Wednesday 18 July 2018

Cox's classy Bear can claw out a reason for Celebration

Adam Kirby riding Kodi Bear, centre (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
Adam Kirby riding Kodi Bear, centre (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)

Wayne Bailey

Back in the mid-80s, most families I knew got their milk from the milkman each morning. It came, as many readers will remember, in glass bottles.

At breakfast time in the Bailey household at least, everyone wanted to be the first to tear off the foil and use the new bottle as the first pour contained the delicious cream, which had separated from the milk. The cream, as they say, rises to the top and that's true in racing too with the best-rated horses winning much more often than those with an average or lower rating.

Admittedly, I'm pointing out the blindingly obvious here - but as discussed quite often in this column, there's a lot to be said about keeping it simple when it comes to racing and betting.

Take Group One races for example: had you backed the horse which was top of the official ratings (or joint-top) in every contest since 2003 you'd have had 183 winners from 660 bets (28pc). A tenner on each at SP produced a profit of just over €520.

With a bit of selectivity and analysis thrown in, it's not as hard as it might seem to earn a decent return betting in the big races.

In Group Twos, the horses are not quite as good but, even still, the strike-rate for the joint-top- and top-rated horse is reasonably high at 25pc with 162 wins from 652 bets. At just under €50, the profit to a €10 stake is a lot less than in the Group Ones but a win-rate of one-in-four and a small profit is certainly not a bad starting point when tackling any type of race.

Priced in the region of 8/11, backers of Kodi Bear are expecting the colt to add to that Group Two tally in the Doom Bar Celebration Mile (3.45 Goodwood) and considering he's 4lbs clear on ratings at 117, I reckon he's a pretty solid bet to do so.

As the only three-year-old in the field, he gets to race off 8st 12lbs instead of 9st 4lbs, which is another plus.

Trained by Clive Cox, his Group 3 win at Salisbury was most impressive and that came on the back of a reasonable display in a French Group One in which he finished fourth.

This type of race is well within his capabilities and it would seem that jockey Gerald Mosse has a straight-forward penalty kick to take this afternoon. All that said, backing horses at 8/11 doesn't do a whole lot for the bank balance so for a bit more value, a chance is taken on Belvoir Bay in the Group Three Prestige Fillies Stakes (2.00 Goodwood) at 3/1 or so.

A notable winner of a nursery here last time, it's fair to say that her opening mark was way too low as she hacked up in what had looked a competitive race on paper beforehand.

Previously, she was sixth in the 22-runner Super Sprint at Wetherby and the form of that race has worked out reasonably well.

The horse that finished behind her was her stablemate Great Page (which has gone on to win a Group Three in France) and it's interesting to see that Hannon has Great Page entered for a Group One at the Curragh in September.

At Newmarket, the George Margarson-trained Lucky Kristale has strong claims around 9/4 in the Listed Hopeful Stakes (3.25).Successful at Group Two level last term, she's yet to register a win as a three-year-old but she was unlucky not to win the Group Three Summer Stakes at York having been left with too much to do.


Chalked up at a nice each-way price of 10/1 yesterday evening, I like the look of Withernsea in the 888sport Handicap at Goodwood (2.35).

He was third in a handicap at Newbury this month which wasn't the worst result considering he ended up racing a little bit away from the main pack. The handicapper has treated him fairly, leaving him on a mark of 89.

Today's selections

2.00pm Goodwood: Belvoir Bay

2.35pm Goodwood: Withernsea (e/w)

3.10pm Goodwood: Fun Mac

3.25pm Newmarket: Lucky Kristale

3.45pm Goodwood: Kodi Bear

6.35pm Windsor: Fascinating Rock

Irish Independent

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