The 171st anniversary of Europe’s most valuable flat handicap, the Ebor Heritage Handicap has once more attracted top class entries all seeking to grab at least a share of the £250,000 pot. Number Theory comes to try and better his 3rd from last year alongside Steps To Freedom, Camborne, Blue Bajan and Crackentorp who all finished further down the field in 2012.
I’ll be taking a look back at the runners in the previous 16 years of this event to try and find some trend bias for this year’s runners.
Whilst the Ebor is open to 3 year old’s, not many seem to take up entries as it’s quite a tough race and those inexperienced are unsuited to the hustle and bustle of such a race.
As we can see anything 7 years or older has performed poorly whilst 4yo’s have also massively underperformed and we will eliminate both of these which removes 34 of the 53 currently holding entries.
ELIMINATED: El Salvador, Model Pupil, Sun Central, Shiekhzayedroad, Opinion, Steps To Freedom, Guarantee, Montaser, Pallasator, Tiger Cliff, Blue Surf, Handsome Man, Bishop Roko, Saptapadi, Saytara, Suraj, Ustura, Hanoverian Baron, Noble Silk, Al Saham, Blue Bajan, Itlaaq, Scatter Dice, Signed Up, Arch Villain, Crackentorp, Mysterious Man, Suegioo, Party Line, Nanton, Cranach, Alhellal & Wyborne.
A very valuable handicap which means the race is decided on margins and there can be no room for error, which means horses must be fighting fit to realistically stand a chance.
|Days Since Ran||Runs||Wins||AIV|
|1 to 10 days||10||0||0.00|
|11 to 20 days||82||5||19.88|
|21 to 30 days||92||6||21.26|
|31 to 60 days||109||5||14.95|
|61 to 120 days||22||0||0.00|
Clearly fitness is major factor and you don’t really want to be backing a horse who’s run might come to soon after his last one or one that could be in need of the run.
ELIMINATED: Well Sharp, Genzy, Novirak, Apache & Plinth.
BEST IN 3
All of the last 16 winners had finished at least 3rd in one of their last three runs. Whilst looking a fairly obvious trend, 50 horses have participated in this race and all have lost, whilst the place stats are significantly poorer than their counterparts too.
ELIMINATED: Cousin Khee, Art History & Royal Peculiar.
No horse has won this race carrying more than 9 stone 4lbs and no horse has won this rated higher than 102. Those two stats intertwine a cutoff point on Well Sharp who carries 9-4 and is rated 102. With weak place statistics to back up this trend of weight being too much, I’ll strike out anything that meets it.
ELIMINATED: Harris Tweed, Camborne, Songcraft & Number Theory.
CAREER WIN %
Their is disparity over the career strike rates of Ebor runners. Those with a strike rate of 20% or less have won just 3 races from almost half the runners (153). This is in stark contrast to runners with a greater strike rate who have won 13 of the races from 173 runners.
ELIMINATED: Oriental Fox & Warlu Way.
DISTANCE PLACE %
The last factor I would want to apply is in terms of place strike rate over today’s distance. 52 horses have raced in the Ebor having place on every occasion when racing over today’s distance providing 6 winners and an additional 12 placers. That’s a fairly substantial bias towards those already proven to run well over this trip.
ELIMINATED: Caravan Rolls On, No Heretic & Ted Veale.
I’m left with just two horses, one being Highland Castle who races for the 8th time in just over 3 months since making his comeback after missing the entire 2012 season and most recently placed twice over 16 furlongs. Has stayed on well both times there but probably in easier races than this and there doesn’t look like there’s much progress left over this trip.
Tropical Beat for me represents a better prospect, having taken his time to get going under top weight on his seasonal reappearance he stayed on nicely to finish second. Previously second on final start of last season to Sir Graham Wade, who followed that win with another in a Class 2 handicap before finishing runner-up in a Listed race and then finally winning a Listed race all in his next and final three starts of that season. That was only his first try at 1m6f and it followed his 3rd at the Ebor Festival over two furlongs shorter so he can handle this track and this week’s bigger fields.
Can’t find many negatives for David O’Meara’s runner and it helps that the trainer is also hitting some decent form at the moment so I expect a big run from Tropical Beat. The 25/1 currently available represents fantastic value I feel.
TROPICAL BEAT: 2PTS EACH WAY @ 25/1