As expected, today's featured runners were nowhere near at Bangor, finishing as the last two home, whilst the other didn't even run. Swerving losers is as important as picking winners, although we did also highlight the first two home, which was a bonus.
And now to Thursday's racing, where the feature of the day is the highly informative Instant Expert tab for all races, whilst our free races are...
- 11.50 Sedgefield
- 12.45 Clonmel
- 1.00 Taunton
- 2.25 Clonmel
- 4.05 Clonmel
And with testing conditions forecast at Clonmel, I'm going to make one of my rare sorties across the Irish Sea to have a look at two runners that Instant Expert suggests might well have a good chance in the mud.
My quest starts with Westerner Point in the 1.50 Clonmel : a 10-runner, 3-mile, 4yo+ Handicap Hurdle on Soft To Heavy ground worth £11,150 (12,390 Euro) to the winner and here's the racecard, Instant Expert (place) and Instant Expert (win)...
So, from the racecard, we see an 11yr old former course and distance winner in reasonable form who has been rested for 32 days and who runs off a mark of 125. His past performance under similar conditions to these here look like this from a place perspective...
...whilst from a purely win-based outlook, those numbers are...
The combined figures from the two Instant Expert reports tell us that he has 10 wins and 4 further places from 26 on ground ranging from Soft through to Heavy, whilst on officially Soft to Heavy, he has 5 wins and a place from 7 runs. The 0/0 on Class can be misleading as that refers to the UK classification system, but in Irish races worth £10-30k, he has 7 wins and 2 places from 15 and he has 2 wins and a place at grade 2.
He has 2 wins and a place from 5 here at Clonmel, 3 wins and 3 places from 8 over this trip and he has 4 wins and 2 places from 9 in fields of 8-11 runners. All of this is available from the graphic above, but hat doesn't tell you that he also has 11 wins and 4 places from 29 under today's jockey and that he has finished first and second in his only two previous cracks at this course and distance.
His two previous C&D efforts both came in this very race when he was beaten by just a head in 2017 before prevailing here last year. And now a quick look at the pace make-up of the race...
...where the stats tell us that racing prominently is a good attribute and our boy sits firmly in that sector. Desire de Joie will probably go off quickly, but that could make him vulnerable to our runner as well as Sassy Yet Classy and Dedanann, waiting to pick him off.
Therefore, in Westerner Point, we have a former C&D winner by virtue of winning this race last year who has a near 1 in 3 strike race (12 from 37). He's rated some 9lbs higher than last year's win, but that's still 20lb lower than his chase mark and his other two runs this season have been over fences.
He has proven stamina, has earned approaching a quarter of a million Euros to date and arrives here on the back of finishing third over fences in a 16-runner contest over 3 miles on heavy ground at Limerick a month ago in the Grade 1 Munster National, so this is a drop in class today.
It's interesting to note that this is his third run of the season and since 2015 with just one or two runs under his belt that season he has finished 1211281113, all under today's jockey.
My second subject of interest is Getaday, who despite being a 12-race maiden, caught my eye on my initial run-through of the cards and this 7 yr old gelding runs in the 3.35 Clonmel : a 14-runner Handicap Chase (0-109) for 4yo+ over 2m4f on Soft To Heavy worth £5,841 and here's the racecard...
...as you can see, there's very little discernible form on show and our runner's two places from his last two runs stand up pretty well here, so his failure to win so far doesn't deter me. His 0 from 12 record makes the win section of the Instant Expert fairly redundant, but from a place perspective, you might then see what caught my eye...
Viewers of Matt's recent videos will know that we often look for runners proven in extreme conditions and for a horse with no wins under his belt but four places from seven in the mud, that has to be worth a second look.
This type of race invariably goes to those racing prominently, with those preferring to set the pace doing best of all...
...suggesting whilst such an approach isn't profitable to follow blindly, it could well play into Getaday's hands (hooves?).
A closer look at his own form (or lack of) shows the obvious 0 from 12 headline stat, but in those races he has made the frame five times from eleven efforts over obstacles as well as in a heavy ground point to point. Over fences, he has placed in both of his starts (his last two runs), both on soft to heavy ground.
He was third over 2m6f at Tramore 13 months ago when headed 3 out and couldn't keep up late on. He was then off the track for 53 weeks until reappearing 18 days ago to finish second of eleven under today's jockey over today's trip at Wexford.
He could well improve for having had the run and the jockey retains the ride so they might not quite be strangers this time.
I actually like the chances of both runners here, with a preference for Westerner Point who is proven at the task ahead. My only caveat with him is that he's already priced at 3/1 and I wouldn't want to take much less than that, but he's the one to beat there.
It's not as straightforward with Getaday, as I have issues with getting involved in big field races and I'm concerned at the weight he is being asked to carry as a maiden on handicap debut. That said, those able to take 15/2 BOG from bet365 might be OK, as I think he might go off a bit shorter.