Carlo can claim the limelight

  • By: Ian Ogg
  • Last Updated: August 29 2014, 16:26 BST

Ian Ogg analyses the last 10 renewals of Saturday's St James Theatre Handicap at Sandown and picks out the key statistics.

What About Carlo and Jimmy Fortune - a match made in heaven
What About Carlo and Jimmy Fortune - a match made in heaven

The last six renewals of the St James Theatre Handicap are the ones to concentrate on as the race conditions have changed significantly in the last decade.

From 2004 through to 2006, the race was run as a class three handicap with a rating band of 0-90 with the 2007 renewal run as a 0-100 and a class two contest but the last six renewals have been run as an open handicap.

Three of the five double figure SP winners came in the race's previous guise with winners returning at 6/1, 11/2, 6/1 and 8s in the first four runnings under the current conditions but the last two winners have scored at 16s and 12s.

Luca Cumani has sent out two winners and Ajmany merits respect with placed form at this trip and in this grade while his handicap rating is also in the right precinct.

Mark Johnston hasn't got on the scoresheet but he has sent out runners to finish second in each of the last two seasons as well as the third in 2011. They were rated 90, 90 and 81 so Busatto is certainly in the right ball park from a perch of 89.

He's well drawn to attack and given that front-runners and prominent racers often fare well at this track, then it's perhaps no surprise that the Middleham handler has been knocking on the door.

Tinghir has held some big race entries in his time and it wouldn't be a surprise to see a big run from him if the blinkers have the desired effect but it may be worth taking a chance that What About Carlo can return to form.

An impressive winner at the track over a mile in April, he won another competitive race at Epsom's Derby meeting prompting trainer Eve Johnson Houghton to remark 'this horse and Jimmy are a match made in heaven. The drop of rain definitely helped on the downhill. My Eclipse entry doesn´t look so frigging stupid now.'

He may not have lived up to that lofty entry but it's possible to offer plausible excuses for his last two runs (other than that the handicapper has got him). There's some cut in the ground, Jimmy Fortune is back in the saddle and should be able to position the three-year-old where he wants to from the one box.

  • Winners have been aged three, four (6), five, six and eight.

  • The last six winners have been rated 95 and 103 with five between 95 and 98.

  • Winners have been priced between 11/2 and 20/1.

  • Two favourites (incl. joint) have been successful with a further one placed.

  • Eight winners were drawn in a single figure stall.

  • Two winners were successful on their preceding start; the remainder were all unplaced.

  • Five of the last six winners had had no more than 10 career starts.

  • The last seven winners had either won (3) or been placed in a class two handicap.

  • Nine winners had winning form over the distance.