Sectionals show the Boss will not be for stopping at Doncaster

During the 2010s, the average rating achieved by the winner of the River Don Novices' Hurdle was around 144. It would be fuel to the fire of those looking to oppose early favourite Boss Man Fred to note that his best RPR to now, achieved over this course and distance, is some 10lb shy of that level.

It would be wise to put that point to one side. For a start, the average pre-race rating of the winner was just shy of 137 and includes Barters Hill, who was already the winner of a Grade 1 novice in the Challow Hurdle.

More to the point, behind the bare ratings there is significant reason to be positive about Boss Man Fred, at least on the assumption of a solid early gallop.

Visual impressions from the race he won here in December suggest that Boss Man Fred is a plodder. That would be halfway to the truth. The context supplied by furlong-to-furlong sectional pars shows that, rather than being outpaced and staying on, he was the only one able to sustain a strong gallop.
Boss Man Fred kept up a strong gallop at Doncaster last time
Boss Man Fred kept up a strong gallop at Doncaster last time

Allowing for the conditions and grade, the field was beating par most of the way round, per the attached graph. Boss Man Fred was the only one who did not drop off it at the business end and he went on to win by nine lengths, all of which he made up after paddling through the second-last.

Naturally, stepping up to Grade 2 level demands more and Boss Man Fred is up against a former Welsh National runner-up in Ramses De Teillee, so he does not have a monopoly on stamina. However, in a race that tends to produce doughty stayers, he looks more than up to the task in that regard.

All data courtesy of Total Performance Data, whose tracking covers more than 20 courses in the UK and North America

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Keith MelroseBetting editor