Racing Insights, 11th November 2021

The Instant Expert tab is by far the most popular tab on the geegeez racecards, because it is able to condense the entire form profile of every runner in the race into a single, easily digestible view, covering 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.

PLEASE NOTE: Horses with no form under a certain condition have grey figures and 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...

  • 12.37 Sedgefield
  • 1.30 Taunton
  • 2.10 Market Rasen
  • 6.30 Chelmsford

And we're off to Essex, where some big name trainers are represented in the 6.30 Chelmsford, a 6-runner, Class 2, 3yo A/W (polytrack-std) handicap over 1m6f worth over £20,600...

Marshall Plan is the only one without a win in his last five outings and of the other five runners, only Roseabad isn't an LTO winner. That said, the latter is the only runner dropping down from Class 1 action to run here, whilst the former did at least race in Class 3 company just over a fortnight ago, whilst the four LTO winners all ran at Class 4 and now step up two levels.

Napper Tandy's LTO win was his handicap debut back in early April and hasn't been since, Ace Rothstein has had eight weeks off since his win, but the rest of the field have raced in the last three weeks or so. Roseabad is the only female in the race and along with Liverpool Knight, they're the only two to have won over 1m6f, whilst none of the field have been to Chelmsford before.

Roseabad is a useful filly, who is probably better than her last run would suggest, as she came home 5th of 12 beaten by 9.5 lengths over 1m5f at Lingfield a fortnight ago. In her defence, that was not only a Listed race, but also her A/W debut and she can be expected to improve for both that experience and the drop in class here. She's only 4lbs higher than her latest win at Carlisle in August and could go well here at a decent price.

Marshall Plan has finished 31234 in five A/W starts to date and although fourth of six at Kempton (1m4f) a fortnight ago, he was beaten by less then two lengths having been outpaced in the closing stages, suggesting a further trip might benefit him. Team Gosden have reached for first-time cheekpieces here and if they do the trick, he could well be there or thereabouts, as he usually is. A 1lb drop in weight doesn't help much, but it certainly doesn't hinder his chances.

Ace Rothstein is two from three this year, but that includes two from two on turf. His A/W form reads 435 and I suspect he might find this tough up 6lbs, up two classes and up half a mile, but if he overcomes those factors, he'll deserve to win for a yard who have done well here of late and who have a good relationship with today's jockey...

Napper Tandy produced his best run to date when landing a 4-runner handicap at Newcastle over 1m4½f last time out on handicap debut, keeping on well to win by the thick end of two lengths. Hasn't been seen since in over 7 months but the Balding yard are no mugs and he could go well again here off just 4lbs higher under an in-form jockey...

Liverpool Knight also produced his best effort so far when winning LTO, although his Class 4 success was just ten days ago at Wolverhampton when sent off as the 15/8 fav over today's trip in a 10-runner contest. he was very comfortable that day, but is now penalised to the tune of 6lbs. That said, it might take more than 6lbs to stop him if he runs the same way here.

Bascule is two from two on the A/W since finishing second of four (1.5 lengths) over 1m2f on good ground at Windsor at the start of August. He comes here just over three weeks after back to back wins over 1m4f in the space of 19 days in September/October and although up another 6lbs for that last run, still receives weight all round and has to be in with a shout again if handling another step up in trip. His yard haven't had the best of it recently (just 2 from 41 in the last six weeks), but his stablemates have won often enough here at Chelmsford, the jockey has a good record for the yard, who do well with stayers and his sire's offspring are 13 from 51 on the A/W this year...

This sextet are not massively experienced with just 48 combined races under their belts, but with 21 placed efforts (43.75% SR) including 11 wins (22.9%), they've equipped themselves well so far. All six have at least one win and all have made the frame at least twice and overall here's how they've done under today's conditions...

As expected, there's not a lost to work from there from either a win or a place perspective from past A/W runs. None have raced at Class 2 before, but Roseabad ran a Listed race LTO and that was over 1m5f, which is further than any of the others have travelled on the A/W aside from Liverpool Knight's win at this trip. Liverpool Knight is probably the one to watch so far, based on both his last two runs and also the Instant Expert figures.

As none of these six have been to this venue before and they've little collective experience at 1m6f, I suspect more will depend on how they approach the race rather than where they're drawn as I firmly believe that the length of the race and the small size of the field both negate the impact of any potential draw bias and this is borne out by the stall stats below...

Yes, stall 2 has only 4 wins from 48, but shares 16 wins with stall 3, so the data for #2 is probably just an anomalous quirk as the others all have similar returns, so it's going to boil down to race tactics. We know from past experiences that leaders do well over short distances here on the Chelmo Speedway, but what about these longer trips?

Well it's a case of plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose as our friends across the Channel might say....

Basically, the trip has changed dramatically from the sprints up to 1m6f, but the leaders still come out on top. The difference isn't as marked and those waited with for a run win as often as par would expect, but I'd still want to be upfront here at Chelmsford and ideally drawn high, because...

We don't have a lot of data on past running styles for these horses, but they've all had at least four runs and based on their last four efforts, here's how we think they might approach the contest...

Napper Tandy and Roseabad look like they'll set the fractions early doors, which then creates the problem of a long layoff and a rise in class, weight and trip for the former, whilst the latter is stepping down in class and raced over a similar trip LTO.

Marshall Plan, Bascule and Ace Rothstein look like they'll be the second rank with the in-form Liverpool Knight sitting and waiting. He's not exactly a hold-up horse all the time (he led four starts back), but has come from the back in two of his last three and could be dangerous late on.

Summary

I think pace is more important than draw here and I want to focus on the two pacesetters and what would be classed as the hold-up horse. Of the two likeliest to set the pace of the contest, the class-dropping Roseabad is more appealing to Napper Tandy, who might need the run and is up in class, trip and weight. But, what of likely favourite, the in-form Liverpool Knight?

Well, he's arguably the best in the race on form, but all his form is at Classes 4 and 5, all his form is on tapeta and he's up to a mark of 84 and didn't go anywhere as near as well off 83 and 85 and with all that in mind, I think I'd rather back Roseabad each way at 14/1 (Bet365) than Liverpool Knight at sub-2/1. I see Napper Tandy getting cuaght and possibly run out of it, but he could well be best of the rest, but a top price of 4/1 isn't "saver bet" material for me.

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