Racing Insights

Racing Insights, 12th November 2021

The Horses For Courses (H4C) report does pretty much what the name suggests and shows the full course history since 2009 of any horse running that has previously had a run at the track. It is sorted by number of wins, but this can be changed to any column at the user’s discretion. As well as today’s race time, course, horse name, jockey and trainer name, there is a breakdown of runs, wins and places, and profit and loss calculations for both win and each way betting.

As with all Geegeez reports, there is a ‘Today’ and a ‘Tomorrow’ (for the next day’s racing) view.

HINT: Layers might like to look towards the lower end of the report, for those with negative performance at the track.

Based on my own preferred settings, here's how my H4C report looks for Friday...

As well as having that to consider, there are also the following free races of the day...

  • 1.45 Cheltenham
  • 4.00 Cheltenham
  • 4.45 Dundalk
  • 5.30 Kempton

Both the NH races at HQ look decent enough, but I want to consider the chances of the two qualifiers from my H4C report, starting with...

...King of the South, a 4yr old gelding who goes in the 12.50 Newcastle, an 8-runner, Class 2, 3yo+, A/W (tapeta) Handicap over 1m4½f (2738 yards and is worth £10800. Here's his racecard entry...

As you can see, the yard is in good nick and has a decent record at this track, helped of course by this horse's results of 11213 here, all in handicaps. He has never raced here at Class 2, but has won at one level lower. He's 2 from 2 here in November/December and 3 from 4 in fields of 8 or more runners. He's 2 from 2 over 1m2f here, but only 1 from 3 over this trip, but has won both starts at 21-25 days after his last run. Tom Marquand takes the ride for the first time, but he's no mug, he's in good for and has good numbers here in the North East.

King of the South could be excused for needing the run when last home of seven at Doncaster, beaten by some 37 lengths over 1m4f on soft/heavy ground for his Class 2 bow three weeks ago. He hadn't been seen for seven months and had never raced on turf before. Now with the benefit of a run, we should see him in a better light back under more familiar circumstances, as his A/W form looks like this...

and under today's conditions...

He'll come out of stall 3 today, which is probably one or two boxes lower than  ideal...

...but certainly not impossible, as that 1 win from 46 for stall 1 above was when KotS won here over C&D in February, so never say never! As for running style, he has tried several approaches of late...

...but is rarely, if ever, the actual pacemaker in a race, which is just as well, as leaders have struggled here in the past...

Prominence seems to be the best place to sit and with two 3's in his last four races (when 2nd then 1st over C&D), I'd expect him to run that way today and as stall 3 is pretty much on the cusp of a middle draw, a prominent run from that position is the most successful pace/draw combo here...

All of which should set King of the South up for a big run an hour and three quarters before we see the 5 yr old gelding, Kind Review tackles the 2.35 Newcastle, a big-field (14 run!), Class 3, 5f, 3yo+ handicap worth £6,281. He's not in the best of form, I'm afraid as shown on the racecard...

Kind Review has raced 31 times already with 16 of those coming on turf where his record is far inferior to his 5 wins and 5 further places on the All-Weather, which have all been here at Newcastle in handicaps ranging from today's 5f up to a mile and at Classes 2 to 6. With today's race in mind, his Newcastle record includes 4 wins ands 4 places from 12 under today's jockey, 3 wins and 2 places from 7 as a 5 yr old, 3 wins and a place from 5 over this 5f C&D and one win from three cracks at Class 3 handicaps.

Much of his recent poor form has come on turf, but it has to be said that since finishing 1211 in four starts here in the spring culminating in a Class 4 win off a mark of 81 that he shas struggled in his two visits.

He was 9th of 14 over 5f at Class 2, beaten by just over two lengths in June off a mark of 90, before dropping down a class and 4lbs to race over 6f here in a Class 3 last month. Sadly he just wasn't at it that day, coming home second to last of fourteen, seven and a half lengths adrift.

He's now down another couple of pounds, back in trip and it is hoped that this will help him today. It should also be noted that he runs from stall 2 here and those two recent losses came from stalls 12 and 13 of 14, but more on that shortly after we've considered his overall A/W record...

and under today's conditions...

...which only really suggests that he'd probably want the track to ride a little slower. He's only 3lbs worse off than his last win and it is hope d that he'll fare better from his low draw than he has from out wide of late.

...although based on the above stats, I'm not entirely sure that's the case here over 5f. Mind you, I'm not a big believer in the draw being a massive influence in a straight 5f race and that race tactics/positioning aka pace plays a bigger role in determining the outcome. Kind review tends to race prominently as shown here...

and based on the pace data from past races, I think he'd be better off pushing on...

So, the raw stats say he's not well drawn and doesn't have the right pace profile, so the 6.67% strike rate for low drawn prominent runners below won't come as too much of a surprise and does tend to suggest that he's going to struggle...

Summary

Both horses have excellent records at Newcastle and both should run better than last time out.

King of the South needed (and got) a run after seven months off in a tough race at Doncaster, which was ground breaking for him re: class and surface and now back on preferred ground, should go well again. Bet365 are best priced at 7/2 (as of 6.55pm) and I think that's more than fair, I had him at 3's, so I'm happy to play there. I also liked Nicholas T in this race and whilst not an obvious winner, could well outrun his 14/1 odds as a decent E/W bet.

As for Kind Review, I think this race is too tough for him and even if conditions are better than LTO, he looks like struggling and at 20/1 the bookies might have overpriced him, but he still wouldn't be in my top 4 for an E/W bet. If I was playing here, I like Night On Earth, but 6/1 is a bit tight for me in a competitive 14-runner handicap. The 10/1 offered by bet365, however, about Indian Sounds is enough to draw me in for another E/W wager.

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