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Racing Insights, 17th April 2021

I couldn't really have got Friday's race more wrong if I'd tried, but when two of the first three home were 33/1 and the trifecta paid over £5,300, I'm guessing not many people did call it right.

Saturday's feature of the day is the excellent Trainer/Jockey combo report and our free races of the day are scheduled to be...

  • 12.25 Bangor
  • 1.40 Thirsk
  • 3.10 Curragh
  • 5.30 Brighton

Of our four feature races, only the first looks like not having a very short-priced favourite so today's focus falls upon the 12.25 Bangor, a 10-runner, Class 4 Handicap Chase for 5yo+ horses over 2m1½f on Good ground and one of the following will earn a prize of £3,594...

Swift Crusador sits second in the Geegeez ratings probably because he showed signs of a return to form last out when third in a higher grade over 2m4f at Wetherby. If truth be told, he'd struggled for a while before then and hasn't won a race since early December 2018. He might well be down in class and five pounds lower than that last win, but I don't see him triumphing here off top weight.

Pistol Park hasn't won a race since landing a 5-runner contest at Carlisle exactly and glimpses of any sign of another success have been few and far between since. He did finish second to an in-form rival back at Carlisle in February, but has disappointed since. That said, he's now on a career low mark and if running like he did three starts ago, he could sneak into the frame here.

Crooks Peak hasn't tackled fences in his last eight outings and has only been sent chasing three times in a 23-race career so far. He last jumped fences on his last run for Philip Hobbs when 2nd of 7 at Kempton over 2m2f in a higher grade than this and when you consider than he was only beaten by 1.25 lengths off a mark of 128, you'd have to consider him worthy of a chance here off 112, especially as he's now with Team Skelton, who are in great form right now and have a good record at this venue.

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Elixir du Gouet was quite well respected in France over both hurdles and fences, but has suffered a bit of a stop/start time here in the UK, racing just three times in the last two years and being beaten by 51, 124 and 61 lengths respectively. I'd look elsewhere today.

Casa Tall won races over hurdles in France, but only made the frame twice in seven runs over the smaller obstacles after his move to the UK. He was a bit sketchy over fences on his first couple of attempts but got round move times and then showed some promise when only beaten by 6 lengths last time out. He's down a couple of pounds now and if continuing to improve, could get involved.

Discko des Plages won over fences at Catterick in mid-December despite not jumping well at all, but has run consistently well in five outings since, although he did unseat his rider when leading at Uttoxeter in February. He goes off the same mark as when runner-up twelve days ago, but with Brian Hughes taking over in the saddle, will be expected to be there or thereabouts again.

Tierra Verde won a couple of hurdle races in 2018 before taking 18 months off and has tackled fences just three times, finishing 4th of 14 (bt by 4.5L) and most recently 2nd of 14, going down by just a neck. She also ran in a bumper between those chase outings and was only 1.25 lengths off the pace in third place. She'd be of serious interest, but for stepping up in class and being some 12lbs worse off than LTO as she now runs off 106, but she had a 7lb claimer on board when she ran off 101 LTO.

Some Spin won a 2m maiden hurdle in Ireland last July, but has finished 899P0 since. The P was his only effort over fences when pulled up before 2 put over 2m at Class 5 two starts ago and was 10th of 15, beaten by 23 lengths over hurdles LTO. Not for me here up in class.

French Kiss has made the frame just once in fourteen career starts (5 flat, 4 A/W, 4 hrds, 1 chs) and ran out after the ninth fence on chase debut at Newton Abbot earlier this month. Easy to dismiss here.

Secret Melody finally got off the mark at the nineteenth time of asking last time out (8th over fences) by winning here at Bangor over course and distance, but that was eight months ago and he now races from 3lbs outside of the handicap. That said, he is the only C&D winner in the field, none of his rivals have won here at all and he is carrying virtually no weight. There's no guarantee he'll fire after a long lay-off, but if kicking on from that win, might be involved again.

At this point, I'll admit to already deciding that I certainly don't like four of them here, namely Elixir du Gouet, French Kiss, Some Spin and Swift Crusador and hopefully Instant Expert will back me up, where due to the lack of winners I've selected the place form...

There we get a reminder of Pistol Park's weight difference here and we do have some splashes of green, but nothing to push me towards/away from any runner in particular, if I'm honest.

I'v looked at the pace angle here and I'm told that you either want to lead the field round or you want sit towards the back, getting caught neither here not there hasn't been a successful tactic here in previous contests...

So, Secret Melody looks like the one to lead them out, but there's the obvious danger of him not staying the trip after eight months away from the track, whilst Crooks Peak is likely to be near the back, which could well be ideal for him to pick them all off late on.

Summary

For me, Crooks Peak is the one to beat here. I know we have to take his jumping for granted after hurdling for a while, but you can be sure the Skeltons will have schooled him well. After that there's a handful of runners who could all make the frame, despite seeming to be unsuited on race profile...

Casa Tall / Discko des Plages / Pistol Park / Secret Melody / Tierra Verde...

...and I think I might have to look at who has the fewest red flags and go with the ones I have least reservations about, which leads me to Discko des Plages and Casa Tall for the places.

I'm not surprised to see the bookies in fairly relative agreement with me, as Hills have installed Crooks Peak as the 5/2 favourite here. To be honest, he should be winning this, but it's not a shoo-in and I was rather hoping/expecting to get at least 4/1 about him.

Racing Insights, 16th April 2021

Oxted wasn't quite at it today and the 8/13 favourite was beaten by three quarters of a length by the 7/1 shot Summerghand, who we'd identified as the main threat. The winner was well drawn in stall 2 and our pace/draw heatmap suggested that he'd improve his chances by abandoning his usual mid-divisional race positioning. He was held up at the best, before making his way through the field to finish strongly. Well done to everyone who got on, especially those on the £16.70 Exacta.

To Friday now, where 'feature of the day' is the Horses for Courses report, which does exactly what you'd expect, whilst our free races of the day are as follows...

  • 2.15 Newbury
  • 4.00 Newbury
  • 4.27 Ayr
  • 6.00 Ballinrobe
  • 6.50 Exeter

I had no qualifiers under my fairly strict criteria for the Horses for Courses report, but one did come close, only missing out by not having made enough appearances and that horse, Jessiemac, runs in one of our "free" races, so I think we'll cover the 4.27 Ayr, a 12-runner, Class 3 Handicap Hurdle over 3m0.5f on Good ground (that will be good to soft in places and they're watering) worth £4,956 to one of this dozen...

Major Dundee was well beaten (almost 55 lengths) on his handicap bow in late February, but ran much better next/last time out when winning by 8.5 lengths over 3m at Chepstow three weeks ago. He's up 2lbs and one class here and shoulders top weight. More improvement needed, but place chances for sure.

No Regrets finished 44678 before going handicapping where his form has improved to read 311225 and both runner-up finishes (bt by 2L and then a neck) were at this level, the latter over 3m. He was 5th of 6 last time out, 11 lengths adrift, but does drop in class here an possibly needed the run last time. That said, I don't see him making the frame.

Sultan's Pride has three wins and a less than 4 lengths defeat on heavy ground rom his four runs this season and comes here on the back of a 2 length success at Doncaster last time out. He's up 6lbs for that win, but could well come on for that last run, which came after a break of almost 17 weeks. Good chance here, I think.

I'd Better Go Now is 3 from 8 over hurdles, but finished 15th of 17 (bt by 88L) two starts ago and was then pulled up last time out on his chase debut. He has been off the track for over 4 months now and although he's down 2lbs, I'm not fancying his chances here.

Stop The World has made the frame in 5 of his 8 efforts over hurdles but has yet to win in this sphere and is only 1 from 8 elsewhere. He could only muster 3rd of 5 last time out and off a mark of 120, he's probably too high in the weights here to be competitive.

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Skipthescales will turn out to be a better chaser than he is a hurdler, but ran creditably here twice in the winter when attempting to win a couple of 3m0.5f/3m1f heavy ground handicaps from the front. He ended up 5th of 10 (bt by 4L) in a Class 3 and then he was 4th of 6 beaten by 12.5 lengths at Class 4. He's only 4lbs lighter than that run, but up in class and was also well beaten last time out on Boxing Day. Not for me, I'm afraid.

Always Resolute is likely to be quick across the ground between hurdles based on his win in a Class 3 handicap over 1m6.5f at Chester last September and he was pretty useful on the Flat in general. Hurdle-wise, he won by the best part of three lengths last time out at this grade at Newbury six weeks ago. He's up 5lbs for that win and now tackles 3m+ for the first time, but looked to have something in hand last time out and has won off a higher mark than this. Place potential here.

Off The Beat is possibly better than his form would suggest, but ran creditably last time out, finishing as a runner-up over 3m on good to soft ground over 3m at Musselburgh last month. The assessor thought he ran well enough to go up 3lbs and both his yard and his jockey (who work well together) have good records at this venue. He's not an obvious winner here, but looking at the opposition, he could well make the frame at a reasonable price.

The Ogle Gogle Man seems to have had a new lease of life since moving to Iain Jardine, finishing 23112 in his five starts, all beyond three miles and all in handicap hurdles. It should be said that they were all Class 5 too and he lost the first two by 22 lengths and then 38 lengths before winning off a reduced mark of 90. He won again off 97, but then failed by a neck last time out off 107. I'm not with him today, because he's up another 2lbs, he's up two classes and this will be his fourth 3m+ run inside 52 days and could be a step too far.

Jessiemac was the one that almost made the horses for courses list with a 25% win & 50% place strike rate in handicaps here at Ayr, making the frame 4 times (winning twice) from 8 attempts and she's one from one over course and distance (late October 2019). Since winning back to back races here in 2019, she hasn't looked the same since, although she did win a Class 4 event at Kelso last October. She has since been beaten by a combined 86 lengths in four runs since and I can't see her doing much here either.

Tomorrow's Angel is an interesting runner here. She ended 2020 with a runner-up finish at Newcastle and kicked 2021 off some 114 days later with the same result at Sedgefield, both at Class 5. She then won a Class 4 over 2m7f at Kelso breaking her duck at the 21st attempt just twenty-five days ago. She hasn't been resting, though, as she has raced on the Flat over 2m at Redcar in the last fortnight, finishing third just a length and three quarters off the winner. So, she's clearly in good nick, but she's on a career high mark tackling a Class 3 handicap for the first time. I don't think she can win this, but has a real chance of the places if things fall her way.

Manetti completes the line-up and is a much better chaser than he is a hurdler. Although beaten by over 16 lengths on his hurdling debut, he finished 3rd of 10. Since then he has failed to place in all four attempts, being beaten by 26, 11, 11 and 55 lengths respectively. He has never raced at 3m or beyond and has no Class 3 hurdling experience. A mark of 101 sees him get plenty of weight all round, but he's not one I'd want to risk money on.

At this point, I normally take you straight to Instant Expert for a full card overview of how these horses have fared in these conditions and I will do in a moment, but I think I already know where I'm going with this one. I'm actually happy to mentally rule out half of the field here and now, because I think the winner and placers come from the following (in alphabetical order)...

...Always Resolute / Major Dundee / Off The Beat / Sultan's Pride / The Ogle Gogle Man / Tomorrow's Angel...

Let's see what Instant Expert thinks/says...

Major Dundee is an unexposed handicapper after just one attempt and is only 2lbs higher than his last win, Sultan's Pride hasn't been to Ayr before, but going, class, trip and field size hold no fears for him, but he is 6lbs higher than his LTO win. Always Resolute gets the ground well enough, but a 1 from 14 record at this grade isn't good. Off the Beat is another unexposed type with little supporting data. The Ogle Gogle Man is green for all the zones he has numbers for, but we should stress, it's only based on 2 runs and he's some 10lbs higher than his last win. Tomorrow's Angel has little workable data too, but is in good nick.

Race pace / tactics might be the decider here in what doesn't strike me as being a particularly good Class 3 contest...

Sadly, that's fairly inconclusive, other than to say hold up horses tend to struggle. From a win perspective, you're better off leading, but leaders fare worst for the places, whilst hold up horses do pretty well at making the frame without converting it to wins. This suggests it's a difficult place to judge the pace of the race, if hold up horses are leaving to too late to win, but are still getting placed. Confused? I think I am!

Anyway, leaders win most often and the other three running styles tend to fill the places. Unfortunately, the above goes out of the window, because there's no pace in this race at all. The one most likely to take it on, The Macon Lugnatic, is a non-runner, so unless Skipthescales steps forward, we might be in for a 2m6f trot followed by a 2f dash to the line. Hopefully the better horses will come to the fore, if that's the case.

Summary

After the write-ups, which are a mix of form, stats and my personal opinion, I was happy to discard half of the field. We got precious little from Instant Expert and/or the pace tab on this occasion, so we're going to lean on the unquantifiable today : gut feeling! I mean, what could possibly go wrong? 😀

I'm happy with the six I had...Always Resolute / Major Dundee / Off The Beat / Sultan's Pride / The Ogle Gogle Man / Tomorrow's Angel... 

And here's how I think they might finish : Tomorrow's Angel (weight & class) and The Ogle Gogle Man (weight & too much racing) look the weakest of the six and will hopefully finish in that order, leaving us with our final three and one more discard, who is going to be Major Dundee due to him carrying top weight stepping up in class.

That takes me to where I like to be : three against the field and I'm going to go Sultan's Pride ahead of Off The Beat with Always Resolute back in third. I don't actually have much separating the three, but that's how I'm calling it. I wonder if the bookies agree?

Well, the answer is no, they don't. They have my three at 7/1, 11/1 and 5/1 respectively. I'm happy to take 7/1 about Sultan's Pride and 11/1 E/W about Off The Beat, as I think they're decent prices. Bookies are paying 4 and even 5 places on this race, but the three discards are 8/1, 9/1 and 8/1 so there's possibly not much mileage in taking those on an E/W basis, although you'd have a decent chance of a small payout.

Scottish Grand National Trends

You might still be celebrating having the recent Grand National winner at Aintree or contemplating what could have been if you felt your selection was unlucky.

However, the Grand National bandwagon continues in April as we get set for the final one on the jumps horse racing calendar – the Coral-sponsored SCOTTISH GRAND NATIONAL – this year will now be run on Sunday April 18th  at Ayr racecourse - moved from Saturday 17th April due to the funeral of Prince Philip

As, we all know the main National is the one at Aintree, but the Scottish version is up there as a close second with the Irish and Welsh renewals so it’s still a fascinating race.

Run over 4m, which is around 2 furlongs shorter than last weeks, but with 27 fences to jump too then it goes without saying stamina will still very much be the order of the day.

There will be a maximum of 30 runners too so – just like all the other Nationals a certain amount of luck is also required for runners and riders to avoid any fallers or loose horses.

However, being first run in 1858 and having a long history then there are also plenty of trends for punters to take in and hopefully use to find the best profiles of past winners.

For example…………………Did you know that ALL of the last 17 winners ran within the last 57 days, while 15 of the last 17 winners were aged 8 or older?

So, to help we’ve got the main ‘plus and minus’ 17 year trends to apply to the Scottish Grand National runners – by just following these simple rules you’ll at least have the make-up of past Scottish Grand National winners on your side when placing your bets.

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Weight Watchers: The main cut-off point here is 10st9lbs. We’ve seen 12 0f the last 16 winners carry 10-9 or less in weight. However, it is worth noting that 3 of the last 6 winners carried 11-3 or more, while last year’s hero – Joe Farrell – won with 10st 6lbs.

Staying Power: Stamina is an absolute must-have when scanning down the entries – after all the race is over 4m! This is backed-up with 10 of the last 16 winners having won previously over 3m1f or further, while 5 of the last 16 had won over 3m7f or longer in their careers.

Recent Form: Coming into the race off the back of a fairly recent run, plus a decent finish last time out is another thing to look for. In the last 16 years a massive 14 of the last 16 winners finished in the top 6 in their most recent race, while 5 of the last 16 won last time out.

Age Concern:  Experience is often seen as a big plus in any staying race but it’s not so key here. Yes, you really need to be 8 or older as we’ve seen 14 of the last 16 winners aged between 8 and 11 years old. We have, however, seen a few 7 year-olds take the race more recently (2013 and 2016) so you can’t totally rule out this age group but with just one 12 year-old (or older) winning since 1947 then really we can put a line through any of the older statemen in the race.

Who’s Your Favourite: The betting on the Scottish Grand National is always a competitive race and this year is expected to be no different. However, with just 1 winning favourite in the last 16 runnings then it’s not always been a kind race for punters that like to support the market leaders.

Market Toppers: We’ve already talked about the actual favourite, but this Scottish Grand National stat can be taken a bit further when you actually drill down into recent runnings. So, despite not many market leaders winning we’ve still seen 10 of the last 16 winners hail from the top 7 in the market, while 3 of the last 16 winners actually returned 15/2. We have had 12 of the last 16 winners return a double-figure price though (75%), including last year’s winner – Joe Farrell (33/1) - but if this is linked into the fact most have come from the top 7 horses in the market then really the price range to focus on is more like 10/1 to 16/1.

Fitness First: Probably the biggest trend in recent years, and a really easy way to whittle the 30 strong field down in one easy swoop, is just check how many days ago your fancy last ran. With ALL of the last 16 winners having raced in the last 57 days then we can quickly rule several out here. Yes, it’s always wise to give this stat a 2 or 3 day leeway for obvious reasons but we should still be able to knock out a fair few.

 

Recent Scottish Grand National Winners

2020 – No Race (Covid)
2019 – TAKINGRISKS (25/1)
2018 – JOE FARRELL (33/1)
2017 – VICENTE (9/1 jfav)
2016 – VICENTE (14/1)
2015 – WAYWARD PRINCE (25/1)
2014 – AL CO (40/1)
2013 – GODSMEJUDGE (12/1)
2012 – MERIGO (15/2)
2011 – BESHABAR (15/2)
2010 – MERIGO (18/1)
2009 – HELLO BUD (12/1)
2008 – IRIS de BALME (66/1)
2007 – HOT WELD (14/1)
2006 – RUN FOR PADDY (33/1)
2005 – JOES EDGE (20/1)
2004 – GREY ABBEY (12/1)
2003 – RYALUX (15/2)

Scottish Grand National Trends and Stats

17/17 – Last ran 57 days or less ago
15/17 – Finished in the top 6 last time out
15/17 – Aged 8 or older
14/17 – French or Irish bred
13/17 – Carried 10-9 or less
13/17 – Returned a double-figure price in the betting
13/17 – Fallen or unseated no more than once during their careers
12/17 – Finished in the first three last time out
12/17 – Aged between 8-10 years-old
11/17 – Had won over 3m1f or further
11/17 – Last raced between 30-57 days ago
10/17 – Came from the first 7 in the betting market
7/17 – Won (fences) at Ayr before
6/17 – Won last time out
5/17 – Had won over 3m7f or further before
3/17 – Returned 15/2 in the betting
2/17 – Ran in the Grimthorpe Chase (Doncaster) last time out
2/17 – Trained by Paul Nicholls (2 of last 4 winners)
1/17 – Winning favourites
2 of the last 8 winners were won by a previous winner of the race
The average winning SP in the last 17 runnings is 21/1

 

 

 

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Racing Insights, 15th April 2021

Wow! I said today's race would be a tight affair and it couldn't have been much tighter than it was. Sadly we narrowly missed out twice in a race where the first five home were separated as follows... neck, nose, nose, head! Our pick King of Stars was the 15/2 runner-up beaten by a neck, whilst the 12/1 E/W shot Muscika was fourth, a neck and two noses away from winning, but not even making the frame.

The other horse I suggested that would be a bad E/W bet either, Music Society, was fifth home at 16/1. So, although I drew a financial blank here, I'm pleased at how close we got and the only blot on the day was the poor run from eventual favourite Jawwaal, who faded away late on and probably wasn't quite as ready as he'd like first up.

On Thursdays we open up the informative Instant Expert to all readers for all races, including, of course, our free races of the day, which are set to be...

  • 1.55 Limerick
  • 3.00 Newmarket
  • 4.15 Limerick
  • 5.50 Limerick
  • 5.55 Newcastle

The race at HQ is easily the "best" of those races and although there's going to be a very short favourite, we might well be able to find a decent E/W shot for the forecast. So, today's piece centres around the 3.00 Newmarket, the 7-runner Group 3 bet365 Abernant Stakes for 3yo+ horses over 6f on ground that is set to be good (good to firm in places). The top prize is £25,520 and these are the seven hoping to land it...

Five of the seven have at least one win in their last four outings, Summerghand is the only LTO winner in the field, though and he's one of three stepping up in class. All seven have either won here or have won over this trip, whilst two (Oxted & Jouska) are course and distance winners.

Oxted is the likely short-priced favourite and he's very much well in at the weights (at least 11lbs). Five of this field have raced in the past month and only Jouska returns from a long lay-off. Now we'll look at each of them a little closer...

Emaraaty Ana won the Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes in 2018 but hasn't quite hit those heights since, although he was third (beaten by 4.75 lengths) in this race last year. He was gelded and had a breathing op during the 31 week break he had before returning to action at Doncaster 19 days ago when a creditable second in a Listed race. This is much tougher, though and I think he might struggle.

Exalted Angel won a Listed race on the Polytrack at Lingfield two starts and almost 10 weeks ago, just getting home by a neck and he was then a runner-up over the same course and distance a fortnight ago on Championship Day when beaten by Summerghand who re-opposes today. He's more effective away from grass and I'm not sure he could reverse those placings.

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Oxted is the likely odds on fav here and is very much best off at the weights. He won this race last year before going on to land the Group 1 July Cup. He then took 14 weeks off before going down by just over a length in the Group 1 Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes where he ran out of steam on unsuitably soft ground. He hasn't been seen in the UK since that mid-October run, but has had a pipe opener on the dirt in Riyadh in the past eight weeks, so should be ready for this.

Shine So Bright has been a runner-up in each of his last three starts, albeit on the all-weather at Classes 2 and 3. He hasn't actually won any of his last nine since winning the Group 2 City of York Stakes in August 2019 and although he clearly has ability, he's going to need to up his game to feature here.

Summerghand ditched his usual cheekpieces in favour of a first visor and was a winner on A/W Champions Day last month, pipping the re-opposing Exalted Angel in the process. It was a welcome return to form for this 7 yr old who now makes his 48th start here and has interestingly made the frame in 60% of them, this could be another if he runs like LTO.

Jouska is one of two fillies (both are 4yr olds) in the race and she could only manage 15th of 16 when last seen at Ascot six months ago. In her defence, that was the Group 1 Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes that Oxted was beaten in. She has won here over course and distance in a Listed event, but this is much tougher and she may need the run after such a long absence.

Marly is the second of those 4yo fillies and the last listed on the card. Just two UK runs to date and she hasn't set the world on fire in them, going down by a couple of lengths at Classes 2 and 3. She was a three time winner in France, but looks outclassed here and would probably prefer the ground to be a fair bit softer.

Thursday's free feature is, of course, Instant Expert, so it would be remiss not visit it here...

As expected, there's no getting away from Oxted here, proven in every category, We've plenty of amber elsewhere for the going, we've five Class 1 winners, Summerghand has a fantastic 11 wins at this trip and loves the smaller fields.

So far I've seen little to suggest the jolly will get overturned, so it might just be the runner-up we're looking for, so from a place perspective, Instant Expert looks like this...

And Summerghand looks the likeliest from that, although Exalted Angel is interesting off very few runs and wasn't far behind Summerghand last time out.

From a draw perspective, past data would tend to suggest a low (pref #1 or #2) draw is the favoured place to be, although widest of 7 has also worked out well for runners, as we can see here...

As for pace, leading seems to be the way forward here, whilst prominent runners run to par with an IV of 1. Mid-division runners have fared worst of all, but from a very small sample size, so that might not be entirely reliable, whilst held-up runners are also very close to par.

When we combine running style with draw, the ideal scenario is a low drawn leader (for fairly obvious reasons) and aside from a poor return from a small number of mid-div runners, low drawn runners fare the best full stop. High drawn mid-div runners are fourth best.

So the likes of Exalted Angel and Summerghand in stalls 1 and 2 would be best off if they tried to set the pace early doors, whilst the fav Oxted in stall 7 could let them get on with it and pounce later. This (in draw order), however, is how they've all tended to run...

Neither Exalted Angel nor Summerghand look particularly well suited, but I'm not convinced about the mid-div stats as they're based on such a small sample size and likewise for Jouska, but she has a poorer draw. The other four are probably in as good a zone on the graphic as they could be.

Summary

I don't see anything beating Oxted here based on last year's race and what I've documented above. Whether he's worth backing at 8/11 is up to you, I fully expected him to be around 4/6, so the market is about right.

If you don't want to back him at those odds and you want an E/W bet or a placer to go in a forecast etc, then everything I've written points to Summerghand and Exalted Angel being "best of the rest". They're very closely matched and were only a head apart last time out. The former, however, is a better performer on the Flat than the latter, so it's Summerghand to reconfirm his narrow superiority over Exalted Angel for me in the bid to chase Oxted home, although at odds of 13/2 and 12/1 respectively, the Angel looks a more attractive option on potential returns!

 

Newmarket TV Trends (Weds 14th- Thurs 15th April 2021)

More LIVE ITV horse racing action this midweek as the cameras head to flat racing’s HQ – Newmarket racecourse – to take in four races on Wednesday and Thursday.

Several early season Classic pointers to take in over the week with the Nell Gwyn and Craven Stakes both key trials ahead of the 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas run at the track next month.

As always, here at GEEGEEZ we’ve got it all covered with the key trends on each of the LIVE races.

 

Wednesday 14th April 2021

 

1.50 – 6f (Row) Weatherbys Handicap (Class 2) (4yo+) ITV4

Just 4 previous runnings
Trainer Roger Varian won the 2019 running
Trainer Ed Walker won the 2018 running
Trainer Charles Hills won the 2017 running
Trainer Kevin Ryan won the 2016 running
3/4 - aged 4 years-old
3/4 – Carried 9-3 or more in weight
3/4 – Returned 8/1 or shorter
2/4 – Ridden by Andrea Atzeni
0/4 – Winning favourites
Gunmetal won this race in 2017
Trainer Tom Dascombe has a 40% record with his 4+ year-olds at the track

 

2.25 – 7f (Row) bet365 European Free Handicap (Listed Race) (Class 1) (3yo) ITV4

14/14 – Had won between 1-2 times before
13/14 – Rated between 101 and 108
13/14 – Raced at Kempton, Newmarket, Ascot or Newbury last time out
13/14 – Didn’t win last time out
12/14 – Returned 11/2 or shorter in the betting
12/14 – Last ran 5 ½ or longer months ago
11/14 – Placed in the top 3 last time out
11/14 – Drawn in stalls 2-6 (inc)
10/14 – Finished 2nd or 3rd last time out
8/14 – Yet to win over 7f
6/14 – Ran at Newmarket last time out
5/14 – Winning favourites
4/14 – Won by the Hills stable
4/14 – Trained by the Richard Hannon yard
The average winning SP in the last 9 runnings is 11/2

 

3.00 – 1m1f (Row) bet365 Earl Of Sefton Stakes (Group 3) (Class 1) (4yo+) ITV4

13/13 – Had won over a least a mile in the past
13/13 – Favourites placed in the top three
11/13 – Last ran 5 months or more ago
10/13 – Won at least 3 times in the past
10/13 – Had raced at the track before (5 won)
9/13 – Returned 6/1 or shorter in the betting
9/13 – Had won over 1m1f or further in the past
9/13 – Aged 4 or 5 years-old
7/13 – Had won a Group/Listed race before
7/13 – Ran at Newmarket last time out
6/13 – Drawn in stalls 8 (3) or 10 (3)
4/13 – Won last time out
3/13 – Trained by John Gosden
3/13 – Winning favourites
2/13 – Trained by Jane Chapple-Hyam
2/13 – Ridden by William Buick
0/13 – Winners from stall 1
6 of the last 10 winners came between stalls 2-4 (inc)
The average winning SP in the last 10 runnings is 13/2

 

3.35 - 7f (Row) Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes (Group 3) (Class 1) (3yo) ITV4

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16/17 – Were having their first run of the season
14/17 – Had won between 1-2 times previously
14/17 – Finished in the top 3 last time out
12/17 – Had only won over 6f or 7f before
12/17 – Returned 9/1 or shorter in the betting
11/17 – Placed favourites
10/17 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
9/17 – Winning distance – 1 length or less
9/17 – Had raced at Newmarket (Rowley)
9/17 – Had won over 7f before
9/17 – Won last time out
8/17 – Had won a Listed or Group race in the past
7/17 – Ran at Newmarket last time out
6/17 – Winning favourites
5/17 – Ridden by Frankie Dettori (won it 7 times in all)
4/17 – Trained by John Gosden
2/17 – Trained by Richard Hannon
2/17 – Trained by Mick Channon
1/17 – Went onto win the 1,000 Guineas
The average winning SP in the last 17 runnings is 8/1
Trainer Charlie Appleby has a 30% record with his 3 year-olds at the track
Trainer Hugo Palmer is only 2-from-42 with his 3 year-olds at the track
Trainer Charles Hills is only 3-from-55 with his 3 year-olds at the track

 

 

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Thursday 15th April 2021

 

1.50 – 6f (Row) Each Way Extra At bet365.com Handicap (Class 2) (3yo)

14/14 – Had won over 6f before
13/14 – Returned 8/1 or shorter in the betting
13/14 – Finished in the top 5 last time out
12/14 – Came from stall 8 or lower
12/14 – Rated between 86-93 (inc)
11/14 – Carried 8-13 or less
10/14 – Had between 1-4 previous runs
10/14 – Won after 5 ½ months or more off
10/14 – Had won just once before
9/14 – Won from stalls 2, 6 or 8
9/14 – Won last time out
6/14 – Winning favourites
4/14 – Ran at Doncaster last time out
2/14 – Ridden by Jamie Spencer
2/14 – Ridden by Silvestre de Sousa
The average winning SP in the last 9 runnings is 5/1
Trainer Charlie Appleby has a 30% record with his 3 year-olds at the track
Trainer Ian Williams has a 23% record with his 3 year-olds at the track
Jockey William Buick has a 26% record riding 3 year-olds at the track

 

2.25 – 1m (Row) bet365 Wood Ditton Maiden Stakes (Class 3) (3yo)

12/12 – Having their debut runs
11/12 – Drawn in stall 9 or higher
9/12 – Returned 13/2 or shorter in the betting
8/12 – Favourites placed
7/12 – Winning distance less than a length
6/12 – Winning favourites
4/12 – Won by a Godolphin-owned horse
2/12 – Trained by Saeed Bin Suroor
2/12 – Trained by William Haggas
0/12 – Winners from stalls 1-4 (inc)
The winning SP in the last 10 runnings is 15/2
Trainer Charlie Appleby has a 30% record with his 3 year-olds at the track
Jockey William Buick has a 26% record riding 3 year-olds at the track
Jockey Oisin Murphy has a 21% record riding 3 year-olds at the track

3.00 – 6f (Row) bet365 Abernant Stakes (Group 3) (Class 1) (3yo+)

13/14 – Won over 6f before
13/14 – Aged 4 or older
12/14 – Returned 8/1 or shorter
10/14 – Rated between 106 and 114
10/14 – Ran 5 months or more ago
10/14 – Had run at Newmarket before
10/14 – Won at least 4 times before
9/14 – Favourites placed in the top three
9/14 – Placed in the top 3 last time out
9/14 – Aged 4 or 5 years-old
7/14 – Irish bred
4/14 – Winning favourites
4/14 – Trained by Kevin Ryan
4/14 – Ran at Doncaster last time out
3/14 – Ridden by Jamie Spencer
2/14 – Won by the Hills stable
1/14 – Winners from stall 1 or 2
Oxted won this race in 2020
Brando won the race in 2017 and 2018
The average winning SP in the last 10 runnings is 11/1

 

3.35 - 1m (Row) bet365 Craven Stakes (Group 3) (Colts & Geldings) (Class 1) (3yo)

16/17 – Having their first run of the season
14/17 – Rated 110 or higher
13/17 – Yet to win over a mile
13/17 – Came from the top three in the betting
13/17 – Returned 9/2 or shorter in the betting
13/17 – Winning distance – 1 ½ lengths or more
12/17 – Had won over 7f before
12/17 – Had won no more than twice before
10/17 – Had won a Listed or Group race before
10/17 – Placed favourites
10/17 – Ran at Newmarket last time out
9/17 – Had raced at Newmarket (Rowley) before (4 won)
7/17 – Finished unplaced last time out
6/17 – Winning favourites
5/17 – Trained by Richard Hannon (4 of the last 10)
5/17 – Won last time out
2/17 – Ridden by Ryan Moore
1/17 – Irish-trained winners
1/17 – Went onto win the 2,000 Guineas
9 of the last 10 winners came from stalls 5 or less
4 of the last 10 winners came from stalls 1
Trainer Aidan O'Brien has never won this race
The average winning SP in the last 17 renewals is 9/2

 

 

 

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Craven Stakes Trends

The bet365 Craven Stakes is the feature contest on the three-day Newmarket April Meeting and is a Group Three race run over 1 mile.

Being for 3 year-old colts and geldings the race is often seen as an early season trial for the 2,000 Guineas, run the following month – although, the last horse to win both races was Haafhd in 2004. The 2018 winner - Masar - went onto win the Epsom Derby.

Here at GeeGeez, we looks back at recent winners and gives you the key stats ahead of the 2021 renewal – this year staged on Thursday 15th April.

Recent Craven Stakes Winners

2020 – No Race (Covid)
2019 – SKARDU (3/1)
2018 – MASAR (7/2)
2017 – EMINENT (8/1)
2016 – STORMY ANTARCTIC (9/2)
2015 – KOOL COMPANY (14/1)
2014 – TOORMORE (Evs fav)
2013 – TORONADO (8/11 fav)
2012 –TRUMPET MAJOR (9/2)
2011 – NATIVE KHAN (8/11 fav)
2010 – ELUSIVE PIMPERNEL (10/11 fav)
2009 – DELEGATOR (4/6 fav)
2008 - TWICE OVER (9/4)
2007 – ADAGIO (5/4 fav)
2006 – KILLYBEGS (9/2)
2005 – DEMOCRATIC DEFICIT (12/1)
2004 – HAAFHD (10/3)
2003 – HURRICANE ALAN (9/1)

Craven Stakes Betting Trends

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16/17 – Having their first run of the season
14/17 – Rated 110 or higher
13/17 – Yet to win over a mile
13/17 – Came from the top three in the betting
13/17 – Returned 9/2 or shorter in the betting
13/17 – Winning distance – 1 ½ lengths or more
12/17 – Had won over 7f before
12/17 – Had won no more than twice before
10/17 – Had won a Listed or Group race before
10/17 – Placed favourites
10/17 – Ran at Newmarket last time out
9/17 – Had raced at Newmarket (Rowley) before (4 won)
7/17 – Finished unplaced last time out
6/17 – Winning favourites
5/17 – Trained by Richard Hannon (4 of the last 10)
5/17 – Won last time out
2/17 – Ridden by Ryan Moore
1/17 – Irish-trained winners
1/17 – Went onto win the 2,000 Guineas
9 of the last 10 winners came from stalls 5 or less
4 of the last 10 winners came from stalls 1
Trainer Aidan O’Brien has never won this race
The average winning SP in the last 17 renewals is 9/2

 

 

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Racing Insights, 13th April 2021

Mixed emotions from Tuesday's race, I suppose. Rhythmic Intent didn't run and my pick for the race Hortzadar never really got into it from too far off the pace. My third and fourth rated horses, which became #2 and #3 after the non-runner, fared me much better giving me E/W returns at 14/1 and 16/1, so enough back for a socially distanced pint or two outside later 😉

Wednesday's 'feature of the day' is the Trainer Statistics report and our free races are...

  • 2.00 Leopardstown
  • 3.00 Newmarket
  • 3.25 Beverley
  • 4.00 Beverley
  • 4.40 Kempton

The 3.00 Newmarket aka the Group 3 Earl Of Sefton Stakes is the best of that handful of races, but with a small field and an odds on favourite, we'll settle for second best on this occasion and head for the 4.00 Beverley, , a 9-runner, Class 3 Flat Handicap for 4yo+ over five furlongs on Good to Firm ground that will be good in places and watering is taking place to keep it from getting any quicker. Top prize here is £6,185 for one of these...

This looks like another tight contest, the type we love to try and crack, of course. All bar two have a win in their last five outings, we've three dropping down a class, one moving up a class and one upped two classes. All nine have won at the trip, we've three course and distance winners, including a 2021 Geegeez Flat Profiles horse.

Five have raced in the last three weeks, whilst the other four are returning from breaks of 180 to 214 days and the spread on the Geegeez ratings is tight, ranging from 90 down to just 73. When bottom rated is higher than 80% of top rating, you know it's expected to be tight, but hopefully we can find the winner, starting with...

Jawwaal, who hasn't raced for 214 days, but goes best fresh, as shown by his success in back to back 5f sprints last summer when coming back from 259 days off track, including landing a valuable big-field contest at Ascot in July. He was then mid-division in two more 21-runner handicaps before calling it a day for 2020. If ready first up again, will be involved off 1lb lower than LTO.

Muscika was a 33/1 winner at York back on October and although he was beaten by four lengths on his subsequent step up to Class 2, he wasn't disgraced. He was beaten by a similar margin 17 days ago on his seasonal reappearance but is expected to go better with that run under his belt, as he did last season.

Queens Order struggled higher than Class 3 last term, but ended the season with two good runs below this level, losing and then winning by narrow margins. Now 6lbs higher than his LTO win, which was a career-best effort, this looks tough up in class.

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King of Stars was 0 from 9 before the switch tot he Appleby yard for whom he is now 3 from 7, including landing a C4 5f handicap at Bath last week. This is clearly tougher and he carries a penalty for that win last week but is definitely in form and looks like an improver.

Ginger Jam is the Geegeez 2021 profile horse in the field. His career record of 7 from 19, includes 5 from 5 over course and distance as highlighted by subscriber Nigel aka N17, which would make him of serious interest, but Nigel does say that he's to be backed at Classes 4 to 6, as that's where he has run those five races at. He's actually 1 from 4 at Class 4 overall, by virtue of a C&D win here two starts ago off a mark of 80. He goes off 83 here and is 0/2 higher than Class 4 and I expect a first Beverley defeat for him.

Victory Angel won a Class 3 at Musselburgh off 79 five starts ago but has struggled since. He's coming back down in the weights and should, therefore, be more competitive here. He does go well when turned back out quite quickly by is 2/22 off a mark over 80.

Music Society won the Ayr Bronze Cup almost 19 months ago as the culmination of a run of form that saw him win three time and finish second twice inside six outings. His mark went from 81 to 86 after that Ayr win and he hasn't managed to score again in nine efforts since. He was a runner-up at Haydock off a mark a pound higher than today and he's now 2lbs lower than that Ayr win, so is well weighted here. My main concern with him is the 180 day absence as he has failed to make the frame in four runs after four months or more off track.

Saluti won here at Beverley over course and distance last August but is now somewhere 5lbs lower. This, however, is two grades higher and he did only get home by a nose in a race where the form hasn't really panned out (field is 1/34 since). He has had a couple of C4 sharpeners on the A/W already this season, but has been well held in both and I'd be looking elsewhere today.

Nibras Again is a solid consistent performer with a 40% place record after nearly 50 runs, but he doesn't win often enough, as typified by his recent form of 33133. Only the first of those was on turf and his last win on grass was here over C&D in July. He won a Class 5 handicap by a nose off 66 that day and a mark of 75 here means he's have to do much better to be involved.

So, we know that Ginger Jam is an excellent 5 from 5 over C&D, but we've since discovered that he hasn't won at this grade of racing before meaning he's not as well suited as we thought he might be. This will no doubt be apparent on Instant Expert, which will show us who really is best suited...

In fairness, Ginger Jam still looks fine above, but the class thing is a concern. Several of these will handle the ground well enough, Muscika has three wins at this level, Ginger Jam is undoubtedly the horses for courses runner and has a good record at the trip, as does Nibras Again with others also having lots of green. Nibras Again, however, is 9lbs higher than his last win but a couple do race off marks lower than their last successes.

The draw stats are as follows for similar past races...

...and although stall 3 is low and stall 4 is high, there's actually no real discernible draw bias here, as shown by segmenting the field into thirds...

It's the blue line we use here...

So no bias, although from a profit perspective, the middle stalls are where the money has been made! As for race pace, it's probably what you'd expect over 5f on quick ground ie get out quick and stay in front...

And when we combine pace and draw...

...it still says you want to be leading, but the middle stalls have become less attractive, so now let's add our horses' previous running styles to that heat map to see how we think it might unfold...

...and the suggestion is that King of Stars will attempt to make all from the widest berth. He has made the made three times and raced prominently once in his last four and hasn't finished out of the first four home, so it's a clear tactic that has served him well.

Summary

The two I like most here would be Jawwaal and King of Stars. The former goes well first up and although conceding weight all round, is still a pound lower than LTO and drops in class, whilst the latter is in great form since moving yards and is a front-running improver.

I'm really struggling to split the pair, but I'm siding with King of Stars over Jawwaal and both are currently priced at 5/1 in a contest so tight that the bookies have five horses at 5/1 or 11/2. As for a third horse, I think there could be a bit of an upset with the longest priced horses possibly squeezing in. I have a marginal preference for the 12/1 Muscika over the 14/1 Music Society, but neither would be a bad E/W bet.

Racing Insights, 13th April 2021

We were right to oppose the 5/6 fav Kettle Hill this afternoon, as he failed to even make the frame, but our preferred pick Dawaaleeb was beaten by a neck after ditching his usual front-running tactics. This left our other identified pacemaker, Defence Treaty, with the opportunity to set the fractions and he hung on grimly to secure the win at 20/1, just holding our pick off.

Not our day, but we'll have other opportunities and I'll be keeping an eye out for Global Spirit next time. As I thought he might, he faded late on, but ran well for a long way, so would be of interest on his next appearance.

Now, to Tuesday, where The Shortlist report is our 'feature of the day' and our free races are as follows...

  • 1.00 Newmarket
  • 1.15 Newton Abbot
  • 2.35 Southwell
  • 2.45 Newmarket
  • 4.30 Newmarket

There's not a lot catching my eye from The Shortlist report for Tuesday, so I'll turn to our handful of free races for today's and seeing as the fourth on that list is not only the "best" race of the five, it also features a runner from our 2021 Flat profiling community project. So, without further ado, let's focus on the 2.45 Newmarket, which is a 9-runner, Class 2 Flat handicap for 4yo+ horses over a mile on Good ground, that might well be firmer in places. Top prize is £10,800 and it will go to one of...

We've no LTO winners in the filed, but seven of the nine have won at least once in their last five outings. Six ran in this grade last time out, but Makram is up one class whilst both Overwrite and Madame Tantzy ran in Class 4 contests. Only Maxi Boy and Rhythmic Intent are without a win at this trip, whilst we've four course and distance winners.

The Geegeez ratings are fairly close between Madame Tantzy (99), Rhythmic Intent (95), Hortzadar (91) and Scottish Summit/Dogged (both 87),  suggesting a tight affair, whilst the middle of those five, Hortzadar is the Flat profiles horse, more on that very shortly. Four of the field have raced in the past 17 days, whilst the other five have been off track for at least 12 weeks with Dogged now re-appearing after a break of almost 40 weeks!

Oh This Is Us carries top weight of 9st 12lbs off a mark of 102. He's a former course and distance winner but has laboured on the all-weather this spring finishing 9th of 13 off 104 and 9th of 14 off 103. he's back on turf and down another pound, but has no 5lb claimer on board today to reduce his effective mark below 100. He's 2 from 6 here at HQ, but hasn't won on the Flat for over 31 months and although his yard are in good form right now, I think he'll fall short again here.

Hortzadar was put forward for the Flat profiles by Gold subscriber andynic with the following short note...Distance 7f-8f, no of runners 2-10... He's 5 from 5 under those circumstances, including 4/4 over 1m, 2/2 at Class 2, both over a mile. So, conditions look ideal and he's only 3lbs higher than when last winning at Goodwood in September at this class/trip and made a promising reappearance to finish third, just 2 lengths adrift in the Lincoln last month despite a 161 day absence. He looks the one to beat.

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Maxi Boy was a promising 2 yr old who won on debut and was third in a Group 2 race here in July 2019. he struggled next time out in another Group 2 race and then wasn't seen for 455 days. The break didn't appear to affect him too much as he came within two necks of winning a Class 2 handicap on his return. The fact he hasn't raced in the 166 days since then suggests something might not quite be right with him and although he clearly has ability, I'm concerned that 1 run in 22 months isn't enough.

Rhythmic Intent had a good start to his 2020 campaign with two wins and a runner-up finish from his first four seasonal outings, so he'd be expected to be ready to go here, despite a 5 month absence. He acquitted himself well on his final run of 2020 with a good 2nd of 23 in Doncaster's Class 2 November handicap when a length and three quarters behind a winner who has won twice since. Definite chances here.

Scottish Summit is possibly better than recent form might suggest, as he went pretty well for much of his run in the Lincoln at Doncaster last month before weakening late on. He made the frame in 7 of his 9 Flat runs last season, winning twice (the last of which was here over C&D) and whilst he's possibly a tad high in the weights, could well nick a place at a decent price.

Overwrite was certainly kept busy last season, racing 11 times in 21 weeks, getting home first in two of them (won one and was disqualified in another after hanging right). He struggled in the Spring Mile last month and was beaten off this mark on the A/W at Newcastle in a Class 4 last week. This is much tougher and I think mid-division is about as good as he'll be.

Makram is a prime example of why you need to loo beyond form figures. Finishes of 21818 from his five career runs to date would spark interest, but closer analysis shows he won a Class 5, 7f, A/W novice race by half a length and a Class 4 Flat handicap by a length and a quarter. He was then 8th of 13 on his Class 3 debut last time out and although he didn't have the best of draws, he was never really in the race and now going off that same mark and stepping up another class after a 234-day absence, I'd want to look elsewhere.

Dogged won a Class 2 nursery here over course and distance back in September 2019, but has only raced three times since then and results have been disappointing, although a 5th of 10 here over C&D last time out suggested there might be something about him. He has been gelded during his long layoff and it is hoped that will spark some improvement, but even if it does, I think he'll need the run.

Madame Tantzy is an interesting sort at the foot of the weights. The only mare in the race was a winner two starts ago when landing a Class 3 handicap over course and distance last September, prior to a five length defeat on the A/W at Kempton. She's probably a little high in the weights still off 79 and will probably need a run, but I wouldn't be surprised to see her winning at Class 3 off a lower mark this summer.

We know that Hortzadar should have conditions to suit here, but Instant Expert can quickly highlight how his rivals have also fared in past Flat handicaps...

Makram and Madame Tantzy look high in the weights based off their last win, whilst Oh This Is Us is the standout horse for me from the above. Rhythmic Intent and particularly Scottish Summit are solid placers who haven't converted enough good runs into wins, whilst Dogged's figures are good from small sample sizes from a fairly long time ago.

In 47 past contests of this nature, the suggestion is that you either want to be in stall 1 or drawn high. I know that seems a little incongruent, but that's what the data tells us...

Further analysis of those 47 races says the further forward you can race, the better with 34 of the races going to leaders/prominent runners, despite them only representing less than half of the runners.

That, of course, doesn't mean that low drawn runners or those who race from further off the pace can't win here, but if you race mid-division, you need a low draw, whilst hold up runners need to be away from those first three stalls. Highly drawn prominent runners just about shade it here...

...and this is how these nine runners have raced in their last four outings. We've superimposed them in draw order onto that heat map above and Overwrite / Dogged look best suited from that.

Summary

We started with Hortzadar and his record under similar circumstances and I suggested he's the one to beat. He isn't particularly well off on the pace/draw chart, but he does have that stall 1 to his advantage. All things considered, I still think he's the one to beat here. 10/3 is a little shorter than I'd hoped for, but that still might end up being a good price.

That's the easy bit done in a way and I'm tempted to say good night at this point, but I know you like a top three and the possibility of a cheeky E/W punt, so here's where I'm at.  I like Rhythmic Intent best of the rest, he goes well fresh, tends to do his best work early season and could well run Hortzadar close, but at 11/2 is too short for an E/W bet for me.

That leaves me with one to find and this is where it's tricky. I actually think there are a couple of over-priced runners here in the shape of Scottish Summit (16/1) and Oh This Is Us (12/1). The above data and write-ups would tend to suggest the latter would be the better option of the two, but something is nagging at the back of my mind to go with Scottish Summit.

All of which is suggested to you with one caveat...Maxi Boy is a potential fly in the ointment. I suspect he's going to need the run after being so inactive for a long time, but he's certainly good enough to win a race like this. I just hope it's not this one!

Nell Gwyn Stakes Trends

The Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes is run on Newmarket’s Rowley Mile course in April over a distance of 7f. The Group 3 contest is for 3 year-old fillies only and was first run in 1961 – the race is also often seen as a trial race for the 1,000 Guineas run the following month at the same track, but the last horse to win both races was Speciosa in 2006.

Did you know? 16 of the last 17 winners were having their first runs of the season

Here at GeeGeez we look back at recent winners and gives you all the key stats ahead of the 2021 renewal – this year run on Wednesday 14th April.

Recent Nell Gywn Stakes Winners

2020 – No Race
2019 – QABALA (10/3 fav)
2018 – SOLILOQUY (4/1)
2017 – DABAN (12/1)
2016 – NATHRA (5/4 fav)
2015 – OSAILA (4/1)
2014 – SANDIVA (7/2 fav)
2013 – HOT SNAP (10/1)
2012 – ESENTEPE (28/1)
2011 – BAREFOOT LADY (14/1)
2010 – MUSIC SHOW (6/1)
2009 – FANTASIA (4/5 fav)
2008 – INFALLIBLE (7/2 fav)
2007 – SCARLET RUNNER (15/2)
2006 – SPECIOSA (9/1)
2005 – KAREN’S CAPER (15/2)
2004 – SILCA’S GIFT (25/1)
2003 – KHULOOD (15/8 fav)

Nell Gywn Stakes Betting Trends and Stats

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16/17 – Were having their first run of the season
14/17 – Had won between 1-2 times previously
14/17 – Finished in the top 3 last time out
12/17 – Had only won over 6f or 7f before
12/17 – Returned 9/1 or shorter in the betting
11/17 – Placed favourites
10/17 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
9/17 – Winning distance – 1 length or less
9/17 – Had raced at Newmarket (Rowley)
9/17 – Had won over 7f before
9/17 – Won last time out
8/17 – Had won a Listed or Group race in the past
7/17 – Ran at Newmarket last time out
6/17 – Winning favourites
5/17 – Ridden by Frankie Dettori (won it 7 times in all)
4/17 – Trained by John Gosden
2/17 – Trained by Richard Hannon
2/17 – Trained by Mick Channon
1/17 – Went onto win the 1,000 Guineas
The average winning SP in the last 17 runnings is 8/1

 

 

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Racing Insights, 12th April 2021

For Saturday's race, I said..."I think Requited (7/1), Oh So  Nice (10/1) and Lethal Blast (9/1) are all pretty close to each other"... and indeed they were only 2 lengths apart. Sadly they finished 5th, 6th and 7th and the nearest I got to calling it right was a good run from Lady Florence to finish second after being drawn widest of all.

Ah, well, that's the nature of sticking your neck out daily, I suppose, but no time to dwell on it as Monday is approaching. The PACE tab is available to everyone for all races, including our featured free races, which are...

  • 1.00 Huntingdon
  • 1.50 Redcar
  • 3.20 Redcar
  • 4.00 Huntingdon

The second of the two Flat races above is probably the best of the four free races and although it's highly likely there'll be a pretty warm favourite, (a) he might not win and (b) we might find a nicely-priced E/W bet to chase the fav home. So Monday's race in focus is the 3.20 Redcar, an 11-runner, Class 3 Flat handicap for 4yo+ runners on Good ground, that will be firmer in places. The top prize is £6,210 and it will go to one of these...

All bar two have a win in their last five starts, we have plenty of class movers (3 droppers and 4 risers), all bar two have had a run in the last six weeks and we've one handicap debutant.

Hayadh bears top weight and has won two of his last seven in a career that has seen him win seven times at trips of 7 to 8.5 furlongs, including six on ground varying from good to soft through to good to firm. Can be excused for finishing 6th LTO in this grade as it came after a 173-day break and he only went down by 3.75 lengths.

Dawalaleeb had a good winter on the A/W and has won 5 of 10 starts away from turf. He's a former course and distance winner, who was only beaten by a nose the last time he came here (also over C&D) back in September. He returned to the turf with a very creditable run in the Class 2 Spring Mile at Doncaster where he was beaten by just over 4 lengths and now drops in both class and weight to run here.

Zhui Feng won on his debut for his new yard in February and was only beaten by less than two lengths next/last time out. He's probably better suited by a return to turf and could well make the frame if things fall his way.

Kettle Hill is the likely odds-on favourite and after finishing just 5th of 8 (beaten by over 10L) on debut at Wolverhampton at the end of last June, he has won both his races since, albeit some 8 months apart. Both were over 8.5f as he landed a Class 5 maiden at Windsor by half a length and then a Class 5 Novice race at Wolverhampton by three lengths four weeks ago. The 2nd and the 7th from that race have won again at Class 4/5, but the 4th and 5th have both been beaten at Class 5. And the second's win was a Class 5 handicap off a mark of 70, so Kettle Hill might not have it all his own way here off 85.

He makes a handicap debut today and although his yard are 57 from 282 (20.2% SR) with Flat handicap debutants since 2015, those figures generate a loss at SP of over 13% and the A/E on those runs is just 0.84.

Global Spirit has a big chance here, if ready to go first up after a break of 168 days. He had two wins and three places from seven on turf last season and was only beaten by less than four lengths at this class/grade/mark last time out. He'd clearly need to improve to win and you are always taking fitness on trust after a break, but on pure ability, he could make the frame.

Brother McGonagall is the first of four in the race that I don't want to even think about backing. He was 9th of 10 last time out, beaten by almost 12 lengths in a Class 4 handicap some 262 days ago and that race came after a 289-day absence, so purely based on that last run and the fact that he has only raced once in the last eighteen months, it's a no from me.

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Home Before Dusk would be in my calculations if this was an all-weather contest where he has a 26% strike rate in handicaps, but he's actually 0 from 14 on turf. This, of course, will be easier than the Class 2 Spring Cup he contested last time out where he was more than 11 lengths behind Dawaaleeb, but even though he's 5lb better off for the "re-match", I don't think he can reverse the placings.

Give It Some Teddy is a Jekyll & Hyde character and is totally unreliable, making him my second "unbackable" here. Don't get me wrong, he's got ability, as he won here over C&D at Class 2 off a pound higher back in October 2019, but since that day his story reads...293 days off / 11th of 11 at Class 4 / 4th of 15 at Class 4 / 10th of 10 at Class 3 / 137 days off and then 8th of 8 in a Class 4 last time out. Not for me, I'm afraid.

Defence Treaty has also been unreliable in the past and has a shaky record of just 1 win and 4 places from 16 on the Flat, but should come here with some hope after seeming to be reinvigorated by a winter on the A/W at Southwell and Newcastle, showing his versatility for underfoot conditions whilst winning twice and finishing as a runner-up twice in seven starts. Up in class, but off the same mark here and has an outside chance of the frame if translating his winter form to the Turf.

Jewel Maker is just 1 from 21 on the Flat and although his form figures over the winter on the all-weather look impressive at 2314413, the two wins were at Class 6 (by 2.5L) and then by a head in a Class 5. This race is much tougher and he was beaten by more than 8 lengths off this mark in a Class 4 last time out. He was admittedly 2nd over C&D here on his last turf run, but that was also a Class 6 contest and he carries 20lbs more here. He's my third unbackable.

Motawaafeq makes up the field and pretty much just helps to make up the numbers here as my final stage 1 reject. His only saving grace is that he's getting weight (plenty in some cases) from the rest of the runners, but comes here having finished 19th of 20 in that afore-mentioned Spring Mile, more than 27 lengths off the pace and whilst he's down a class, he has only been dropped a pound by the assessor. That was his sixth run on turf and when you consider the previous results were 2nd of 4, 6th of 9, 6th of 16, 4th of 11 and 6th of 11 at Classes 4 and 5, you see why he's not for me today.

So, at this point, I'm discarding Brother McGonagall, Give It Some Teddy, Jewel Maker and Motawaafeq ahead of assessing race suitability via Instant Expert. As I'm looking for a decent priced placer as well as the winner, I'm going to consider both win and place records in past Flat handicaps..

Not a lot to write home about from a win perspective, but my notes would be that Hayadh gets the ground,  Zhui Feng's rating is interesting at 20lbs lower than his last Turf win, Kettle Hill is on handicap debut, hence no figures, but his yard haven't excelled at HC1, Home Before Dusk is, of course, winless on turf and Defence Treaty might be carrying too much weight.

From a place perspective for E/W betting...

...they all look better than the win graphic bar Home Before Dusk, whose figures are still unappealing. The first three all look like solid placers, but it's Global Spirit that catches the eye if primed to fire first up.

Pace...

Not many have tried to take it on from the get go, but those who have tried, have been rewarded with a couple of wins, but have generally failed to cling on to a place once caught. From a place perspective, hold up horses have fared best and across the board, I'd say mid-division was the worst running style to have in a contest like this.

Draw...

Here, the extremes seem to have it from a win perspective and although stalls 4 to 6 have picked up 10 of the 36 available places, I'd suggest that berths 4 to 8 wouldn't be ideal for our runners today.

Pace & Draw...

Based on the above individual pace / draw stats, the huge swathe of red through the middle draw won't be a surprise, but what might not have been expected is the fact that mid-drawn leaders have had the most success followed by low-drawn mid-division runners.

And now based on their most recent runs, here's how we think this race might unfold using the pace and draw stats...

Brother McGonagall and Home Before Dusk look to have the best pace/draw make-up here, but I don't see either of them going on to make the frame never mind winning. I had seven runners in my mind after completing the write-ups and then five after the Instant Expert analysis and they were Defence Treaty, Dawaaleeb, Global Spirit, Kettle Hill and Zhui Feng and although the above pace/draw heat map also makes a case for Hayadh and Home Before Dusk, I think I've already found enough negatives against them.

Summary

We've taken eleven down to less than half, but I can't go with five against the field, so let's start at the obvious starting point : Kettle Hill. Only Hills had a price up at 5.40pm and this horse was 11/10. That's a really short price for a horse I don't think is too well treated off 85, runners from his past races haven't set the world on fire and his yard are just OK with handicap debutants. He could be a great horse, but he could be nothing. Bottom line for me is that there are too many unanswered questions to back him at 11/10.

Next up is Defence Treaty, who looks set to be up with the pace which is a tactic that not only hasn't really panned out for him in the past, it's also one that regularly fails in this type of contest from a high draw. Add in his dismal record on turf and he's now gone.

This leaves me with Dawaleeb, Global Spirit and Zhui Feng to consider. Dawaaleeb has ticked boxes everywhere we've looked and his pace/draw make-up isn't dreadful. I fancy him to lead early, see off Defence treaty and attempt to hold on. He ran really well for a long way in that Spring Mile and he's the biggest threat to the favourite for me and you can get 7's about him. He'd be the winner from that trio for me, if the fav doesn't fire as the market expects.

Global Spirit might end up running on fumes or from memory late on, but if ready to go first up, has excellent credentials at 14/1 E/W. Zhui Feng is too short for me at 13/2 and isn't drawn well for his running style.

So, I like Dawaleeb & Global Spirit here and the fav will no doubt be involved somewhere along the line!

Racing Insights, 10th April 2021

Saturday aka Grand National Day is almost upon us and to aid us in our quest to beat the bookies, the excellent Trainer/Jockey Combo Stats report is open to all readers, as are the following free 'races of the day'...

  • 1.25 Lingfield
  • 2.15 Dundalk
  • 2.50 Dundalk
  • 3.35 Aintree
  • 4.00 Chepstow
  • 5.30 Newcastle

And I think I'll go with the first of those races, the 1.25 Lingfield, a 9 (was 10)-runner, Class 6, A/W (poly) handicap for 4yo+ horses over a 5f which is worth £2322 to the winner and here's how they line up...

It's an open looking, if low quality contest with very little in the way of good recent form, but these can be good races to get stuck into. There's very little separating Shecandoo, Lethal Blast and Oh So Nice at the top of our ratings and we've three retuning course and distance winners in the shape of Requited, Bernie's Boy and Lady Florence. The first two of those former C&D winners are also the only two male runners here today, an outnumbering you rarely see. All bar Fairy Fast and Edge of the Bay have raced in the last five weeks and we've no LTO winners.

Shecandoo heads the weights and probably the market, because although she's now 0 from 10, she has made the frame in 4 of her 9 A/W starts, beaten by less than two lengths on all four occasions. She's now down in class and to a career-low mark of 55 and the last time she ran in a Class 6, 5f contest, she was only beaten by two necks off 58, so she should have a great chance here.

Requited was a course and distance winner here in mid-August of 2019 off a mark of 63 and won here over 6f in early August of 2020 off 65, but has struggled in eight races since, not making the frame in any as his mark has tumbled to today's 55. Mind you, he was off 57 last tout and finished 10th of 11, more than 10 lengths adrift over 6f at Wolverhampton, so he'd really need to improve here.

Edge of The Bay hasn't been seen for well over five months since finishing 4th of 9, beaten by 4.5 lengths at this class/trip at Chelmsford after doing far too much early on. She's now 0 from 10 and has made the frame just three times and she's hard to fancy here off 2lbs higher than LTO.

Bernie's Boy does at least have a win visible in his recent form on the card and that came over 6f at Wolverhampton in early January when he grabbed the win on the line by a short head, but has run pretty poorly since. He's definitely unreliable, but has slipped to his lowest mark in over a year and has already won over course and distance, so it depends which horse shows up.

Lady Florence could be excused for finishing 8th of 9 last time out over course and distance, as she was returning from an absence of 178 days and in her further defence, she was only beaten by less than 4 lengths, having gone well until inside the final furlong. She had ended her Autumn 2020 campaign by winning here by 2.5 lengths over course and distance and then finishing third at Wolverhampton before her break and she's now 3lbs lower than that Wolverhampton run.

Terri Rules is an experienced 6 yr old mare with 51 runs under her belt and certainly will know what she's up against, despite coming here off a modest run in a non-handicap event at Wolverhampton last time out. After just nine days rest, that race probably came a little soon for her, becuase she had been running quite well before that. She was a runner-up, beaten by just a neck at Kempton two starts ago and although she's now gone 15 runs and 18 months without a win, she might have to something to say here.

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Fairy Fast certainly hasn't lived up to her name so far, winning just 1 of 22 career starts and losing all 13 A/W encounters. Since the start of 2020, she has raced exclusively here at Lingfield, failing to make the frame in any of her half dozen outings, beating just 12 of 49 rivals and losing by an average of around 8 lengths each time.

Lethal Blast is 0 from 8 and has been a bit hit and miss. Three poor novice runs prior to going handicapping where her results have been up and down. She ran reasonably well last time out on her debut for her new handler, going down by just two lengths off a pound higher than today, despite coming off the back of a 193-day break. She's entitled to come on for the run and whilst she's not an obvious pick to win, she could well get involved in a poor contest.

Oh So Nice runs mainly at Wolverhampton, where she has made 7 of her 8 A/W starts, without any real joy. She was a 2.5 length runner-up three starts ago after a 144-day absence and just hasn't kicked on as connections would have hoped. In fact she has been 10th of 10 and 6th of 9 since. She has, however, raced here once over course and distance back on New Year's Eve 2019 and although she was only 5th of 10 runners, she was actually less than a length behind the winner. Terri Rules finished second that day and is the only one of the four to beat Oh So Nice that hasn't won since.

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So, a fairly nondescript bunch to deal with. Often in these low-grade contests, you've got some class-droppers looking to return to form, but this, sadly, is just a bunch of poor runners, if truth be told. That said, one of them MUST win, so let's try and find it. You'll not be surprised to read that these 9 horses have won just 8.9% of their previous combined 237 career races and made the frame in just 31.2% of those contests, so when we consider A/W form on Instant Expert, we're probably going to need to look at both win and place stats...

Shecandoo looks solid on place form with a line of green, but has failed to convert them into wins, whilst Requited's only places have been wins and he goes off a mark 10lbs lower than his last success. Edge of The Bay is another with solid place form that hasn't translated into winners and Bernie's Boy has form and experience on going/class and is rated 3lbs lower than his last win.

Lady Florence's numbers are all based on small sample sizes, but there's plenty of green going on, but the problem here is that she's still 6lbs higher than when she last won. Terri Rules, Lethal Blast and Oh So Nice all look much of a muchness on those graphics with some bits of place here and there, although Terri Rules has won at least and is now 4lbs lower than that last win. Only Fairy Fast is a total negative from the above and she didn't get the best write-up either.

We have a non-runner here, so Lady Florence will effectively be running from stall nine and I don't think that there's a massive draw bias here today, but let's check the stats, shall we?

I'm going to say that stall 4's numbers are anomalous and that aside from not wanting to be out in stalls 8 or 9, the rest of the field should have a pretty even chance from whichever of the seven inside stalls they're berthed in, so it might well come down to early pace, race positioning and tactics and we can tell you about the successful way of running races like this is...

...that the further forward you can place yourself, the better your chances of winning. Leaders are more than twice as likely to win as prominent runers, who in turn are almost twice as likely to win as either mid-division or help-up runners.

And when we combine the draw with those prevalent running styles...

...the ideal scenario is quite clearly a draw in stalls 1-3 and get out quick! Numerically we're talking 18 winners and 6 placers from 43 runners (W41.9%, P55.8%) at an A/E of 2.91 and an IV of 3.57. If you're drawn 4-6, however, leading or racing prominently is the best course of action and those in 7-9 really need to get out sharpish to stand any chance here.

As we already know the draw, it's time to superimpose our horse's assumed running styles along with the draw onto that Heat Map from above and when we do, this is what we see...

...which looks particularly good for the likes of Requited and Oh So Nice from the low draws. Lethal Blast doesn't look to unfairly treated in #4, whilst Lady Florence looks the best suited of the rest, but she's going to struggle to get to the front here.

Summary

Shecandoo is already as short as 9/4 and I can't consider backing here at that price based on form, draw or pace, so if I was into laying horses, I'd see if she shortened and then possibly lay her. That's not my cup of tea, though, to be honest, so I'll just oppose her here. The good thing about her being so short is that we're now talking about an odds range of 6/1 to 10/1 for six possibles, after discarding Fairy Fast (fails on all departments) and Bernie's Boy (likewise and unreliable).

The logical step for me in a race full of fairly well matched runners is to go back to Instant Expert and the pace/draw heat map and I can't pull myself away from thinking the winner comes from Requited, Oh So Nice, Lethal Blast and/or Lady Florence. Lady Florence is up against it out in stall 9, so she's going to be the final discard ahead of my "three v the field".

Of the three, I think Requited (7/1), Oh So  Nice (10/1) and Lethal Blast (9/1) are all pretty close to each other, but I think I want them in that order. 7/1 looks a tad generous about Requited, so that's the play there and I might also back the other two on an E/W or even a 25/75 win and place basis.

 

 

Aintree Trends: Sat 10th April 2021

As we head into the last day of the 2021 Aintree Grand National Meeting on Saturday 10th April 2021 we’ve five more LIVE ITV races to enjoy.

The Ryanair Stayers’ Hurdle and The Doom Bar Maghall Novices’ Chase are always decent events, but really – it’s all about one race on the Saturday – the Randox Health Grand National.

As always here at GEEGEEZ we've got all the key stats for the main LIVE ITV races – these will help build-up a better profile of horses that have done well in each race over the years.

Good Luck!

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SATURDAY, 10th April 2021 (ITV/Racing TV)

 

2.20pm – Betway Mersey Novices´ Hurdle (Grade 1) Cl1 2m4f ITV

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2019 Winner: RESERVE TANK (20/1)
Trainer: Colin Tizzard
Jockey: Robbie Power

16/17 – Won by a horse aged 5 or older
15/17 – Raced 39 days or less ago
14/17 – Won by a horse aged either 5 or 6 years-old
12/17 – Priced 9/2 or shorter in the market
13/17 – Placed in the top three last time out
11/17 – Raced in the Supreme (4), Neptune (6) or County Hurdle (1) last time out
7/17 – Favourites to win (2 joint) (6 of the last 10 favs have won)
7/17 – Won their last race
4/17 – Won by the Paul Nicholls yard
2/17 – Trained by Willie Mullins
2/17 – Trained by Colin Tizzard (2 of the last 3)
2/17 – Won by the Nicky Henderson yard (inc two of last 9 runnings)
Ballymore Hurdle winners (Cheltenham Festival) are 4-from-4 since 1999
10 of the last 11 winners were placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd last time out
17 of the last 22 (77%) winners were either fav or 2nd fav
10 of the last 14 (71%) winners had won at least 3 times hurdles
14 of the last 21 (67%) winners ran at the Cheltenham Festival
15 of the last 23 (65%) winners finished 6th or better at the Cheltenham Festival that season
Willie Mullins, Paul Nicholls or Nicky Henderson have won 8 of the last 16 (50%) runnings between them
7 of the last 10 runnings went to a 5 year-old
Only 1 winning 4 year-old in the last 24 years
Only 2 winning 7 year-olds in the last 31 years
8 of the last 10 winners returned 9/2 or shorter

 

3.00pm – The Doom Bar Maghull Novices´ Chase (Grade 1) Cl1 2m ITV

2019 Winner: ORNUA (3/1)
Trainer: Henry De Bromhead
Jockey: Davy Russell

17/17 – Won by a horse aged 8 or younger
17/17 – Winners from the first 3 in the market
17/17 – Priced 5/1 or shorter in the market
14/17 – Won by a horse aged 7 or younger
14/17 – Ran within the last 35 days
12/17 – Placed in the top three in their last race
11/17 – Ran in the Arkle Chase last time out
10/17 – Won by a horse aged 5 or 6 years-old
7/17 – Won their last race
7/17 – Favourites that won
5/17 – Won by the Paul Nicholls yard
4/17 – Irish-trained winners
2/17 – Won by the Nicky Henderson yard (inc two of last 9 runnings)
3/17 – Won by the Henry de Bromhead yard (inc 3 of the last 7 runnings)
Arkle Chase winners have a good record – 5-7 in the last 21 years and 3-from-3 since 2008
Since 1989 there have been just 4 Irish-trained winners – 2013, 2015, 2016 & 2019
Since 1999 trainer Paul Nicholls has had 7 winners and 7 runners-up
19 of the last 25 (76%) winners ran in the Arkle Chase that season
7 of the last 11 winners were French bred
9 of the last 12 winners have won at least 3 times over fences
10 of the last 13 winners started their chasing careers with 7 or less runs over fences
Just 1 winner in the last 21 years finished unplaced last time out
Just 1 winner in the last 23 years returned 13/2 or bigger
No 9 year-old winner since 1973

 

3.35pm – The Ryanair Stayers’ Hurdle (Reg as the Liverpool Hurdle) (Grade 1) Cl1 3m110y ITV

2019 Winner: IF THE CAP FITS (7/1)
Trainer: Harry Fry
Jockey: Sean Bowen

14/16 – Priced 11/2 or less in the market
14/16 – Ran within the last 30 days
12/16 – Won or finished 2nd at this meeting previously
10/16 – Placed 4th or better in that season’s Stayers' Hurdle (Cheltenham)
11/16 – Placed 1st or 2nd in their last race
11/16 – Won by a horse aged 6 or 7 years-old
8/16 – Won their last race
8/16 – Favourites to win (6 odds-on)
6/16 – Raced in that season’s Cleeve Hurdle
4/16 – Won by the Paul Nicholls yard
2/16 – Trained by Alan King
2/16 – Trained by Nicky Henderson
2/16 – Number of Irish-trained winners
14 of the last 16 (88%) winners raced at that season’s Cheltenham Festival
15 of the last 16 (94%) winners had won a Grade 1 or 2 before
13 of the last 16 (81%) had run at this meeting before
13 of the last 16 (81%) were favourite or second favourite
7 of the last 11 winners won a race at that season’s Cheltenham Festival
6 of the last 11 winners won the Stayers’ Hurdle (Cheltenham) before winning this
Previous winners of the race are currently 5-from-5
Horses rated 170+ are currently 5-from-6
No winner older than 9 years-old

 

4.15pm – Betway Handicap Steeple Chase (Listed Race) Cl1 3m1f ITV

2019 Winner: KILDISART (8/1)
Trainer: Ben Pauling
Jockey: Daryl Jacob

14/17 – Carried 11-1 or less in weight
15/17 – Had run within the last 35 days
13/17 – Won by a horse aged 8 or older
10/17 – Priced 9/1 or bigger in the market
10/17 – Raced at the Cheltenham Festival last time out
10/17 – Unplaced in their last race
4/17 – Won their last race
3/17 – Favourites that won
3/17 – Won by the Philip Hobbs yard (3 of the last 10)
2/17 – Won by the Nicky Henderson stable
2/17 – Won by the Jonjo O’Neill stable (4-from-9 since 2000)
1/17 – Irish-trained winners
Only 3 of the last 21 winners were aged 10+
Only 3 winners carried more than 11st in the last 16 years
Just 1 Irish-trained winner in the last 43 runnings
9 of the last 10 (90%) winners were rated between 131 and 140
10 of the last 13 winners didn’t win earlier that season
6 of the last 8 winners had won over 3m before
Only 2 of the last 14 winners won last time out

 

5.15pm – The Randox Health Grand National Chase (Handicap) (Grade 3) Cl1 4m 2 ½f ITV

2019 Winner: TIGER ROLL (4/1 fav)
Trainer: Gordon Elliott
Jockey: Davy Russell

  • 28/29 – Ran no more than 55 days ago
    · 28/29 – Officially rated 137 or higher
    · 27/29 – Had won over at least 3m (chase) before
    · 25/29 – Had won no more than 6 times over fences before
    · 24/29 – Aged 9 or older
    · 23/29 – Returned a double-figure price
    · 23/29 – Ran no more than 34 days ago
    · 22/29 – Carried 10-13 OR LESS
    · 21/29 – Came from outside the top 3 in the betting
    · 19/29 – Had won between 4-6 times over fences before
    · 18/29 – Finished in the top 4 last time out
    · 18/29 - Aged 10 years-old or younger
    · 16/29 – Placed favourites
    · 16/29 – Carried 10-8 OR LESS
    · 16/29 – Won by an Irish-bred horse
    · 15/29 – Aged 9 or 10 years-old
    · 11/29 – Ran at Cheltenham last time out
    · 10/29 – Trained in Ireland (inc 7 of the last 14 years)
    · 6/29 – Won by the favourite or joint favourite
    · 7/29 – Ran in a previous Grand National
    · 7/29 – Won last time out
    . 3/29 – Trained by Gordon Elliott
    · 2/29 – Trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies
    · 2/29 – Ridden by Davy Russell
    · 2/29 – Ridden by Leighton Aspell
    · 0/29 – Won by a horse aged 7 years-old OR LESS

Aintree Grand National Facts

  • Since 1978, 126 horses have tried to win with more than 11-5 – with just two winners – Many Clouds (11-9) in 2015 & Neptune Collonges (11-6) in 2012
  • 16 of the last 21 winners were bred in Ireland
  • Only 3 horse that won at the Cheltenham Festival that same season has won since 1961
  • The last 7 year-old or younger to win was back in 1940
  • 13 of the last 23 winners had won or been placed in a National-type race before
  • No horse aged 13 or older has won since 1923 or placed since 1969
  • 3 of the last 11 winners ran in the Scottish National the previous season
  • 10 of the last 17 winners had run over hurdles at some stage earlier in the season
  • 5 of the last 18 winners had been unplaced in the National last year
  • Only four 8 year-olds have won the last 26 renewals
  • Just two past winners or placed horse from the previous year’s race has won for 35 years (77 have attempted)
  • 21 of the last 23 winners had fallen or unseated no more than twice in their careers
  • Just two back-to-back winners since 1974 Red Rum (1974) and Tiger Roll (2019).
  • 10 of the last 12 winners were having their first run in the race
  • 19 of the last 24 winners were aged 8-10 years-old
  • 16 of the last 21 winners were Irish-bred
  • Gigginstown House Stud Owners are 3-from-4
  • Only 1 winning 12 year-old in the last 24 years
  • 21 of the last 23 winners had fallen no more than twice before
  • Only 2 of the last 36 winners had won or been placed in a previous Grand National

Aintree Grand National Betting Trends (17 Year)

16/17 – Had won over at least 3m previously
15/17 – Ran less than 50 days ago
15/17 – Officially rated 137 or higher
14/17 – Won by a horse aged 9 or older
10/17 – Winners from the top 8 in the betting
10/17 – Finished in the top 3 last time out
9/17 – Won by horses aged in double-figures
8/17 – Experienced the National fences before
7/17 – Carried 11-0 or more in weight
7/17 – Won by an Irish-trained horse
5/17 – Won by a horse aged 10 years-old
5/17 – Won their last race
4/17 – Winning favourites (2 joint)
3/17 – Won by the Gordon Elliott yard
2/17 – Won by the McCain yard

 

 

2021 Grand National Trends

2021 Grand National Betting Trends and Tips - The Randox Health Grand National is simply the biggest and most famous horse race in the world. Run at Aintree racecourse each year in early April the gruelling contest is run over a trip of 4 1/2 miles with the first ever winner being the appropriately-named Lottery.

With 40 runners to go through one popular angle on whittling down the field is to use some key trends - apply these to the 2020 Grand National runners and you'll at least build up a profile of the type of horse it takes to win the Liverpool marathon.

Did you know? Since 1978 only two horses have won carrying more than 11-5 in weight, while the last 7 year-old to win the race was in 1940?!

Here at GEEGEEZ we look back at past winners and highlights the key betting trends ahead of the 2021 Aintree Grand National - this year run on Saturday 10th April - and sponsored by Randox Health.

Ok, at first glance with 40 runners contesting 30 fences for 4 1/4 miles the Aintree Grand National does have quite a scary look to it when it comes to trying to hunt down the winner – however, despite those daunting factors you can often find the Grand National winner by following a few simple tips and trends.

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Positive Grand National Pointers……………….
  • Horses that had won or finished placed in a National race of any description
  • Look for horses that raced over hurdles at some point earlier that season
  • Horses that like to be ridden up with the pace in their races often do well (avoid horses that like to be held up)
  • Irish-trained horses have a great recent record in the Grand National
  • Irish-bred horses have the best recent Grand National record
  • Look for horses that finished unplaced in the previous season’s Grand National – they often do well
  • Horses that have won over 3miles in the past is virtual ‘must-have’
Negative Grand National Pointers…………………
  • Horses aged 13 or older don’t have a great Grand National winning record – you have to go back to 1923!
  • Runners that have fallen or unseated three or more times often don’t run well
  • Past Grand National winners and previous Grand National placed horses have bad returning records
  • Horses that had last raced over 56 days ago often don’t run well
  • Runners that had hard races at the Cheltenham Festival, run the previous month, don’t fare well, although Tiger Roll kicked this trend into touch again last year.

 

Weight Watchers: Some recent winners have carried 11st (or more) to victory, but looking back at recent trends make this weight your cut-off point. If you look back over the winners we’ve only seen the mighty Red Rum (1974 & 1977) and Many Clouds (2015) carry 11-8 or more – 22 of the last 29 winners carried 10-12 or less! Tiger Roll won with 10st 13lbs in 2019, but defied the weight stat to win with 11st 5lbs in 2019.

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Staying Power: Stamina is an absolute must when scanning down the entries. Year-after-year there are always plenty of hype horses that are certainly talented, but the big question surrounding their chance is will they stay the grueling 4m 1/4f trip?  You have to trawl back to 1970 and a horse called Gay Trip to find the last victor that won the Grand National having not previously won over at least 3 miles.

Age Concern: Experience is a vital attribute when looking back at past Grand National winners with horses aged 9 years-old or OLDER certainly the ones to focus on. You have to go back to 1940 (Bogskar) to find the last 7 year-old to grab the Merseyside marathon! So, don’t be too put off if your fancy is in their twilight years – but not a teenager - 24 of the last 29 winners were aged 9 or older, but it is worth pointing out three of the last five winners were 8 year-olds, suggesting there might be a bit of a turning point in this age stat.

Luck Of The Irish: Our friends from the across the Irish Sea have raided these shores to win the Aintree Grand National many times in recent years, so certainly take a second glance at any of their runners. 6 of the last 15 winners came from Irish-based stables, including 3 of the last four.

Fencing Master: With thirty of the most unique obstacles in horse racing to contend with then having previous form over the tricky Grand National fences can be a huge advantage. Many recent Grand National winners had previously been tried over these Grand National-style fences in the past. The Topham Chase and Becher Chase - or a previous run in the big race itself – are the main races that are staged at Aintree racecourse over the same Grand National-style fences to look back at. Backed-up again in 2019 with Tiger Roll, who also won in 2018 and experienced the fences, winning again.

Who’s Your Favourite: The betting on the Grand National always picks up pace in the weeks building up to the big day, but on the Saturday itself, when the once-a-year punters hit the high streets, this is when the betting market really kicks into gear. It’s also worth noting that the weights for the Grand National are issued well in advance (February each year), so with some horses often running well after they’ve been given their allocated weight and before the race then this can also impact the ante post Grand National betting. 6 of the last 29 runnings have been won by the favourite (21%), while 16 of the last 29 (55%) market leaders were placed (top 4 finish)!

Market Toppers: We’ve already talked about the actual favourite, but this Grand National trend can be taken a bit further when you actually drill down into recent runnings. In fact, most winners in recent years started in the first eight of the Grand National betting market – indicating that despite the Venetia Williams-trained, Mon Mome, popping-up at 100/1 in 2009, that punters generally tend to get this race right. 10 of the last 17 winners came from the top 8 in the betting market – backed up in 2018 with Tiger Roll winning at 10/1 (joint second favourite), plus again in 2019 with Tiger Roll winning as the 4/1 favourite.

Fitness First: Probably the biggest trend in recent years, and a really easy way to whittle the 40 strong field down in one easy swoop, is just check how many days ago your fancy last ran. The majority of the recent Grand National winners had their previous race no more than 48 days prior to the big day. While if you want to drill this trend down a bit further than you’ll notice that a large amount of recent winners of the Grand National actually raced less than 40 days prior to landing the greatest steeplechase in the world. 28 of the last 29 winners ran no more than 55 days ago, while 23 of the last 29 raced no more than 34 days ago!

 

Recent Grand National Winners

2020 - Cancelled (Covid)
2019 - Tiger Roll (4/1 fav)
2018 - Tiger Roll (10/1)
2017 - One For Arthur (14/1)
2016 – Rule The World 33/1
2015 – Many Clouds 25/1
2014 – Pineau De Re 25/1
2013 – Auroras Encore 66/1
2012 - Neptune Collonges 33/1
2011 - Ballabriggs 14/1
2010 - Don't Push It 10/1jfav
2009 - Mon Mome 100/1
2008 - Comply or Die 7/1 jfav
2007 - Silver Birch 33/1
2006 - Numbersixvalverde 11/1
2005 - Hedgehunter 7/1 fav
2004 - Amberleigh House 16/1
2003 - Monty’s Pass 16/1
2002 - Bindaree 20/1
2001 - Red Marauder 33/1
2000 - Papillon 10/1
1999 - Bobbyjo 10/1
1998 - Earth Summit 7/1 fav
1997 - Lord Gyllene 14/1
1996 - Rough Quest 7/1 fav
1995 - Royal Athlete 40/1
1994 - Miinnehoma 16/1
1993 - VOID RACE
1992 - Party Politics 14/1
1991 - Seagram 12/1
1990 - Mr Frisk 16/1

Aintree Grand National Trends (Last 29 Runnings)

· 28/29 – Ran no more than 55 days ago
· 28/29 – Officially rated 137 or higher
· 27/29 – Had won over at least 3m (chase) before
· 25/29 – Had won no more than 6 times over fences before
· 24/29 – Aged 9 or older
· 23/29 – Returned a double-figure price
· 23/29 – Ran no more than 34 days ago
· 22/29 – Carried 10-13 OR LESS
· 21/29 – Came from outside the top 3 in the betting
· 19/29 – Had won between 4-6 times over fences before
· 18/29 – Finished in the top 4 last time out
· 18/29 - Aged 10 years-old or younger
· 16/29 – Placed favourites
· 16/29 – Carried 10-8 OR LESS
· 16/29 – Won by an Irish-bred horse
· 15/29 – Aged 9 or 10 years-old
· 11/29 – Ran at Cheltenham last time out
· 10/29 – Trained in Ireland (inc 7 of the last 14 years)
· 6/29 – Won by the favourite or joint favourite
· 7/29 – Ran in a previous Grand National
· 7/29 – Won last time out
. 3/29 – Trained by Gordon Elliott
· 2/29 – Trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies
· 2/29 – Ridden by Davy Russell
· 2/29 – Ridden by Leighton Aspell
· 0/29 – Won by a horse aged 7 years-old OR LESS

Aintree Grand National Facts

  • Since 1978, 126 horses have tried to win with more than 11-5 – with just two winners – Many Clouds (11-9) in 2015 & Neptune Collonges (11-6) in 2012
  • 16 of the last 21 winners were bred in Ireland
  • Only 3 horse that won at the Cheltenham Festival that same season has won since 1961
  • The last 7 year-old or younger to win was back in 1940
  • 13 of the last 23 winners had won or been placed in a National-type race before
  • No horse aged 13 or older has won since 1923 or placed since 1969
  • 3 of the last 11 winners ran in the Scottish National the previous season
  • 10 of the last 17 winners had run over hurdles at some stage earlier in the season
  • 5 of the last 18 winners had been unplaced in the National last year
  • Only four 8 year-olds have won the last 26 renewals
  • Just two past winners or placed horse from the previous year’s race has won for 35 years (77 have attempted)
  • 21 of the last 23 winners had fallen or unseated no more than twice in their careers
  • Just two back-to-back winners since 1974 Red Rum (1974) and Tiger Roll (2019)

Aintree Grand National Betting Trends (17 Year)

16/17 – Had won over at least 3m previously
15/17 – Ran less than 50 days ago
15/17 – Officially rated 137 or higher
14/17 – Won by a horse aged 9 or older
10/17 – Winners from the top 8 in the betting
10/17 – Finished in the top 3 last time out
9/17 – Won by horses aged in double-figures
8/17 – Experienced the National fences before
7/17 – Carried 11-0 or more in weight
7/17 – Won by an Irish-trained horse
5/17 – Won by a horse aged 10 years-old
5/17 – Won their last race
4/17 – Winning favourites (2 joint)
3/17 – Won by the Gordon Elliott yard
2/17 – Won by the McCain yard

 

 

 

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Grand National 2021 Preview, Tips and Runner By Runner Guide

What race is there to cover this weekend other than the Aintree Grand National, which will be run at 5.15pm and shown on ITV.

Once again I’ll be using Geegeez Gold to highlight some of the best angles into the race. Don’t forget that you can get your first 30 days of Geegeez Gold access for just £1.

This is the race of the year for trends fans and they are a great way of narrowing down this massive field. Andy Newton has already done the hard work for you if you are after Grand National trends, click here to visit his brilliant Grand National trends blog.

Pace

Making up ground isn’t easy on this course despite the runners having more than four miles to do so. In such a big field hold up performers can not only find themselves some way off the early lead, they also run more of a risk of having their rivals fall just in front of them. Those that are closer to the pace are far less likely to have to dodge fallen horses or unseated riders.

Let’s see what the data says about this race:

Aintree Grand National Pace Bias

Historic pace bias in the Grand National

It’s important to first acknowledge we only have limited data here. This is the only race each year run here over this distance and I’ve excluded heavy ground renewals as they come with their own micro pace biases.

The place data is the most telling here as this gives us the most data for the time period and the place percentages suggest a fairly strong bias towards those who race prominently. A very decent 20.48% of prominent runners place in the Grand National and that would probably be a lot more impressive if the data included 5+ places that you often get with the bookies.

Comparably, mid division is next best with an 11.29% place ratio, followed by front runners who have a 9.09% place strike rate and then there are the hold up performers who have a shocking place percentage of just 2.74%.

We can’t always tell exactly which runners are likely to be dropped out in the rear. It doesn’t take a drastically different ride to see a hold up performer to race in mid division for example. However it’s pretty clear that those who tend to race towards the rear and/or can be outpaced early on are not the ones to be with here.

Grand National 2021 Pace Map

A huge amount of runners makes constructing a pace map difficult, unless of course you have a Geegeez Gold subscription.

Grand National 2021 Pace Map

Grand National 2021 pace map based on the last two runs of each entrant.

We should have at least three runners happy to contest the early lead, including hot favourite Cloth Cap. Over this test they aren’t going to be taking each other on for the lead though, we’ll most likely just see all three disputing the early pace at a sensible gallop.

The runners you’d be most concerned about are those bottom nine contenders who all seem most likely to be dropped in at the rear. Recent history suggests they’ll have to be very good to win from there, or even place.

Instant Expert

Instant Expert should be able to highlight the runners who are more proven in conditions than others. The flip side of this is that those who are most proven are probably going to be amongst the most exposed runners but at the very least we can highlight some each way bets with Instant Expert.

Instant Expert showing win data for the 2021 Grand National field

Instant Expert showing place data for the 2021 Grand National field

You’ll find the win and place data above, win data first. A strong Grand National trend is the requirement to have won over at least 3m and to have placed over at least 3m4f so those two distances have been used for the win Instant Expert and place Instant Expert respectively. Both tables have been sorted by distance strike rate.

It’s worth noting that fifteen of these (including reserves) have so far never won on good or good to soft ground. Those runners include the well fancied Kimberlite Candy. Farclas and Cloth Cap are amongst the most consistent placers on this sort of ground, with Burrows Saint also up there but from only one try.

Nine runners that are guaranteed to make the final field have never won over 3m or further so it may be best to put a line through those. Burrows Saint, who is amongst the favourites, has the best win strike rate (67%) at 3m+. Eleven runners have a 33% win strike rate or better at 3m+ and that figure will drop to nine if the reserves don’t get in.

A whopping twenty seven of these, including the reserves, have never placed over 3m4f before which could be a convenient way of ruling out over half of the field. Yala Enki stands out as a runner that is consistently good over marathon trips with eight places from nine attempts over 3m4f+. Lord Du Mesnil and Potters Corner also bring a good place strike rate at marathon trips into this from more than one run so you’d fancy them to stay the trip at the very least.

With such a big field here form in 16+ runner races could be even more important than usual. Twenty eight of these, including reserves, have never won in a 16+ runner race before. Potters Corner is the only one to have both a 50%+ win strike rate and more than one win in these big fields. Twenty runners have at least a 50% place strike rate in big fields including the majority of the fancied runners.

If you wanted to build a shortlist of the most solid contenders from a win perspective using Instant Expert who have very few negatives you’d probably be looking at the following runners:

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Burrows Saint (good but limited data)
Secret Reprieve (good but limited data, 2nd reserve)
Takingrisks (lots of proven form)
Potters Corner (solid but ground a concern)
Cloth Cap (likeable profile)
Minellacelebration (some decent stats in his favour but has to prove stamina)

Grand National 2021 Runners

Here is the complete Grand National 2021 field in order of odds, most fancied to least fancied.

Cloth Cap

Pretty much everything to like about this one except the price. He’s a stone well in, ran a good 3rd in the Scottish equivalent two years ago, since cheekpieces were fitted he’s won easily on both occasions and enjoys this kind of ground. He’ll be out of the way of any incidents behind. He wouldn’t want to race as enthusiastically as he often does in this and there will definitely be better 4/1 shots on the day in other races but he looks the most likely winner.

Burrows Saint

Won the Irish equivalent in 2019 (aged just 6) which goes a long way to proving his stamina. That victory came on good to yielding and although most of his runs have come on softer, his three career victories came on either good to yielding or good. He’s raced over hurdles more than fences since the Irish National win, clearly protecting his handicap mark, and he put up a more than respectable effort in a Grade 3 chase last time out on ground softer than ideal.

Minella Times

A good jumper with form on a range of going types. He’s never gone further than 3m and has been beaten on both attempts at that distance. He shapes as if he will stay a little further but my preference is for something with far more proven stamina, especially at this sort of price.

Any Second Now

Enjoyed a step up to 3m2f to win the 2019 Kim Muir at Cheltenham before falling in the Irish Grand National behind Burrows Saint. He’s been campaigned with this in mind since but with his last two wins coming over 2m he’s potentially got a little too much speed for this and the fact that he’s falled or unseated on three occasions doesn’t bode too well, for all the fences aren’t what they once were.

Kimberlite Candy

A wide margin winner of Warwick’s Classic Handicap Chase in 2020, a race that worked out particularly well. That win suggests his new handicap mark shouldn’t stop him from winning and two 2nd places in the Becher Chase give plenty of hope that he’ll complete the course once again. This season’s 2nd in the Becher was his only run this season with leaves him with a longer than is often ideal break heading into this, although he does go well fresh. His best form is with plenty of cut in the ground and he was disappointing in the 2019 Midlands Grand National on good to soft which is a concern.

Secret Reprieve

Second reserve. On the upgrade in testing conditions at Chepstow the last twice. He’s lacking the usual experience of a Grand National and the likelihood of missing the cut here may do him a favour in the long run. He’ll be of interest next year, especially if the ground came up testing.

Discorama

No stamina concerns having placed in the 2019 National Hunt Chase on soft ground. Given a wind op since disappointing last time out so well being has to be taken slightly on trust but he’s run well after a wind op and an absence in the past, when 3rd at last year’s Cheltenham Festival behind The Conditional in the Ultima. His run style isn’t likely to do him any favours around here and most of his form is on softer.

Magic Of Light

Runner up in this in 2019 behind Tiger Roll so few question marks about the suitability of this test. As a 10yo she’s entitled to have a better crack at it this year but she’s 5lbs higher and it’s extremely difficult to win a National having run so well in defeat in the race previously. Poor run last time out but over a much shorter distance so that’s not a major concern. Much more appealing for place purposes than win purposes.

Farclas

Recent Cheltenham form behind The Shunter somewhat franked on Thursday but he’s been largely campaigned over 2m and although he ran well enough on his only attempt at 3m this is a massive step up again. Interesting from a handicapping perspective but has to be one of the least likely stayers in the field.

Potters Corner

Stays all day and loves testing conditions. He hasn’t been in the best of form on his last two starts and whilst he would have still made plenty of appeal on soft or heavy ground here, he might still find things happening too quickly in this. Perhaps the first time blinkers will help with that but there are certainly some risks involved for all it would be no shock if he won this.

Bristol De Mai

High class stayer whose best form has come at Haydock. He does have form on better ground but there is plenty to prove stamina wise and his best chance of defying top weight would have been if the race was moved to Haydock. Not difficult to oppose.

Anibale Fly

Finished 4th in this in 2018 on heavy ground and 5th in 2019 on better ground. Now 4lbs and 9lbs lower than those efforts respectively. He’s placed in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2018 and 2019 too so is clearly a high class contender. He hasn’t shown much since the 2019 renewal and would have only appealed as a winner on soft ground anyway so whilst he could place if bouncing back, a win at a third attempt is a tall order.

Milan Native

Has won over as far as 3m2f when taking the 2020 Kim Muir but failed to shine when pulled up over 3m5f in November. He’s been largely out of form on his last three runs and didn’t jump well on reappearance at Cheltenham after wind surgery. Opposable based on current form, jumping and stamina.

Mister Malarky

Not the most consistent but his run style should serve him well around here and the ground should be fine. He ran well after wind surgery in February so perhaps that will sort out his consistency but he still has stamina to prove. Definite chance if stamina holds out.

Some Neck

First reserve. Run well twice over 3m6f in cross country races at Cheltenham and finishing 3rd behind two runners rated 20lbs+ behind him no disgrace even if well enough beaten. Jumping hasn’t always been the best and needs to improve for this test to figure if getting a run.

Takingrisks

Won the 2019 Scottish Grand National, beating Cloth Cap in the process. Versatile with regards to ground having won that race on good whilst gaining his most recent win, last time out, on soft. He’s got a good strike rate for a pretty exposed runner and although he’s now 12, it’s hard to argue his win last time out wasn’t a career best. He may improve again for this step back up in trip and although he’s fallen a couple of times, he’s gone eighteen runs without doing so. Certainly one of the more interesting contenders at a price.

Acapela Bourgeois

Gave Burrows Saint 6lbs and a beating last time out in a small field Grade 3 and now gets 1lb from that rival so interesting at the weights. He wouldn’t beat that rival on their meeting in the Irish National a couple of years ago though when Acapela Bourgeois was 3rd behind his stablemate. Should stay this far and jumps okay but he tends to need to dominate to win and those tactics will be a bit harder to pull off in this big field.

Lord Du Mesnil

A strong enough stayer who won a decent race last time out but he loves Haydock and very testing conditions. He’s fallen or unseated five times in his career including his French form and that’s a concern over these fences.

Yala Enki

Extremely consistent in staying chases but he was a faller here at the first in the Becher and eight of his eleven wins have come on either soft or heavy ground. The higher he’s gone in the handicap, the more he has relied on smaller fields to get his head in front so he’ll have to put in some weight carrying performance to win this. Likely to be well placed but whatever happens should find at least a few too good.

Canelo

Didn’t look to be crying out for further last time out over 3m2f and has arguably been nailed by the handicapper now. His run style might not be ideal here either and it would be a surprise if he was good enough, for all there are relatively few miles on the clock.

Definitely Red

A staying on 4th in 2019 Becher and was sent off 10/1 for the 2017 Grand National before he was pulled up having been badly hampered. Took well to cheekpieces when they were applied in a 15 length win at Kelso just over a year ago but he’s struggled for form since then. Might bounce back but it’s possible age has caught up with him.

Give Me A Copper

Very lightly raced for an 11yo and he’s largely run well on better ground. A solid 4th in the bet365 Gold Cup in 2019 but he’s not always the best jumper. Not without a hope in this at a price but even if his jumping holds up he’ll need to improve for the step up in trip.

Lake View Lad

Pulled up in the 2019 Grand National with connections stating they would have liked a softer surface. He beat Santini here in December but has been out of form since and hopes of a revival are pinned on a wind op and first time cheekpieces. Something to prove on this ground too.

Shattered Love

She’s been in fair form this year but most wins have come in small fields on testing ground over much shorter trips. Far too many question marks to consider.

Blaklion

Finished 4th in the 2017 Grand National before winning the Becher in the same year by a wide margin. Hasn’t really threatened to win a race since then though so all hopes pinned on the return to this venue.

Chris’s Dream

Ran in the Ryanair last time out but was pulled up after jumping errors. Has several wins at 3m but hasn’t looked like staying beyond that trip and this is a lot of weight to carry when stamina is in serious doubt.

Class Conti

Nothing particularly wrong with his handicap mark but it certainly seems he needs to improve for the step up in trip rather than simply stay the extra distance. He lacks a win at 3m+ though and the ground may be livelier than ideal.

Vieux Lion Rouge

Well suited by these fences having completed in every single one of his nine runs over them and was a wide margin winner of the Becher Chase this season, defeating Kimberlite Candy by 24 lengths. Yet to get within 27 lengths of the winner of this in four attempts and has looked a non stayer each time. Great bet to complete the course, poor bet to win.

Alpha Des Obeaux

Fell in the 2018 Grand National but was a good 3rd in the 2019 Becher. Hasn’t got within 13 lengths of winning since then but ran a decent 4th in the Cross Country Chase last month, just behind Some Neck. Ground and trip are probably okay but run style leaves him needing plenty of luck here. Better chance than odds suggest though.

Fagan

Fourth reserve. Comfortable heavy ground winner last time out and had looked in need of further at Ludlow previously over an extended 3m1f. Pulled up previously in the 2018 Scottish Grand National but beaten before stamina really came into play that day. Been hit hard by the handicapper for latest win and unlikely to get a run anyway.

Hogan’s Height

An impressive winner over these fences in the Grand Sefton in 2019 but not shown much since then, pulled up on penultimate start and beaten 124 lengths last time out in the Cross Country Chase at Cheltenham. Has form on a range of going types but couldn’t be arriving in much worse form.

Jett

Hasn’t run well in over a year and was beaten over 100 lengths in this season’s Becher. Stays at least 3m1f but form as much of a worry as anything.

Ok Corral

Found to be lame after he was pulled up following a 416 day break when running in the Ultima at the Cheltenham Festival. He’s only run four times on good or good to soft ground and he’s won three of those which is a possible angle but a lot has to be taken on trust.

Sub Lieutenant

Stayed on nicely to finish 2nd in the 2019 Topham Chase and tends to run well on better ground. Not disgraced in two runs for the current trainer and jockey Tabitha Worsley has already won over these fences in the past in the Foxhunters’ Chase. Questionable stayer but better chance than the price suggests.

Talkischeap

Impressive winner of the 2019 bet365 Gold Cup (Give Me A Copper in behind) but only real sign of life since then came in a national hunt flat race at Lingfield in February. He reverted to type though when well beaten at Kempton on his next start. Enjoys fast ground (60% strike rate on good or better) but this might not be quite quick enough and needs to bounce back regardless.

The Long Mile

Stayed on well behind Acapela Bourgeois and Burrows Saint last time out but was very much ridden to get the trip that day. Similar tactics here would leave him a hostage to fortune and given the bulk of his form he’d still be a doubtful stayer.

Balko Des Flos

Barely run well for two years now and has to prove stamina and well-being amongst other things.

Ballyoptic

Has fallen in two out of three attempts at these fences and was well beaten in the other. He was actually in the process of running a decent race in the 2019 renewal when hitting the deck. He’s had no real respite from the handicapper though and hasn’t been in the best form recently so a win would be a shock.

Cabarat Queen

Best form has generally come when leading early but was always in rear last time out when eventually pulled up. Has form on a variety of going but something to prove at present and stamina far from assured.

Double Shuffle

He's been in decent form at Kempton on his last three starts and this course will suit his run style. Versatile when it comes to the ground but he didn’t seem to enjoy this test when trying it in 2017 and doesn’t look to stay further than 3m

Minellacelebration

Three time winner at Aintree but has yet to shine in two attempts over these fences. Won well in October here but hasn’t been in the same form since and has had a wind op since his last run. Wasn’t stopping when victorious over 3m2f at Uttoxeter last July and would be a major player if able to transfer his Mildmay course form to these fences. Very risky but more upside than most at these odds.

Ami Desbois

Runner up on his last three completed starts, behind fellow outsider Double Shuffle on his penultimate start. Tends to perform better in smaller fields which is no surprise given his run style and he’s going to struggle to dominate in this. May show up well for a while but stamina likely to give way later on.

Kauto Riko

Third reserve. Ran well in the Paddy Power Gold Cup in November but not seen since. He was seen to good effect that day but still only managed 4th and on ground that is likely to be faster than ideal over a trip that looks much further than ideal it’s unlikely we’ll see him figure in the unlikely event he gets a run.

Tout Est Permis

Hasn’t been in the best of form this year and he didn’t look a strong stayer when a well beaten 8th behind Burrows Saint in the 2019 Irish Grand National. Ground no issue but recent form and distance are likely to cause problems.

Verdict

Not as many with outstanding claims in this as you might think. As usual there are a few in with a great form chance but with some serious stamina question marks and I definitely prefer some proven stamina on my side in this.

Cloth Cap is the obvious one. He’s a crazy price though, especially if some of his recent improvement has been down to the aggressive riding tactics. He should run well but you can’t back him at that price.

BURROWS SAINT hasn’t been able to advertise his claims as much as he’d like as Willie Mullins has clearly been protecting his handicap mark with this race the aim since last year. He seems to have the perfect mix of speed and stamina for this and should be ideally placed just off the lead.

There are a few at very big prices that can interest the each way punters. The least risky of those could well be Magic Of Light and Takingrisks. The former arguably finds herself in a weaker race than when she was 2nd in the last running of this whilst the latter is still unexposed at extreme trips, despite being proven at them, and ran a career best last time out. Man Of Light is the more likely to place and Takingrisks the more likely to win of that pair.

Of those at the more extreme prices Give Me A Copper, Sub Lieutenant and Minellacelebration make a little bit of appeal but I wouldn’t consider more than the tiniest of each way bets on those, if anything.

Four against the field:

1. Cloth Cap
2. Burrows Saint
3. Takingrisks
4. Magic Of Light

Racing Insights, 9th April 2021

The rain I expected in the North West never really materialised and Native River was left to toil on ground too quick for his liking. That said, the way Clan des Obeaux ran today, he'd have been tough to beat in any conditions, so hats off to him and his team, who realised how tough it is to win here after running in the Gold Cup.

Native River plugged on to take third as my final five in the field contained the first four home and a faller and the first three home came from my last four, so those doing the crossed exacta/trifecta bets might have made a quid or two at least.

As for me, I lost a couple of quid, but no dramas. I just pick myself up and go again. Friday's 'feature of the day' is the Horses for Courses report, which does pretty much what it says on the tin and our free 'races of the day' are scheduled to be...

  • 3.05 Sedgefield
  • 4.05 Aintree
  • 4.50 Wexford
  • 6.55 Wexford

I'm going to focus on the Horses for Courses report today, which has a couple of qualifiers on the A/W to consider...

Both have made the frame in more than half of their runs here at Kempton and have won at least a quarter of their visits. Both are also profitable to back here from a win and E/W perspective, so let's dive in. We start with Phoenix Star, who runs in the 6.40 Kempton, a 9-runner Class 5 handicap for 4yo+ over 6f worth £2862 ...

Phoenix Star has four wins and a place from eight efforts over this course and distance, including two wins from three at Class 5. He might actually be a touch high in the weights off a mark of 68 today, but went very close over 5f at Newcastle last time out. He was running on well at the finish and the extra furlong should help here, but he is up another 3lbs back in Class 5 company. On his day, he'd have every chance here.

Most of his A/W form above relates to Kempton, as he's actually 0 from 15 at Chelmsford, Newcastle and Wolverhampton, so that defeat by a neck last time out at Newcastle as probably his best non-Kempton run.

He's drawn nine of nine here, which isn't ideal if truth be told, as you probably want to be in boxes 3 to 6 in a contest like this...

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...but at least he'll be able to see the entire field inside of him.

Races like this have tended to be won by horses running just off the pace or in mid-division, so there's no need for Phoenix Star to try and bolt out to grab the lead, he just doesn't want to be held-up, based on the following...

If we then combine the draw stats with the pace stats, we can then suggest the best way to approach the race from wherever your horse gets drawn...

...and this suggests that Phoenix Star's best chance would be to race in mid-division from his high draw and such a draw/pace make-up is actually the second best available here...

Unfortunately, he seems to prefer to run in a more advanced position and whilst that won't kill his chances here, I'm not sure if it will enhance them. That said, nobody (possibly Production) seems particularly well placed on that last graphic.

Something for me to ponder, but first I need to look at Chloellie who goes a little later in the 8.10 Kempton, an 11-runner, Class 5 Fillies handicap for 4yo+ over 1m also worth £2862...

This 6 yr old mare had seemed a little out of sorts for a while after finishing as a runner-up here at Kempton over 7f back in October, labouring under too much weight, but she ran really well off a lowly mark of 58 last time out to finish second at Southwell over a mile, going down by just a length and three quarters.

Like Phoenix Star above, her best form comes here at Kempton as she is just 2 from 13 at other A/W tracks. In fairness, she's better at Class 6 than Class 5 and better over 7f than over a mile and despite racing here 19 times, she's only tackled the one mile trip once here previously when she was 9th of 13, beaten by over 10 lengths way back in September 2019 and you'd have to think this might be tough for her, but might get close off a mark of 59.

She's drawn in stall 5 of 11 and whilst there's not a huge draw bias for this contest, stall 5 is a pretty good place to be, proving to be second best for wins and third best for places over a series of previous similar races...

Ideal racing position over this 1m trip today is right up front and if you can't lead, don't try to chase it. Sit back in mid-division and bide your time without letting the front runners get too far away, of course...

The way the draw and pace have worked together in the past suggests Chloellie's middle draw would lend itself best to a mid-division race positioning...

and here's how we think she (and her rivals) will run...

...and that's really promising for her and Hashtagmetoo as well. The obvious caveat here is that there's no pace on offer from that graphic, so they might not exactly break out like that, as someone will have to take it on and Hashtagmetoo, Ruby Gates and Dramatica have all been known to lead in the past, perhaps one of them will take it on.

Summary

Phoenix Star looks really well placed to land another Kempton handicap, but he won't have it his own way. The favourite Show Me A Sunset is clearly the one to beat, but at 11/2, Phoenix Star is worth taking a punt on.

Chloellie, on the other hand, looks less likely to win, but not for a lack of ability or application, as I expect another decent run from her here. I just feel that there are better horses here and things would really have to fall her way for her to land this one. There are three or four I like better than her, but if things did go right for her, she has every chance of making the frame, but odds of around 8/1 are a bit skinny for me, so I'll probably leave her alone. I'd expect the 9/2 shot Hold Fast to win this one and if I was looking for a small E/W play, I'd probably be more interested in the likes of Lady Alavesa & Capriolette at 11/1.

 

 

 

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