I’ll be honest I’ve not spent much time looking ahead at the start of the flat season today, good to have it back mind as we won’t have to worry about any obstacles appearing in the way. It’s a funny old thing really come November I was dreading the end of the flat and start of the jumps and now after getting into the jumps especially so the last few months I’ll be sad to see it go and the flat return. I will say though it’s not geared to one week in March like the jumps and it won’t be long and we’ll have the Guineas, Epsom, Royal Ascot, King George, Goodwood, York, Doncaster Leger etc all pushed upon us.
Looked at a few statistics over the last five years at Catterick. In each of the last four seasons following Silvestre De Sousa with level £1 stakes would have returned a healthy £142.36 with a 21% strike rate. What’s more impressive is that in those four seasons every year he was in profit with +12.52 in 2010; +81 in 2009 distorted by a 66/1; +16.83 in 2008 and +32 in 2007. Distance wise over the past five years De Sousa at Catterick has the best strike rate at races over 13f+ and he shows a profit in handicaps over the past 5 years. With all that information ingrained into the brain, I headed on to take a look at his rides later.
3.20 Baltimore Clipper – De Sousa is 4 from 12 for Cole so a decent record, although level stakes profit is only +2 suggesting the winners were well fancied.
3.50 Thrust Control – De Sousa is 0 from 8 for Brian Ellison and although Thrust Control is top rated in this claimer he does have to give weight to some likeable Dandy Nicholls runners (Nicholls has a good record at Catterick and also in selling/claiming class)
4.50 Eijaaz – Priced up at 11/1 currently. This is one I like the look of – more below.
5.20 Ezzles – Back on a Paul Cole trained 3 year old. Ezzles may need the run racing against others who have been running on the all weather.
Anyways back to Eijaaz. Horse is trained by Geoff Harker whose record at Catterick is far better than anywhere else with a 21% strike rate and +31.38 profit over the past five years. That improves slightly with horses older than 4. When Harker teams up with De Sousa with an older horse again the partnership is in profit with +17.58 and an 18% strike rate. The horse meanwhile should obviously not be forgotten and has dropped slightly in the weights since the beginning of last year, then he was racing in the low 60s and today he races of 58. Back in the early part of 2010 the horses record albeit in a number of claimers and handicaps was 23111, he’s run well in previous years in the first half of the year and he likes Catterick having won 5 of his 17 attempts from the track, 3 wins from 40 elsewhere. De Sousa has a good record on Eijaaz having partnered him 7 times, with 3 wins and 2 further placings. It’s obviously quite a wide open race but I’m going to take a chance on the stats and nominate Eijaaz as the first bet of the flat season.
4.50 Eijaaz 0.5pt e/w @ 11/1
System Bets – complete washout yesterday typically!
- 7.00 Palm Pilot – E Dunlop (14 Days) (4)
- 7.00 School For Scandal – M Johnston/G Fairley (7 Days) (4)
- 7.30 Stargazing – M Botti/A Kirby (7 Days) (6)
- 2.10 Swift Lord – G Moore/J Moore (7 Days) (4)
- 4.10 Any Given Moment – D McCain/J Maguire (7 Days) (5)
- 5.10 Franklin Roosevelt – W Greatrex (7 Days) (6)
- 2.50 Masked Dance – K Ryan/P Makin (14 Days) (5)
- 3.50 Apache Ridge – K Ryan/P Makin (14 Days) (6)
- 5.20 Yours – K Ryan/P Makin (14 Days) (6)
Good Luck, Lonesome Pundit.