Racing Insights, 27th September 2021

The Pace tab on our racecards helps to inform how a race will be run even before the horses have left the starting stalls and it is a vital weapon in any bettor's armoury. So much so, that every Sunday & Monday, we make this GOLD feature freely available to ALL readers for ALL races, including our 'races of the day'. These are a group of races that we open up to everyone on a daily basis and for Monday, they will be...

  • 2.05 Newton Abbot
  • 2.15 Hamilton
  • 2.30 Roscommon
  • 3.20 Hamilton
  • 4.55 Newcastle

And of those five, the one I'll be concentrating upon today is the 3.20 Hamilton, which is a 9-runner, Class 5, 3yo+, Flat handicap worth £2,862. The trip is 1m½f on Good to Soft ground and here are the runners with my Report Angle stats...

Only Gainsbourg, Mikmak and Wots The Wifi Code have a win in their recent form line, but the letter two of that trio are up in class here, whilst Caballero drops down from Class 4. Both Gainsbourg and Flying Moon are former course and distance winners, whilst Jackhammer, Al Erayg, Mikmak and Wots The Wifi Code have won at similar trips to this one. All bar Gainsbourg (46d) and Wots The Wifi Code (32d) have been seen in the last 15 days and the handicapper suggests that End Zone is some 17lbs better than Flying Moon.

End Zone has a win and a place at Carlisle already this season and ran well at Beverley two starts ago to finish 4th of 10 in a Class 4 handicap. His 7th of 10 last time out doesn't do him justice, as he was cramped for room entering the final furlong and had to be switched outside, yrt still only lost by 2.25 lengths in a tight finish. Has won at a higher grade on soft ground and if avoiding trouble here, could go well again off 1lb lower than that Carlisle win.

Jackhammer hasn't won for 27 months, but has actually only raced eight times in that period. He was a runner-up on his last 2020 run and on both of his first two runs this season, but hasn't kicked on since, yet his stablemates have been running well recently.

Al Erayg wouldn't be an obvious winner here, having been beaten in each of his last thirteen runs since winning a soft ground, 1m, Class 4 hcp at Redcar almost a year ago. He did, however, show signs of a return to form with a respectable effort at Ayr last time out and now coming to a track where his trainer, jockey and trainer/jockey combined all have good records, he could surprise a few off a career-low mark.

Gainsbourg never raced as a 2 yr old and as such is now only six races into his career, but did win here over course and distance two starts ago in a Class 5 Novices race. He then only beat one horse home in a 7-runner handicap at Beverley last month and will need to improve upon that after nearly 7 weeks rest.

Mikmak has been around the block a few times and will race for the 65th time in this one. He's a respectable (for this grade) 6 from 55 on turf, but off a mark of 64 is probably in the assessor's grip. He finished 121 inside 8 days in early August off marks of 60, 61 and 61, but has since been 8th of 10 off 65 and 10th of 13 LTO off 64, so still needs some slack off the handicapper.

Caballero is another who'd be a surprise winner based on his run of 24 defeats since landing a handicap nursery at Newmarket almost three years ago during a very good 2yo season (2 wins, 3 places from 8). Since then his mark has dropped from 87 to today's 60. He was a runner-up in a soft ground Class 4 seller here over course and distance last time out, suggesting he might be ready to go one better down in class.

Engles Rock is also on a long losing run (20 races since early June 2019) and has finished fourth in each of her last four starts. Cheekpieces are re-applied here, but I'd suggest that if she was to finish fourth here, she'd have done well.

Wots The Wifi Code won at Ripon last month (C6, 1m), but was then a beaten favourite here over course and distance (C6) at even money and then a beaten fav (11.5 lengths off the pace) in another Class 6 hcp at Carlisle LTO. Down a pound but with no 5lb claimer, this will be very tough up in class.

Flying Moon won this race last year, but the form hasn't really worked out and they were a poor bunch if truth be told. He also won again straight after the race here (C6, 1m, Ayr) and repeated that win in June of this year but has struggled since. Showed some signs here of a recovery over C&D LTO when third of six and although down another 2lbs, has work to do.

This group of horses have a combined win strike rate of just 9.6% and a place record of 31.5% after 26 wins and 59 further places from their 270 total starts, so we're not dealing with prolific runners here, nor are we dealing with horses who used to be good but have slipped down the handicap. If we're honest, these are poor horses, but some of them might relish today's conditions and to quickly highlight if that's the case, we have our Instant Expert tab...

Not much to go of from a win perspective, but Flying Moon would appear to be the one to beat on this graphic alone. As for place form...

...that tells us a bit more about who has run reasonably well in forecasted conditions.

Other than those drawn higher than stall 8 in similar 8-10 runner handicaps performing badly here, I wouldn't say that there's a strong draw bias at this course and distance...

...and if you look at the PRB figures, then there's an argument that stalls 5 to 8 might be the worst place to be...

The PACE tab is today's feature and that shows us how all nine runners have raced in their last four outings, but before we look at that, let's see what type of pace profile has fared best on those races we go the draw stats for...

With an IV of 0.98, prominent runners almost win as often as expected, but the inference is clear here, leaders win most often and they're also the ones making the frame. Over half of the leading placers go on to win, which is easily the best conversion rate of the four running styles, so all we need is a front runner here.

Sadly, that's where it gets more difficult, as 4 = led and 1= held-up and our runners here are far more inclined to run from off the pace than they are to set it...

Sure, Jackhammer, Gainsbourg, Caballero and Flying Moon have led once in their last four, but there's no consistency from any of the nine, save possibly Al Erayg and Mikmak at a push. When we combine pace and draw to show the optimum combination...

...we are told that low draws are better, leading is the best approach and that five combos are very markedly favoured. When we overlay our runners on to that heat map...

...in draw order, based on their last three runs, we see that there's no real pace at all. Gainsbourg looks likeliest to take it on from a poor draw and the chances are that we'll get a falsely run race.

Summary

Based on how these have run recently, changes in weight/mark, relevant form via Instant Expert and the pace/draw stats, I think I'm going to take a fairly obvious runner with two possible surprises as my way in to possibly having a bet here. So, alphabetically, I'll start with...

  • Al Erayg, who has a couple of recent prominent runs, is drawn in 9 which scores well on PRB and comes here on a career-low mark for a yard & trainer that have done well individually and combined at this track.
  • Caballero ran really well here over course and distance on soft ground last time out and now drops in class, he has pace scores of 4 and 3 in two of his last three starts and is also on a career-low mark.
  • Flying Moon, who won this race last year off a pound higher than here and looked like coming back into a bit of form last time out. He gets weight from all his rivals, runs well for today's jockey and September seems to be his favourite month. It was admittedly a poor race last year, but tell me this is any better?

Of the three last year's winner ticks more boxes and as he's the longest priced of the trio, I'm siding with Flying Moon at 7/1 with Hills, the only market open at 4pm. I've not much between the 6/1 Al Erayg and the 5/1 Caballero, but I'd probably have them that way around, but neither interest me from an E/W perspective at those prices.

I think there's value in Flying Moon's price, but if you wanted a longer priced pick, then Jackhammer (the current 11/1 outsider) might be the one to outrun his odds.

 

 

Racing Insights, 25th September 2021

It’s Sam stepping in for Chris just for Saturday's column. You'll be able to enjoy Chris' thoughts once again from Monday.

Saturday’s free feature of the day is the Trainer Jockey Combo Report. This is an excellent resource allowing you to find not only the most in form combinations but also the racecourses where these pairings are most likely to excel.

There are also several races on Saturday that are completely free to all. These free racecards are for:

1.40 Listowel
2.00 Chester
2.25 Newmarket
2.40 Haydock
4.05 Ripon
4.55 Chester

The pick of those races from a betting point of view is probably the 2.40 Haydock, a competitive class 2 5f handicap that is live on terrestrial TV. This means that it has already been priced up by the majority of bookies so hopefully easier to pick the early value.

It's been unseasonably dry over the past 6 weeks and more often than not this race would be run on soft or heavy ground but we are once again getting fast ground - certainly a rarity in the past at Haydock!. It’s worth noting that the ground has been so fast at Haydock at recent meetings that it has often been difficult to make up ground from off the pace. If there isn’t much pace in the race then prominent racers could have a significant advantage, if there is a good pace on the cards then it will probably be a much fairer contest.

So let’s first take a look at the pace map for this contest:

Copper Knight seems almost certain to try to lead early with Royal Crusade likely to be up there too. Coming from rear probably isn’t going to be easy given recent course evidence but there could be just about enough pace on to do it.

Key Form Lines

There are two key form lines that relate to this race.

That race over York’s 5.5f course has worked out well and three of these runners, Copper Knight, Jawwaal and Mondammej were involved in the finish that day.

This trio then met again here, on fast ground, so very relevant form in terms of this race I am previewing. If I had been picking between Copper Knight, Jawwaal and Mondammej ahead of this race above my preference would have been for Jawwaal and then Mondammej. The former is probably better over 5f than an extended 5f so the slight drop back in trip should have suited. Mondammej meanwhile would have been expected to enjoy the slightly faster ground in this second race whilst Copper Knight wouldn’t necessarily have enjoyed it – plus he gets on particularly well with York so wouldn’t be guaranteed to run to the same form at Haydock.

As it turned out Copper Knight ran a blinder chasing a fast pace and he was only beaten on the line by Mondammej, with Jawwaal not quite quick enough to finish any faster than his old rival, always around 1.5 lengths behind him.

I doubt they’ll go as hard as they did in that previous Haydock race here which could hand a slight edge back to Copper Knight, who is also 1lb better off now.

I mentioned that I would have fancied Jawwaal to beat the other two in that Haydock race but he was beaten fair and square and off a potentially slightly slower gallop here it’s difficult to see why he should reverse form with either Mondammej or Copper Knight, now 3lbs better off and 2lbs better off with those two respectively. There really should be much in it again but based on that previous run I’d give Copper Knight the narrow nod over the other pair.

Two more of this field were involved in that race – Be Proud and Mountain Peak. Both ran poorly but Be Proud bounced back to form in last week’s Bronze Cup at Ayr. Be Proud has always been a bit difficult to figure out. He often shapes like he needs further than 5f, and he stays 7f (beaten a short head over 7f this season) but all six career handicap wins have come at the minimum distance. He basically needs a very strongly run, preferably stiff, 5f. He should run better this time around than when well beaten here but he might find things happening a little quickly.

As for Mountain Peak, he used to be a bit of a course specialist here but he’s been inconsistent this season and well below par on his last two starts for no obvious reason. He’d have an excellent chance based on the form of his Ascot win in July but it’s difficult to see why he should suddenly bounce back.

Premier Power is one of those runners that is difficult to weigh up. He’s so far shown his best form on artificial surfaces, hence the split mark, and he’s fairly difficult to fancy based on his two turf runs this season which are the most relevant evidence on which we have to judge him. A fast 5f on quick ground are big unknowns and whilst it’s worth a try, he can’t be backed with a huge amount of confidence.

Royal Crusade makes his handicap debut off a mark of 103 after ten career starts. His defeat of Glen Shiel last summer reads well but he’s generally been disappointing since and he’s another where the fast 5f is a question mark.

That leaves Lihou, Mokaatil and Show Me Show Me, the three outsiders of the field. Lihou is actually quite interesting. He placed twice in July off slightly higher marks and although not running to the same level in three runs since, they have all come over a little further and his latest two efforts at Chester have come from double figure stall numbers. He might not be quite well handicapped to land this but it’s fairly easy to see him outrunning his odds.

Mokaatil is another who will be suited by the drop in trip. He’s spent plenty of his career over 6f but five of his seven wins have come over the minimum trip. He was beaten too far last time out for it just to be the trip though and he’s above his highest winning mark so I’m not overly keen on his chances.

Show Me Show Me has won twice on quick ground over this trip this season and all his best form is at this trip so his 13th last time out in the Bronze Cup, only beaten 4.5 lengths, is not a bad run at all. He was runner up to Saluti on his last run at 5f and that runner has won again since so just like Lihou it’s easy to see him massively outrunning his odds down in trip. He’s only a 4yo and was rated as much as 16lbs higher last season so could still be well handicapped.

Summary

As far as most likely winners go, this probably revolves around Copper Knight, Mondammej and Jawwaal, who are fancied to finish close together again but just about in the above order. I’d have some slight reservations about taking 9/2 on Copper Knight though given six of his ten career wins have come at York and a further two have come at Chester, he clearly appreciates those extremely quick tracks and although he went close here a few weeks ago he’s up in the weights again.

If I don’t have a strong feeling towards a race I want to find something at a bigger price that I can make a case for. Lihou, and especially Show Me Show Me, are both fancied to outrun their odds. Lihou would be more of a place only fancy but he’s a perfectly acceptable each way bet at 16/1. I’d be more confident about Show Me Show Me though who is an even bigger price at 20/1. He’s not out of form, has been running well at this trip, and ran to form over 6f last time out so I just don’t understand why he should be considered the outsider of this field.

Racing Insights, 24th September 2021

Friday's free feature is the Horses for Courses (H4C) report, which shows the full course history since 2009 of any horse running that has previously had a run at the track. It is sorted by number of wins, but this can be changed to any column at the user’s discretion.

As well as today’s race time, course, horse name, jockey and trainer name, there is a breakdown of runs, wins and places, and profit and loss calculations for both win and each way betting. As with all Geegeez reports, there is a ‘Today’ and a ‘Tomorrow’ (for the next day’s racing) view.

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

In addition to this report, we also offer the following full free racecards to all readers...

  • 2.05 York
  • 3.00 Newmarket
  • 4.02 Worcester
  • 4.20 Haydock
  • 5.07 Worcester
  • 5.15 Dundalk

And here is my H4C report for Friday...

I don't often get many qualifiers, but as I've got a couple at Newcastle on the standard to slow tapeta, let's quickly assess their chances here.

The 6.00 race is a 3yo+, Class 5 handicap over a mile, where Harry George will put his four from six track record on the line. This record includes...

  • 4/4 at Class 6, but 0/1 at Class 5
  • 3/5 over this 1m course and distance
  • 2/3 when unplaced LTO
  • 2/2 in September/October
  • 1/2 for his current trainer

His racecard entry is...

In addition to the above stats, trainer Brian Ellison is 22 from 89 (24.7% SR, A/E 1.46) with Class 5, AW handicappers sent off shorter than 12/1, from which those racing on Tapeta are 16 from 62 (25.8%) and 13/43 (30.2%) here at Newcastle.

His sire, Big Bad Bob's offspring are 9 from 35 (25.7% SR, A/E 1.89) in Class 5/6 handicaps on tapeta over trips of a mile and shorter.

Harry George was 7th of 11 here over course and distance at Class 4 two starts ago and then last home of nine at Wolverhampton most recently. He's now down in class and down 2lbs to below his last winning mark, which should at least make him a little more competitive, although he's still above his last A/W win.

His form under today's conditions are as follows...

...which is as good as any of his rivals here. He's drawn out in stall nine of eleven, which is a little wider than the preferred area of stalls 3 to 8...

He tends to either race prominently (3) or be held up (1) and both of those tactics work fine here, although out and out leaders fare best of all...

...but if he races prominently from his high draw here, he's likely to struggle, as such runners are 0 from 28...

...so he'd be better off held-up, where the strike rate of 10.81% isn't brilliant but it's far better than zero. All those pace/draw combo stats are here...

Low drawn leaders fare best, but there aren't many of them. From those combos with a decent sample size, you want to be a prominent runner from a middle draw.

*

The 7.30 race is a Class 6, 7f handicap where featured horse Brazen Bolt is the top weight. This 4yr old gelding has 3 wins and a place from seven runs here overall and he has finished 42111 in five handicap runs here, all over course and distance. Three of his last four career outings have been here over course and distance, with him winning all three, the other was on turf at Thirsk two starts ago, when a half-length runner-up, so he comes here in great form as shown on the racecard...

He's up 5lbs for his most recent win (this Tuesday(, but is boosted by the booking of course specialist Danny Tudhope to take the ride. Danny is 43 from 195 on the Tapeta here since the start of 2019 with a 22& strike rate that rises to 28.9% at Class 6 (15 from 52), 24.2% on standard to slow going (23 from 95) and 23.6% over trips of 7f and beyond (30 from 127). His yard are in steady if not unspectacular form and they'll be expecting another bold show here.

His relevant form looks like this...

Impressive numbers indeed with the only blot being his record in this basement grade, but he has won 2 of 6 at Class 5, so he's clearly no mug. And the end column shows that he's got that extra 5lbs on taking his mark to 72 that he'll have to lug from the widest of the ten stalls here, which is a negative for me...

...as I think he's really want to be in the 2 to 7 sector of the draw, but it is what it is, he just needs to make the most of what he has been given and tackle the race in the right manner.

Prominent racers do best in these 7f handicaps here at Newcastle...

...and with three prominent shows in his last four runs, I'd expect him to run that way again here. After all, if it isn't broke...

When we combine pace and draw together, a 12% strike rate for high drawn prominent runners like our boy is as good as it gets from stall 10...

...but if he'd have got that central draw I mentioned his chances would more than double. That said, he knows the track/trip and has won better races than this, so I still expect a good effort.

Summary

In the first of the two Newcastle races we've considered, I don't fancy the chances of Harry George to be honest. He's badly out of form, still higher than his last winning AW mark and he's poorly drawn. I suppose he's second bottom of the market at 22/1 for a reason.

Most likely to succeed in this one for me is the 10/3 fav Bringitonboris with Twisted Dreams and Soaringstar the dangers. The latter is already as long as 15/2 and might interest some of you from an E/W or place perspective.

In our second race, I do like Brazen Bolt and I think that despite not being well drawn and bearing a 5lb penalty, he still has plenty to offer. 7/2 is about right for me and I'll have a little bit of that. He won't have it all his own way, though and the three ahead of him in the market (Moonbootz, Asmund & Daany) all have good chances.

 

Racing Insights, 23rd September 2021

Thursday's feature of the day is full access for all readers to the Instant Expert tab on the racecards. This is by far the most popular tab in the geegeez racecards.

The reason? It has the ability to condense the entire form profile of every runner in the race into a single, easily digestible, view.

The report covers the form in terms of wins (or places), runs, and win (or place) percentage for each of going, class, course, distance, and field size. It also compares today’s official rating with the horse’s last winning official rating.

The display is colour coded: green for a higher percentage rate, amber for a middling percentage, and red for a low percentage. Horses with no form under a certain condition have grey figures.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Where a horse has no UK/Irish form – i.e. it is having its first run in Britain or Ireland under Rules – it will not show up on Instant Expert at all.

And every Thursday we make this open to all readers for all races, including our free ones, which will be

  • 1.25 Perth
  • 2.15 Listowel
  • 3.20 Newmarket
  • 4.05 Pontefract
  • 5.25 Wolverhampton

One of our five free races is a Listed race, so we'll look at that here. It's the 3.20 Newmarket, where 10 runners will race over two miles on good to soft ground for a prize of almost £29,500...

Only Max Vega, Morando and Nayef Road are without a relatively recent win, whilst both island Brave & Rhythmic Intent were winners last time out. Both LTO winners are stepping up from Class 2 today, as are Max Vega and Roberto Escobarr, whilst all the field have raced in the last six weeks, with four (Nayef road, Rhythmic Intent, Eileendover & Crowns Major) having been seen in the past fortnight.

The age spread is 4 to 8 and if this was a handicap, Nayef Road would berst in at the weights with Noonday Gun worst off, rated some 19lbs inferior.

Positive trainer stats for Roberto Escobarr, Rhythmic Intent and Sleeping Lion on recent form plus Morando and Sleeping Lion for course records. Nayef Road's jockey is in good touch as re the riders of Morando, Noonday Gun and Sleeping Lion, but Jamie Spencer (Crowns Major) is struggling right now. The jockeys highlighted for good course records are aboard Max Vega, Morando and Sleeping Lion, but Shane Kelly (Eileendover) has toiled here of late.

Roberto Escobarr won a Listed race at York in June and was only beaten by four lengths in a Group 3 at the same venue four weeks later. He wasn't at this best when 6th in the Ebor, but was second of all those drawn in the first eight stalls. It'll be interesting to see how he copes with 2m for the first time, but his two Class 1 York runs suggest he could get involved.

Crowns Major stayed 2m½f on his Irish debut five months ago, landing a 22-runner bumper at Punchestown and was also a half-length runner-up of 19 in a soft ground handicap at Galway in late July, so trip and going should be fine, but this is a big race for a UK debut.

Island Brave is arguably better on the A/W (7 from 22) than on turf (4/22), but landed a Class 2 handicap over 1m6f at Haydock earlier this month, bringing to an end a run of seven runs without making the frame. He stays further than and whilst maybe not as good as some of the others, he'll still be running when many are struggling. Could make the frame here, especially as....

Max Vega looked really useful in his first three races, some two years back, culminating in a Group 3 win here at Newmarket over 1m2f. Since then, he has only raced six times, finishing 502075 and was well beaten on his only crack at two miles. He finished strongly in the Ebor last time out, but I have doubts about him getting the trip here, despite...

Morando is a respectable 7 from 28 on the Flat, but is winless in nine since landing a Group 3 race at Ascot almost two years ago. He did, however, look like he was coming back to form when third of seven at Chester last time out, beaten by just over a length in another Listed contest and if the rain comes, he'll be happier.

Nayef Road won a 2m½f Group 3 race at Newcastle last summer before being beaten by only the mighty Stradivarius in a pair of Group 1 stayers at Ascot & Goodwood. he hasn't quite been as good this term, unfortunately, but was third of six and only 6.5 lengths behind 'Strad' again in the Doncaster Cup last time out. That's no disgrace and this is a drop in quality for a horse that stays, won't mind a bit of dampness underfoot and likes coming here...

Noonday Gun is just 2 from 11 at Class 4/5, but did tackle a Listed race at Chester last time out finishing 5th of 7 in a tight finish where he lacked closing speed over 1m6½f and was more than a length and a half behind the re-opposing Morando who was third that day. I'd be surprised if he was anywhere near the reckoning here, despite the form of his jockey...

Rhythmic Intent is probably more reliable/workmanlike than he is a superstar, but he plugs on and runs his race more often than not, making the frame in 12 of 22 on turf. Soft ground doesn't faze him, he goes best within a month of his last run and was a winner of a Class 2 handicap at Doncaster less than a fortnight ago. This will be the furthest trip he's tackled, but if 'getting' it, he could surprise a few by making the frame at a price.

Sleeping Lion last won on turf a little over two years ago and hasn't made much impression in six efforts since, making the frame just once. He did, however, land a Class 2 A/W handicap at Kempton at the start of the season, but his three runs since then have seen him finish 12th of 15, 4th of 12 and 7th of 8 and that's not good enough for a race like this, even if...

Eileendover is the only filly in the race and only made her debut in November of last year. She kicked her career off with a hat-trick of bumper wins, the last of which was a Listed race over 2m1f on heavy ground in January. That should assure us of her stamina if nothing else.She hasn't quite hit those heights on the Flat yet, but has run consistently well in five efforts. She has won once in a Class 2 handicap here at Newmarket over 1m6f and her average margin of defeat in the other four is only around 5.5 to 6 lengths, so I'd expect her to be there or thereabouts without actually doing enough to win.

And now, our feature of the day, Instant Expert...

My take on the above win/place graphics is that Roberto Escobarr and Crowns Major are in largely new surroundings. Island Day and Noonday gun don't look well suited right now. The winner might well come from Max Vega, Morando, Nayef Road and Rhythmic Intent based on those numbers, whilst we don't really have enough relevant form about Sleeping Lion and/or Eileendover, although the former does like the trip.

Many flat races are heavily influenced by pace, draw and the interaction between the two. Regular readers will know that I don't set as much aside for the draw in these long distance races as I do for the sprints etc, but that doesn't mean the draw stats have no validity and with only a small number of similar races to consider, we should tread carefully, but...

...the initial inference is that those drawn highest fare best and when we look at the data stall by stall...

...horses drawn in 1-7 have 5 wins from 63 (7.94%) with 18 (28.57%) making the frame, but those drawn 8 and higher are 4 from 18 (22.22%) with 8 (44.44%) making the frame. These are small sample sizes, of course, but those drawn 8 and above seem 2.8 times more likely to win and 1.6 times more likley to place, which could be good news for Crowns major, Island Brave and Rhythmic Intent.

The pace stats seem more clear...

...with the basic premise being sit and wait. As you're probably aware, we log the running styles of all horses, awarding them a pace score of 1-4 where 1 = held up, 2 = mid-div, 3 = prominent and 4 = led. A horse with a 4-race score of 4 is a confirmed hold-up horse and one with 16 is an out and out pace-setter. This is how our ten runners have raced most recently...

We actually have no out and out pace or hold-up horses here, but Max Vega has two scores of 4, whilst Nayef Road, Noonday Gun and Island brave have all made the pace once recently. Max vega is a strange one, as he's also been held up twice, as have Island Brave, Crowns Major, Morando and Sleeping Lion.

We can then combine pace and draw as follows...

...that's a fairly telling picture, as long as we remember that it is only based upon nine races and when we add our runners to that heatmap...

...Nayef Road and then Roberto Escobarr are best suited of those drawn low or even in stalls 1-7. Those in 4 to 7 don't have a favourable make-up at all, but those in the high draws are sitting nicely in the green. And I think that those in stalls 1, 2, 8, 9 and 10 are the half of the field I want to be with here.

Summary

So, at this point, I've already set aside those in stalls 3 to 7 and I now just need to take two more out before deciding whether to have a bet or not. Crowns Major is probably the weakest of my five and this represents a huge step up for his UK debut, so he's out of my reckoning and then based on pace/draw, I'd say Roberto Escobarr is worst off there of my four survivors, I don't have enough collateral form data about him and he's conceding weight all round, so he's the final evictee.

That leaves us with Island Brave, Nayef Road and Rhythmic Intent as my three against the field and I prefer Nayef Road to the others. His perennial fly in the ointment, Stradivarius, isn't here for once and it could well be our boys day. He's 7/2 here, which is borderline acceptable, but very skinny indeed.

Island Brave looks set fair for a place ahead of Rhythmic Intent, but with the pair of them priced at 11/1 and 14/1, they might make for nice E/W bets, especially if Nayef Road shortens any further.

 

 

Racing Insights, 22nd September 2021

The Trainer Statistics (TS) report is Wednesday's free feature and it is in fact, four reports in one. It contains information on a trainer’s recent form, their longer term course form and for each of 14 day, 30 day, course one year, and course five year, users can filter by runs, wins, places, win profit/loss and each way profit/loss.

In addition to this feature, we also have our free 'races of the day'...

  • 2.52 Goodwood
  • 3.55 Listowel
  • 4.02 Goodwood
  • 5.45 Kempton
  • 8.15 Kempton

And I think I'll step away from full race profiling today and consider a trio of runners from two trainers with a good recent record at Perth, so here's a look at my TS report  based on Perth one year handicap form...

The going at Perth is expected to be soft and the 4.45 race is a 7-runner, Class 4, handicap chase over two miles, whilst the 5.20 race is a 10-runner, Class 5, handicap hurdle over 2m4f.

If we go as far back as the start of 2016, we find that Donald McCain's Perth handicappers are 18 from 64 with a further 7 making the frame for a win percentage of 28.1% (A/E 1.63) and a place strike rate of 37.5%. Of those 64 runners, Brian Hughes has 9 wins from 30 (30% SR) and soft ground runners are 5 from 8 (62.5%).

With respect to the 4.45 race, the 64 are 7/31 (22.6%) at Class 4, 11/28 (39.3%) over fences and 7/24 (29.2%) over trips of 2m/2m0.5f, whilst for the 5.20 race, his numbers are 0/4 at Class 5, 7/36 (19.4%) over hurdles, but 8/15 (53.3%) at trips of 2m4f/2m4.5f. These are all good numbers, but the chaser, Schmidt, looks best favoured on trainer stats.

Rose Dobbin also has a runner in that second contest and she doesn't send as many to Perth, but since 2018 her 'cappers are 12 from 43 (27.9% SR, A/E 1.88) with seven further placers giving a place SR of 44.2%, so very similar numbers to Mr McCain. of the 43 Dobbin runners, Craig Nichol has ridden 7 winners from 22 (31.8%) at a similar rate to Brian Hughes and they are 2 from 8 (25%) on soft ground.

With the 5.20 race in mind, her runners are 4/16 (25%) at Class 5, 6/31 (19.4%) over hurdles and 2/11 (18.2) over 2m4f/2m4.5f and like the McCain string, she'd have been better off with a runner in the earlier race because she's 7/18 (38.9%) at class 4, 6/12 (50%) over fences and 3/12 (25%) at the shorter trips.

On trainer stats alone, there's little between the two competing in the 5.20 race and as we've two runners there, we'll go back to front and look at those first...

Some excellent numbers there again with the only blot being jockey Brian Hughes being on a run of 13 rides without a win, but he did win twice here at Perth earlier in the month.

Shanbally Rose has made the frame just once in eight starts, all over hurdles and that came four races ago on her second run in a handicap when a runner-up beaten by 2.25 lengths over 2m4f at Musselburgh. Sadly, she hasn't got anywhere near those levels in three runs since and was last seen here at Perth 19 weeks ago finishing 8th of 10, beaten by 32 lengths over 3m on soft ground. The drop back in trip should help her see the race out, but I can't see her troubling the judges.

Esme Shelby has also yet to win over hurdles, but approaches her sixth attempt with three third place finishes under her belt including from last time out at Bangor over an indequately short 2m0.5f. She has only raced in handicap company once before and she steps back up in trip for her second crack. her form might well be modest, but this isn't a good race and her place stats are the best on offer here.

As I've said, neither have won a race yet, so we'll look at the places on Instant Expert...

As expected, Esme Shelby comes out on top from our highlighted pair.

As for pace, we're advised that those setting the fractions here fare best...

...and not only is Esme Shelby the more likely of the two to lead with an average pace score of 3.50, she's also the only pace in the race with the next highest only scoring 2.50. This means that she could well be afforded a soft, easy lead and have the run of the race from the front. Something for me to think about, after I assess the chances of Schmidt in the 4.45 race...

Again, another great set of supplementary stats to back up his case on his yard debut for team McCain. In honesty, his overall record of 1 from 27 (1/13 plus 3 places over hurdles) is poor and his sole win came at Tramore at the start of June 2018 for Henry de Bromhead. He hasn't tackled a hurdle since mid-October 2020 and has been chasing for his last eleven runs. That said, he hasn't been disgraced of late finishing 332624 in his last six and was only beaten by a head on his last UK start. His new handler will have seen the numbers and has wisely (in my opinion) reverted back to hurdling and this switch allied to some new surroundings and training methods might just do the trick.

His place record over hurdles on Instant Expert actually reads better than you'd expect...

...suggesting that conditions might well suit him here. A former soft ground placer, who has gone well at class/trip is positive news for at least making the frame. With regards to pace, this could be an interesting affair, as once again the stats suggest that upfront is the best place to be...

...and Schmidt's 3.50 pace score is as high as it gets here, but I've shown you the next three runners, because it's so tight that none of them can expect to have it handed to them. It's not ideal for Schmidt or any of the others for that matter, but it's better than being left behind.

Summary

Let's revert back to normal and go in chronological order, starting with Schmidt in the 4.45 race. Any win from him would be a surprise at the best of times, if truth be told, but this race is hardly stacked with prolific winners and Schmidt has been running pretty well of late. I fancy him to be there or thereabouts at the end and should be good for a top 3 finish at worst. The 6/1 Sword of Fate is down in weight and class and looks like the one he might need to beat to land this and whilst I'd rather back SoF at 6's, Schmidt has a chance at 7/2, although I'd have wanted a bigger price myself, maybe another point?

As for the 5.20 race, everything above points to Esme Shelby finishing well ahead of Shanbally Rose, who might well struggle here and I've got her finishing well down the field, so even at 18/1, I'm not that interested in backing her. I am interested in Esme, though and 13/2 about the sole pace option in a race excites me. I'm mildly selfishly disappointed that she's not 8's or bigger and I could hedge my bets E/W, but I'm going to have some of that 13/2. She looks et to dominate the race from the front and it's just a case of whether she can hold on. I think if she can beat the 4/1 Jaunty Soria, then she has a great chance here.

 

 

Racing Insights, 21st September 2021

A strange one at Hamilton today, two of my top four didn't run and the two that did finished first and last! No after-timing here though, as I didn't have a penny on the winner.

The Shortlist is a simple and usually brief report highlighting those horses with a largely ‘green’ profile in the Instant Expert Report each day. It covers win or place stats, and can be viewed for both today’s and tomorrow’s racing. This report is FREE to ALL readers every Tuesday alongside as election of full free racecards, which for this Tuesday are...

  • 1.20 Beverley
  • 2.17 Listowel
  • 3.10 Lingfield
  • 5.00 Warwick
  • 5.10 Listowel

This is the Shortlist for Tuesday...

...and only the top runner All Clenched Up was of real interest to me based on the scores. Sadly he's in a Novice race and I tend to shy away from the unpredictability of those, so for my piece today I'm reverting to the free race list, of which one has a runner that features on The Shortlist, so we'll be looking at the middle of the five, the 3.10 Lingfield. It's a 9-runner, two mile, Class 5, AW handicap on polytrack worth £3,240 and here are the contenders (including that runner from The Shortlist)...

FORM : Manucci, Nicks Not Wonder, Bird for Life and Arabescato are the ones to have won at least one of their last six outings with the latter having won last time out.

CLASS : Manucci is down a class, whilst Bird for Life, Retrospect and Gavlar all step up from Class 6

COURSE/DISTANCE : Lady Pendragon and Gavlar have both won here in the past with the latter also scoring elsewhere over today's trip, whilst Arabescato and Bird For Life are former course and distance winners.

LAST RUN : All bar Severus Alexander (146 days) have raced in the past seven weeks with Nicks Not Wonder (3d) and Retrospect (7d) running last week.

TRAINER POSITIVES : Nicks Not Wonder, Tindrum, Bird for Life & Retrospect (recent form) and Lady Pendragon (course form)

TRAINER NEGATIVES : Arabescato & Gavlar (recent form) and Bird For Life (course form)

JOCKEY POSITIVES : Manucci & Nicks Not Wonder (recent form) and Nicks Not Wonder, Lady Pendragon & Retrospect (course form)

JOCKEY NEGATIVES : Tindrum & Bird For Life (recent form)

Purely based on positive mentions above, the one catching the eye at first glance would be Nicks Not Wonder. Severus Alexander is my current back marker.

Manucci was very consistent for the Perrett yard from Sept '19 to Oct '20 finishing 2121321 on the flat and over hurdles before a 3 month break and one run for Tim Vaughan which saw him pulled up before 2 out in a 2m hurdle. He was then off the track 231 days prior to running last of 9 over 1m6f at Goodwood for his current/new handler just over three weeks ago. Clearly has ability, but is bang out of form. hard to recommend, but a good run wouldn't be a massive surprise.

Arabescato is 4 from 11 this year so far and has 3 wins and 4 places from his last 8 on the AW. A course and distance winner here LTO three weeks ago has to be in consideration again after a rise of just 2lbs and he's The Shortlist entry who loves it here at Lingfield...

Nicks Not Wonder has been running well in a busy period over the last 11 weeks where he has finished 3022412. He wouldn't be an obvious winner, but that form suggests he'll have some part in the final shake-up. Was 3rd of 11 at his only previous crack at 2m and that was off today's mark of 73, which is encouraging as is the recent form of his trainer, jockey and trainer/jockey combined. His jockey also does well at this venue, which is a bonus...

Lady Pendragon has won twice in thirteen starts so far and both wins came in back to back Class 5 handicaps over 1m2f here at Lingfield in Nov/Dec of last year. She hasn't been up to that level off higher marks this year and is now up in trip by 6f from a 29 length defeat as last home of eight at Chelmsford LTO. Hard to fancy here, despite her yard's success on the AW...

Tindrum was the runner-up behind Arabescato last time out and re-opposes 3lbs better off, but that run wasn't his normal form, as he'd struggled badly for 12 months prior to that race. I don't see him being consistent enough to reverse the placings, but is capable of getting involved again for an in-form yard and under a jockey with a decent record here...

Severus Alexander hasn't raced for 21 weeks and when last seen was the final finisher of six at Chelmsford. His last win came over two years ago at Listowel (1m4f) and he has raced 22 times since then. I suspect this will be a 23rd consecutive defeat.

Bird For Life is a former course and distance winner from May off a mark just a pound lower than today, which would put him in the mix, but he hasn't managed to land any of three Class 6 outings since and was only sixth of nine here over C&D at that lower grade LTO and now steps back up in class.

Retrospect has made the frame just 3 times from 11 career starts and his AW form reads 9474 and he steps up in class here. His jockey rides the track well, but it's hard to see him suddenly winning here off the same mark as LTO, even if his yard are in good nick...

Gavlar has certainly been around the block a few times at the age of 10. His AW record is respectable at 5 wins and 9 places from 41 and was a very good second of a dozen runners over course and distance here last time out. He was only beaten by a length, but he had almost four lengths between him and the following pack. he's up 2lbs here and although he'd be a surprise winner (winless in 25 since Aug '18), a similar run could see him in the frame again.

Not many of these are in good overall form, but there's always the possibility that some of them might have been waiting for or needing today's conditions. Instant Expert should highlight those apparently best suited...

As expected via The Shortlist, Arabescato shows up well here, Manucci's sole AW handicap run was a winning effort at Chelmsford and Lady Pendragon has decent numbers, albeit over much shorter trips. Gavlar is a four-time winner at this trip and is certainly weighted to break that long cold spell having seen his mark tumble by some 24lbs!

Based on fields of 8 to 10 runners, the draw here would tend to favour those draw higher...

...and if we treat the data for stalls 9 & 10 as one entity, then those drawn higher than 8 have a win strike rate of 17.3% and make the frame on 44.2% of runs. Personally, I wouldn't get too hung up on draw stats over two miles; a horse certainly shouldn't be losing a two mile race because he's eight wide of the first stall. The pace/tactics of the race are far more important here and the ideal place(s) to be here are off the pace. It's preferable to race in mid-division, but hold-up horses also fare better than par...

As for making the frame, there's very little in it as long as you're not the leader. it is tough to even hang on for a place from off the front end. Based on our runners last four races and sorted into draw order, here's how we think they might break...

This suggests that widest drawn Nicks Not Wonder will attempt to set the fractions and then try to hold off the pursuing runners from stalls 2 to 5. Severus Alexander in stall 1 should then slot in behind the prominent five ahead, leaving those in stalls 6 to 8 to be the hold up horses.

Summary

I liked Arabescato (from the Shortlist)  and Nicks Not Wonder (from racecard positives) from the start and I still like them as possibles here. Gavlar is interesting carrying no weight at all and coming here off a really good run, whilst the inconsistent Tindrum ran Arabescato close last time out and is 3lbs better off here.

All things considered, I think that's where my 1-2-3 are coming from. Arabescato has to be the horse to beat here based on form, Instant Expert and the fact he'll be held up, so he's the pick at 11/4. Sadly the bookies agree, but they might be right!

They've got Tindrum as 9/2 2nd fav, but I don't like him at those odds and I think Gavlar might surprise a few off this low mark. 8/1 is borderline E/W territory for me, so it would just be a small wager, whilst I also Nicks Not Wonder could make the frame, but 11/2 is too short for me as a placer.

If pushed to omit one of the four, I'd leave Tindrum out of my 1-2-3, but good luck however you play/see it.

 

Racing Insights, 20th September 2021

The PACE tab on our racecards help to inform how a race will be run even before the horses have left the starting stalls and this useful feature is free to all readers every Monday. And that's for all races, including the following 'races of the day'...

  • 2.17 Hamilton
  • 2.35 Leicester
  • 3.15 Listowel
  • 3.22 Hamilton
  • 4.20 Leicester
  • 4.37 Fairyhouse

And of those, I've selected the second of the Scottish races to take a closer look at today. That's the 3.22 Hamilton, a 13-runner, Class 4, Flat handicap for veterans aged 6 and over. The trip is a mile and a half on soft ground with £4,347 awaiting one of these...

Watersmeet owes nobody anything at the age of 10, having won 15 of his 61 races to date, including 4 from 14 at this trip. It is however 29 months since he last won, although he has only raced eight times in that period. He was only beaten by 4.5 lengths last time out weakening late on and a 2lb drop in weight allied to a 2f drop in trip might enable him to get involved here, even if he is better on the A/W than turf.

Koeman is another with a better A/W record than on turf, but with a 6/29 record at this trip has to be considered. Most of his recent outings have been at higher grades than this and he's now on his lowest mark since wining at Lingfield back in July 2017. Shortlist material here.

Where's Jeff has been in super consistent form this season, with seven top 3 finishes from his last 8 runs. He was third behind a pair of 3yo improvers here over C&D last time out and is now down in class and weight and is possibly the one to beat.

Multellie has 3 wins and a place from 6 efforts over C&D as well as a 7 from 20 record on soft ground and normally you'd think he'd be one to watch here, but if he was to get involved, he really needs to up his game based on his last three runs that have seen him beaten by 50L, 18L and 9L.

Akamanto finished 1211 in the summer of 2018 but ha failed to hit those heights since, having been raised in weight and was last home of six at Musselburgh recently, beaten by some 37 lengths. He's now lower than that last win from over three years ago, but all his best form is at Class 5 or lower.

Daawy is 1 from 1 here, courtesy of a course and distance win in this very race last year. Sadly, he hasn't won any of ten starts since, despite dropping down to a mark 2lbs lower than that win. He has won 1 of 8 soft ground starts, but would prefer it quicker.

Taxmeifyoucan has finished 211 in three visits to Hamilton and has won 3 of 13 on soft ground, but has been last of 8 (beat by 26L) and last of 4 (22L) in his last two flat outings and probably best avoided here.

The Navigator is on a 10-race losing streak that has contained some heavy defeats well down the field despite slipping to a career-low mark. He was last home of five (14L) at Carlisle just over a month ago and will have to really improve to even make the frame here.

Smart Lass has a decent 5 from 16 record on the flat including 2 wins (both at Musselburgh) from her last four outings. She's 3 from 6 on soft ground and should get this trip easily, but I'm still unsure about her, as all her best form comes at Musselburgh and at Class 6, she's up 3lbs and 2 classes here and I think that's possibly too much.

Glan Y Gors is better on the A/W in my opinion and he's certainly no hurdler as a 1 in 16 record testifies, but as for the Flat, he was 6th of 7, 30 lengths adrift last time around, just three weeks ago at Epsom seeming to struggle to see 1m4f out. He's eased 2lbs, but has lost his 6lb claimer, so I can't expect much here.

Flood Defence is 5 from 25 on the Flat, a decent record and was only beaten by a neck over hurdles at Perth a fortnight ago but now reverts to level ground. Sadly, her recent Flat form isn't good since winning at Musselburgh in July of last year, recording just one decent effort in six runs that have included finishes of 5th of 5 twice, 10th of 11 and 7th of 8 on her last try.

Lord Torranaga is 0 from 8 on the Flat and has never made the frame, but all is not lost, as there's clearly some ability there after 3 wins and a place from 6 on the A/W, including a win over this trip at Southwell two starts ago off 1lb higher than here. His best Flat run came when 2nd of 5 at Ayr in July of this year, when beaten by just a head off a mark of 63, the same as he runs off here, so he could be a contender for the places.

Sarvi has already won here at Hamilton, albeit over 1m1f back in July of 2019. Sadly he hasn't won any of fifteen starts since, despite nowe being rated at 5lbs lower than that win. He won't mind the ground, but the trip might be a little too long for him here.

If we're honest, there's not many of these coming here with any kind of form at all, so it could be a fairly level playing field which would play into the hands (hooves?) of those best suited by conditions. To help assess who might emerge from the pack, we are assisted by Instant Expert...

Sadly, that doesn't shine a great deal of light upon proceedings. We've already discussed Smart Lass' record at trip and going, but all that success came at Musselburgh and she has 0 wins and just 2 places from 12 away from that track. We've a trio of horses with green for their records here at Hamilton, but most of it is historical form and not much is recent.

We don't have enough information about 14 runner races on soft/heavy ground to determine how the draw or pace of the race might pan out, so initially I've turned to our draw analyser and expanded the parameters to give us more of a reliable sample size...

...suggesting a middle draw might be the best place to run from, not withstanding my usual caveat that the longer a race is, the less effect the draw should have, as horses/jockeys have much longer to counteract a poor draw.

We also have a pace analyser, which looks like this on the same parameters...

...which would suggest mid-division or prominent running would be most advantageous. Combining the data from both analysers gives a fairly predictable pace/draw heat map as follows...

Unfortunately, when we over lay our horses onto that heatmap, none seem perfectly suited by their pace/draw makeup!

The five most likely to contest early doors are drawn 2-4 and 12-13 with Watersmeet in 13 being the nearest to sitting in the green. Despite leaders not faring well here, I don't think any of those five will actually attempt to set the pace and we could well see the whole group clustered together with a small gap back to 3 or 4 others and then a group of back markers. Of the ones racing from off the pace, I like Koeman more than the others, but I think the winner comes from the top three on the pace heatmap.

Summary

Whilst I think Koeman could run a decent race from off the pace and make a late bid for place money, I think he might just fall short and the 1-2-3 will come from the three at the top of the pace chart. Of those, Lord Torranaga is the one likeliest to try and go it alone, which will make him vulnerable, so he's third pick at best for me here.

This leaves me with the consistent Where's Jeff and the best suited on pace/draw Watersmeet and I'm drawn tot he former more than the latter. Recent form holds sway over historical form here for me and with Where's Jeff having 2 wins and 3 places from 7 under today's useful and in-form 3lb claimer, he's the one to beat for me at 3/1, although I'm not rushing to back him at those odds : I was expecting/hoping for the 9/2 or 5/1 area.

At 10's Watersmeet is worth a thought as an E/W bet too.

Racing Insights, 18th September 2021

Saturday's free feature is the wonderful Trainer/Jockey Combo report (TJC), bringing together the form of trainers and jockeys into a single composite report which has produced excellent results for users. Quite simply, some trainers turn to specific riders when they have one ‘ready to win’. This report quickly identifies the most profitable combinations.

In addition to the (TJC),we also have our usual selection of free races, which are...

  • 1.15 Navan
  • 1.20 Ayr
  • 1.55 Ayr
  • 3.35 Catterick
  • 4.00 Newbury
  • 4.40 Navan

And after getting Friday's race quite badly wrong, I'm having another crack at a Listed event North of the border. I know the Newbury race is a cracking Group 2, but I'm keen to try and atone for today's poor show.

With that in mind, we're looking at the 1.55 Ayr, a 10-runner, Listed race for 3yo+ horses. The trip is 1m2f on Good to Firm ground and the prize is almost £22,700...

I talked last night about longshots not winning events like this, so you'll see that I've already "greyed" three runners out of contention. They won't just be 16/1+, they'll probably be bigger than 100/1 and they'll be that price for a reason, so we're effectively treating this as a 7-runner affair.

Of the seven, the two at the top of the card are likely to be well fancied, as they're officially rated far superior than the rest of the field, but we know from experience that this doesn't always mean it's a foregone conclusion. Only Palvecino is without a win on the most recent formline, whilst Euchen Glen, Platinumcard and The Flying Ginger are all stepping up from Class 2 today.

All seven have won over 1m2f in the past with Euchen Glen and Platinumcard doing it here at Ayr, no runners are coming from a long layoff and Juan Elcano is the pick on trainer/jockey stats.

Euchen Glen has a win and runner-up finish at Group 3 already this season as well as winning a Listed race. He wasn't at his best, when well beaten in a Class 2 handicap last time, but in his defence his mark of 116 was 15lbs higher than his most recent handicap win. Should be there or thereabouts, especially with results of 211114 in six runs here at Ayr!

Juan Elcano won the Listed Wolferton Stakes at Royal Ascot in June after a wind op and was then subsequently only beaten by a head in the Group 2 York Stakes. He has raced once more since then, finishing last of 7 back ay York, but that was in a Group 1 contest and this is far easier on paper. Definite chances.

Maydanny has won Class 2 handicaps at Glorious Goodwood in both 2020 and 2021, but was penalised 8lbs for the latest win resulting in him only finishing 7th of 18 at York. He then struggled over a mile in a Group 3 at Haydock last time out, coming home last of five, some 12 lengths off the pace. Should fare better back up in trip, but a place would be the best he could hope for.

Palavecino was steadily progressive in handicaps last season with 4 wins and a runner-up finish from six starts, but hasn't really made the successful step up to Class 1 action this term. Without a win in eight over the last 13 months, he's destined to be an also-ran here today too, I'm afraid.

Platinumcard was unplaced in five NH runs last winter before it was decided that he might be better on the Flat. Since the switch he has 4 wins and 2 places from 8 runs and although this is a step up in class, his heart and his form is beyond question and he could well make the frame again at a decent price.

Juan De Montalban won at Class 4 then Class 3 for Andrew Balding before being sold to Italian owners who raced him once as a runner-up in the Italian Derby. He then returned to the UK and was 4th of 5 beaten by 13 lengths three weeks ago in the Gr3 March Stakes at Goodwood. In fairness, he was stepped up to 1m6f that day and he should go better back down in trip and class, but not well enough to make the frame for me.

The Flying Ginger made all to win a Class 3 handicap at Pontefract back in June, but struggled in his next three runs finishing last of 8 in another Class 3 handicap then 5th of 6 and last of 6 in a pair of Listed races, so it was somewhat a surprise to see him come home a 33/1 winner last time out, scoring over 1m2½f in a Class 2 handicap. His 3 wins and a runner-up finish from six Class 2/3 handicaps versus a 0 from 5 (none placed) record at Listed class probably tells you where his ceiling is.

My seven in contention have a combined strike rate of over 28% so far (32 from 114), but Instant Expert will tell us how much of that past form is relevant here...

And I think it's clear that Euchen Glen (top on SR and 2nd best OR) looks best suited by conditions here and the fav Juan Elcano looks a little weak on that data. Both are drawn in the lower half of the draw in stalls 4 & 2 respectively, so let's check the draw stats to see if that's a good, bad or indifferent place to run from...

When we don't have lots of races for a sample size, PRB3 is often a good indicator of where the best sector of the draw might be, and whilst stall 1's score is good at 0.51, stalls 6 to 8 probably have the edge, as marginal as that might be over a trip as long as 1m2f. As many of you know, I'm a little sceptical about draw data beyond a distance that's longer enough for horses to compensate for where they start from.

To be honest, my opinion is that in races of 1m2f or longer with medium to small sized fields, the pace of the race is more important than the draw, so let's see how these races tend to be won...

And the facts are that leaders don't win and have the worst place success rate. Prominent racers win 42% more often than expected and make the frame most often. Mid-div runners almost win as often as you'd expect (IV 0.97) but provide the second most placers, whilst hold up horses often come through the pack to win (2nd best), but it seems to be win or bust, as their place percentage is poor.

Put those two charts together and join the dots and you'll see that the high drawn mid-div runners fare best of all followed by the low to mid drawn prominent racers. Low drawn hold up horses also do pretty well...

There are swathes of red there and that's where you don't want to be and when we put our field's draw and past running styles onto that heatmap, we get this...

This would suggest that Palavecino and The Flying Ginger (possibly Juan de Montalban) are most likely to be the pace setters, which probably takes them out of contention here with Euchen Glen and Platinumcard towards the back of the seven hopefuls, waiting to pick their rivals off late on. Juan Elcano might well push on (has raced prominently in 2 of his last 4), which would br a good tactic, whilst Maydanny also looks well positioned above.

Summary

Based on everything above, there are just four I'm really interested in here and in race card order, they are...
...Euchen Glen, Juan Elcano, Maydanny and Platinumcard, from which the Instant Expert line of green is hard to ignore for Euchen Glen, so he's my 3/1 pick here.

Juan Elcano looks too short at 11/8 for my liking and he should make the frame, but you're effectively betting on him bouncing back from a poor run.

Maydanny and Platinumcard look closely matched to me, but although the latter has been running at lower grades, he's in form and has good course/distance numbers and has a good pace/draw make-up, so he's a 14/1 E/W punt for me.

Ideally Maydanny also gets a place ahead of the short priced fav, but it's (a) not too likely and (b)not worth backing E/W at 5/1, so I'll leave him here.

Racing Insights, 17th September 2021

Apologies for the tardiness of today's piece, something unavoidable cropped up at 2pm and that was me out of action for most of the afternoon/evening! So, parish notices dealt with, on with the analysis.

Friday's free feature is the Horses for Courses Report (H4C), which shows the full course history since 2009 of any horse running that has previously had a run at the track. It is sorted by number of wins, but this can be changed to any column at the user’s discretion. As well as today’s race time, course, horse name, jockey and trainer name, there is a breakdown of runs, wins and places, and profit and loss calculations for both win and each way betting.

As an example, here's what my (H4C) says for Friday...

...handy for those of you partial to an Irish A/W flutter, but it's not my cup of tea if I'm honest. Thankfully we also have our daily set of free races, which are scheduled to be...

  • 1.15 Newbury
  • 1.25 Downpatrick
  • 1.35 Ayr
  • 2.10 Ayr
  • 4.13 Newton Abbot
  • 8.30 Kempton

And of those, I've decided to preview the Harry Rosebery Stakes, a Listed race for 2 yr olds over 5f on Good to Firm ground. 13 will compete for a prize of almost £24,400 in the 2.10 Ayr...

I'm clearly way behind schedule, but to reiterate what I've said previously about not needing long to assess a race, let's get this boxed off quickly, logically and methodically. I'm going start you off with a stat and that stat is that horses sent off at 16/1 or longer in 5f Listed race on turf since the start of 2018 are a measly 6 from 346 with a strike rate of just 1.73% and an A/E of 0.51, so I'm immediately discounting Fast Response, Eternal Halo, Edward Cornelius, Lady Ayresome and Unfinishedsympathy from my calculations, leaving me with a far more workable card...

...before moving on to Instant Expert...

...where Vintage Clarets and Canonized fare best over this speed/firmness of ground, we've no previous Class 1 winners but all bar Vertiginous have been placed. Vertiginous is also the one without a win at the trip. He looks the weakest here to me, so I'm crossing him off too.

This leaves me with runners in stalls 1, 3, 5, 9, 11, 12 and 13 and the draw stats for this type of race tell me that the lower end of the draw has done better than those drawn higher from both a win and a place perspective...

...this is particularly good news for Geocentric, Mitbaahy and Ernest Rutherford.  Now, the race is 5f on quick ground and the general feeling in such races is that you need to be sharp away and hold on. let's see if the stats for Ayr back this up....

Well, yes leaders and prominent runners fare best for places with leaders winning far more than other styles from a % point of view. And when we look at this field's recent running styles, we can instantly see that three of them have led once  with Vintage Clarets, Canonized and Geocentric all having 3 scores of at least 3 with the latter having a 100% 3+ pace score and it's possibly these three to focus on, based on pace...

Of those three, though, only Geocentric was drawn low, so he's probably the best positioned on the pace/draw heat map?

Unsurprisingly, yes. He looks the one of my seven most likely to take it on whilst Vintage Clarets is also well positioned from the high draw. The other one I like the look of from that graphic is Canonized and I think they're the three I'm most interested in here.

Summary

I've very quickly whittled the 13 runners down to just 3 via stats and the toolkit and whilst it's highly possible that we might have overlooked the winner, it's good to show you how quickly you can actually look at a race.

Of the three I'm left with, Geocentric ticks most boxes. She's 1 from 1 at the trip, has a good draw and is likely to lead. She's not been out of the first two home in three starts and was a runner-up at Group 3 last time out. I'd say she's the one to beat here at 4/1.

I don't have much between the other two on my notes, but at 15/2, I'd take an E/W punt on Vintage Clarets with any bookie paying four places (I don't mind a slight lowering of my E/W cut-odds if I can get an extra place). He was a good third in the Group 2 Coventry Stakes at Ascot three months ago and was beaten by less than 4 lengths at that level last time out. he was up at 6f that day and faded in the final furlong, so the drop back in trip allied with his ability shown in the Coventry makes him a decent E/W option.

Canonized is too short to go E/W for me at 13/2, but it's your call! She's already won three times this season and was only beaten by a length and three quarters in a French Group 2 race over 5f a fortnight ago. I fully expect her to be there or thereabouts and despite the risk of having overlooked a winner, I'm happy with the three I've gone with.

 

Racing Insights, 16th September 2021

The INSTANT EXPERT Report is by far the most popular tab in the geegeez racecards.

The reason? Its ability to condense the entire form profile of every runner in the race into a single, easily digestible, view. The report covers the form in terms of wins (or places), runs, and win (or place) percentage for each of going, class, course, distance, and field size. It also compares today’s official rating with the horse’s last winning official rating. The display is colour coded: green for a higher percentage rate, amber for a middling percentage, and red for a low percentage. Horses with no form under a certain condition have grey figures.

This feature is FREE to Gold subscribers everyday and FREE to everyone every Thursday for every race including, of course, our free races of the day...

  • 2.40 Yarmouth
  • 3.25 Pontefract
  • 4.35 Pontefract
  • 4.55 Naas
  • 8.00 Chelmsford

The best of those is the second on the list, the 3.25 Pontefract, a 7-runner, Class 2, flat handicap for 3yo+ fillies over 6f on good to firm ground. The winner will receive almost £15.5k and is one of these...

Early indications from the bookies are that it's a four horse race between Crazy Luck, Silent Flame, Gale Force Maya and Ey Up It's Maggie. My own initial thoughts were that it was a three horse race, as the last of the bookie's four wasn't as good as the others, but let's have a proper look, shall we?

Gale Force Maya is the oldest here at 5 yrs old and has a decent enough record at 6 wins from 26. She has a win and two runner-up finishes from 3 efforts over course and distance winner and although well beaten last time out, has been in pretty good from this season. She has been the runner-up in this race in both 2019 and 2020 and will relish the quicker ground.

Zim Baby has had a bit of a break (45 days) since finishing 6th of 14 at this class/trip at Windsor LTO and has been eased a couple of pounds by the assessor, but although she was only beaten by less than three lengths LTO, she has struggled over the last few months. Her best form comes on ground with soft in the going description and this track might be too quick today.

Ey Up Its Maggie finished 321 in her first three outings, landing a soft ground 5f maiden at Catterick just over a year ago. Since then she has won just one of nine starts and was only 6th of 12 off today's mark in a lower grade last time out. She's 0/6 on Good or quicker ground and 2/6 on softer, suggesting that she too might find this a bit sharp.

Crazy Luck has been in great form this summer finishing 32114222 in her last eight races, beaten by just a neck two starts ago and by half a length last time out, both off just a pound lower than today's mark. The horse that beat her by a neck then won again next time out and this horse has won on both good and firm ground.

Algheed is the least experienced/exposed here after just five starts, running on turf just the once when 4th of 6 at a lower grade last time out. Based on that effort and the fact she's off the same mark suggests this will be tough for her up in class, as all her best form has been at Class 5 on the A/W. She's also dropping down to 6f for the first time too. Too many unknowns for my liking with this one.

Silent Flame is 3 from 7 on the Flat with two further places, has won over 6f on Good to firm and has finished 121213 in her six handicap efforts over 6f. Off a mark of 76 (last win off 70), she might now be carrying too much to win, but she's a definite place contender here.

Lady Celia is last of seven on the racecard and I'd not be surprised if that was her place in the results. She hasn't won for over a year, races from out of the handicap here and was only 7th of 10 at Class 3 last time out. This is her first crack at Class 2 and I'd be giving her a wide berth.

That's a general overview of what I see about them, but for race specific stats, we have our feature of the day, Instant Expert...

...where Gale Force Maya and Silent Flame are the two obvious eye-catchers. The former has a poor 0/8 record in this grade, but she has made the frame in five of those eight defeats, so she's not a complete washout at this level, as we can see below...

The inability to even make the frame regularly makes it difficult to want to back Zim Baby and/or Ey Up its Maggie based on above and as I stated, we don't know enough about Algheed.

The draw here tends to favour those drawn low...

...although if we class 7 & 8 as one entity, then those drawn higher than 6 have the second best win (20.5%) and place (43.6%) returns behind stall 3, but with almost 53% of the winners and 49.4% of the placers coming from 1-3, that would be the preferred place to be here, which would be good news for Lady Celia, Silent Flame and Algheed.

In terms of tactics/positioning, our pace stats suggest that being upfront is the best policy...

...which, based on the way they've raced in their last four outings, would best suit the top three on this graphic...

And here is how I think they might break out...

Summary

I don't think I've seen anything to change my mind about which three I like best and although they head the market, that's not always a bad thing. All three are ultra consistent at making the frame under these conditions, but I think Silent Flame is the weakest of the three. She might be too high in the weights, has only raced once at a level higher than Class 4 and despite having a good draw, might find this a bit too much for her.

Of the other two, neither look brilliant from a pace/draw perspective but both are rock solid from a place position on Instant Expert. Both have won under similar conditions to today and I've very little between them. Gale Force Maya will relish a return to this track and that just tips it in her favour for me here.

So, I'm having Gale Force Maya at 9/2 to beat the 11/4 fav Crazy Luck for this one. I think Silent Flame is the best of the rest, but there's definitely scope for a runner like Algheed to cause an upset if allowed a soft lead. Algheed might be worth looking at from a back to lay perspective for those that way inclined.

 

Racing Insights, 15th September 2021

Wednesday's free feature is the marvellous Trainer Stats report which is in fact, four reports in one. It contains information on a trainer’s recent form, and their longer term course form. For each of 14 day, 30 day, course one year and course five year, users can filter by runs, wins, places, win profit/loss and each way profit/loss.

We also have a selection of free racecards, which are...

  • 2.35 Beverley
  • 2.55 Sandown
  • 3.30 Sandown
  • 3.45 Sligo
  • 6.30 Kelso

I don't have many qualifiers on my Trainer Stats report today...

...there's a Class 1 race in the free list, so we'll take a look at that. It's the 3.30 Sandown, which is a 10-runner Listed race for horses aged 3 or over. The trip is a mile, we're expecting good to soft ground and these are the runners competing for a first prize of almost £29.5k...

With so many races to consider on a daily basis I aim to quickly work through each in less than a couple of minutes and I approach races in different ways. One of the quicker methods I use is a basic process of elimination, where I just cross runners off as I go along, leaving me with a small number to consider at the end before deciding whether I want to back any or not. Sometimes there's a bet and sometimes there isn't and that's perfectly fine not to have a bet.

So, starting with the card above, I don't like Qaysar here as he's only had the odd good run in a dozen or so over the last 15 months and he's up in class after being well beaten in a lower grade LTO. He's also joint worst off at the weights based on handicap marks. Accidental Agent is another struggling for form and is more of a Class 2/3 handicapper nowadays and steps up in class from a defeat at Class 3 LTO. He's certainly not the horse that won the Queen Anne back in 2018 anyway and with negatives against both trainer and jockey, he's out of my thinking here leaving me with eight to consider going into Instant Expert...

...where the thing I see first is a line of red for Escobar. 0/7 on good to soft and a poor record at trip and class puts him in the firing line for me here. A quick check at his overall recent form tells me that he hasn't won for almost two years despite having 18 outings. He's 0 from 10 this season, of which 8 were at Class 2, so he's out too. Positives from IE are Mostahdaf's small number of runs/wins.

This leaves us with runners in stalls 1-3, 5 and  7-9 and the draw stats would suggest that those in stalls 5 to 8 would be best favoured...

...which is good for Brunch, Mostahdaf and Bell Rock from who I've got left. We talk a lot about pace here at geegeez and how important it is, but I should stress this doesn't necessarily mean we're looking for the fastest runner (although the one completing the race quickest wins!), we're looking for race positioning / tactics ie who has the best race/pace management and in this type of race, we're told that the further forward you race, the more chance you have of making the frame...

...but that leaders often get swallowed up and only 23.5% of placers who lead actually go on to win. Prominent racers win more often than any other racing style and they convert 35.6% of their places into wins. Mid-division runners have an IV of 1.03, meaning they win slightly more often than expected and their place to win conversion rate is a solid 34.5% whilst hold up horses fare poorest of all. Yes, they might win very slightly more often than leaders, but their 29% record for placers is poor.

Ideally you want a horse with an average pace score of 2 to 3 for win purposes or just over 3 for placing and here's how our runners have scored in their last four outings...

The problem we have here is not that none of these fit the bill from a pace/draw perspective, but that too many of them do and there's no natural leader of the pack...

Bullace led (4) four starts ago, but that is the only score of four in the entire field's last four runs, so this race is likely to be falsely run ie some horses will have to run differently to usual : they can't all run in mid-division.

Summary

Generally, my rule is that if a race is likely to be falsely run, you walk away from it and that would be my advice. If you still wanted a bet, then recent form, Instant Expert and that unknown 'gut feeling' will play their parts.

For me, it's a no bet race, but if I was to pick one, I think that aside from his last run when well beaten in a much stronger race, Mostahdaf ticks more boxes than any of the others and that's probably why he's the 11/4 fav. Has a great chance here, but won't carry my money. Powder dry for Thursday, I'd suggest.

PS I only know it's a no bet race for me after I typed it all out, I do the piece in real time, you see.

Racing Insights, 14th September 2021

The Shortlist is Tuesday's free feature and it's a simple and usually brief report highlighting those horses with a largely ‘green’ profile in the Instant Expert Report each day. Here is the view for Tuesday...

The top two would be the ones I'd interested in exploring, as they're largely green. One hasn't raced in tomorrow's class before and the other hasn't fared well in that size of field, but looks good otherwise.

In addition to this free report, we've also got a selection of open-access racecards for you...

  • 1.35 Fontwell
  • 2.30 Punchestown
  • 2.55 Yarmouth
  • 3.20 Redcar
  • 4.00 Yarmouth

And as the race featuring the top raked horse on The Shortlist is also one of our free races, it'd be rude not to look at the 2.55 Yarmouth, a 7-runner, Class 3, 3yo+ flat handicap over 7f on Good (firmer in places) ground. The prize is £8,100 and will go to one of...

Shortlist horse Farhh To Shy and Global Esteem look the ones to beat on recent results, but both are stepping up in class, one and two grades respectively, whilst Maxi Boy and Percy's Lad come down from Class 2. Corvair has already won at this trip and Maxi Boy, Global Esteem & Equitation are previous Yarmouth winners, whilst both Dazzling Dan and Farhh To Shy have both scored on this 7f straight.

We've a pair of 3 yr olds (Percy's Lad & Farhh To Shy) getting a 4lb weight allowance for their age an plenty of trainers with positive stats about them (14 30 C1 C5). On the jockey front, Rossa Ryan (Maxi Boy) is in good recent form and Marco Ghiani has done well at this venue, but both Shane Kelly (Dazzling Dan) and Charles Bishop (Percy's Lad) have struggled recently and the latter has a poor Yarmouth record.

At this point, I'm thinking that the likes of Farhh To Shy & Global Esteem might be the ones to best, as they bring the best form to the table, but Maxi Boy might be a big danger.

Corvair bears top weight here and is only a pound lower than when beaten by 6 lengths as 4th of 7 at Redcar last time out. In fact after starting his career 22111, he is winless in nine and he hasn't made the frame in any of his seven runs on turf. He's not for me here.

Dazzling Dan started the season well with a class, course and distance success here in late-April followed by making the frame in three consecutive 11-runner handicaps. Since then he has been 5th of 6 and last of 13, beaten by 12.5 lengths last time out. Still only a pound lighter here, he's 3lbs higher than that last win and recent form is off-putting.

Maxi Boy won a 6f, Class 3, Novice race on debut in May 2019, but has only raced 10 times since, failing to win any, but ws beaten by less than 2 lengths last time out and is a pound lighter and a class lower today, so making the frame might not be beyond him here.

Percy's Lad is certainly not having the same joy as a 3yo as he had last year when his three outings saw him open with two wins before finishing 2nd of 13, beaten by just a length in the 7f, Group 3 Horris Hill Stakes at Newbury. if truth be told, that race hasn't really panned out too well, generating just four Class 3 wins from 41 subsequent runs, including Percy's Lad's 6th of 7, last of 4 and 10th of 11. In his defence, the first two of the three 2021 runs were in Listed company before trying a Class 2 handicap, so this is a drop in class, but he doesn't inspire confidence.

Farhh To Shy is our Shortlist runner and this 3yr old filly never raced as a 2yo. She has four runs under her belt this term, though, all here at Yarmouth with the first three over 6f before stepping up to today's trip last time out. She was 5th of 8 (8.5 lengths) in a Class 5 maiden, then she won a Class 5 Novice race by 1.75L, before going down by a short head in a similar race a fortnight later. her last effort saw her step up in class and trip to land a Class 4 over 7f on handicap debut here and she's up in class again and has been raised 5lbs which makes life tougher but not impossible.

Global Esteem was possibly in his best form before taking a two month break, so it'll be interesting to see if he picks where he left off after a win over a mile (C4) at Ascot in July a week before running 2nd of 7 at Newbury, despite losing a shoe and being headed in the last of the seven furlongs. He's up two classes here but off the same mark, so like the one above, it's tough but not impossible and his jockey takes a useful 5lbs off, effectively taking him back to his last winning mark prior to this season and only 3lbs worse than his win two starts ago. He'd welcome some unlikely rain, though.

Equitation has won just 4 of 37 starts and has raced 18 times since he last won a little over two years ago. That was a Class 4 handicap with today's jockey on board and despite his terrible form, he's only 7lbs better off than he was 2 yrs ago. He has won here over 6f, but his 1 in 18 record at Class 3 isn't good. That said, he has made the frame in 7 of them and with Marco Ghiani (8 from 41 in hcps here for 2020/21) on board, he might yet get involved.

After this stage, Maxi Boy and Equitation might also enter the calculations, so let's look at relevant form via Instant Expert...

As you'd expect based upon The Shortlist that I started with, Farhh To Shy catches the eye here and it's apparent that all who've tackled this track before have done well enough to win here. Corvair & Maxi Boy are worries on the going with the former being poor in this grade, as is Equitation. Only two have own over 7f on turf with Maxi Boy having the worst record. Dazzling Dan, Farhh To Shy and Global Esteem all run off marks higher than their last flat win, but Equitation looks really well weighted for a possible return to form.

He's also drawn in stall 1 with Global Esteem drawn the other side of the line-up and the draw stats suggest that...

...those drawn 3 to 6 (Farhh to Shy, Maxi Boy, Dazzling Dan & Percy's Lad) might be favoured, whilst from a place perspective, stalls 6 & 7 do well, bringing Global Esteem into the mix too. As ever in these trappy affairs, race tactics can be vital and we cover this via the pace tab and the stats there show us that...

...that whilst those racing prominently or further back only fare slightly worse than par expectation (IV of 0.81 to 0.96), the place to be is up top from both a win and place perspective, which is great news for the likes of Global Esteem who is a confirmed front runner, but not so good for hold-up horse Dazzling Dan.

Sometimes it's better to see a visual representation than just loads of numbers, so we can combine those two charts above into a simple traffic light basis combo that we simply call the pace/draw heat map...

...which is actually very green today, suggesting you can win from a host of pace/draw combos, the best being the high drawn leader followed by the mid-drawn prominent horse and so on, whilst the bottom right four sectors are best for the places...

As we already know the draw for this race, we can easily slot our runners into those heatmaps, because we also log the running style(s) of every runner and when we combine them and arrange them in draw order, we get this...

...based on their last three outings. Global Esteem looks like he'll take it on from the start, but Farhh To Shy, Maxi Boy and Percy's lad are all well positioned to get involved and I think that these four are the ones to focus on.

Summary

Global Esteem comes here in good nick, was unlucky losing a shoe LTO and although up in class looks like he might well have the run of the race and he's going to be in my top two. Of the other three I prefer Shortlist horse Farhh To Shy over the other two for similar reasons to Global Esteem. She might well have her work cut out catching the pacemaker and for that reason, I'm not sure she's a 7/4 bet for me, so I'm going to side with Global Esteem for a bit of value at 9/2.

Of the other pair, they're much of a muchness, I'd say, but the 4/1 Maxi Boy will probably be closer to the pace than the 9/1 Percy's Lad, so I'll put them in that order.

Finally, the other The Shortlist horse I mentioned, Courtandbould looks up against it in a 3-runner chase and as let down by his jumping LTO, so I'll leave him well alone. Former Geegeez horse Swaffham Bulbeck looks the one to beat there.

Racing Insights, 13th September 2021

Monday is pace day at Geegeez, where we open up the pace tab to ALL readers for ALL races, including our full free races of the day, which will be...

  • 3.05 Thirsk
  • 5.30 Brighton
  • 6.15 Kempton
  • 7.15 Kempton

And I think the second of that quartet interests me the most, the 5.30 Brighton, a seven-runner sprint over 5f 60yds (5.27f?) on good to firm (good in places) ground. It's a lowly Class 6 handicap for 3yo+ horses and the modest sum of £2,700 will go to one of these...

Somewhat surprisingly for a race at this level, five of the seven have won at least once in their last five outings and two of them won last time out. Those two, Atty's Edge and Sir Rodneyredblood also both drop down in class here, as does Cappananty Con. All seven have won a sprint at some point, whilst King Crimson, Essaka and Ocean Wilde are former course and distance winners.

All seven have had at least one run in the last four weeks with Ocean Wilde rested for just seven days, whilst Essaka ran at Bath on Saturday. Not much to say about trainer form, other than that the handlers of We're Reunited and Cappananty Con could do with a winner or two and that Ocean Wilde's yard seems in decent nick. Jockey-wise, there are plenty of indicators. Atty's Edge and Cappananty Con are negatives on both recent form and long-term course records, whilst those aboard Sir Rodneyredblood, Essaka, Ocean Wilde and King Crimson have all done well here in the past, although the latter is on a run of one win in 37 (winless in 20).

Atty's Edge is probably in the best run of form in his life so far with two wins and two runner-up finishes in his last five outings, but he's now back to his career-high mark of 65, up 3lbs for only winning by a neck and that might make him vulnerable here.

We're Reunited was a winner four starts ago at Bath and was only headed with half a furlong to run at Chepstow last time out, eventually finishing third beaten by just a neck and a head.. Another run to that level puts him in with a shout of making the frame again.

Sir Rodneyredblood is 4 from 15 since the start of February and won at Lingfield (AW, 5f) by a neck at a higher grade last time out off a mark of 70. He's rated 7lbs lower on turf and although he's 0 from 7 in this sphere, he's in good form, is well weighted and drops in class. Every chance of breaking his flat duck here.

King Crimson absolutely loves it here and has 4 wins and 2 places from 8 efforts over course and distance, but he's 3lbs higher than when touched off by a shorthead here two starts ago and runs off the same mark as when 3rd of 8 last time out. Cheekpieces are back on here to eke more out, so who knows?

Cappananty Con is just 1 from 22 on turf and is 9lbs worse off than that run, but his mark is dropping with each race. The bare 5th of 7th result from LTO doesn't tell the full story, as he was only a length and three quarters behind the winner Atty's Edge and with him now being 4lbs better with the winner, could feasibly reverse that result, not that I expect him to win.

Essaka has a stack of positive stats behind him (see below), but he hasn't won any of 26 races since scoring at Brighton over 27 months ago. He's a former course and distance winner on a near career-low mark, but he's still not for me based on general form and the fact that he was beaten by 3.5 lengths off this mark last time out.

Ocean Wilde won here over course and distance two starts ago in a rare run at a trip shorter than 7f. He was pushed along to win by half a length that day off a mark just 2lbs lower than today, so with a bit of improvement, he could have a say in proceedings.

This field has 41 wins between them including several over course and distance. Instant Expert is our easy guide to who has performed best under expected conditions...

On the going, runners 2, 3, 6 and 7 have poor records, whilst 3 and 7 aren't great at Class 6. In fact Sir Rodneyredblood (#3) has a line of red, because of his 0 from 7 record on the flat, but that doesn't mean he can't win here. Essaka (#7), however, seems to have tried these conditions more than enough times without success and his only saving grace is his record on this track.

On a positive note, King Crimson looks the pick of the bunch on relevant stats and we know he loves this track/trip. Ocean Wilde & Atty's Edge also carry more positive than negative vibes here.

There's not a great deal in the draw here...

...although stalls 2 to 4 would have a slight edge from a win perspective and stalls 2 & 3 for the places. So, if pushed, I'd probably want a low-ish draw, but not on the rail : got of Ocean Wilde, Atty's Edge & King Crimson. That said, it's pointless getting a good draw if you don't use it to your advantage and race positioning aka pace is vital here. Pace is or feature of the day, so let's take a closer look at it.

The Geegeez course guide says...The course features a left-hand dog leg turn which is said to include one of the steepest descents in the world of racing. The descent, combined with testing undulating turf, guarantees one of the trickiest rides in the UK for jockeys. The rolling nature of the course means Brighton favours small, agile types; especially front runners...so that would suggest horses that lead or run prominently would be the ones to be on. A quick check of the actual stats tells me...

...that this is definitely the case and that the further forward you run, the better your chances. So ideally we're looking for a lowish draw and an average pace score of 3 or more and we've got over the last three runs from these seven horses is...

...horses in stalls 4, 1 and 5 scoring the highest on pace. What I expect might happen here in that with the runners in stalls 2 and 3 not tending to kick on at the start, that those in 1, 4 and 5 will almost go three abreast and try to have their own race.

If we mixed the draw data with the above pace stats, we get a heat map like this...

...which would back my assertion that these are the three likeliest to take it on and are drawn suitably well to do so.

Summary

It's definitely between King Crimson, Sir Rodneyredblood and We're Reunited for me here.

King Crimson is the course and distance specialist and was only beaten by a short head off todays mark the last time he tackled this track and trip. Cheekpieces are on to try and get more from him, his pace/draw is excellent but he is 3lbs higher than that defeat.

Sir Rodneyredblood has been in great nick for most of the last seven months and is really well weighted to win here, but is 0 from 7 on turf without even making the frame.

We're Reunited has won recently, wasn't far adrift last time out but is on the highest mark he has been for well over a year. Plus he might run at Bath on Sunday afternoon.

There's pros and cons to all three, but King Crimson has fewer red marks against him on my notes, so I'll take him to beat Sir Rodneyredblood here. We're Reunited should be best of the rest for tricast/trifecta purposes.

I completed the above at 3.30pm Sunday, prior to We're Reunited's possible appearance at Bath. He did actually run and was a good third at 18/1. I still think he could go well here, but probably won't run. If not running, then maybe Cappananty Con for third, based on pace and his run LTO? No prices were offered at 4.05pm, I'll add them later.

Racing Insights, 11th September 2021

The weekend is almost here and Saturday's free feature is the Trainer/Jockey Combo (TJC) report, bringing together the form of trainers and jockeys into a single composite report which has produced excellent results for users. Quite simply, some trainers turn to specific riders when they have one ‘ready to win’. This report quickly identifies the most profitable combinations.

As always, we also have a selection of full free racecards open to all readers and for Saturday, they are...

  • 2.40 Bath
  • 3.00 Doncaster
  • 3.35 Doncaster
  • 4.25 Chester
  • 5.00 Bath
  • 6.50 Musselburgh

The second of the two from Doncaster is the St. Leger and I'm sure that better analysts than I will be tackling this race elsewhere and here on Geegeez too, but I think it would still be a worthwhile exercise to see if the toolkit backs up their assessments, so it's the 3.35 Doncaster for us today. It is, of course, the St Leger, a Group 1 race for ten 3 yr old ungelded runners over 1m6½f. The ground is expected to be good to firm (good in places) and top prize is a whopping £421,355.

Hurricane Lane is expected to be a very warm favourite, but that often opens the door for some nicely-priced E/W bets, so all isn't lost even if he wins. He's one of four LTO winners in the field, but we've no former course or distance winners on show today. The fav is at least 6lbs well in based on official ratings and we've a stack of in-form trainers and jockeys and plenty with good previous course form. The exceptions here are the trainer of Ottoman Empire and the jockey on The Mediterranean who are both short of a bit of form.

And so, to the runners themselves...

Fernando Vichi is likely to be one of the back markers, but did beat The Mediterranean by ¾ length to land a Listed race in Ireland three starts ago. he was then well beaten (9th of 11, 17L) in the Irish Derby before being a runner-up next/last time out in another Leopardstown Listed race stepped up to this trip. He's a useful sort, but others look better and he probably wants it a bit softer.

High Definition was 2 from 2 as a 2 yr old, including a Group 2 win over a mile at the Curragh last September. He started this season with a gritty run to finish third in the Gr2 Dante at York, 2 lengths behind Hurricane Lane, but has struggled in his last two outings, not seeing out 1m4f. He'd be a surprising winner here.

Hurricane Lane has four wins and a place from his five starts to date, the only 'blot' being a third place in this year's Derby, when seeming to not 'get' the track at Epsom, like many before him, I suppose. He made up for that by landing the Irish equivalent in June and also the Gr1 Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp on Bastille Day. I'm not convinced this son of Frankel has finished improving yet, but tackles further than a mile and a half for the first time. Definitely the one to beat.

Interpretation was just 4th of 11 in a heavy ground 9f maiden on debut at the Curragh back in November on his sole outing as a 2yo, but is 3 from 3 this season, culminating in landing a Listed race over today's trip at Leopardstown a month ago beating Fernando Vichi by 1¾ lengths. This is a big step up, but he has proved he gets the trip, so he could well threaten to make the frame here.

Mojo Star took five races to finally get off the mark in a Class 3 maiden last time out, having been a runner-up in each of his first three outings, culminating in a 4.5 length defeat in The Derby back in June. He didn't fare quite as well in the Irish version three weeks later when only fifth of eleven, more than nine lengths off the pace. He might well be second best in the ratings, but has something to find here up in trip on quicker ground.

Ottoman Emperor is 4 from 4 on turf after being beaten by just over two lengths on debut (A/W at Dundalk) in March. In fairness, the first three of those races weren't anywhere near this standard, but he was always doing enough to win. He stepped up to 1m4f for the first time last time out and stayed on well to land the Gordon Stakes at Goodwood beating the re-opposing Sir Lucan by ½ length. Up in trip again and on quicker ground than he's faced, more improvement needed.

Scope looks up against it here despite gradually stepping up in both class and trip to a point where he was beaten by less than 2.5 lengths over 1m4f in a Gr2 race (Voltigeur) last time out. He was fifth of eight that day behind the re-opposing The Meditteranean, Youth Spirit and Sir Lucan. He was weak in the finish over 1m4f, so an extra quarter mile might not suit him either. best avoided, I think.

Sir Lucan was fourth in that Voltigeur race above and runner-up in the Gordon Stakes after winning a Listed race at Navan over 1m5f. he stayed on well that day, suggesting that today's trip should well be in his grasp and although he has been beaten at Gr2 and Gr3 in his last two runs, he hasn't been far off and could well place here.

The Mediterranean is interesting, because despite only having a 1 in 5 record, was only a length and a quarter behind the winner of the Voltigeur last time out and he's one of four AP O'Brien runners here. That said, I'm not convinced that it's a particularly strong quartet and jockey Wayne Lordan looks to be struggling for form.

Youth Spirit won the Gr3 Chester Vase back in May and has been within two lengths of the winners of the Gr3 Gordon Stakes and the Gr2 Voltigeur on his last two runs. He seems to stay on well, but might lack a turn of foot. He'd be an unlikely winner here, of course, but has a 50% place strike rate and if kept handy could improve that here.

We know from above that we've no pervious course winners, that Fernando Vichi might want softer ground and that Ottoman Emperor is unbeaten in four runs on turf, but for the full lowdown on this field's record at this race's going/class/course/distance, here's Instant Expert from both a win...

and place perspective...

The place stats are very useful here, because if the fav does win, we need an E/W angle and also picks for forecast/tricast etc. Going off the above graphic, Fernando Vichi, High Definition, Scope and Sir Lucan look weakest and the bottom two look strong off most runs.

Our fav is drawn in stall 4 of 10, but we're advised that higher draws are better here...

...which might suit Youth Spirit more than it does The Mediterranean of those two possible placers at the bottom of the card. As well as preferring a high draw, it would seem that the further back you race, the better...

...and based on our field's most recent outings, this will suit the bottom half of this graphic more than the top half...

And when we put the two together in draw order...

...it looks like the pace will come from stalls 7 & 8 with the likes of Sir Lucan and Scope having the best of the pace/draw make-ups.

To be honest, Hurricane Lane (like Inspiral & Stradivarius this week) could be drawn anywhere with any running style and still prevail. The task here is to find a placer or two at a decent price.

Summary

It's definitely Hurricane Lane's race to win or lose, the question is whether you feel you want to back horses at odds of 4/5. I don't put enough money on to make it worth my while, so I'll leave it from a betting perspective and look for an E/W option.

And based upon everything above, I think the two I like are Youth Spirit and Sir Lucan. The former has a good place record, has gone well at Gr2 and Gr3 and although pace/draw doesn't immediately look good, he's 7th of 10 on pace over the last three runs, so that's definitely more towards hold-up than prominent, whilst Sir Lucan is the hold up horse here, gets the trip and has been going well of late.

You can get 33's and 18's about Youth Spirit and Sir Lucan and I think they're interestingly enticing odds, so I'll have a dabble there.

 

Racing Insights, 10th September 2021

Friday's free offering is the Horses for Courses (H4C) report, showing the full course history since 2009 of any horse running that has previously had a run at the track. It is sorted by number of wins, but this can be changed to any column at the user’s discretion. As well as today’s race time, course, horse name, jockey and trainer name, there is a breakdown of runs, wins and places, and profit and loss calculations for both win and each way betting.

We also have our usual selection of full free racecards and for Friday, they are...

  • 2.00 Sandown
  • 2.40 Doncaster
  • 6.15 Salisbury
  • 7.00 Ballinrobe

My (H4C) report looks like this today...

...where Revich is worth a second glance, even if it has been over a year and ten races since he last won. He's likely to be the favourite, which suggests the race might not be up to much, so I'm heading back to Donny again for the Doncaster Cup Stakes, a 7-runner Group 2 race for 3yo+ stayers. The ground is still expected to be good to firm, the trip is a huge 2m2f and the winner of the 2.40 Doncaster will receive almost £62,400...

CARD DETAILS :

FORM :
Positives : Alerta Roja & Stradivarius are 2 from 3
Negatives : Eagles By Day & Nayef Road are winless in 5

CLASS :
Eagles By Day is up 1 class & Alerta Roja is up 3

COURSE : Stradivarius, Rodrigo Diaz & The Grand Visir have all won here

DISTANCE : Only Stradivarius is a past winner at 2m2f and he's done it here at Doncaster

DAYS SINCE LAST RUN : All have raced in the last 20-45 days

TRAINER FORM :
Positives : Stradivarius (recent & course), Rodrigo Diaz (course) & The Grand Visir (course)
Negatives : Trueshan (recent)

JOCKEY FORM :
Positives : Stradivarius (recent & course), Eagles By Day (course), Nayef road (recent & course), Rodrigo Diaz (course)
Negatives : Rodrigo Diaz (recent), The Grand Visir (course) & Alerta Roja (course)

WEIGHTS : Based on OR/hcp marks, Stradivarius is 5lbs well in over Trueshan who is next best at 2lbs better than Alerta Roja and so on.

INSTANT EXPERT...

POSITIVES : Trueshan, Stradivarius

NEGATIVES : Nayef Road

DRAW...

Based on very limited data, as this is the only 2m2f race at Doncaster each year, I'd say stalls 2 to 4 had fared best (The Grand Visir, Alerta Roja, Trueshan), but let's get real for a moment, shall we? Rodrigo Diaz in stall 7 will be less than 7 metres wide of Nayef Road in stall 1 and with 3,600 metres to run, surely the draw can't have much effect here? However, this might...

PACE...

Again, a similarly small amount of data to work with, but those waited with seem to be the ones to be on...

And that could suit Eagles By Day & Rodrigo Diaz (3 scores of 1) more than Nayef Road & The Grand Visir (average pace scores of 3)

SUGGESTED PACE/DRAW HEATMAP...

Again with the caveat about limited data...

Stalls 1 & 2 seem up against it and the winner should come from higher with Trueshan and Rodrigo Diaz having the best pace/draw make-up here.

Summary

I've whizzed through the card fairly quickly and the two names that crop up all the time are Stradivarius & Trueshan and they're the two I expect to be the first home with possibly Nayef Road best of the rest.

Stradivarius has been there, done it, worn the T-shirt etc and is an undoubtedly tough cookie, he stays all day but isn't the force he was and I'm a little concerned at how much his win three weeks ago has taken out of him. He was really pushed hard by Spanish Mission at York and hasn't had has long as usual between races here.

Trueshan was really impressive in the Group 1 Goodwood Cup last time out and his connections will be praying that some of the rumoured imminent rain arrives in time to soften this track. An extra 2f awaits him here too, but he was still full of running after two miles on soft ground last time out, so he could yet improve.

I have doubts about both and I don't think there's that much between them here either, so it's going to boil down to price/perceived value and I prefer Trueshan at 3/1 to an odds-on Stradivarius, plus the reverse forecast, of course!

As for Revich from my (H4C) report, I've backed him at 4/1 too.

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