Racing Insights

Racing Insights, 1st December 2021

The Trainer Statistics report is, in fact, four reports in one. It contains information on a trainer’s recent form, and their longer term course form. For each of 14 day, 30 day, course one year, and course since 2009, users can filter by runs, wins, places, win profit/loss and each way profit/loss. Clicking on any row in the report will reveal the runners that trainer has entered on the day in question, and clicking on the runner row will open that race in a new tab.

HINT: It can help to cross refer the profit figures of the trainer with their win/place percentage. A few big priced winners can mean a trainer has a high profit number but a low strike rate. You may need to be very patient, and a bit lucky, to come out in front this way!

This fantastic report is FREE to ALL readers EVERY Wednesday and is complemented this week with the following free races of the day...

  • 1.40 Dundalk
  • 2.50 Haydock
  • 3.40 Dundalk
  • 4.30 Kempton

Most of you are probably already aware that the settings I use for the Trainer Statistics report are quite stringent, meaning I only get a small umber of potential bets to consider each day and Wednesday is no exception. In fact the only "qualifiers" I've got are from the 14-day form figures...

...which show that David O'Meara was in fine form prior to sending 8 runners to Newcastle for Tuesday's afternoon/evening fixture. Those eight could easily affect his 14-day record, of course and whilst he has a runner, Beauzon, in one of our 'free' races, it's a Class 5, A/W nursery and I'm not a fan of such races. Instead I'm staying closer to home (my home, anyway!) for the 2.50 Haydock, which is an interesting-looking, 12-runner, Class 2, 10yo+ Veterans Handicap Chase over a testing 3m1½f on soft ground. It's worth winning at just over £11,700 and here's the card...

So we've a dozen 10 to 12 yr old geldings including several familiar names with the top weight Lake View Lad rated some 26lbs better than Tinkers Hill Tommy who will carry just 10 stones here. Quirkily, our Geegeez SR figures has those two at the top much closer together and only marginally clear of Smooth Stepper.

Form : All bar five (Aso, Ami Desbois, Dashing Perk, Blaklion and Up Helly AA King) have a win in their recent formline.

Class : Lake View Lad, Aso, Ami Desbois, Smooth Stepper and Psychedelic Rock all drop down down from Class 1 action LTO where the latter ran in a Listed race and the other four competed at Gr 3. Conversely Prime Venture, Up Helly AA King and Tinkers Hill Tommy all step up from Class 3.

Course winners : Lake View Lad, Aso, Ami Debois, Smooth Stepper, Blaklion & Late Romantic

Distance winners : Lake View Lad, Smooth Stepper, Prime Venture, Blaklion, Sharp Response, Late Romantic & Tinkers Hill Tommy

Late Romantic is the only course and distance winner, courtesy of landing this contest off 4lbs higher on heavy ground last year.

Last seen : Half of the field (Aso, Prime Venture, Blaklion, Late Romantic, Up Helly AA King and Tinkers Hill Tommy) have all raced in the last 18 to 34 days. Psychedelic Rock has had a 5 month break, whilst four (Lake View Lad, Ami Desbois, Smooth Stepper, Dashing Perk) are making their seasonal bow after 221 to 237 days rest, but Sharp Response hasn't been seen for almost two years!

Between the dozen of them, they've clocked up some miles, competing in a total of 324 races, making the frame 151 times (46.6%) and going on to win 67 (20.7%) of them. Lake View Lad has the best strike rate of the group (9/29 = 31%) with Dashing perk the least prolific at 11.8% (2 from 17), but under Wednesday's expected conditions, they are...

Tinkers Hill Tommy has never been to Haydock before, but otherwise, he's the standout off a small number of runs shown on Instant Expert, but he's 7lbs higher than his last win. Lake View Lad shows up well despite being 0/2 at this level, but he does have three Class 1 chase victories and is now 4lbs lower than his last win. Aso is proven at Class 2 and Smooth Stepper's numbers are all positive if not spectacular, but he does look best suited by underfoot conditions. Four of the bottom five of the card 'get' the trip readily enough, so we shouldn't be short of finishers. from a weight perspective, Blaklion and Aso are racing off much reduced marks compared to their last wins, but Up Helly is carrying an extra 12lbs, but he has good heavy ground form, so he'll not be short on stamina.

From a pace perspective, we're essentially looking for horses happy to take it on...

...but in reality, all running styles bar the hold-up horses do well enough, although the 1.74 IV figure for leaders shouldn't be overlooked and with 61.5% of leaders holding on for a place, that could be good news for Dashing Perk, Psychedelic Rock and Tinkers Hill Tommy based on their last four runs...

...but not such great reading for the likes of Lake View Lad, Aso or last year's winner Late Romantic, although that win was five starts ago and he raced prominently that day.


The 'class' horses from the past running here include the likes of Lake View Lad, Aso and Blaklion. These three, along with Smooth Stepper are all proven Class 1 chasers and this race should be well within their grasp. Tinkers Hill Tommy is better than his reappearance would suggest and is dangerous off bottom weight, whilst Ami Desbois was in good nick prior to being brought down in the Grand National and is an interesting yard mover making a debut for Fergal O'Brien.

These six are the half of the field that I'd want to be with and with many bookies paying four places (5 at Skybet), there could be scope for an E/W selection or two.

Lake View Lad won a soft ground Grade 2 chase over this trip at Aintree on his December 2020 comeback and will attempt a similar result this time around in an easier race rated 4lbs lower. I'd be happier if he raced more prominently like he did at Aintree that day as that might be the key here.

Aso has been the runner-up in the Ryanair Chase on two occasions and although nowhere near that level now, was also runner-up in back to back (Class 2, then Listed) contests earlier this year. His jumping let him down in the Gold Cup and his comeback race at Cheltenham 18 days was over too sharp a trip for him. Up in distance, down in grade and racing against fellow veterans, we might see sparks of the old hero here.

Ami Debois is better than his line of red on Instant Expert might suggest even if he hasn't won a race for almost four years. He has, however, been a runner-up in three of his last five outings and was unlucky to get brought down in this year's Grand National and now makes a yard debut for a trainer with a decent record at this venue. Not an obvious winner, but good enough for a place and will race up with the pace.

Smooth Stepper won a Grade 3 chase here back in February 2020 and won a veteran chase similar to this one at Carlisle two starts ago off just one pound lower. Things didn't go to plan at Sandown last time out, but he's back down in class/trip, will relish the conditions and has run well fresh in the past.

Blaklion is another former Grade 1 winner, but he's also almost four years past his last win. Good enough to finish 6th in this year's National despite weakening late on, he made a satisfactory/respectable comeback at Bangor recently where he jumped pretty well but lacked the speed required to get involved. I was actually surprised to see him return three weeks ago and I'd love to see him win once more, but it's unlikely and I don't think we'll be seeing too much more of him, unless something special happens here.

Tinkers Hill Tommy lurks at the foot of the weights, but Dr Peter May's ratings have him as a player here and I'd be inclined to agree. He finished 2112 in his opening four runs of this year prior to another 197 day rest. He wasn't at this best on his return at Ludlow four weeks ago, but would be entitled to come on for the run off a mark one pound lower. His yard are in decent form right now and have a good record with their stayers. trip and going are ideal for him and he gets on well with the booked jockey, so he could well be in the mix.

Of these six, I think that Lake View Lad and Aso are the two best on display and I'd not be surprised if they weren't the first two home, even if their pace profiles suggest they'll have work to do. This is a fairly open/competitive encounter, but the market doesn't look too generous right now (4.30pm). Lake View Lad is currently best priced at 5/1 with Aso as short as 11/4 in places (but 7/2 with Bet365). To be honest, I can't bring myself to back either at those odds, even if I do think they'll be the best two in the race, because I have that nagging doubt about them having too much to do late on.

Of the other four, I think that (sadly) Blaklion is probably the one I'm least keen on. Sentiment would want him to go well here, but i think that even this is beyond him now, so I'm left with three to consider. I'd be surprised if Ami Desbois, Smooth Stepper or Tinkers Hill Tommy held on to win, but I do like all three for a chance of making the frame. Ami is too short for that at 11/2 to 13/2, so I'm playing two small E/W bets here on Tinkers Hill Tommy at 14/1 and Smooth Stepper at 18/1, both with bookies paying four places.


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