Racing Insights

Racing Insights, Friday 28/01/22

Do you like to back horses with a proven record at the track they're next running on? If so, then the Horses For Courses (H4C) report is just the ticket!

It shows the full course history since 2009 of any horse running that has previously had a run at that track and is sorted by number of wins, but this can be changed to any column at your discretion. As well as today’s race time, course, horse name, jockey and trainer name, there is a breakdown of runs, wins and places, and profit and loss calculations for both win and each way betting. And as with all Geegeez reports, there is a ‘Today’ and a ‘Tomorrow’ (for the next day’s racing) view.

And what's more, it's FREE to ALL readers EVERY Friday!

HINT: Layers might like to look towards the lower end of the report, for those with negative performance at the track.

[Please refer to our User Guide for further information]

Here's what my settings for the H4C have generated for Friday...

In addition to this report, we also offer the following as our FREE 'races of the day'...

  • 1.15 Doncaster
  • 4.10 Huntingdon
  • 5.15 Wolverhampton
  • 6.30 Dundalk
  • 7.15 Wolverhampton

Golden Force is clearly an interesting runner with a form line at Wolverhampton reading 13132, but all his form is over 8.5f rather than Friday's 7f and he's scheduled to bump into my winner from last Saturday, Tadleel, so I'll serve that and take a look at the first of the 'free' races, which is the highest rated of the five.

The 1.10 Doncaster is a 7-runner, Class 2, 5yo+ Handicap Chase taking on 12 fences over a left-handed 2m½f on Good (softer in places) ground, where one of these will take home the sum of £20,812...

None of the seven come here in top form, but all bar The Big Bite and Gold des Bois have won at least one of their last five outings and the latter has rattled the crossbar in four of his last five, whilst the former looks the weakest here based purely on results. He is however the only one of the seven to have won here previously (over 2m4½f), but all seven have won at similar trips to today. The top two in the weights, Funambule Sivola and Before Midnight step down from Class 1 (Gr3 and Gr2 respectively) action LTO, whilst Fransham's last run was at Class 3. The Big Bite and King D'Argent have been rested for seven and eight weeks respectively, but the other five have been seen in the past month. We've a clutch of in-form riders, whilst the trainers of Funambule Sivola and King D'Argent have been amongst the winners of late.

Funambule Sivola tops the weights off a mark of 152 and comes here after a 26 length defeat at Cheltenham in a Grade 3 chase on New Year's Day. His four runs prior to that defeat, however, saw him land back to back Class 2 handicaps and then back to back Class 1 (Gr1 then Gr2) runner-up positions, so it's highly possible that the poor effort at HQ was a one-off. The drop back in trip should help and trainer, jockey and trainer/jockey are in sparkling form...

Before Midnight was well beaten/outclassed when last home (20 lengths) of four at Kempton last time out. Mind you, that was the Grade 2 Desert Orchid Chase and was also his only defeat in five starts during 2021, after he won a Class 4 bumper and then 3 Class 2 handicaps. A return to that kind of form puts him right in the mix under a jockey in good nick and a yard with a good record over fences...

The Big Bite is 6 from 17 overall, which is decent, but he did win four of his first five starts and is just two from twelve in the last three years. Since taking a 198-day break after a 6th of 9 in a Grade 2 at Cheltenham last April, he has failed to complete either of his starts this season and with his yard having just 1 winner from 46 over the last seven months, you'd want to look elsewhere today.

King D'Argent represents Team Skelton who are, as they always seem to be, in good health and amongst the winners, but this is unlikely to be their latest success. A decent enough chaser, who finished 1F11 from December to March last season taking his mark from 114 to 144, is now in the handicapper's grip and was beaten by some 64 lengths at this class/trip at Newbury LTO. He has been eased 4lbs for his trouble, but I doubt that makes him competitive here.

Fransham had 5 wins and 3 places from 18 runs in a decent enough hurdles career and won at the second attempt over fences last November, but he unseated at Wetherby just after Christmas and was only third of four in a lower grade at the same track a fortnight ago, so he may well have stalled for now.

Moonlighter was a heavy ground winner at Sandown just under a year ago, but was subsequently pulled up in a pair of Class 1 outings either side of a 230-day absence. Since the latter of those Class1 runs, he has been 5th of 8 (14L) and 3rd of 7 (11L) in the last seven weeks, finding little late on in either despite a falling handicap mark. Another 3lb drop puts him 6lbs below his last win, so he's well weighted here, if struggling for form.

Gold Des Bois has won just twice in twenty starts and 1 from 7 over fences despite scoring on his chase debut at Ballinrobe last May. he did. however, finish as a runner-up four times on the bounce at Tramore (hurdles), Kelso, Carlisle and Musselburgh for which his mark rose from 119 to 130 without winning. he then unseated 2 out under pressure last time out and he's probably quite a bit too high in the weights, probably better off at Class 3.

Of the seven above, the ones currently making most appeal are the top two on the card dropping down from Class 1, Funambule Sivola and Before Midnight and their apparent superiority would appear to be reaffirmed via Instant Expert...

...where the only potential fly in the ointment that might stop them filling the frame is the fact that Funambule is carrying 11lbs more than his last win. That said, I think that if these two approach the race correctly, they should be head and shoulders above the other five. The approach suggested, here, is...

and with our field having recent pace scores of...

...it's not hard to envisage that my preferred duo being up with the pace.

Summary

Short and sweet today and it pretty much writes itself. Two horses (Funambule Sivola and Before Midnight) have stood out out all the way through the process and I think they finish in that order too. Whether you think they're good value at 7/4 and 11/4 is up to you, but the latter is certainly competitively priced. Of the others, only Fransham was of much E/W interest, but he would need to drift from his current 15/2 for me to even consider him and then his pace profile would probably still deter me.

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