I’m looking at a 50-1 left field choice for the Portland
12 September 2014
There were sighs of relief all round after Kingston Hill was a confirmed runner in the Ladbrokes St Leger on Friday. I say that, but it is a bit selfish really as I need to him to take his place in the line-up at Doncaster to keep the price of Windshear up so I can back him each-way at 8-1. I’m going in again after Goodwood and the Gordon Stakes as I thought the Sussex venue didn’t suit him.
I love the Ladbrokes Portland Handicap. Remember Hello Mister? He loved it too, as did Halmahera, and this year there could be a right upset.
I know Intrinsic and Muthmir will do battle once more, not only for market leadership but in the race too, but I’m looking beyond left field and into next door’s garden with Viva Verglas.
Plenty of three-year-olds have won this race so I’m looking to the canny David Barron, who trains my selection and has also won the race in the past.
The horse is lightly raced, drawn well and won’t mind the ground. I’m praying he won’t mess about and miss the start like on his latest two races. Ignoring those he’ll race up with the pace so shouldn’t get in any trouble.
Over in Ireland John F Kennedy will put his Classic credentials to the test in the John Deere Juvenile Turf Stakes at 4.05 at Leopardstown and in the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes I’m going to take a chance on The Grey Gatsby reversing form with the mighty Australia, mainly because I thought he could have been much closer in the Juddmonte International at York.
On Sunday in France while most of you will be keen to watch Treve, I’m looking forward to Bawina against Toronado in the Prix Moulin. Especially now that Kiyoshi has franked Bawina’s form with her win at Doncaster this week. She gets lumps of weight from the fillies’ allowance and she has immense talent, providing she settles.
The drama surrounding Cotai Glory on Friday caused in-running carnage on the exchanges. Nobody will remember Beacon won the Flying Childers, instead many tales will be told in betting shops around the country about how they were on the moral winner after George Baker appeared to be shipped before the line. Paddy Power were quick off the mark to refund on Cotai Glory, while Ladbrokes refunded on Cotai Glory singles.
On course, it was another good result for bookmakers on a day where trading was light. One punter had £1000 each-way on Mind Of Madness at 11-1, if he had looked three doors down it was 12-1!
Some bookmakers continued to reflect on how punters refused to migrate from the champagne lawn. I bet Mind Of Madness would have done well to be 10-1 in that area. It’s a matter of convenience for those enjoying the refreshments, the music, and the chatter. They certainly were not there to try to seize any 13-8 about Doncaster Cup Estimate or indeed 6-4 before she was sent off at 11-8.
Her win was a case of class shining through.
Kalaan, ran a blinder in third and I look forward to Sabrina Harty’s runner turning up at Cheltenham next month, fingers crossed.
Cotai Glory wasn’t the only one to fail to keep a straight line - Danzeno and Nafaqa also took the scenic route but kept their partnership with their jockeys intact.
Nafaqa won the race which burst White Lake’s bubble, however I’m not giving up on Luca Cumani’s runner yet, especially as Nafaqa advertised his talent back at Royal Ascot in June.
Tanya Stevenson’s Saturday tips:
3.55 Longchamp Sunday: Bawina
Tanya Stevenson’s Saturday pointers:
Seventeen of the last 30 favourites have won the Ladbrokes St Leger.
Eighteen of the last 20 winners of the Ladbrokes St Leger finished no worse than third on their most recent start.
Since 2000 five St Leger winners had run in the Gordon Stakes.
Aidan O’Brien has won the St Leger four times.
Over the last 50 years only Ribocco in 1967, Reference Point in 1987 and Brian Boru in 2003 have completed the Racing Post Trophy/St Leger double (today Kingston Hill).
Of the last nine Gordon Stakes winners to run in the St Leger four have won (1998 Nedawi, 2000 Millenary, 2006 Sixties Icon, 2008 Conduit).
Fourteen of the last 17 winners had run in either Goodwood’s Gordon Stakes or York’s Great Voltigeur.
From the last 28 horses to have run in the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot only Mastery and Leading Light have won (today Hartnell & Marzocco).
Since 1994 from the 27 horses to run in the King Edward VII Stakes to come on to Doncaster, ten won the St Leger, two came second and two finished third (today Scotland, Snow Sky & Odeon).
From John Gosden’s last 10 St Leger runners he has had four winners and a third.
Only three of the last ten favourites have won the Champagne Stakes.
Five of the last ten winners of the Champagne Stakes won on their most recent run.
Frankie Dettori has won the Champagne Stakes five times: 2000 Noverre, 2001 Dubai Destination, 2002 Almushahar, 2009 Poet’s Voice, 2010 Saamidd.
Seven of the last ten winners of the Champagne Stakes have gone on to run in the Dewhurst, none won at Newmarket.
Six of the last eight winners of the Champagne Stakes have gone on to run in the Qipco 2000 Guineas, Vital Equine got the nearest by finishing second.
Only one winning favourite of the Portland Handicap in the last ten years (five winning favourites in the last 20 years).
Nine of the last ten winners of the Portland Handicap were no better than fifth in the betting.
Only two winners of the Portland Handicap since 2000 had won on their most recent start.
Seven of the last ten winners of the Portland were drawn 12 or higher.
David Nicholls last 30 Portland runners have all been beaten.
Eight of the last ten winners of the Portland Handicap were aged no older than five.
Eight of the last ten winners of the Park Stakes had run in a Group One.
Eight of the last ten winners of the Park Stakes had already won over seven furlongs.
Five of the last eight winners of the Park Stakes had run in the Lennox Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.