Racing Insights

Racing Insights, 1st November 2021

We offer one feature from the GOLD membership free to everyone each day and such is the important of pace analysis in race reading, we open up the pace tab to all races twice a week, Sunday & Monday. In addition to having free access to this tab on Monday, there are also the following free races...

  • 12.25 Hereford
  • 1.50 Laytown
  • 3.05 Kempton
  • 5.00 Wolverhampton

Now, I know the Kempton race is a Listed contest, but the last on that list actually looks more interesting to me, so we're off to the Black Country for the 5.00 Wolverhampton, a 9-runner, Class 4, 3yo+, A/W (Tapeta) Handicap over 6f worth £4,590...

...where all bar Politics and Wonder Elzaam are previous 6f winners with four of the field (El Hombre, Wudashudacuda, Mutabaahy & Youllovemewheniwin) achieving course and distance success. We have two class movers (1 up a class and 1 down a class) and one making a debut for a new yard and incidentally all three horses (Youllovemewheniwin, El Hombre & Wudashudacuda respectively) are three of the four C&D winners. We've no LTO winners on display and Wudashudacuda probably shades it on recent form.

There are usually between 65 and 75 6f handicaps each year here at Wolverhampton, so the draw and pace stats and the associated heat maps should be pretty reliable to lean on, so I'm going to start with those via the analyser tools, starting with the draw...

...which suggests the middle of the draw is the best place to be for both win and place purposes, whilst stall by stall analysis would appear to back this up...

...where I'd be inclined to say that stalls 3-8 would be the preferred draws for winners and 4-6 for the places. When the draw stats say that 6 of 9 stalls have a good chance, then there's every possibility that running style (aka pace) will decide the contest and so we turn to both historical pace results here at Wolverhampton and also how our nine runners have approached their last four races. We start with the pace analyser...

...which says that racing prominently or preferably leading is the key to success here from both a win and a place perspective and here's how our nine have tackled their last four races...

...of which you're probably looking at the first four to be the more prominent runners, although both Temple Bruer and El Hombre also have a couple of prominent runs in their last four.

It's also important to see how the draw interacts with the pace stats and for this, we can show you our unique pace/draw heat map, which for this type of encounter looks like this...

...seemingly favouring Seas of Elzaam, Youllovemewheniwin and possibly Temple Bruer. Wonder of Elzaam led last time out and that would be a good tactic from stall 3, whilst stall 1 El Hombre would need to return to prominent racing after two recent hold up runs.

That's draw and pace for now and a few suggestions, but this field have plenty of 6f races and trips to Wolverhampton under their belts, so now it's time to assess race suitability via Instant Expert...

...where the win stats don't tell me anywhere near as much as the place figures...

When drawing up a shortlist for a race, I prefer to look at the place figures, because if a horse isn't making the frame, he isn't winning races! With that in mind, I really want to focus my attention on runners 2 to 6, where all the green is. This group doesn't have great win stats, but they constantly make the frame and if I can find three placers here, the winner will automatically be amongst them, so let's take a closer look at the five in question, starting with...

  • The Lamplighter, who was only beaten by half a length when third of ten over course and distance three weeks ago, when having to run wide after a slow start. He's up a pound here and has no 3lb claimer aboard, so this is automatically tougher, but he can overcome the weight disadvantage by getting away quicker. He's not ideally drawn in #2, but has raced further forward on his best A/W runs, so a definite player here despite being 6lbs above his last A/W win, although he did win at Goodwood off 77 in the summer.
  • Wonder Elzaam, who is better than his recent form would suggest. He may well have been fifth of thirteen on his UK A/W debut last time out, but was only beaten by 2.75 lengths, having led for much of the 7f trip, but faded late on. The drop back to 6f should help and he was no mug on the A/W in Ireland, notching up a win and four places from eight runs at Dundalk. His yard is in decent nick, he's drawn well enough and has led in the past.
  • Temple Bruer wouldn't be an obvious winner here, but scores well on pace/draw. He's a solid Class 4 horse that has made the frame in two of three Class 3 starts, but it has to be said that he's a better turf horses than he is on the A/W, although he was a Class 3 runner-up here over C&D two starts ago. If running to that level again off a pound and a class lower, then he could definitely make the frame, but can't be relied upon. That said, he does have the right jockey for the job...

  • El Hombre, who despite not having won any of his last sixteen starts should still be in the mix based on his two wins and four places from eleven efforts over course and distance. His latest run was a 3.75 length defeat here over this trip four weeks ago, but that was on his return from 222 days off track, so he should come on for the run and he's down in both class and weight here. If racing prominently as he has in the past, then stall 1 isn't insurmountable.
  • Wudashudacuda, who won here over C&D at the end of March and was only beaten by half a length at Chepstow two starts ago. He was, however, disappointing at the same venue a week later, when perhaps the ground was too quick/hard for him. his best form has come on the A/W, but he's now on a career-high mark, which I fear is too high.


Of my five against the field, I think Wudashudacuda & Temple Bruer are the weakest, so they're not in my final three. At 13/2, Wonder Elzaam is the longest-priced of my three and whilst I think he has a really good chance of making the frame, he wouldn't be my first pick as a winner and he's also not long enough to back E/W.

So, it's between The Lamplighter and El Hombre and despite the latter being on a long losing run, he did show some positive signs on his return last time out and offers more value (to me, anyway) at odds of 6/1 (Bet365) than The Lamplighter's best price of 3/1.

All of which leaves me with El Hombre / The Lamplighter / Wonder Elzaam.





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