Battle Stations at Ludlow

There is always a chance for an edge in amateur rider events as there is the disparity of ability more commonly associated with the dads school day sack race.

Today’s Ludlow closer (1705) throws up just such a chance in the form of the well bred Jonjo O’Neill junior (his sire won the Gold Cup on Dawn Run). He has a 4 from 20 winning record and is a very tidy youngster just making his way.  The benefit of his inexperience is a valuable weight claim.

His mount today is the veteran Colbert Station and the pair have been busy this Spring, running a fine 3rd last time at Bangor to two Cheltenham-bound opponents.

His chief opponent is the odds-on Persian Snow, who defied a near 2 year absence to make all here 3 weeks ago under owner-rider David Maxwell (5 from 33 strike rate).

Even if we accept Persian Snow can avoid the dreaded “bounce” which often afflicts horses having a second run after a prolonged break, his performance that day merited a rating of 130, just 9 clear of Colbert Station. However there is a 4lb weight difference today, plus the two extra pounds allowed to Jonjo, closes that gap to an effective 3lbs, and that assumes Jonjo is only the equally of Mr. Maxwell and not actually superior.

In what is effectively a match with weak opponents making up the field, the bookies price these two horses to take 92% of the market at 8-15 Persian Snow and 11-4 Colbert Station. This seems to flatter the favourite, the 3lb discrepancy should probably price this closer to 4-6 vs 2-1 (taking the same aggregate share of the market). Throw in the “bounce” risk and young Jonjo starts to look like a decent bet.

Recommendation: Colbert Station (1705) Ludlow, 11-4 generally available

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