Racing Insights

Racing Insights, 13th July 2021

Tuesday's free feature is The Shortlist report, a simple and usually brief report highlighting those horses with a largely ‘green’ profile in the Instant Expert Report each day, whilst our free races of the day are as follows...

  • 2.15 Beverley
  • 2.55 Downpatrick
  • 3.15 Beverley
  • 6.25 Killarney
  • 7.45 Southwell
  • 8.05 Brighton

And here is Tuesday's Shortlist report, as it would appear on your screen. The two horses of obvious interest are the two "15s" at Southwell, but Oscar Nomination is actually a non-runner, leaving Forchena as the only one I'm bothered about here.

This 7 yr old mare actually runs in one of our free races, so it makes sense to have a quick look at the 7.45 Southwell, a 12-runner, Class 5, Handicap Hurdle for 4yo+ mares over almost 3m1f after a 123 yard rails adjustment. The going is set to be good and these are the runners chasing a small prize of £2,342...

Forchena, our featured horse, heads the weights and comes here on a hat-trick, easily boasting the best form in the race. I now aim to see if she's worth backing or not by quickly whittling the field down to a workable shortlist, using the toolkit available, starting with the full form filter available by clicking a horse's name as follows...

Here you can see Our Cilla has no wins and just three places from sixteen attempts over hurdles and now steps up in class. I'm going to be quite brief/brutal today and she's already off my list based on those figures, as are...

  • Ballymilan : 0 wins, 2 places from 10
  • Stephanie Sunshine : 0 wins, 2 places from 14
  • Strike The Flint : unplaced in all seven starts over hurdles

Horses that have had ten or more cracks at winning aren't of much interest to me, if I'm honest, which leaves my racecard looking like this...

I also don't like Winged Dream making a handicap debut after a near five month absence since being pulled up. I sense that she has been sent off at 100/1 on debut and then 200/1 twice for good reason and even though she drops in class here, I don't like her. Cast In Grey hasn't hit that ten start barrier of mine yet, but she has only made the frame once in seven hurdle runs and has suffered a string of heavy defeats and has never raced beyond 2m5.5f, so she's out too, whilst Pretty Stranger is ridden by a 10lb claimer and such jockeys are 1 from 37 in handicap hurdles here since the start of 2017.

All of which leaves us with the five runners who have actually won over hurdles and here they are in Instant Expert...

Forchena is the obvious starting point and the only negative is her 7lb rise for her latest run/win. Both Keep the river and Misscarlett have won on good ground, whilst all five are previous Class 5 winners. Only Forchena has won here previously, whilst Dorette has won at a similar trip to today. Sadly she's 6lbs higher than her last win, whilst Misscarlett is up 8lbs, but Ali the Hunter is now some 6lbs lower than her last win.

We think this race may well be run at a false pace, because such contests tend to favour those leading the pack...

...but there's no actual pace in the race...

...although the top three on that chart have scored a 3 (prominent racing) in two of their last four outings. At this point, I'd probably move the pace stuff to one side and suggest a falsely run race. When I suspect that's going to happen, I tend to side with what I think are just the best horses in the field and sometimes you have to follow instinct. A quick look at the runners can be helpful...

Forchena is three from four in handicaps, having won her last three. She scored in August 2020 here over course and distance before a 255-rest was ended with a 2 lengths success over a furlong further at Huntingdon, despite going up 6lbs. She was then raised another 6lbs next/last time out, when she snatched the lead in the shadow of the post at Hexham, staying on strongest over 2m7.5f. The step back up in trip should help her here and I think it's just a case of whether she can carry another 7lbs, although her jockey takes 3 of those 7 off.

Keep The River is just 1 from 20 over hurdles but does have a 40% place strike rate and has made the frame in 3 of his last 6 (2 out of 3 for new yard). Now eased another couple of pounds to a mark of 84, he could well make the frame again here.

Misscarlett produced her best effort over hurdles at Uttoxeter last time out when winning for the first time after ten previously unplaced efforts. In Brian Hughes, she has an in-form jockey with a good record at this venue, but she's well up in both trip and weight and prior to that win LTO, hadn't really shown much at all. The question therefore is whether that last was a flash in the pan or not.

Ali The Hunter comes here in good nick, having been a runner-up in three of her four starts this year, seemingly revitalised by a 6-month break from October to April. Last seen almost five months ago when just three quarters of a length behind the re-opposing Dorette, but she's now 2lbs better off with her victor and could very well reverse the placings.

Dorette won a bumper on debut in August 2018 and also won that afore-mentioned 2m7.5f hurdles race at Uttoxeter ahead of Ali the Hunter. However, she did lose another bumper and sixteen hurdles contests between her two career wins and now 2lbs worse off witht he runner-up from LTO might struggle here up 6lbs.


She's up another 7lbs here making her now some 19lbs higher than at the start of her run of three wins, but I still don't see any of these beating Forchena. Odds of 4/1 look generous, so I'm on!

As for the rest, I think Dorette gets beaten by Ali the Hunter on revised terms, so she's not in my top three here and the other to miss out is going to be Misscarlett. I'm not convinced that her last outing shows her in a true light and an 8lb rise could prove problematical, whilst Keep the River does have that 40% place strike rate over hurdles and was better than Misscarlett on Instant Expert.

If I'm having Forchena as my winner here, I think I've got Ali The Hunter ahead of Keep The River in the places, although there's very little between the two and the pair of them probably won't be too far clear of Misscarlett and Dorette.

Ali is currently 6/1, buty at 10's Keep The River might also be worth a cheeky E/W punt.

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