Friday 24 November 2017

Betting Ring: Luck of the draw favours Numbers in my Chester 'system'

Wayne Bailey

BACK in February 1539, the Lord Mayor of Chester, Henry Gee, gave permission for horseracing to take place along the banks of the River Dee and henceforth horses that spent their life racing in the area (as opposed to working) were referred to as Gee-Gees.

It was one of the first recorded horse races in England and Chester is famed as being the oldest track in the country.

Not only is it the oldest, but it's also one of the smallest and sharpest at a distance of just nine furlongs. With the course being so tight, it's no secret that horses which are given a low draw have a huge advantage. However, despite this knowledge, punters still seem to underestimate their chances.

Had you done nothing else but blindly backed all horses in stall one for example, you'd have had 86 winners from 492 bets (17pc) since 2003 and show a profit of 62pts.

Stall two has provided a similar number of winners and a healthy profit, but as we move further down the line, the win-rate decreases significantly for animals drawn in higher stalls. It makes sense, then, to concentrate on horses drawn in stalls one and two and as one would expect, the low-draw advantage is even greater in five and six-furlong sprints.

Handicap races work particularly well as, in theory, each horse is given an equal chance at winning, although I do prefer to concentrate on horses with proven ability, so I stick with the top three in the weights.

My Chester system (for want of a better word), is to back horses in stalls one and two in five and six-furlong handicaps provided they are in the top three in the weights.

Since 2003, that approach has produced 28 winners from 96 bets (29pc) and produced a level-stakes profit of over 45pts.

It's a simple enough system, but it's based on common-sense principles. A couple of horses qualify today, but the one that really catches the eye is David O'Meara's Lucky Numbers in the Tsingtao Chinese Beer Handicap (2.45) at a nice each-way price of 10/1.

Aside from the fact that he gets an ideal draw in stall one, the seven-year-old has shown plenty of ability at Catterick recently and even though he's creeping up in the weights, he may not have reached his limit off a mark of 85.

My only worry is that he sometimes exits the stalls slowly, so I hope he gets out cleanly to take full advantage of his low draw.

At Haydock, there's a couple of Group Three races on the card and Roger Varian's Eton Forever gets a tentative vote in the The John Of Gaunt Stakes (3.15), priced around 2/1.

He won the Buckingham Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2012 and later put in a career-best when taking a good quality Listed race on his return to action last month. The one worry is that his best form comes on softer ground, so I'm hoping his class can see him through.

Each-way outsider

WHILE some place money was earned, I was gutted when last week's each-way selection, Fair Value, was beaten in the dying strides in the Epsom Dash at 12/1.

She had led for most of the way and even traded at 1/25 in-running, but she was crowded out at the finish and had to settle for a place.

Today's selection No Heretic, trained by David Simcock, is a good deal shorter at 6/1, but a 4lb rise for his recent win at Newmarket may not be enough to hold him back.

He's been placed in seven of his eight outings to date (including three wins) and Simcock has been quite shrewd in choosing races for the Galileo colt. He looks certain to go close in today's John Sunley Memorial Levy Board Handicap at Newmarket (3.30).

Today's selections

2.45 Chester: Lucky Numbers (e/w)

3.0 Catterick: Tomintoul Magic

3.15 Haydock: Eton Forever

3.30 Newmarket: No Heretic (e/w)

4.25 Haydock: Professor

6.15 Stratford: Man Of Leisure



IT was disappointing to see Tomintoul Magic finish fifth of seven runners in a maiden at Doncaster last time out, but she has ability based on her previous two races and is worth another chance at even-money. A drop down to the minimum five-furlong trip should make all the difference Sir Henry Cecil's charge today (3.0 Catterick).


THE Dubs comfortably beat Wexford in both the Walsh Cup and the Allianz League this year and Anthony Daly's men can be trusted to land the half-time/full-time result at 4/6 this evening.

* Last week's double was successful on both legs at an overall price of 11/10

Irish Independent

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