My main runner of interest on Thursday wasn't amongst the places but was much better than the bare result and she did outrun her odds. She would have been seen to much better effect had she been ridden prominently. Blushes were salvaged slightly by the runner flagged as the main danger winning the race.
This will be my final day filling the Racing Insights hot seat, Chris will be back to continue shining the light on some nice bets in the new year.
Friday is the final day that registered free users will have full free access to Geegeez Gold. That’s not the end of the benefits of being a free user though – every day there are free features and races available to free registered users.
I mentioned earlier in the week that I find Geegeez Gold extremely useful in analysing races at Southwell with course form and/or being bred for the surface so important and this is where I’ll be heading for Friday’s preview. The 1.15pm is a class 3 handicap over 7f and looks an interesting contest to get stuck into.
Only seven runners in this but Instant Expert is still going to save us plenty of time in shedding light on those that have gone well here in the past. First let’s check out the place data.
The majority of these have run consistently well here in the past with nothing standing out as not liking the surface. Both Teston and Irreverent have yet to run here.
Now let’s see the win only data.
Fieldsman was the least interesting of those that have run here before based on the place data and that’s definitely reflected in the win only data here, he’s won just two of this fourteen runs here in handicaps.
In terms of winning records here something is going to have to give with Stone Soldier, Ayr Harbour and Borsdane Wood all having a 100% record here to date.
Before we look at the sire data in Instant Expert we should first pick up any other snippets from the Instant Expert screenshots above. Ayr Harbour strong across the board for win purposes and is crucially the only runner proven in this class and here at Southwell. Fieldsman on the other hand does have a fairly consistent place record here but he scores poorly for all categories for win purposes on Instant Expert.
The sire data in Instant Expert should tell us more about the chances of Teston and Irreverent who will both be making their course debuts.
Rio De La Plata, sire of Teston, comes out as the top sire here from those with runners in the race but unfortunately he’s had just one runner here is seems. So that 100% place record certainly needs to be taken with a large pinch of salt.
Iffraaj, sire of Irreverent, doesn’t have an amazing place strike rate here with his runners but it is still better than that of Invincible Spirit (Borsdane Wood) and Dandy Man (Fancy Footings). Both of those runners have run well here in the past so we can’t confidently rule out Irreverent (or Teston) based on the surface.
Stone Soldier is likely to be the early favourite. He looked an exposed 3yo until trying this surface for the first time on his stable debut early in December and he looked a natural on that occasion, winning by over 4 lengths from a reliable yard stick. That 2nd was a neck from victory on his next run over course and distance and the 3rd won next time out so overall that was strong form.
Stone Solider followed that effort up with a narrower victory up at a mile. He’s up another 5lbs now and may be short enough in the betting but what is potentially most interesting is this horse has run seventeen times but has only run over 7f twice, winning on both occasions.
He does have some decent stats in his favour here, particularly the IV produced by this trainer and jockey partnership.
Ayr Harbour is the horse that brings slightly classier form into this contest having won a class 2 handicap two starts ago at Chelmsford before recording a 2nd last time out in this class. His course win hasn’t worked out well though and his recent wins have been at a mile so he could be opposable if on the short side here.
Borsdane Wood was the other interesting one based on course form, having won both his previous runs on fibresand. Both wins were over this distance too but the issue is they came 13 months ago for a different trainer. He managed just two runs in 2020 (both poor efforts in June) and has possibly not trained on or at the very least had some serious soundness issues – perhaps both. It’s possible the return to this venue will spark a revival (it certainly needs to) but he’s a hugely risky proposition. Market support would be interesting though.
The trainer change might be a positive here with Julie Camacho producing an IV of 1.81 with recruits from other yards on their stable debuts.
Fancy Footings is difficult to weigh up. He seems to run very well or absolutely terribly with little to predict what is coming. He won here by over three lengths off just a 2lb higher mark just over a year ago and followed that up with a decent 3rd over course and distance off a 6lb higher mark than he carries here. A return to that sort of form may see him win this. He was less impressive back here in January though when beaten 7 lengths off a 4lb higher mark than he contends with in this. He’s one you can’t rule out but he’s difficult to back.
Fieldsman is very much exposed here and although he has only won twice from fourteen runs here, those victories have both come in the past six weeks. He’s only 7lbs better off with Stone Soldier for a 7.5 length beating though here earlier in December and it’s difficult to make a case for him reversing that form.
Teston has some interesting form and could be a contender here. He’s got plenty of form on artificial surfaces from his time in France and he’s only 7lbs higher here than when victorious by 7 lengths at Doncaster in June. He ran well in listed company after that effort. He’s been in lesser form in three runs since but there have been some excuses for that (heavy ground, then much faster ground, then the distance).
Irreverent is well handicapped on some older form but hasn’t quite been firing recently, running okay but not as if about to win. He’s running here for the first time and is wearing a first time visor so there are reasons why he could suddenly run much better but also reasons why he’ll run terribly!
It pays to be up with the pace here but we may well see a contested pace.
Teston is likely to try to burn them off with his customary running style but he’s going to have to go very fast to lead. There are plenty of prominent runners here as well as front runners so we could see a few having to go wide round the turn as they jostle for position.
A difficult race in which to find value with the bookies looking to have got this market pretty much right. Neither Stone Soldier or Ayr Harbour look brilliantly handicapped but they’ve both shown the classier form and they have the least questions to answer.
Unless there is a ton of money for Borsdane Wood the best play in the race might be a straight forecast on Stone Solider to beat Ayr Harbour. The drop in trip for Stone Solider should suit better than it does for his nearest market rival.