We were right to oppose the 5/6 fav Kettle Hill this afternoon, as he failed to even make the frame, but our preferred pick Dawaaleeb was beaten by a neck after ditching his usual front-running tactics. This left our other identified pacemaker, Defence Treaty, with the opportunity to set the fractions and he hung on grimly to secure the win at 20/1, just holding our pick off.
Not our day, but we'll have other opportunities and I'll be keeping an eye out for Global Spirit next time. As I thought he might, he faded late on, but ran well for a long way, so would be of interest on his next appearance.
Now, to Tuesday, where The Shortlist report is our 'feature of the day' and our free races are as follows...
- 1.00 Newmarket
- 1.15 Newton Abbot
- 2.35 Southwell
- 2.45 Newmarket
- 4.30 Newmarket
There's not a lot catching my eye from The Shortlist report for Tuesday, so I'll turn to our handful of free races for today's and seeing as the fourth on that list is not only the "best" race of the five, it also features a runner from our 2021 Flat profiling community project. So, without further ado, let's focus on the 2.45 Newmarket, which is a 9-runner, Class 2 Flat handicap for 4yo+ horses over a mile on Good ground, that might well be firmer in places. Top prize is £10,800 and it will go to one of...
We've no LTO winners in the filed, but seven of the nine have won at least once in their last five outings. Six ran in this grade last time out, but Makram is up one class whilst both Overwrite and Madame Tantzy ran in Class 4 contests. Only Maxi Boy and Rhythmic Intent are without a win at this trip, whilst we've four course and distance winners.
The Geegeez ratings are fairly close between Madame Tantzy (99), Rhythmic Intent (95), Hortzadar (91) and Scottish Summit/Dogged (both 87), suggesting a tight affair, whilst the middle of those five, Hortzadar is the Flat profiles horse, more on that very shortly. Four of the field have raced in the past 17 days, whilst the other five have been off track for at least 12 weeks with Dogged now re-appearing after a break of almost 40 weeks!
Oh This Is Us carries top weight of 9st 12lbs off a mark of 102. He's a former course and distance winner but has laboured on the all-weather this spring finishing 9th of 13 off 104 and 9th of 14 off 103. he's back on turf and down another pound, but has no 5lb claimer on board today to reduce his effective mark below 100. He's 2 from 6 here at HQ, but hasn't won on the Flat for over 31 months and although his yard are in good form right now, I think he'll fall short again here.
Hortzadar was put forward for the Flat profiles by Gold subscriber andynic with the following short note...Distance 7f-8f, no of runners 2-10... He's 5 from 5 under those circumstances, including 4/4 over 1m, 2/2 at Class 2, both over a mile. So, conditions look ideal and he's only 3lbs higher than when last winning at Goodwood in September at this class/trip and made a promising reappearance to finish third, just 2 lengths adrift in the Lincoln last month despite a 161 day absence. He looks the one to beat.
Maxi Boy was a promising 2 yr old who won on debut and was third in a Group 2 race here in July 2019. he struggled next time out in another Group 2 race and then wasn't seen for 455 days. The break didn't appear to affect him too much as he came within two necks of winning a Class 2 handicap on his return. The fact he hasn't raced in the 166 days since then suggests something might not quite be right with him and although he clearly has ability, I'm concerned that 1 run in 22 months isn't enough.
Rhythmic Intent had a good start to his 2020 campaign with two wins and a runner-up finish from his first four seasonal outings, so he'd be expected to be ready to go here, despite a 5 month absence. He acquitted himself well on his final run of 2020 with a good 2nd of 23 in Doncaster's Class 2 November handicap when a length and three quarters behind a winner who has won twice since. Definite chances here.
Scottish Summit is possibly better than recent form might suggest, as he went pretty well for much of his run in the Lincoln at Doncaster last month before weakening late on. He made the frame in 7 of his 9 Flat runs last season, winning twice (the last of which was here over C&D) and whilst he's possibly a tad high in the weights, could well nick a place at a decent price.
Overwrite was certainly kept busy last season, racing 11 times in 21 weeks, getting home first in two of them (won one and was disqualified in another after hanging right). He struggled in the Spring Mile last month and was beaten off this mark on the A/W at Newcastle in a Class 4 last week. This is much tougher and I think mid-division is about as good as he'll be.
Makram is a prime example of why you need to loo beyond form figures. Finishes of 21818 from his five career runs to date would spark interest, but closer analysis shows he won a Class 5, 7f, A/W novice race by half a length and a Class 4 Flat handicap by a length and a quarter. He was then 8th of 13 on his Class 3 debut last time out and although he didn't have the best of draws, he was never really in the race and now going off that same mark and stepping up another class after a 234-day absence, I'd want to look elsewhere.
Dogged won a Class 2 nursery here over course and distance back in September 2019, but has only raced three times since then and results have been disappointing, although a 5th of 10 here over C&D last time out suggested there might be something about him. He has been gelded during his long layoff and it is hoped that will spark some improvement, but even if it does, I think he'll need the run.
Madame Tantzy is an interesting sort at the foot of the weights. The only mare in the race was a winner two starts ago when landing a Class 3 handicap over course and distance last September, prior to a five length defeat on the A/W at Kempton. She's probably a little high in the weights still off 79 and will probably need a run, but I wouldn't be surprised to see her winning at Class 3 off a lower mark this summer.
We know that Hortzadar should have conditions to suit here, but Instant Expert can quickly highlight how his rivals have also fared in past Flat handicaps...
Makram and Madame Tantzy look high in the weights based off their last win, whilst Oh This Is Us is the standout horse for me from the above. Rhythmic Intent and particularly Scottish Summit are solid placers who haven't converted enough good runs into wins, whilst Dogged's figures are good from small sample sizes from a fairly long time ago.
In 47 past contests of this nature, the suggestion is that you either want to be in stall 1 or drawn high. I know that seems a little incongruent, but that's what the data tells us...
Further analysis of those 47 races says the further forward you can race, the better with 34 of the races going to leaders/prominent runners, despite them only representing less than half of the runners.
That, of course, doesn't mean that low drawn runners or those who race from further off the pace can't win here, but if you race mid-division, you need a low draw, whilst hold up runners need to be away from those first three stalls. Highly drawn prominent runners just about shade it here...
...and this is how these nine runners have raced in their last four outings. We've superimposed them in draw order onto that heat map above and Overwrite / Dogged look best suited from that.
We started with Hortzadar and his record under similar circumstances and I suggested he's the one to beat. He isn't particularly well off on the pace/draw chart, but he does have that stall 1 to his advantage. All things considered, I still think he's the one to beat here. 10/3 is a little shorter than I'd hoped for, but that still might end up being a good price.
That's the easy bit done in a way and I'm tempted to say good night at this point, but I know you like a top three and the possibility of a cheeky E/W punt, so here's where I'm at. I like Rhythmic Intent best of the rest, he goes well fresh, tends to do his best work early season and could well run Hortzadar close, but at 11/2 is too short for an E/W bet for me.
That leaves me with one to find and this is where it's tricky. I actually think there are a couple of over-priced runners here in the shape of Scottish Summit (16/1) and Oh This Is Us (12/1). The above data and write-ups would tend to suggest the latter would be the better option of the two, but something is nagging at the back of my mind to go with Scottish Summit.
All of which is suggested to you with one caveat...Maxi Boy is a potential fly in the ointment. I suspect he's going to need the run after being so inactive for a long time, but he's certainly good enough to win a race like this. I just hope it's not this one!