits the bill for 17 of the 20 winners since 1997. A race in the last 7 days is a negative (1-43) but a break of 10 to 40 days seems to do the trick (15/19).
Seven furlongs is a bit of a specialist trip, requiring a blend of speed and stamina so no surprise to see that 15 of the last 20 winners had already been successful over the trip and no more than 2 runs in the current season is a strong statistic and only one of our winners had run more than twice in the current campaign.
The weights are a bit of a mixed bag and show no real trend. Generally, this has gone to something rated 85 to 96 (15 of the last 20 winners). We have had a couple of 100+ winners in recent years and 12 of the last 14 winners were rated 88+ so I am going to go with that.
18 of the last 20 winners were found in the top 13 in the betting and that might reduce the field in half.
We are looking for a horse with at least 7 career starts (18/20) and 1 to 3 career wins (16/20). A previous handicap win (16/20) is also needed as is a last time out run in Class 1 or 2 (18/20). Look out for horses arriving from a run at Kempton, Newbury or Newmarket (14/20).
Putting all that together gives us the following profile for the Victoria Cup:
- Top 5 finish LTO
- Previous winning form over 7f
- Off the track for 10 to 40 days
- No more than 2 runs in the current season
- Aged 4yo or 5yo
- Rated 88+
- Top 13 in the betting
- 7 career starts
- 1 to 3 career wins, including a handicap win
- Last ran in a class 1 or 2 race
- Last ran at Newmarket, Kempton, Newbury
Nick will be using the above trends to help in his deliberations and you can find out which of the runners he settles on below.
Tote Victoria Cup Ascot 4.00pm Sat 11th May
The sole qualifier is Presidential. A few are not far behind including Lake Volta who is up 3lbs for his all the way win last time (in a lower grade mind and had Ryan Moore on board). Two at big prices who could run well are Zap who is extremely talented and Alemaratalyoum. The former won a good race at Leopardstown last season and is on a reasonable mark on that form. All form is on good to firm but Richard Fahey has been quoted as saying any rain is in his favour and he won his maiden on good to soft. The latter is a proper mudlark and has form over 7f and 1 mile. The more rain the better for this one so I will include him as a bit of insurance should the heavens open.
Presidential (was 16/1) 9/1 Gen
Lake Volta @25/1 e/w (1/5 odds, 6 places, PP & BFSB)
Zap @33/1 e/w (1/5 odds, 6 places)
Alemaratalyoum @25/1 e/w (1/5 odds, 6 places)
Together We Can Win in 2019
Darren & Steve