Sport Horse Racing

Tuesday 20 February 2018

Take a chance on yair hill to subdue rivals

A couple of years ago, I read a great book by the Lebanese author Nassim Nicholas Taleb called 'Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets.'

This book should be required reading for all gamblers and it illustrates how the human mind tries to find patterns in any sequence of numbers. It claims that most traders and gamblers don't understand probability and continue to believe that certain events are non-random, finding patterns in data where none really exist.

Since reading it, I view most of the stats and trends that are so freely bandied about in racing with a great deal of scepticism. But, having said all that, there are times when statistics make you sit up and take notice and trainer John Dunlop's record at York is one such case.

The Sussex-based handler has sent 91 horses up to the course since 2003 with 21 of those winning (23pc) and had you stuck €10 on each, you'd be €980 better off today. For the each-way backers, €10 each-way would have returned a profit of over €1,120, with 44pc of their bets landing a place.


On the downside, Dunlop's stable is in horrendous form this year, sending out just a handful of winners, the latest of which was Mubaraza, which took a Newmarket handicap on June 29.

The veteran trainer, who first took out a licence 46 years ago, is sending just one horse to York today and, even if you leave the stats and figures aside, Yair Hill still looks a decent each-way prospect at 8/1 for the Stakes Handicap (2.35).

While the four-year-old has only won three times in 15 races, he's held his own in some decent handicaps and his fourth place at Newmarket last time can be discounted as he dislikes softer ground.

The handicapper has left him alone for now and, with the York ground described as good to firm at the time of writing, the colt has excellent place claims at the very least.

Dimension is another one to watch. On paper, his eighth place from 30 runners in the Royal Hunt Cup at Ascot last time is not hugely impressive, but he overcame a very tricky low draw and deserves credit for crossing the line with most of the field behind him.

At Ascot, Maureen is the one to side with in the Princess Margaret Juddmonte Stakes (3.25). She had a winning debut at Newbury back in June and was extremely unlucky not to take the Group Two Cherry Hinton at Newmarket last time.


It's amazing the difference that blinkers can make to some horses and Zero Money has come on in leaps and bounds since connections began using them last summer. He's a front-running sort, so, hopefully, James Doyle can get him out early today and keep him out of trouble in the Betfred Mobile Sports Handicap (2.55 Ascot), priced around 10/1.


2.35 York: Yair Hill (e/w)

2.55 Ascot: Zero Money (e/w)

3.25 Ascot: Maureen

4.35 Newmarket: Kimberella

Irish Independent

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