Ryan can get in on the Act
Ian Ogg picks out the key statistics from both the Weatherbys Super Sprint and the Betfred Summer Plate.
The Weatherbys Super Sprint got off to a terrific start with smart sprinters Paris House and Lyric Fantasy winning the first two runnings.
The latter was the first of seven winners for Richard Hannon whose name has become synonymous with the race and Lilbourne Lass came within a neck of making it eight in last year's renewal.
It surely won't be long until his son's name appears on the roster of winners and he has leading claims with Tiggy Wiggy who ran so well in the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot and fillies do have a strong record in this contest.
The winning fillies have, however, all carried significantly less weight and the yard do have another strong string to their bow in Parsley who could well appreciate the return to racing over the minimum after coming up short in Listed and Group Two company over six.
It may not be wise to rule out any of the stable's runners too hastily given that Lady Livius was a 100/1 winner for the yard in 2005 and, not surprisingly, she is the only maiden to have won this prize.
Richard Fahey won last year's race having gone close two years previously and he also has a strong team with last year's successful jockey Paul Hanagan aboard Diamond Creek.
Her form ties in with Parsley from Newmarket where the Fahey runner was ridden with more restraint than had previously been the case and proved far too keen but it was noted that Tony Hamilton had a job pulling her up after the line suggesting that the race may not have taken too much out of her.
Kevin Ryan has endured a number of near-misses. He has a very respectable strike-rate when booking Jamie Spencer who rides Carlisle maiden winner Fast Act.
Ryan named this race as his target in the aftermath of that victory when describing the Fast Company colt as 'a horse we like' and perhaps he could be the one to hand his trainer a deserved change in luck.
Pillar Box is an interesting runner for a yard that won this race in 2008. He showed little on debut but stepped up markedly on that level of form at Bath and he is out of a half-sister to 2010 winner Temple Meads so this first foal certainly looks the part on paper.
Harry's Dancer is a filly representing powerful connections who receives weight from the majority of her rivals. She raced prominently at Thirsk but was ridden with more restraint at Royal Ascot in the Queen Mary.
She was around six lengths behind Tiggy Wiggy that day but now receives 15lbs which gives her obvious claims.
There was no renewal in 2007 but the statistics do cover the last 10 runnings.
Weatherbys Super Sprint
- Seven winners carried between 8-5 and 8-12.
- Nine winners had won over 5 furlongs; none had scored over further.
- Nine winners had won a race.
- Fillies have won four renewals.
- Richard Hannon has trained three winners.
- Four winners have been drawn in stalls 1 and 2, one in 5, four between 9 & 13 and one in 21.
- Six winners have been returned at a single figure SP.
- Two favourites have been successful with a further two placed.
- Only one winner (Temple Meads: 1/1) was unbeaten.
- No winner had been beaten more than twice, seven had been beaten no more than once.
- Four winners had run at Royal Ascot (two Norfolk, one Windsor, one Queen Mary).
- Two winners made their debut in April, five in May and two in June.
- Nine winners either made all or tracked the pace.
- Nine winners were related to juvenile winners; the exception was a first foal.
The renewals of the Betfred Summer Plate prior to 2005 were run over a distance of two and a half miles and have been ignored in terms of the statistics which, therefore, cover a nine-year period.
However, it is worth noting that Peter Bowen (four wins in total) and Martin Pipe (Martin won two renewals and son David has won one) enjoyed success in the preceding three years with Bowen's representative scoring on his handicap chase bow, as did his 2006 winner Yes Sir.
Those three winners included two horses that had won their preceding start, further enhancing the good record of in-form runners, while none of the trio had raced more than 11 times over fences.
It's A Gimme is a fascinating entry for Jonjo O'Neill given that he was a smart handicap hurdler but Guess Again has a pretty solid profile for the Pond House team.
Intriguingly, seven winners have been fitted with an aid, either headgear or a tongue-tie, and the Milan gelding has shown improved form since being fitted with blinkers.
Betfred Summer Plate
- Winners have been aged between six and 10.
- Winners have carried between 10-6 and 11-5.
- Winners have been rated between 127 and 139.
- Eight winners finished in the first three on their preceding start; five were successful and the exception was brought down.
- Seven winners were returned at a single figure SP with two favourites successful.
- Seven winners had had no more than 14 chase starts in GB.
- Seven winners had won a handicap chase; of the exceptions, one was making his handicap chase bow and the other had run in just two such races.
- Seven winners had won over at least two miles six.