Wednesday's short-priced favourite won relatively comfortably in the end, but we missed out on the forecast as Tinchoo could only finish third. Thursday's feature of the day is full free access to the Instant Expert tab for all readers for all races, including our races of the day which are...
- 1.25 Yarmouth
- 2.45 Nottingham
- 5.30 Yarmouth
- 5.40 Uttoxeter
- 5.50 Leopardstown
- 6.30 Haydock
The best of the UK races above is the second on the list, so today we focus on the 2.45 Nottingham, a 7-runner, Class 3, 4yo+ Flat Handicap over 6f on Good To Firm (good in places) ground and it's worth £5,927 to the winner. A brief look at the race suggested Muscika might be the main fancy, but let's delve further into the card itself...
Form : Only One Night Stand and Dancinginthewoods have a win in their recent formline and we've no LTO winners.
Class Movers : Muscika is down one class, whilst Typhoon Ten, Wentworth Falls, Dancinginthewoods and Caser key are all stepping up a grade.
Course/Distance record : All have won over this 6f trip, but only Wentworth Falls has won a race here at Nottingham.
Trainer Form : Positives for Lethal Lunch & Dancinginthewoods, but negative for Case Key
Jockey Form : Positives for One Night Stand & Dancinginthewoods, but negative for Case Key & Muscika
Last Race : All have raced in the last 45 days with Lethal Lunch, Muscika, Typhoon Ten and Case key rested for less than a fortnight.
OR/Weight/SR Spread : Top OR is 23lbs higher than lowest, but Muscika will carry top weight after claims and have 19lbs more than Case Key. The SR spread is greater at 36 from high to low, but the top six of the seven are only 21pts apart.
Lethal Lunch is probably better on the A/W (4 from 12) than he is on turf (2/16) but has been running pretty well over the last six weeks or so and only went down by a length and a quarter off this mark last time out. His turf form is a worry, though, but his yard are in decent nick.
Muscika paid the price for doing too much early on when 2nd of 9 at Epsom five days ago. He was only beaten by a neck, though, behind a horse rated 4lbs higher and at a higher grade than this. He goes off the same mark today and running to his mark should be enough if the ground isn't a little too quick for him.
Typhoon Ten's last win was in a similar Class 3, 6f, Gd to Fm handicap off a mark of 86 in early August 2020. He has suffered 13 defeats since then but has finished 332 in his last three outings as his mark continues to drop. Luke Catton will take 7lbs off a mark of 87 and that should make him really competitive here.
Wentworth Falls was only beaten by 2.25 lengths at Thirsk last time out, giving a really good account of himself, but he's not getting any younger and stepped up in class off the same mark, you can only see him finding this more difficult.
One Night Stand won two of his last four in 2020, both over 6f and off marks of 73 and 80. He returned to action just over a month ago after a 21-week break and could only manage 16th of 18 off 85 (-3). He's down another pound but has no jockey claim, so technically 2lbs worse off and he's one to trust here off that mark, even if today's jockey (S de Sousa) rides this track well.
Dancinginthewoods won on debut but then didn't win any of the next nine starts, but has since finished first and then fourth in back to back Class 4, 6f handicaps at Leicester off marks of 78 and 81 respectively. It was good to soft for the 4th place LTO and he's much better on good to firm. A mark of 81 is probably still beyond him, but quicker ground will help and his yard have fared well here in the past
Case Key is the lowest rated horse in the race and he's fairly modest at best. 6 from 57 so far with just one win per year from 2015-20. Law of averages says he wins one this year, but I doubt it'll be this one. Reappeared 13 days ago after a 221 day absence to finish last of 6, beaten by nearly 40 lengths over 5f at Pontefract and now up in class of the same mark, he's not for me. His yard do well here, but they can't win them all!
Muscika still looks a fairly decent choice after the above, but plenty look like being capable of getting involved today. The only two I'd rule out would be One Night Stand and Case Key who should be the last pair home here. Overall and relevant form is available to us via Instant Expert, a far better traffic light system than the UK travel one!
What struck me first about the above two sets of data was the poor strike rates for a Class 3 contest. Further inspection showed just 32 previous wins for these seven runners at a strike rate of a mere 13.6% from 235 combined runs, highlighting inconsistency more than anything else. What that does do, though, is remind us that none of these are that much better than the rest and most of them could win. Lethal Lunch and One Night Stand are both 11lbs higher than thier last success, making this tough.
Stalls 1 & 2 are the place to be with almost 53% (18/34) of winners and 39.7% (31/78) of placers coming from those traps, which could be good for the with the extra 11lb weight, Lethal Lunch & Case Key!
Pace/Run Style Stats...
Those who race just off the pace fare best from a win perspective, although hold up horses just shade the place percentages. Leaders have an IV of 0.93, which is almost par and therefore deemed reasonable. The mid-division sample size isn't big enough to be considered reliable enough for me.
Draw/Run Style Combos...
Unsurprisingly, the low drawn prominent racer fares best, with the low hold up horse also winning more than once in five. All draw sectors and all pace profiles have at least one area of green, but mid-drawn hold up horses have struggled.
Race Heat Map Prediction...
It looks like Muscika will attempt to set the pace from stall 6 and that's the right thing to do from that draw. I'd then expect Case Key and Typhoon Ten to tuck right in behind, just ahead of One Night Stand, but I'd then expect Case Key and One Night stand to run out of steam in the final quarter mile and eventually go back through the pack. We've no real hold-up horse here, so even if Wentworth falls ends up as back marker, he's still likely to catch those two as they come back to the field.
This could well be a tight little affair between a bunch of unreliable horses not used to winning, but I'd expect that Musicka and Typhoon ten would be the main protagonists. The former is likely to be the favourite and I've not got much separating them, but I have a slight preference for Typhoon Ten to overturn the fav here.
So, it's the 7/2 Typhoon Ten for me ahead of the 7/4 Muscika for me. As for the rest, Lethal Lunch's 7/1 looks generous.