Racing Insights

Racing Insights, 17th May 2021

We had a pretty good week last week, especially going against some warm Class 1 favourites at York, but Saturday's race was a disappointment for me. In hindsight, I should have followed my instincts and told you all that ",,even after using all the tools to analyse, you might still have to walk away if it's too tricky to solve..."

Ah, well, you live and learn. No point worrying about it now, as a new week is on the horizon. Monday's free feature is open access to the PACE tab to all readers for ALL races, including these free races of the day...

  • 4.05 Ffos Las
  • 5.15 Redcar
  • 5.35 Leicester
  • 5.50 Windsor
  • 7.05 Leicester

And it's the last of that quintet of races that appeals to me most, the 7.05 Leicester, a 9-runner, 4yo+, Class 4 Flat Handicap over 6f on Good To Soft ground worth £4,347. Here's how they line up...

Six of the nine have a win in their recent form line including three LTO winners. Six of the nine ran at this class LTO whilst top weight Green Power drops from Class 3, as does Triggered, whilst Recall the Show won a Class 5 contest last time out.

Global Esteem is the only one yet to win over this trip and we've three who have won over this actual 6f. Just 11lbs separates the entire field on official ratings with all runners having raced in the last four weeks.

Green Power : Seven races and twenty months since his last win (2 long breaks totalling 495 days in that) and he hasn't beaten many rivals in those races either. Could only manage 5th of 9 in first time blinkers at Epsom last month and despite now dropping to a career-low mark, he's hard to fancy here.

Little Boy Blue : Running consistently well since coming back from a 4-month break in mid-March, finishing 3231 in the process, all at this trip/grade culminating in a soft ground win at Ascot nine days ago in a 14-strong field with the re-opposing Global Esteem (2nd) 0.75 lengths behind him and Spanish Star (3rd) 2.25 lengths behind him and I'd expect him to well again despite a 4lb rise.

Dancinginthewoods : Third run back after six months off, he was well beaten upon his return at Doncaster, but was a winner last time out, scoring at this class, course and distance where he beat the re-opposing Able Kane by half a length. He's up 3lbs for the win, but should still give a decent account of himself.

Able Kane : Won over C&D last September (Class 5), just 8 days after scoring at Bath and ran well in defeat here 23 days ago, after having let the winner get away too easily. He's now 2lbs better off with Dancinginthewoods here and if handling the return to slower/softer ground, should be able to reverse the placings.

Global Esteem : Won over a mile at Yarmouth at Class 5 at the end of August and then failed to even make the frame in six efforts after stepping up in class. First-time cheekpieces appeared to help last time out, though as he was a creditable ¾-length runner-up to Little Boy Blue at Ascot nine days ago. He's now 2lbs better off with the winner, but the winner seemed to have more in hand and I'm not sure this is Global's best trip.

Recall The Show : Two from two on the Flat this season after back to back successes within ten days at Brighton over this trip. Both were at Class 5, as he won by a neck off a mark of 75 and then by half a length off 77. This is, of course, tougher as he's up in class and weight (+2lbs) and the going will be slower/softer here. Pat Cosgrave is in the saddle and the pair have finished 22111 together, so I'd expect another bold effort.

Triggered : 16 defeats and 33 months since he landed a win at Catterick at this class/trip and could only manage to finish fifth of seven at Doncaster at the start of the month. He's best avoided, I'd say, even if jockey Eoin Walsh is in good form (5 wins and 3 places from 16 in the last fortnight)

Gambon : A winner here back in July 2019 who last won at Chepstow in September, but hasn't shown much in four runs since. He wa sa well beaten 9th of 13 here at Leicester over 7f on his seasonal reappearance , but could only manage 6th of 10 at Ripon over today's trip 10 days ago, a result which possibly flattered him as he passed a couple late on who were easing down in defeat.

Spanish Star : Bottom weight here off a mark of 74, the same as when third behind Little Boy Blue at Ascot nine days ago, so he's effectively 4lbs better off with the winner with "only" 2.25 lengths to find. He's also a former course and distance winner, but I can't help feeling he'd want more rain with his best form coming on soft and/or heavy ground, as it was when he won here over this trip in October. He was beaten on soft last time out and despite being better off at the weights, the drier/quicker ground might undo him.

At this point, I want to discard four that I don't think have much chance of winning, so as I go to look at Instant Expert, I'm now only interested in Able Kane, Dancinginthewoods, Global Esteem, Little Boy Blue and Recall The Show, whose records under similar conditions look like this...

All five are racing off marks higher than their last win and whilst Able Kane shades it on Instant Expert, he's got the biggest weight differential to overcome at 6lbs and that mark of 74 is his highest winning mark to date.

Based on a dozen past races here over track/trip etc, the draw stats say that you don't really want to be any further away from the rail than stall 6, which doesn't read well for the likes of Little Boy Blue and Recall the Show...

Whilst the pace stats tell us that leaders tend to get caught but still make the frame (just 10% win, but 50% place), whilst those who race prominently are almost twice as likely to win, but make the frame less often.

Any horse racing further back than that is likely to struggle and whilst it doesn't mean they can't win, it would prove difficult, which would make Dacinginthewoods' running style the least advantageous here...

And when we look at the last two runs of these horses, the pattern that emerges from the race is as follows...

Little Boy Blue & Recall The Show weren't particularly well drawn, but do like to race prominently and between them that tactic has resulted in three wins and a place in two runs each. Global Esteem likes to lead and invariably gets caught, as shown in recent defeats, plus he was actually held up the last time he won. Dancinginthewoods and Able Kane look like they end up giving themselves too much to do late on from a mid-division position.

Summary

He doesn't have the best draw here and wasn't particularly attractive via Instant Expert, but Little Boy Blue is running consistently well at the class and trip and I think he's the one I like most today. He's not exactly brimming with value at 9/2 in a 9-runner contest, but in what I've seen as a 5-horse race, that's more than fair.

The one I think could mount the biggest challenge would be the 6/1 shot,  Recall the Show. He looks likely to be alongside LBB in-running and comes here in great form and gets on well with his rider and it's only the step up in class that concerns me.

Tricast punters need a third horse, I suppose and to be honest, there's vary little between the other three in my head/mind, Able Mind should be ahead of Dancinginthewoods and I think he, too, might overhaul the leader late on, so it'd tentatively be Able Kane for third.

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