Racing Insights

Racing Insights, 1st May 2021

Last piece of the week and the first of a new month sees the Trainer/Jockey Combo report as our free feature of the day, whilst our free races of the day are as follows...

  • 1.00 Goodwood
  • 2.05 Goodwood
  • 2.35 Goodwood
  • 3.20 Punchestown
  • 5.00 Doncaster
  • 7.10 Doncaster

It's not every day that there's a Class 1 race on the "free" list and although it's a small field and the bookies suggest it's a 2-horse race, it would be remiss of me not to tackle the 2.05 Goodwood, the 6-runner Conqueror Fillies Stakes (Fillies And Mares Listed race) for 3yo+ over 1m on Good To Firm ground worth a handy £22,684 to one of these...

I'll start with a reference to Andy Newton's TV Trends piece, where he tells us that...

9/9 – Didn’t win last time out
good for Agincourt, Amniarix, Illykato
8/9 – Aged 3 or 4 years-old
good for Amniarix, Pholas, Illykato, Lilac Road
8/9 – Yet to race at the track
good for Amniarix, Pholas, Lilac Road
8/9 – Won 2 or more times before
good for all bar Illykato
7/9 – Winners from stalls 1 or 5
good for Agincourt, Lilac Road
7/9 – Horse from stall 1 placed in the top 3
good for Agincourt
7/9 – Favourites placed in the top 3
good for Lilac Road and/or Maamora
7/9 – Returned 6/1 or shorter in the betting
good for Agincourt, Amniarix, Lilac Road, Maamora
6/9 – Horse from stall 5 placed in the top 3
good for Lilac Road
6/9 – Aged 4 years-old
good for Amniarix, Pholas
6/9 – Unplaced last time out
good for Agincourt, Illykato
5/9 – Horse from stall 7 placed in the top 3
no stall 7 today
5/9 – Won over a mile before
good for all bar Illykato
4/9 – Winners from stall 1
good for Agincourt
3/9 – Ran a Newmarket last time out
no qualifiers here
2/9 – Winning favourites
good for Lilac Road and/or Maamora

The average winning SP in the last 9 runnings is 13/2, which would only really apply to Pholas and rank outsider Illykato.

Agincourt hasn't won a race since landing a Listed contest at Newmarket in late September 2019 and although this 6 yr old mare got within a head of Nazeef in the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes at Ascot last June, she has been well beaten in three runs since and hasn't been seen for nine months and I think she'll struggle here. That said, her trainer, David O'Meara is 5 from 15 here over the last year.

Amniarix was third (beaten by less than 3L) in a Listed contest at Kempton less than four weeks ago, staying on well to grab a place. That took her A/W record to 3 wins and 2 places from 5 starts, but she's unproven/untested/unexposed on turf after just one novice outing last summer. She's not well weighted based on her handicap mark of 98 and whilst she clearly has talent, I think she might just fall short again here.

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Maamora will be popular amongst punters after winning her last three UK starts. She ended her 2019 campaign with narrow wins over a mile at Sandown and Chelmsford, before being sent off to Sweden and Dubai for three Class 1 races. She returned from 6 months off the track to land a Group 3 race over a mile at Sandown last August and hasn't been seen since. That last race proves a lay-off won't necessarily stop her from winning, although it's a big ask here.

Pholas failed to make the frame in her first two career runs last August, which are still her only two efforts on turf. Since then, she has made 10 A/W starts and has put a decent run of results together this year with four wins and three places from eight runs. She won last time out over 7f at Lingfield off a career-high mark of 78 and she looks up against it here at the weights, needing a big career-best to get involved.

Illykato won a Class 5 maiden over 6f on her second start and was immediately propelled into Class 1 company, where she ran creditably in a couple of Group 3 races before going down by 8 lengths in a Group 1 contest. It was only after that race that she stepped up to 7 furlongs for the first time, when beaten by over 10 lengths on her seasonal reappearance. She's now tackling a mile for the first time, isn't particularly well or bad treated at the weights and is probably best left alone.

Lilac Road completes the line up and is best in at the weights. She has won two of her last four, including last time out at Kempton four weeks ago when defying a 6-month break to overturn a 4/11 favourite by 3.25 lengths over a mile. She was fourth in the Group 2 May Hills Stakes at Doncaster last September and was beaten by less than two lengths, but the form from that race doesn't seem to have worked out yet (0 from 7 at Class 1), but she is still only 3 yrs old and has potential to improve.

Instant Expert highlights the flat form in a nutshell and we've three good to firm winners in the field. Agincourt and Illykato have racked up several Class 1 defeats between them, whilst Maamora is well proven at the trip...

Just six runners can often mean a tactical affair, where draw and pace become of paramount importance. I looked at the draw stats for similar 4-6 runner contests and there doesn't seem to be huge bias, but there is a massive anomaly in the fact that stall 4 is 0 from 10. Stall 1 is 3 from 10 and stalls 5/6 combine to give 3 from 11, which backs up the trends data, but with both stalls 2 and 3 having a couple of wins, I have to say that the numbers for box 4 are just a freakish outlier.

With regard to pace, this type of race can easily be won from anywhere, but those racing prominently have suffered for trying too hard early on. Those setting the pace have done very well, but with four hold-up horses also winning, idling at the start won't automatically mean the game is up.

And if there's no huge draw bias and you can win from most running styles, it's therefore unsurprising that there are plenty of successful pace/draw combos...

...which is good for the sport itself if not necessarily for us punters trying to get an edge from the data. What it means is that if you can win from any draw or running style, then the best horses should win. Ah, if only life was that simple!

As always, we then overlay our runners onto the pace/draw heatmap as follows...

...where only Illykato looks disadvantaged. Agincourt would be better hanging back a little, whilst it looks like Lilac Road will set the pace. If Lilac Road does take it on, I fully expect Maamora to push on slightly to keep tabs and it could well become a shootout between the two market principles.


Lilac Road (2/1) and Maamora (5/2) head the market, as we pretty much knew from the start. I haven't found anything yet that says they shouldn't be the first two home either . My preference is for Maamora, despite her absence and the fact that Lilac Road is best in at the weights. She has gone well fresh before, this is a weaker race than she last faced and she's very consistent.

Of the rest, the bookies probably have it right here too with Amniarix.

It could well be a cracking/close contest and fingers crossed, I've got it right!



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4 replies
  1. 10 Things You Didn't Know about Geegeez Racecards
  2. Tony mortimer
    Tony mortimer says:

    I noted that you’ve tipped maamora to win I believe but in ‘tv trends’ the first 2 are negatives to her winning. As I prefer to ‘lay’ horses I have opposed her. Does your racing service accommodate ‘lay’ betters as I’m looking for that kind of service.

    • Chris Worrall
      Chris Worrall says:

      Tony, if you want to play it that way, how many trends did the eventual winner fail on?

      As for laying, it’s not my thing to be honest, but I suppose if you follow the process of analysing a race looking for negatives, that might do it.

  3. Tony mortimer
    Tony mortimer says:

    As I pointed out in my previous post it is in my opinion easier to find losers than winners. Does subscription to ‘geegeez’ accomodate ‘lay’ bettors.
    ‘Nugget’ was also highlighted as a ‘loser’ by your article.


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