Racing Insights

Racing Insights, 12th October 2021

The Shortlist Report is Geegeez' free feature every Tuesday and it is a simple and usually brief report highlighting those horses with a largely ‘green’ profile in the Instant Expert Report each day and covers win or place stats, and can be viewed for both today’s and tomorrow’s racing.

GREEN is good (33% or better win rate) – worth 3 points
AMBER is quite good (16-32% win rate) – worth 1 point
RED is not so good (0-15% win rate) – worth -1 points
GREY means there is no available data for that factor - worth 0 points

The final column, ‘Score’, is the sum of the previous five ‘colour’ columns, with 15 being an all green profile, and 9 being the lowest score appearing on this report.

HINT: The best bets are not necessarily the highest scores. Rather, they are often the biggest difference between a Shortlist horse and the ‘best of the rest’ in that race.

N.B. Shortlist selections are unlikely to make a profit, at SP at least, to blind backing. Our recommendation is – and has always been – that The Shortlist should be a starting point rather than an end in itself. That said, it continues to highlight horses whose chance is better than recent form - and its odds - imply.

In addition to a daily free feature, we also have a selection of free races each day and for this Tuesday, they are...

  • 2.55 Punchestown
  • 3.05 Huntingdon
  • 4.40 Punchestown
  • 6.00 Newcastle

I think I'll refer to The Shortlist Report for today's piece, as there are a couple towards the top that I'd like to consider as possible betting opportunities...

...namely The Late Legend for a full line of green and also Golden Hind, who scores full marks in each of the first four categories and I consider those to be more important than field size in general (but not always, of course!).

So, we start with The Late Legend, an 8yr old gelding who races in the 4.50 Huntingdon, an 11-runner, Class 4, 3yo+ handicap hurdle worth £3,812. The trip is 3m1f on good ground and his racecard entry looks like this...

He hasn't raced since March and has rested for 198 days, which is slightly longer than his 169 day break in Summer 2020. That said, he came back from that break to rack up a sequence reading 22114112166 before going back to the shed, so there's clearly some ability there. His yard have a reasonable enough record at this track and with stayers and also with those returning from a break. He's a former track winner, of course (as per The Shortlist) and now drops two classes on his return.

He runs off a mark of 107, further aided by a 7lb jockey claim, meaning he's now effectively 18lbs better off than his last run, but he has no SR score, because he hasn't actually tackled hurdles since finishing 5th of 17 here over course and distance at Class 5 on 1st March 2020, which was his final run that winter prior to the 169 day break and the subsequent run of results listed above, all over fences and this is why we say The Shortlist isn't a list of tips, it's just a way in, because closer inspection shows that this horse has failed to even make the frame in six attempts over hurdles.

Nevertheless, overall he is 1 from 3 here, has 3 wins and a place from 8 on Good ground, has a win and a place from two under today's jockey, has won 2 of 5 sub-£6k Class 4 races, has 4 wins and 3 places from 11 races of 8-11 runners, he's 2 from 3 in October and has five wins and three places from fifteen wearing a tongue tie.

The downsides of course are his poor previous record over hurdles and his 1 from 5 record going right handed, but it is hoped that his chasing form might make him more confident back over the smaller hurdles.

Instant Expert tells me that his handicap record looks like this...

...whilst his most recent pace profiles (albeit over fences from late December to late March) suggest that he'll be the one setting the tempo of this contest...

...which is often beneficial over fences to keep out of trouble and is also the preferred tactic at many tracks, but not much here at Huntingdon in this type of race, as since 2016...

...leaders have won more often than mid-div or hold-up horses, but the advised position is one just off the pace but still handy. Hold up horses do often come late for a place at leaders' expense, but prominence is key here and the pace make-up of this race suggests there'll be three or four lining up to take him on later in the contest.

*

My other horse of interest is Golden Hind, a 4yr old filly who goes in the 5.30 Newcastle, which is a 97-runner, Class 5, 3yo+ AW handicap worth £3,240. the trip is a left handed 1m4½f on tapeta and her entry on the card is as follows...

As you can see, she comes here seeking a hat-trick, having won over 1m4f at Thirsk in mid-September before winning here over class, course and distance 18 days ago. She's only up 2lbs for that win that took her record on the AW to 2 wins from 4, all on tapeta. She's 2 from 3 here at Newcastle, all over this trip and 2 from 2 under Danny Tudhope's steering (Danny himself has a good record here, see below)

Danny Tudhope + C5/6 AW hcps + Newcastle + 7f and beyond + 2019-now = 23 from 66 = 34.8% SR, A/E 1.81

She's drawn in nine of nine here and past races of this nature have favoured those drawn in the upper half of the stalls...

I class 9 & 10 as one entity, which equals the number of runners out to 38 like the other eight stalls and gives us 8 winners (21.05%), second only to stall 6 and 14 places (36.84%), so it's a good place to run from. In fact, both her previous C&D wins came from stall 7 of 8, so that backs up our draw analysis.

As for pace here, it pays to race prominently...

...and she set the fractions for her win LTO and raced prominently in her other C&D win, so I'd expect similar tactics today and if she persists with those tactics from that high draw, then our pace/draw heat map for the race suggest she's in with a great shout of landing this one...

...as high/led and high/prominent are the best and fourth best of the twelve possible approaches here.

Summary

The long layoff for The Late Legend doesn't actually put me off, after the way he came back last autumn to have a cracking season, but his hurdles record is dire. Obviously the hope is that the switch to fences after failing to even place in six efforts over the smaller obstacles has raised his confidence and he can transfer some of that form, but I'm not sure it'll happen if I'm totally honest. He could very well make the frame, such is the lack of obvious quality in the race, but at 6/1, he's no E/W bet for me.

If I was to think about playing this race, then possibly White Walker at 9/2 or a 10/1+ E/W bet on Shanroe Tic Tec would be the ones I'd consider.

Golden Hind on the other hand seems to have a really good chance, despite being raised 2lbs for a career-best effort last time out. If she breaks well from her wide draw, she could be tough to catch. She's currently 3/1 and I'd probably have wanted a little more than that, I certainly wouldn't want to take less but she could well make it her race to win/lose, depending on tactics. The main danger (and better value) comes in the form of the 11/2 Greengage. She's down to a workable mark, down in class and has 3 wins and 2 places from 7 over coiurse and distance and is poised to go well again, despite a poor-looking draw in stall 3.

I suppose the upshot of all this is a reminder that The Shortlist should be a starting point rather than an end in itself.

 

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