Racing Insights

Racing Insights, 18th September 2021

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

In addition to the (TJC),we also have our usual selection of free races, which are...

  • 1.15 Navan
  • 1.20 Ayr
  • 1.55 Ayr
  • 3.35 Catterick
  • 4.00 Newbury
  • 4.40 Navan

And after getting Friday's race quite badly wrong, I'm having another crack at a Listed event North of the border. I know the Newbury race is a cracking Group 2, but I'm keen to try and atone for today's poor show.

With that in mind, we're looking at the 1.55 Ayr, a 10-runner, Listed race for 3yo+ horses. The trip is 1m2f on Good to Firm ground and the prize is almost £22,700...

I talked last night about longshots not winning events like this, so you'll see that I've already "greyed" three runners out of contention. They won't just be 16/1+, they'll probably be bigger than 100/1 and they'll be that price for a reason, so we're effectively treating this as a 7-runner affair.

Of the seven, the two at the top of the card are likely to be well fancied, as they're officially rated far superior than the rest of the field, but we know from experience that this doesn't always mean it's a foregone conclusion. Only Palvecino is without a win on the most recent formline, whilst Euchen Glen, Platinumcard and The Flying Ginger are all stepping up from Class 2 today.

All seven have won over 1m2f in the past with Euchen Glen and Platinumcard doing it here at Ayr, no runners are coming from a long layoff and Juan Elcano is the pick on trainer/jockey stats.

Euchen Glen has a win and runner-up finish at Group 3 already this season as well as winning a Listed race. He wasn't at his best, when well beaten in a Class 2 handicap last time, but in his defence his mark of 116 was 15lbs higher than his most recent handicap win. Should be there or thereabouts, especially with results of 211114 in six runs here at Ayr!

Juan Elcano won the Listed Wolferton Stakes at Royal Ascot in June after a wind op and was then subsequently only beaten by a head in the Group 2 York Stakes. He has raced once more since then, finishing last of 7 back ay York, but that was in a Group 1 contest and this is far easier on paper. Definite chances.

Maydanny has won Class 2 handicaps at Glorious Goodwood in both 2020 and 2021, but was penalised 8lbs for the latest win resulting in him only finishing 7th of 18 at York. He then struggled over a mile in a Group 3 at Haydock last time out, coming home last of five, some 12 lengths off the pace. Should fare better back up in trip, but a place would be the best he could hope for.

Palavecino was steadily progressive in handicaps last season with 4 wins and a runner-up finish from six starts, but hasn't really made the successful step up to Class 1 action this term. Without a win in eight over the last 13 months, he's destined to be an also-ran here today too, I'm afraid.

Platinumcard was unplaced in five NH runs last winter before it was decided that he might be better on the Flat. Since the switch he has 4 wins and 2 places from 8 runs and although this is a step up in class, his heart and his form is beyond question and he could well make the frame again at a decent price.

Juan De Montalban won at Class 4 then Class 3 for Andrew Balding before being sold to Italian owners who raced him once as a runner-up in the Italian Derby. He then returned to the UK and was 4th of 5 beaten by 13 lengths three weeks ago in the Gr3 March Stakes at Goodwood. In fairness, he was stepped up to 1m6f that day and he should go better back down in trip and class, but not well enough to make the frame for me.

The Flying Ginger made all to win a Class 3 handicap at Pontefract back in June, but struggled in his next three runs finishing last of 8 in another Class 3 handicap then 5th of 6 and last of 6 in a pair of Listed races, so it was somewhat a surprise to see him come home a 33/1 winner last time out, scoring over 1m2½f in a Class 2 handicap. His 3 wins and a runner-up finish from six Class 2/3 handicaps versus a 0 from 5 (none placed) record at Listed class probably tells you where his ceiling is.

My seven in contention have a combined strike rate of over 28% so far (32 from 114), but Instant Expert will tell us how much of that past form is relevant here...

And I think it's clear that Euchen Glen (top on SR and 2nd best OR) looks best suited by conditions here and the fav Juan Elcano looks a little weak on that data. Both are drawn in the lower half of the draw in stalls 4 & 2 respectively, so let's check the draw stats to see if that's a good, bad or indifferent place to run from...

When we don't have lots of races for a sample size, PRB3 is often a good indicator of where the best sector of the draw might be, and whilst stall 1's score is good at 0.51, stalls 6 to 8 probably have the edge, as marginal as that might be over a trip as long as 1m2f. As many of you know, I'm a little sceptical about draw data beyond a distance that's longer enough for horses to compensate for where they start from.

To be honest, my opinion is that in races of 1m2f or longer with medium to small sized fields, the pace of the race is more important than the draw, so let's see how these races tend to be won...

And the facts are that leaders don't win and have the worst place success rate. Prominent racers win 42% more often than expected and make the frame most often. Mid-div runners almost win as often as you'd expect (IV 0.97) but provide the second most placers, whilst hold up horses often come through the pack to win (2nd best), but it seems to be win or bust, as their place percentage is poor.

Put those two charts together and join the dots and you'll see that the high drawn mid-div runners fare best of all followed by the low to mid drawn prominent racers. Low drawn hold up horses also do pretty well...

There are swathes of red there and that's where you don't want to be and when we put our field's draw and past running styles onto that heatmap, we get this...

This would suggest that Palavecino and The Flying Ginger (possibly Juan de Montalban) are most likely to be the pace setters, which probably takes them out of contention here with Euchen Glen and Platinumcard towards the back of the seven hopefuls, waiting to pick their rivals off late on. Juan Elcano might well push on (has raced prominently in 2 of his last 4), which would br a good tactic, whilst Maydanny also looks well positioned above.

Summary

Based on everything above, there are just four I'm really interested in here and in race card order, they are...
...Euchen Glen, Juan Elcano, Maydanny and Platinumcard, from which the Instant Expert line of green is hard to ignore for Euchen Glen, so he's my 3/1 pick here.

Juan Elcano looks too short at 11/8 for my liking and he should make the frame, but you're effectively betting on him bouncing back from a poor run.

Maydanny and Platinumcard look closely matched to me, but although the latter has been running at lower grades, he's in form and has good course/distance numbers and has a good pace/draw make-up, so he's a 14/1 E/W punt for me.

Ideally Maydanny also gets a place ahead of the short priced fav, but it's (a) not too likely and (b)not worth backing E/W at 5/1, so I'll leave him here.

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1 reply
  1. 10 Things You Didn't Know about Geegeez Racecards
  2. Rambler
    Rambler says:

    Belated congrats Chris on getting 1-2-3 – recovering from holiday journey so missed the suggested bets. Bob S.

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