Form's temporary, class is Constant
We analyse the last 10 renewals of Sunday's John Smith's Scottish County Hurdle at Musselburgh and pick out the key statistics.
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- Winners have been aged 5, 6 (six), 7 and 8 (two).
- Winners have carried between 10-0 and 11-12 with six 11-0 or more.
- The last seven winners have been rated between 111 and 130 with five between 124 and 130.
- Winners have been priced between 2/1 and 14/1 with only one favourite obliging.
- Seven of the winners raced prominently or made all.
- Eight winners had their preceding start in December or January.
- Six winners finished in the first four on their preceding start, only one was successful.
- Seven winners were winning for the first time that season (including one on his seasonal reappearance).
- Six winners had previously contested a class 1 hurdle race; three were having either there first or second start in a handicap.
The Scottish County Hurdle has been run as a 0-145 for the last five years, as a 0-140 for the two years prior to that and a 0-120 earlier in the decade.
Both eight-year-old winners came when the race was a 0-120 and younger horses have dominated the race in recent seasons. The field can quickly be reduced to just half a dozen candidates, therefore, and Calaf and Lifetime both look too low in the ratings leaving a quartet of Brick Red, Constant Contact, Ingleby Spirit and Creekside to concentrate upon.
Brick Red is progressing rapidly but no winner has yet to defy a rating of above 130 and it may prove worth taking a chance with Constant Contact on his second start for Charlie Longsdon.
Without a win since mid-summer, he's slipped to a handy mark and wasn't entirely disgraced in a very hot class 1 handicap hurdle at Cheltenham in November. He could find this company more to his liking as he drops back in trip from two and a half miles.