Racing Insights

Racing Insights, 14th August 2021

Saturday's free feature is the excellent Trainer/Jockey Combo Stats Report (TJC). This report brings together the form of trainers and jockeys into a single composite report and has produced excellent results for users. Quite simply, some trainers turn to specific riders when they have one ‘ready to win’ and this report quickly identifies the most profitable combinations.

In addition to the TJC, we also have the following free 'races of the day'...

  • 1.00 Newmarket
  • 1.30 Newmarket
  • 1.52 Doncaster
  • 2.20 Newbury
  • 4.20 Ripon
  • 5.10 Bath

I want to look at the 2.20 Newbury today, as it's clearly the best of the free races and despite Hukum looking a very warm favourite, there could be the scope for a decent priced E/W bet or a chance of a forecast etc.

Before I do that though, fans of the TJC report might be interested in something my setting have thrown up on the 1 yr handicap filter...

There's a good chance that a couple of those might make the frame, so why not have a look at them and see what you think whilst I delve into that 2.20 Newbury race aka the Geoffrey Freer Stakes , which is a Group 3 Flat race open to horses aged three years or older. It is run over a distance of 1 mile, 5 furlongs and 61 yards and these eight runners will compete on good ground to attempt to land a pot just shy of £40k...

It's a decent looking field and I hope for E/W bettors that all eight run here (no conspiracy theories at GGZ). Hukum won this last year and will probably be very short priced to repeat the feat. He's between 3lbs and 15lbs well in at the weights based on the Official Ratings with bottom weight Recovery Run next best.

So let's start with Hukum himself, he has three wins and a place in Class 1 races and won this very contest last year under today's jockey. Good ground or softer, 1m4f to 1m6f within two months of his last run are his ideal conditions and all are at play here. He was only 3 lengths way in the Gr2 Hardwicke at Ascot before another Gr3 win at York LTO and he's clearly the one to beat despite a 3lb penalty.

Pablo Escobarr had a real purple patch from late Spetember 2018 to the end of July 2020, running consistently well with 3 wins and 4 places from 9 starts culminating in a win in the Gr3 Glorious Stakes at Goodwood, but hasn't quite reached those heights this year, failing to make the frame in four outings and he has yet to prove he gets this trip, but...

Red Verdon seemed to toil on the A/W over the winter but has run well in his last couple of races as a runner-up and then an LTO winner, both in Listed contests. This is obviously tougher at this higher level, but he's got plenty of stamina staying beyond two miles, as do offspring of Lemon Drop Kid...

Rodrigo Diaz started a great run of form exactly a year ago containing four wins and three places from seven outings. Admittedly they're all at lower grades than today and he steps up in class here, but his form is unquestionable. He's no Hukum and he's probably not getting near the fav, but if maintaining his progression could very well make the frame here.

Sleeping Lion won a Class 2 handicap over 2m at Kempton on his seasonal reappearance back in April which was also his debut for his new yard, but hasn't really kicked on since and was some five lengths behind Rodrigo Diaz last time out. He looks like he might struggle here on Class 1 debut and others are preferred for the places.

Without A Fight won at this meeting last year in a Class 5 novice contest and although he progressed far enough to land a Class 2 handicap at Haydock last September, that appears to have become his ceiling and his last two runs have been disappointing going down by 14.5 and 11 lengths respectively. I'd be surprised if he featured in the shake-up

Golden Pass, however, might still be improving and with 4 wins and 2 places from her 7 starts, has yet to run a bad race. She was game when digging deep to land a Listed contest last time out, rallying late on after being headed inside the last of 12 furlongs and eventually pulled three quarters of a length clear of the runner-up. She's up in quality and trip here, but she's in great form and looks gutsy. Definite place potential for an in-form yard...

Recovery Run also hails from a yard in good health right (details below) and although not an obvious winner here, the fact that he's second best off at the weights is interesting as he carries at least half a stone less than his rivals. He has already made the frame in 7 of 11 starts, winning three times and was beaten by less than two lengths in a Gr3 at Newmarket towards the end of the 2020 season. He might not quite be ready for this standard, but his yard is in really good nick...


At this point, I still think it's Hukum's race to lose, but I've still plenty who look capable of joining him in the frame, but I wouldn't expect that to include the likes of Sleeping Lion or Without A Fright.

Instant Expert shouldn't need any introduction by now, but if you're unsure, do consult the User Guide within the My Geegeez section or email me. Like all brilliant ideas, it's actually quite a simple overview of past relative form. I've arranged it in draw order today so we can see the likelier runners have been placed...

Red Verdon is interesting across a few angles, especially the going and he''l have the rail to assist, then there's the odd splash of green (but plenty of red) until you get to stalls 6 & 7 where Hukum (proven across all spheres) and Golden Pass are berthed. The latter has done well from a small number of runs at going/class and she could be the main threat based on evidence so far.

If that's the case, we should check how well drawn she is in number 7 of 8 stalls here. It's actually a small sample size due to the length of race, so I expanded the number of runners to at least give me some workable data...

And essentially, you don't want to be higher than stall 6 to win (0 from 18), but you've as much chance of making the frame (27.77% as pretty much anywhere outside the first three stalls. Thos place figures for stalls 1 to 3 are good news for Red Verdon who showed well on Instant Expert.

So, Red Verdon is drawn well in his battle to threaten the places, but how will he get there?

 Well, the stats say the best chance of winning this race is to run in mid-division or be held up for a run. Leaders haven't fared to0 well, but do make the frame more than any other style. Overall, prominent racers perform poorest of all and the optimum approach to such a race is to be drawn low then run in mid-div, be held-up or lead...

We can look at our eight runners' recent outings and place them onto that heat map to give us a suggestion of how the race might pan out, but remember the pace/draw heatmap is just one of the tools, it's not the be all and end all, nor do the horses' positions on the chart represent a prediction of finishing order. That said, here's how it looks...

It looks like Golden Pass might end up setting the pace, as she did when winning LTO, but that might her a target for those sitting in from a low draw. Hukum looks like he'll get a nice tow into the race by Golden Pass, this keeps him out of trouble ready for a well timed run to the line.


It's still Hukum for me here. Even money is a fairly unattractive betting proposition, but might end up representing a bit of value if the money comes in. Golden Pass looks set to make the running, but creates a target for the others. I think she's probably second best in the race and at 6/1, the bookies agree.

She's too short for me to go E/W and I expect the place price will be very low, so I'm going back to that low draw to see if there's a placer for me. I don't like Sleeping Lion at all here, so he's out, leaving me with Red Verdon and Recovery Run. I think the former is the better horse, is more proven at grade and trip, but the latter is carrying 10lbs less.

It's a tight call for me, but I'm siding with the 11/1 Red Verdon as my E/W (or place) pick ahead of the 9/1 Recovery Run.


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