Racing Insights

Racing Insights, 10th February 2021

Wednesday's feature of the day is the very popular Trainer Statistics report and our free races of the day were as follows...

  • 1.50 Fontwell
  • 3.03 Sedgefield
  • 3.10 Fairyhouse
  • 4.40 Fairyhouse
  • 8.15 Wolverhampton

Sadly, there is no jumps racing in the UK or Ireland leaving us with just the 8.15 Wolverhampton from our free list. It's a pretty poor looking contest to be fair, but it (a) looks quite open and (b) has to have a winner, so let's take a look at it.

It's a lowly Class 6, A/W handicap over 6 furlongs on the Tapeta. Twelve runners aged 4 to 11 will aim to the first prize of £2,782 and the card looks like this alphabetically...

An initial look at the card suggests that Breath of Spring (won LTO) and Kingsley Klarion (2nd LTO) come here in the best form whilst all bar Cappadocia have been seen in the last six weeks. Cappadocia is the oldest in the field at 11 and now makes a yard debut after more than year off track at a time of life most horses are heading towards retirement.

All bar Presumptous who drops down a grade for a handicap debut ran in Class 6 company last time out and unusually for a decent sized field here at Wolverhampton, we have no previous course and distance winners. Half of the field of 12 have won over this 6f trip and a quarter of them have won here before with two, Kingsley Klarion and Secret Potion, having won over 6f elsewhere as well as having a course victory to their name.

Nothing really of note from the trainer, but we've a few in-form jockeys (14 and/or 30) and a couple with good track records (C5), whilst the final column is the Geegeez Speed Ratings headed by Tool maker, Doctor Nuno and Secret Potion. I admit I'm a bit surprised about Toolmaker's rating, as I've got that one down as one to avoid along with Back From Dubai. I suspect they'll both go off longer than 20/1 and I'm happy to omit them here.

After taking those two out who have a combined 0 wins and 1 place from 15 races, we're left with 10 runners who between them haven't fared particularly well from an average of 30 runs each (skewed by a couple of old hands, of course!) The remaining ten have made the frame in 81 of 299 races, a place strike rate of just 27.1%, including only 26 winners (8.7% SR), so I'd expect the place side of Instant Expert to tell us more...

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...than the win element does...

What the two do tell us is that Cappadocia and Kinsgley Klarion have decent long-term A/W records, Doctor Nuno likes it here at Wolverhampton, Fard is pretty solid for a place at Class, Course and Distance and Secret Potion has some good percentages from a a large number of runs. From a weight perspective, Cappadocia and Secret Potion are running off marks considerably lower than their last win.

Pace, draw and the way they work together is generally very important in short distance contests, especially in large-ish fields having to navigate a bend as they do here over 6f at Wolverhampton. The analysis of the draw says there's no massive advantage for any stall in 12 runner contests over this trip, but being drawn low does look marginally advantageous...

And a similar story of no real advantage is shown in the pace/draw heatmap, where it just slightly favours high drawn leaders, then low draw prominence and mid-drawn leaders. Those drawn high don't want to stuck in mid-division, though...

And when we overlay the past running styles of our runners...

...the suggestion is that it pays to lead here, but we've no real pace setters in the race, so it could be falsely run playing into the hands of the hold-up horses. Both Quarry Beach and Toolmaker have led in one of their last four outings, whilst Breath of Spring has race prominently in three of his last four.

So where are we? Well, I've got four in mind. Doctor Nuno who comes back down in trip and has won on this track, Fard who shows up well on IE and has a low draw, Kingsley Klarion who is one of the form horses and has won here and Secret Potion who looks to be coming back to some kind of form.

Doctor Nuno won here back in November, when the best part of two lengths clear over 7f. Has been running over further of late and was beaten by just under three lengths over a mile last time out. He seemed to approach that race as though it was a 6f contest, going off too quickly and doing too much toom soon.Wears blinkers for the first time as he drops back in trip off a mark 2lbs lower than LTO.

Fard was a winner over this trip at Kempton back in October and has raced four time since including twice here over course and distance, getting beat by a head in mid-December and by less than 1.5 lengths in early January. The booking of Marco Ghiani is a positive here.

Kingsley Klarion won here way back in November 2015, landing a 5f nursery for Mark Johnston. Plenty of water has passed under the bridge since then and this 8 yr old last won at Chelmsford four months and six races ago and was a runner-up here over course and distance last time out.

He was beaten by the best part of three lengths that day in a race whose form hasn't really amounted to much (just 1 places from 6 runs), but he does get to run off the same mark as LTO.

Secret Potion hasn't won any of 17 races since scoring over 5f at Chepstow in August 2019 off a mark of 65. Now rated at just 57, he's on a winnable mark and he's a pound lower than LTO when he ran better than the bare result suggests.

He was fourth of nine here over course and distance when he didn't get the rub of the green and was stuck in a poor position approaching the closing stages, but made good headway to get within three lengths of the winner and only missing the frame by a neck.

Summary

I've split my four into two groups, as I like Doctor Nuno & Secret Potion more than I like Fard & Kingsley Klarion.

Of the latter group, I don't have much between them on my workings, but a slight preference for Fard is amplified by him being offered at 15/2, whereas KK offers little value as low as 9/4 or 5/2.

As for my choice of winner, I actually like Secret Potion more than Doctor Nuno here and at 14/1 versus 6/1, I can afford to follow my instinct and cover my back at the same time. This is a poor contest, if truth be told, but Secret Potion should be able to at least make the frame, so 14/1 e/w is the call here, especially with most bookies paying 4 places.

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