Racing Insights

Racing Insights, 10th August 2021

Tuesday's free feature is The Shortlist, 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. And here's how it looks for this Tuesday...

We also have the following free races of the day open to all readers...

  • 5.05 Lingfield
  • 7.35 Lingfield
  • 7.50 Chelmsford
  • 8.20 Chelmsford

Before I do any analysis for Tuesday, I've got to say that it looks a really poor day of racing : 26 races, of which only 7 are on turf. The "best" race is a 5-runner, Class 3 sprint and the other 22 races are Class 4 or lower. The race I'm going to look at is the last of our four free races and despite the clear possibility of a short-priced favourite, there's scope for an E/W bet hopefully.

So, to the 8.20 Chelmsford, a 9-runner, Class 6, 1m6f, 3yo+ A/W (Polytrack) handicap worth £2,322...

As you'd expect of a race at this grade, there's not many form horses on display, although Midfield (the likely short-priced fav) did win last time out and Cinzento won four starts ago. Smith has also made the frame this times this season, but these are generally out of sorts runners. Smith, however, is dropping three classes here, whilst the other mover, Percy's prince is down two levels. Great Hall is by the far the oldest at 11yrs and he's the one rested longest at 82 days, the other eight have been seen in the last seven weeks with Midfield running as recently as last Tuesday.

He's the sole 3 yr old in the contest and as such receives a whopping 11lbs allowance, which will be more than useful here. His yard's in form, as are those of Tinsmith, Affair and Cinzento, the last of which also has a good track record here, but Midfield's trainer doesn't appear to have. Percy Prince's jockey is the one to catch the eye for both recent form and previous track success, but Great Hall's rider has also fared well here. Jockeys aboard Smith and Casavola could do with a change in fortune.

Great Hall has won twice at this trip, albeit from 16 attempts and has failed to win any of his last 31 races since scoring at Ripon over 1m4f in April 2018. He's unplaced in ten A/W starts and that doesn't inspire confidence.

Globetrotter is lightly raced (17 starts) for a 7 yr old, but in five starts over the last year has failed to make the frame and has been beaten by an aggregate of 103 lengths, including an 11 length defeat off just 2lbs higher last time out at Newcastle. Polytrack debut here and best watched/left alone.

Tinsmith has made the frame just once in twelve outings across three codes, but his A/W form this year reads 244 with an average margin of defeat of under 2.75 lengths. He's 3lbs lower than the first and last of those runs (4lbs lower than the middle run) and a similar performance could put him in the money here.

Smith won here over 1m2f almost two years on what was his second start and he has only been seen on the A/W four times since. He was back here at the end of May, when a length and a quarter runner-up over two miles off just 1lb lower than today and a reproduction of that puts in in contention for making the frame here.

Cinzento has failed to make the frame in seven outings on turf, but his A/W record is very respectable at 3 wins and 2 further places from 11 starts and he's back on the A/W after two poor shows on grass in June/July. His two A/W runs in May saw him win over 1m4f off a mark of 50 and then he was beaten by just over a length off 51, so now back off 50 must stand a chance here. He also won here over 1m5.5f back in January off a mark of 49, which is very encouraging.

Midfield had struggled at trips of 7f to 1m4f before landing a two-mile handicap at Lingfield last Tuesday, using her 13lb allowance and first time visor to good effect to get home by a length. The visor remains, but she's up 6lb which could make this tougher, although she's clearly the only "form" horse here.

Affair is a former course and distance winner off 3lbs higher than today, but that was way back in November 2018, but she did also win here over just a half furlong shorter in June of last year too. Recent form has been a little patchy, but Chelmsford seems to get the most out of her.

Percy's Prince races from a pound out of the handicap and has just one career win from 27 starts and that came in September 2019. He was 8th of 10, beaten by 86 lengths over hurdles last time out and although he should be much closer here, I don't see him getting too involved.

Casavola also races from a pound out of the handicap and this 4 yr old filly has yet to make the frame in ten starts. The nearest she has got a winner of her races, was when she was a little over three lengths off the pace here at Chelmsford over 1m5.5f in February, but that margin flatters her, as she was well held, as I expect she will be today.

From a field that has made the frame just 32 times from 231 attempts (23.4%), winning only 22 (9.52%), I don't think we're going to glean too much from Instant Expert, especially from a win perspective but we'll look at both win and place graphics in case something stands out...

No real surprises on the win side of things. Midfield's run LTO being the highlight, whilst Affair's C&D win also shows up, but her record at this grade is poor. The place stats are a little more revealing, particularly for Affair, who on the basis of the above, looks a serious contender for the frame and the graphic suggests we should be looking at runners 4 to 8 as a shortlist, not withstanding my own already documented thoughts!

If we spilt the draw into three sections, then there's an inference that the lower you get drawn the better...

However, I prefer to look at stall by stall and that suggests that the bias (if any) is less pronounced...

Clearly stall 1 has the best results from a win perspective, but stalls 2 to 8 are much of a muchness, whilst if you want to make the frame then being drawn higher than 7 isn't bad at all. With regards to pace here, those racing in mid-division fare best, whilst leaders have really struggled to hold on. Prominent and hold up horses have won slightly more and less respectively than you'd expect, but with IV scores of 1.07 and 0.96, they're not really that far from par...

Leaders have also struggled to make the frame and again it's prominent/mid-div runners who have done the best. A quick look at how this field have approached their last four outings presents a bit of a dilemma...

...because there is no real pace on offer, so we could get a falsely run race. Of 36 races on show above, Affair's choice to lead last time out is the only time any of these led. She, along with Smith are solid "3" types ie prominent runners, but we might see them having to set the pace here. At the other end of the scale, it's fairly safe to assume that Great Hall and Globetrotter will be at the back and if we combine the draw with past running style, our pace/draw heatmap looks like this...

If I'm honest, I'd not put as much faith in this as I would normally. We've no front runner, so at least one will have to change style. These are largely out of form horses, so a change of style might also be imposed to break losing runs, as what they're currently doing isn't working. This is not to say that pace and draw aren't important, of course, they're just not as helpful in this instance as they normally are.

Summary

My short overview of the race and the individual horses along with Instant Expert are probably the best guides for us today and what I get from those is that this should be Midfield's race to win/lose. The market isn't open yet (4.15pm), but I'd be surprised if she's any longer than 5/4 here and at that price, I can't back her. She didn't have much in hand last time out and she's up 6lbs here, so whilst she has every chance, this is tougher and that's not a near-evens prospect for me.

After that, I've not much separating Affair, Cinzento, Smith and Tinsmith (probably in that order) and any of those four could make or fail to make the frame if truth be told. What I will say here is that I'm quite prepared to back or leave all four, but I do want double digit odds to take an E/W punt. I think I should be able to get that about all bar Tinsmith.

Other Recent Posts by This Author:

Your first 30 days for just £1