The expert behind Tony's Trends
The expert behind Tony's Trends
I am going to start by reviewing the two races I covered in earlier Trends articles. Firstly, The Spring Cup, where the primary selection was backed into Favourite, but ran no race at all. Different tactics resulted in him finishing well down the field, but the saver did me proud, placing at excellent odds of 16/1, which ensured an even-stevens outcome. For the second race in a row a Trends-buster won, as Modern News carried the most weight to victory since 2001.
Next, I put up three horses in one of the most difficult races of the year to pick a winner, The Irish Grand National. On this occasion the race was won by a horse that qualified on Trends, but once again I had discounted, although in fairness not many others found him either.
Frontal Assault, who I advised as the main selection when he was available at 33/1, ran a blinder to come second and looked at times like he was going to win. Ultimately, some wayward jumping down the back in the final lap, meant he conceded multiple lengths to the winner – which meant the difference between a nice and a fantastic return.
Of the savers, Velvet Elvis did better and finished a creditable sixth, having been available at 25/1 when advised. He travelled well, but was found slightly wanting at the business end. That said, he is only a six-year-old and is certainly one for the notebook going forward.
Combined, the placed horses returned a nice profit for us and only Ten Ten let us down for more place money. He made a few early mistakes, but was moving forward when he was badly hampered by Battleoverdoyen, who fell at the 15th and then hampered further by Mount Ida when she slipped up.
Unfortunately, this ruined any hope of him placing and his jockey (sensibly) accepted his fate and pulled the horse up. Overall, I’m still happy with the results we achieved and feel we were very close to a really nice win.
This week, I will try to use the Trends to solve the puzzle of The Bet 365 Gold Cup. As always, I’ll use results from 1988 onwards to see what the previous winners (and the two who were first past the post but disqualified) have in common.
Since 1988 all 35 winners, or first past the post, have been aged six years (x 1), seven years (x 9), eight years (x 10), nine years (x 8), ten years (x 3), or eleven years (x 4, the last of which came in 1997).
By and large, the market has been relatively good at finding the winners of the race. However, outright Favourites have a poor record (just two have won and then there were the two disqualified winners) although many have been in the top five places.
Seventeen previous winners were returned at 10/1 or less, a further ten horses at 14/1 or less, and five winners were priced between 16/1 and 25/1.
A wide range of weights have been carried, with some winning from out of the Handicap and others carrying as much as 11-12 to victory.
In short, the Trends indicate we are looking for a horse aged from seven to eleven years, who has been competing in high-profile, long-distance Chases, or who is a novice.
Firstly, I will discount those that do not fit the age criterion, which removes the 12-year-old Step Back and the six-year-old Kitty’s Light.
I will also discount both Potterman and Enrilo (the current Favourite) as they both carry over 11-00.
Next, I will remove the three horses whose current SP does not meet the Trends, so we lose Prime Venture, El Paso Wood and Via Dolorosa. I will also overlook Hewick, who is around 25/1, but has had a busier season than most recent winners, having run nine times already and Fidux, who has also run more often than ideal this season.
Two others I will also discount are Cap Du Nord (who has already run in 28 Chases) as well as Musical Slave and Flegmatik. The latter two are not novices, but have not followed the traditional route of competing in high-profile, long-distance Chases.
The process now leaves us with just three qualifiers. In race card order they are Win My Wings, Domaine De L’Isle and Streets of Doyen.
Win My Wings has been a revelation this season and even though she has been raised 14lbs for her last win, where I reluctantly discounted her, I think there is even more to come. The manner of the win at Ayr was stunning. The mare cantered to the front and her jockey was able to relax and celebrate winning by seven lengths, hard held according to the commentator that day.
Domaine De L’Isle was well back in the field when Win My Wings won the Eider, but did not appear to be put into the race that day. He was out-running his 125/1 odds in the Aintree Grand National last time, when unseating his jockey at the fifteenth fence. Given this is the profile of several winners of this race, he remains of interest, even though he has a mountain to climb to win here, even with a massive 20lb pull in the weights.
The last qualifier is the Novice horse, Streets of Doyen, who has been mixing it with some of the top Novice Chasers this year. The field in the one Chase he won, which was at Galway, were a poor bunch of middle-of-the-road Handicappers and his jumping has been sketchy at best, particularly so when he has had to mix it with quality opposition.
The main selection is Win My Wings, to defy the rise in weight and give her trainer another long-distance Chase victory. She is trading well, with best odds at around 5/1 and some bookies are going five places. A great offer all round, so long as Win My Wings complies.
My saver this week is Domaine De Lisle, who is trading between 14/1 and 20/1 and makes for a value EW play, in the event the main selection fails to fire.