Racing Insights

Racing Insights, 1st March

We ended February with a nice result as my 1-2-3 finished 1st, NR and 2nd and although our 9/2 about Lucky's Dream was subject to a 30p Rule 4 deduction, the 3.15/1 payout was still two and a half times better than the 5/4 SP. Cardano's defection meant that anyone getting on after the early morning news he wouldn't run could also have landed a 5.7/1 forecast, so well done to those of you on that.

Monday heralds the start of a new week/month and we're closing in on the highlight of the NH season for many, but there are still several race days to negotiate first, starting here. To assist you, the Pace tab is freely available for all races every Monday and our 'races of the day' are as follows...

  • 1.00 Plumpton
  • 5.10 Ayr
  • 5.50 Wolverhampton
  • 7.20 Wolverhampton

The first of the two A/W contests above is the best quality (on paper at least) of the four free races and although only six are set to go to post, it looks a tight competitive affair, which we can hopefully unravel, as we tackle the 5.50 Wolverhampton, a 6-runner, Class 2 handicap for 4yo+ runners over 6f on the Tapeta. The winner will receive £11,828 and is somewhere amongst these...

A quick glance at the Geegeez Speed ratings also suggests a tight affair, as fourth ranked Venturous scores 97, meaning the first four are separated by just 2 points. Fizzy Feet heads those rankings, shades it on form and is one of three dropping down from Class 1 racing. Joint second rated Huraiz moves in the opposite direction, but probably has the second best recent form.

We've a couple of in-form yards and one in-form jockey, whilst we've one yard with a positive track icon and two jockeys proven here. All six runners have previously won over track or distance, one has won at both and three have won over course and distance...

Summerghand is one of the three former course and distance winners from winning a Class 2 contest here on Boxing Day 2019, but has struggled of late, finishing 8367 over the last six months. He was 7th of 9 last time out when beaten by almost 3 lengths in a Listed race at Lingfield just over three weeks ago on his comeback from 17 weeks off the track. He carries top-weight here and is rated a pound higher than his last win and I doubt he's top 3 material.


...he could do a lot worse than have Adam Kirby in the saddle, but the recent form of the yard is a worry for me.

Venturous is another C&D winner, albeit at Class 5 back in April 2019. He's been doing most of his A/W running over 5f since then, but certainly likes the tapeta, placing in 7 of 12 (inc 5 wins) races. He has won four of his last six outings, but was beaten by a length and a quarter off this mark last time out. That said, he was staying on well and might relish the step back up in trip.


Aberama Gold was in great form in the winter winning three Class 2 6f handicaps on the bounce (also a Listed race runner-up by 0.75L in the middle of that run of form), but hasn't had the same success this year. However, his form is better than 544 might suggest and he was less than three quarters of a length off the pace last time out in a Listed contest and is a pound lower here than his last handicap run.

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Major Jumbo returns to action after more than 23 weeks off the track since he finished 23rd of 24 in a Class 2 handicap at Ayr, prior to that he had finished 7th of 9 in back to back Listed races. He's a former course winner (1/1 here) and has three wins over this trip and has also won a Listed race, but after so long off the track, he's likely to need the run. Could struggle here.

Stat-wise, trainer Kevin Ryan was 9 from 36 (25% SR, A/E 1.65) in handicaps here at Wolverhampton during 2018 and 2019, but was 0 from 9 here last year and this is his first runner here for 2021.

Fizzy Feet is the only mare in the race and she was a winner at this trip/class two starts ago and was a runner-up beaten by just a neck in a 6f Listed contest last time out, where she was 0.5L and another neck ahead of the afore-discussed Aberama Gold. She's a former course and distance winner and has won 6 of 18 A/W handicaps to date including 5 from 12 over this trip. On recent form alone, she looks like the one to beat here.


...and trainer David Loughnane's handicappers are 22 from 125 (17.6% SR, A/E 1.23) over 6/7f here at Wolverhampton since the start of 2018.

Huraiz makes up the field here carrying bottom weight and although he has ran creditably in his last two outings, he is 0 from 8 since landing a pair of Class 4 6f Novice contests in his first two outings back in August 2019. His two runs this year have seen him finish 3rd of 9, beaten by 3.5 lengths off a mark of 96 and then 2nd of 9, beaten by 2.75 lengths off 95. He goes off the same mark today, but steps up in class, making it difficult to see him winning, although he could well be involved for minor honours.


...not much of note, but the yard had a better second half of February than the first and might be coming into form.


Only six run here, but with the exception of Huraiz with "just" ten previous outings, there's plenty of experience in this field. Between the six of them, they have raced 193 times, making the frame in almost half of them (96 places = 49.74%) and going on to win a respectable 41 times (21.24%). How and where they've won their races and their relevance to today's contest is clear to see on Instant Expert, of course...

Fizzy Feet hasn't the best record in handicaps here, but the rest of her profile catches the eye off a decent sample size, Venturous looks consistent if not spectacular, whilst from a percentage point of view, these are ideal conditions for Aberama Gold, but three runs aren't a lot to hang your hat on.


The draw stats here basically say you don't want a low draw, especially not stall 1, which isn't good news for Huraiz's bid to win a handicap for the first time...

...but that doesn't mean those drawn low can't win. If they do want to win, the advice is that they're going to need to get out sharp-ish and lead and even then the numbers are stacked against them with higher drawn horses only faring worse when held-up, as shown below...

So, if we look at either end of the draw, we'd say that Huraiz would need to lead and try to make all, whilst the likes of Fizzy Feet could sit in mid-division and still have a great chance.

When we look at race positioning, we convert the above four racing styles into numbers where 1 = held up, 2 = mid-div, 3= prominent and 4 = led and here, in draw order, is how our runners have raced over their last four outings...

...and we can overlay those styles onto that heat map above to give us a suggestion of how the race might unfold...

The suggestion here is that Fizzy Feet and Major Jumbo have the best pace/draw make-up and both are likely to be up front. Huraiz doesn't seem to be too well positioned, whilst the other three aren't too far off a good position.

I have a feeling Major Jumbo will go off quickly and soon feel the effect of his lay-off and I'd expect him to go backwards from about a furlong from home, ruling him out of contention, whilst there's nothing I've seen so far to suggest Huraiz is winning this either. He might be progressive, but he isn't winning and this is his toughest assignment yet. This leaves me with four in contention and one to rule out before the summary.

The last one to go before my summery and three against the field is going to be Summerghand. The yard is out of form, as is the horse and he's carrying too much weight here. His Geegeez rating is low and I've just too many negatives about him, so he's not for me.


Alphabetically, I'm left with Aberama Gold, Fizzy Feet and Venturous. Fizzy Feet beat Aberama Gold last time out and I don't see that form being overturned here and as I think the mare is better than Venturous on form, Instant Expert and Pace/Draw placings, it means I'm going with Fizzy Feet here.

Of the other pair, I don't have that much between them, but Aberama Gold's stats are just that bit better, so I think he edges it for the runner-up slot.

Fizzy Feet currently trades at 3/1, which I think is a decent enough price, whilst the market has Huraiz as the 9/4 fav. One of us has it quite wrong, fingers crossed it's not me!

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