As most of you are probably aware, away from Geegeez I run my own travel agency, so this will be my last piece for a fortnight, as I'm off to Antigua to (a) check out some hotels and (b) enjoy some refreshments in the sunshine 😉
But don't worry, I'm leaving you in the more than capable hands of Matt & Sam, whilst I'm gone, plus of you ever need a decent holiday deal, you know who to ask! 😀
Anyway, cheeky advert/plug done, on with the preview!
Thursday's feature of the day is full free access to the simple but intuitive Instant Expert report, which 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.
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.
This is freely available on Thursdays for ALL races, including our selection of free races, which are...
- 1.30 Hamilton
- 1.40 Killarney
- 1.45 Chepstow
- 4.00 Leopardstown
- 4.10 Chepstow
- 6.30 Leopardstown
A bit of a dilemma for here trying to choose a race to cover, the three Irish races are all maidens and the second of the Chepstow races only has three runners leaving me to pick between an 8-runner Class 6 sprint and a 12-runner fillies handicap. Although the smaller field is likely to have a shorter-priced favourite, I think there might be more scope to find an E/W pick, so we'll tackle the first on the list : the 1.30 Hamilton which is an 8-runner, Class 6, 3yo+ handicap over 5f on good ground worth £2,322...
FORM : Only Tanasoq, Captain Corcoran and Rose Bandit have a recent win on their form line and none won LTO.
CLASS : We have three class movers with Auckland Lodge, Debawtry and Mr Trevor dropping down from Class 5.
COURSE/DISTANCE FORM : The top five on the card have all won over this minimum trip and of those, Rose Bandit has done it here at Hamilton, making her the only previous course winner.
LAST RUN : All bar Auckland Lodge (38 days) and Captain Corcoran (99d) have been seen in the last three weeks, whilst Rose Bandit ran on Tuesday!
AGE : We have 2 x 3yo (getting a 6lb weight allowance), 4 x 4yo, a 6yo and an 8yo.
TRAINERS : Jim Goldie (Tanasoq) looks in good recent form, unlike Ben Haslam (Auckland Lodge)
JOCKEYS : Tanasoq, Rose Bandit, Rain Cap and Lady of Deisre have in-form jockeys, butt hose aboard Auckland Lodge and Mr Trevor are shy of winners right now. Paul Mulrennan and Jason Hart aboard Tanasoq and Captain Corcoran respectively both have decent records at this venue.
OR / SR FIGURES : The assessor thinks it'll be tight with just 2lbs separating the top four, whilst the top four of SR are 12pts apart.
Tanasoq heads both the OR & SR figures and comes here off the back six top three finishes in his last seven runs. He won a Class 5 at Newcastle two starts ago and and was only beaten by a short head at Ayr last time out, being headed on the line despite making a poor start. A better start and a similar run off the same mark here (he's due to go up 3lbs) puts him in the driving seat for me, as does...
Auckland Lodge is on face value, a decent enough sort with three wins from eleven starts to date, but closer inspection shows she was 3 from 6 at the end of September 2019 and hasn't made the frame since. She was 4th of 9 at Pontefract last time out despite breaking well from a good draw and that 4+L defeat makes it tough here.
Debawtry wouldn't be an obvious choice as winner, based on her 2 from 19 career record, but won a Class 5 at Newcastle in February and although beaten in all six runs since, her average margin of defeat is only around 2 to 2.5 lengths, giving her a squeak of a chance of making the frame now down in class.
Captain Corcoran ended last season with a win and a runner-up finish from his last three runs, but looked below par when re-appearing from a 196-day break to finish just fourth of eight at Catterick just over 14 weeks ago. He hasn't raced since then and could still be rusty. he's also 2lbs worse off here, so I don't see him posing much threat, although...
Rose Bandit is a former course and distance winner from just three weeks ago and she then won over 6f at Ayr 11 days later despite going up 8lbs. She raced again yesterday (Tuesday) but didn't go well at all. I don't know whether it was one race too many (8 runs in 76 days), whether it was the soft ground at Beverley or the 5 more pounds she was carrying. I suspect all three played a part in her finishing 8th of 14, beaten by over 8.5 lengths. If she's not too tired, she now has a 5lb claimer on board and the ground is better here, but she's definitely vulnerable despite...
Mr Trevor is still a seven-race maiden, but ran a good race to finish third of seven at Carlisle earlier this month, beaten by little more than a length and a half. He remains on that career low mark of 57, but would need to improve to make the frame here.
Rain Cap won a Class 5 seller over 7f at Redcar just over two years ago and hasn't made the frame in eleven starts since. That win "earned" him an opening handicap mark of 66, which is now down to 46, the same as he when he was beaten by almost nine lengths here over 6f last month, which doesn't bode well for his chances here. I'd be surprised if he beats any of the other seven runners.
Lady of Desire has a jockey taking 7lbs off her allotted weight of 8st3lbs, meaning she'll carry 26lbs less than Tanasoq, who heads the weights, but she'll still find this tough. No wins from twelve so far, but has made the frame in two of her last four without ever actually looking like she's due to win. She'll no doubt chase the leaders along for a while, but she's not even good enough for this contest, even if her 7lb claimer is more than useful...
The form overview starts to sow seeds in the mind about who might have a chance and who you should avoid based on their careers to date, but some with a modest overall record might be better suited to today's conditions and for that, we have feature of the day, Instant Expert...
I'm not really surprised that this doesn't tell us too much, that's why these are Class 6 horses! Likely favourite Tanasoq prefers it quicker (5/20 on gd to fm), but Rose Bandit looks the best suited from a win perspective, notwithstanding the fears I've already got about her. Auckland Lodge seems to like the trip, though.
As for making the frame...
...Debawtry is definitely of interest, along with Tanasoq and Rose Bandit, both of whom you'd expect to feature. These three are drawn 1 to 3 here and although stall 1 has done well enough, I think I'd prefer to be drawn in box 4 or higher here...
This doesn't mean that the trio above can't win, of course, but history suggests it makes it more difficult. History also suggests that no matter which box you get put into, you'd better get out of it quickly and hit the front if you want to win...
And if you put the draw stats with the pace stats, you'll not be surprised to see that those drawn higher than 3 and who like to lead have done rather well...
And in draw order, here's how the field sit on that pace/draw heatmap...
Rose Bandit will look to make all against the rail with the rest of the pace coming from widest, whilst Tanasoq looks quite badly positioned.
After the original write-ups etc, I'd say that in terms of ability that it looked liked Tanasoq/Rose Bandit/Debawtry, but I've doubts about all three here. Tanasoq's record on good ground is poor and racing from the back of the field is going to be tough, so I can't back him at 11/8. I'm concerned about how jaded Rose Bandit looked on Tuesday and if she lines up here, she's very vulnerable to less-worked horses and at 3/1 offers little value.
Debawtry's pace/draw make-up doesn't look great either, but her run LTO was her best for a while and she actually led that day, so she might step forward and odds of 8/1 are interesting. I don't like Auckland Lodge here, despite the pace angle. Yard, jockey and horse seem out of sorts so that's one more off the list. I already said early on that both Lady of Desire and Rain Cap would struggle, so they're gone too.
That just leaves me with Captain Corcoran and Mr Trevor to consider and whilst I don't see either winning this, one could quite well make the frame. If forced to choose between them, it'd be the former, who I think is marginally better and offers more value at the odds (8/1 v 5/1).
At the end of the day, this should be a Tanasoq/Rose Bandit 1-2, but I'll just be having a couple of small stakes E/W punts (or place bets on the exchanges) on Debawtry and Captain Corcoran at 8/1 the pair.