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Old Borough Cup part two

I wouldn't normally print two previews of the same race but blog regular @kierankenneally has written a long piece centred around the favourite, Pallasator, which also happens to be the selection of my other contributor today.

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Old Borough Cup part two

Sir Mark Prescott's strike rate for the last 26 years stands at just under 21% and this year is no different from any of the previous. Of the top 90 trainers in the British Trainers Championship (5th Sept Racing Post) he has the best strike rate this year at 25%, and from a small string has had 18 individual winners from only 34 horses to run so far! (over 50%)

Not surprisingly the bookies are well aware of this remarkable trainer and even with those astonishing stats he has only shown a level stake profit in two of those 26 years! This however doesn't tell the full story and there are quite a few quirks, habits and patterns that can enable you to turn loss into profit!

He seldom has first time out runners ready to win, (except for some owners) his strike rate for 2yr olds is much less than his overall rate, ( except in Nursery's) he seems to have three distinct ways of training horses and sometimes it's possible to know when he's going to switch from one to the other by the gaps between races, the distance of the race, the choice of jockey, draw or even the track! I have immersed myself in this trainer like no other, because of his consistency, over the last number of years and I will never get to the bottom of this genius!

One of the greatest losses to racing over a long period of years in my opinion, and it seems to be his own choice is to do his own thing rather than train for some of the "bigger" owners! Primarily known as a trainer of staying handicappers I can't help wondering what would have happened with a regular supply of better horses! Occasionally he has had horses that reach Listed or Group level and I believe he has one such horse this year in Pallasator!

Pallasator first entered my notebook as a 2yr old on the 5-12-2011 when finishing 4th at Lingfield over a mile. He hasn't left my notebook since, because he hasn't lost since winning at SP's of 9/4, 7/2 and 11/4. His form can be best analysed on two horses he has beaten, Sound Hearts ( placed in 3 Listed races since) and Saytara.

After getting beaten by Pallasator, Saytara won her next race a C2 handicap by 7 lengths! In her only run of 2013 so far, she finished a close up 5th in a hot Ascot handicap behind Bishop Roko and Genzy. Genzy subsequently finished a close second in the Ebor Handicap and his form can be tied in quite closely with Group horses such as Red Cadeaux and Listed winner Lost in The Moment!

Pallasator was entered in the Ebor but was taken out late in the day because of concerns over the ground. The blow for connections was that it rained quite heavily the day before the race turning the ground good/soft and I believe he would have gone close if left in. Late season targets include the Cesarewitch on Oct 12th and this big striding horse can get his season off to a belated start at Haydock on Saturday.

After waiting 344 days for this horse to run, the anticipation for me is intense! Not just to see if he has trained on from his 3yr old days but also for the immense satisfaction I derive from identifying a horse as a 2yr old in a rubbish C6 race in the middle of winter at Lingfield that could progress to big race success and backing him with hard cash along the way. Building up a relationship with horses over a number of years is one of the things I love about this sport!

I will be astonished if Pallasator doesn't turn into a Group horse before the end of the year and hopefully Saturdays race at Haydock can be the first step along the way.

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