Racing Insights

Racing Insights, 13th November 2021

The Trainer Jockey Combo Stats (TJC) report brings  the form of trainers and jockeys together into a single composite report that has produced excellent results for users, because some trainers turn to specific riders when they have one ‘ready to win’. This report quickly identifies the most profitable combinations. Clicking on any row will reveal the entries for that trainer/jockey pairing. And clicking on the entry will open the race in a new tab.

HINT: Look for a good sample size – ideally five or more – combined with a decent win percentage (30%+), and a positive figure in the profit column.

This TJC report is totally FREE to all readers every Saturday alongside our free races of the day, which will be...

  • 1.05 Cheltenham
  • 1.40 Cheltenham
  • 2.00 Wetherby
  • 2.58 Punchestown
  • 3.50 Uttoxeter
  • 5.00 Wolverhampton

As is often the case, my settings for the TJC report are a little strict and I've no qualifiers to share with you, so I'm going to take a look at the 2.00 Wetherby from the 'free' list. It's a Class 3, 4yo+ handicap chase worth just shy of £7,000. These eight runners (hope it stays that for E/W bettors) will run left handed to tackle sixteen fences over 2m3½f on good to soft (good in places) ground...

Four of the field have won at least one of their last five outings with bottom weight Northern Bound the clear pick on finishing places alone. he does, However, step up in class, whilst the other four class movers (Schiehallion Munro, Cracking Destiny, Topofthecotswolds & Palmers Hill) all drop down two levels from Class 1 (Listed, Listed, Gr 3 & Gr 3 respectively) LTO. Palmers hill is the only one without a course nor a distance win and the top two in the weights have achieved both feats albeit not at the same time.

Return Ticket has won four of ten over fences since the switch to Rebecca Menzies yard in the summer of 2020 and last scored over 1m7f two starts ago. That was here at Wetherby off a mark of 136 and this looks a tougher race. That said, the extra distance might help him, as he has won by 40 lengths over 2m3½f and by 30 lengths over 2m4½f already this year.

Schiehallion Munro has made the frame in 7 of 9 starts over fences, but was last of six, 39 lengths off the leader at Ayr last time out. In fairness, that was a Listed event that had followed a hat-trick of runner-up finishes that has driven his mark up to 138, some 7lbs above his last win. That extra weight and the effect of a 7 month break are enough to dissuade me here.

Cracking Destiny is on a good run of consistent form and is a solid Class 2 chaser, which should stand him in good stead in a C3 contest! He ran really well here over course and distance last time out, finishing second of ten in a Listed race a fortnight ago and a similar run here puts him right in contention.

Marracudja has won two of his last five, but closer inspection shows those to races only had 1 runner and 3 runners with him being the 11/10 fav in the second of them. He's not getting better at 10 yrs of age and suffered a 62 length defeat when last home of six at Musselburgh a fortnight ago. He's not one to hang your hat on.

Topofthecotswolds won a Class 4 chase and was a runner-up at Class 2 either side of a fall at Aintree earlier in the year, but has been on the wane since. A 38 lengths defeat in June preceded him being pulled up at Market Rasen in July. That was the last we've seen of him and he's likely to need a run after four months off.

Palmers Hill has made just one start over fences and has only raced five times in the last 44 months, but won at Cheltenham after 288 days off, was second at Kempton after 461 days off and was fourth at Taunton on chase debut after a 292 day absence, so the current 241 day layoff shouldn't be the reason for him not winning here. He ran really well in the Gr3 Coral Cup over hurdles at this year's Cheltenham Festival and a similar level of aptitude over fences would go a long way here.

Game of War won back to back races, albeit 8 months apart in Ireland back in 2018, but hasn't fared too well since. His last four runs have seen him fall, then be beaten by 68, 55 and 39 lengths, the latest being his UK debut and first run for his new handler. I'd be massively surprised if he wasn't last or second last here.

Northern Bound lurks at the bottom of the weights despite being three from three since returning to chasing less than seven weeks ago. That has pushed his mark from a lowly 109 to today's 123, which is 6lbs higher than his win at Kelso LTO when he scored much more easily than the official length and a quarter margin might suggest. Jockey Kevin Brogan eases the burden with his 3lb claim and having a claimer on board suits him, as he's 5 from 9 with a claimer and just 1 from 11 without!

At this point, if I was to split the field in half, I'd want Northern Bound, Cracking Destiny, Return Ticket and probably Palmers Hill on my side and the inclusion of the latter two of those four possibly says more about the lack of quality elsewhere than it does about the pair themselves.

Instant Expert gives us a quick, clear overview of past form under today's conditions...

...where you can't help but be drawn to Northern Bound at the bottom of the list. yes, he has no Class 3 experience, but has won comfortably enough at C4 that you'd expect him to step up again. He has four wins on this going, matched or bettered only by Return Ticket and Cracking Destiny. The latter hasn't gone well at Class 3, but is 2 from 5 at Class 2, so it's not an ability issue there and he has the most wins at this trip along with the standout Northern Bound.

Northern Bound tends to race mid-division or slightly more prominent...

...and I'd expect Schiehallion Munro to be setting the pace here with the likes of Marracudja and Palmers Hill towards the back of the field. The obvious caveat re Palmers Hill is that he's only been chasing once and his tactics might be changed here. If his trainer has access to the Geegeez Pace Analyser, then he probably will be invited to race more prominently, as similar races here have benefited runners racing as far forward as they can...

Summary

After doing my brief resumés of the runners, I decided that I wanted to be with Northern Bound, Cracking Destiny, Return Ticket and probably Palmers Hill. I still feel that way after Instant Expert and the pace analysis.

Northern Bound ticks all the boxes, great form, good IE scores, races prominently, carrying bottom weight etc etc and has to be the one to beat, surely? The one I'm omitting is Palmers Hill, purely because there are too many unknowns, but there's still something pecking at my head that he might well be the surprise package here, but it's equally possible that he's nothing special, so he's out.

That leaves us with Cracking Destiny and Return Ticket for the places. The latter has it on the resumé, the former has it on Instant Expert, but with three scores of 3 or more on pace, Return Ticket just edges it, but I think both should make the frame.

Bookies time...Northern Bound is, quite predictably, the early (3.45pm) favourite and the 9/4 offered by Hills isn't particularly generous, but he's the one to beat here. My placers are 7/1 and 4/1 respectively so no E/W action yet, but if Return Ticket was to drift a point or two, then I'd be in/on.

 

 

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