Racing Insights

Racing Insights, 1st September 2021

Wednesday's free feature is the excellent Trainer Stats report which 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 five year, users can filter by runs, wins, places, win profit/loss and each way profit/loss. In addition to this offering, we also have a selection of free racecards...

  • 1.35 Gowran Park
  • 2.10 Bath
  • 3.20 Uttoxeter
  • 4.20 Uttoxeter
  • 6.50 Hamilton

I have no qualifiers from my Course 5-year handicap settings on the Trainer Stats report and just this one on the course 1-year...

...and Yagan is likely to go off fairly short, so I'm not really interested. This sends me back to the 'free list', where I think the second of the two UK NH races lends itself best to analysis, so the focus here falls upon the 4.20 Uttoxeter, a 9-runner, Class 5, Novices Handicap Chase over 2m4f on good ground. It's for horses aged 4 or older and the first prize is £2,505.

The sharper-eyed amongst you will have noticed that September marks the return of the NH SR ratings on our cards for this Class 5 contest, which as the category suggests is hardly for in-form runners. There's not much recent form to shout about, but Brother Pat did win last time out, whilst Notnow Seamus was a runner-up and this 10 yr old is the only runner in the field to have won at either course or distance and he's done both at the time, although it was over hurdles. He's also down in class here and is the only class mover today.

Pens Man is returning from a four month break, but his eight rivals have all raced in the last six weeks and the assessor has this race as a 37lb spread between top and bottom rated, but Parisian Affair races from 6lbs out of the handicap. We've a few in-form yards/jockeys (14 30) and some with good course stats (C1 C5), four jockeys with a weight allowance and one four year old horse who'll get allowed 11lbs for that.

Notnow Seamus has 5 wins and 2 places from 11 efforts over hurdles, so he's no mug having won a Class 3 off a mark of 128 (107 here) and he's 3 from 3 here at Uttoxeter all at this distance or plus 0.5f, yet he's winless in nine starts over fences. He's down in class and weight after a 17 length defeat as runner-up LTO when he might have needed the run after 19 weeks off, so he should be closer here.

Dawn Raider is an habitual loser with a 1 from 40 record and 0 wins in his last 27 since July 2017, but ran pretty well at Bangor last time out to get within 9.5 lengths of the winner over a trip that was probably too sharp for him. This trip should suit him more and after being eased 3lbs by the handicapper, could be involved here.

Brother Pat is the only other horse (after those two above) in the field to have previously won a race and he landed the spoils at Market Rasen over 2m6f last time out on his chase debut. He'd be entitled to improve for having had the run and although raised 4lbs for that effort, there's every possibility of following up here under the same jockey.

Pens Man was beaten by 10 lengths on his sole run in a bumper and then went 0 from 8 over hurdles. He only got to within 20 lengths of the winner on one occasion when a 7.5 length runner-up a year ago and has failed to complete 2 of his last 3 outings, including falling last time out, which isn't great prep for a first crack at fences.

Billy The Squid also makes a chase debut here and despite being 0 from 14 over hurdles, he looked like he was going the right way earlier this year by finishing third in three consecutive outings with the margin of defeat decreasing each time, but his form has tailed off since. He gets an 11lb allowance here for his age and if the switch to bigger obstacles stokes his fire and he runs like he did in April to June this year, he's well weighted to get involved.

Le Pogues Storm has identical 0 from 8 records over hurdles and fences, but he did at least make the frame over fences two starts ago, when a 1.5 length runner-up at this class/trip at Worcester last month. He has won a PTP in the past, but seemed to run out of steam and unseated his rider LTO on his his first run for his new yard. Probably best left alone.

Begoodtoyourself has had 11 previous attempts to get off the mark over fences and his best run came three starts ago in early July when beaten by just a head over 2m1½f at Market Rasen and he has also made the frame in two of three efforts over 2m4f/2m4½f in the last 9 months at 12lbs and 13lbs worse off than today, so he could be a contender for a place here.

Hold Me Tight is a 40-race maiden (yes, 4o!) across Flat/AW/Hurdles/Chase contests, but has made the frame in 7 of his last 11 efforts over fences. That said, he really floundered at this class/trip at Worcester six weeks ago and has had a breathing operation since. These ops rarely have the desired effect first time out and mid-division is probably as good as he gets here.

Parisian Affair has tried 3 Flat races, 5 x AW, 4 x bumpers and 8 x hurdles without winning and hasn't even made the frame in any of those 8 efforts over hurdles. She was beaten by 51 lengths last time out and now makes a chase debut from 6lbs the wrong side of the weights. Hard to imagine her being involved here.

At this point I'm probably leaning towards the three with a win to their names (Notnow Seamus, Dawn Raider & Brother Pat) along with Billy The Squid (11lb weight allowance and some good runs this year) and possibly Begoodtoyourself based on form at the trip and a low mark.

The win side of Instant Expert isn't going to tell us too much, but it will highlight how often runners have tried and failed under today's conditions...

Notnow Seamus' excellent hurdles form is shown here with his wins all coming at Class 3/4, the trip is ideal for him too, but when we look purely at chase wins...

...only Brother Pat features. Some of these have had plenty of goes at winning : Hold Me Tight is 0/22 in Class 5 NH handicaps after all, perhaps his place figures are better?

And in fairness, they are with 9 places from those 22 defeats giving him a respectable amber for class and going. Pens Man, Le Pogues Storm and Parisian Affair still have nothing but red and again Notnow Seamus is the standout, based on hurdling form and now for chase places...

...Hold Me Tight looks a different animal, but he is out of form and on the way back from a breathing op, so maybe we shouldn't get too carried away with his numbers, but in one or two runs time, who knows and it's possible that I should keep him in the equation here a while longer?

We're advised that the best way to win races like this one is to dictate the pace from the front, as leaders have won 14 of 34 (41.2%) similar races and taken 21 of the 89 places (23.6%) despite making up just 16.1% of the 280 runners involved...

Mid-division runners have fared poorest of all, but the message is clear, try to get up with the pace.

Unfortunately, the field isn't stacked with runners who like to set the fractions. from each of the nine runners' last four outings ie 36 results, there are only 3 scores of 4 denoting a leader...

Pens Man has three scores of 3 or more, as does Begoodtoyourself, suggesting that they might the ones to take it on, especially the former. Notnow Seamus, Brother Pat and Le Pogues Storm have a couple of higher scores, but that's pretty much it for pace.

Summary

After I'd had a look at each runner, I said..."I'm probably leaning towards the three with a win to their names (Notnow Seamus, Dawn Raider & Brother Pat) along with Billy The Squid (11lb weight allowance and some good runs this year) and possibly Begoodtoyourself based on form at the trip and a low mark"...

Notnow Seamus showed up well on IE based purely on hurdles form and does OK on pace relative to the field.
Dawn Raider has placed frequently at going/trip, but would need to step forward from a hold up/mid-div position.
Brother Pat showed up on IE albeit off a small sample size and is expected to race quite prominently.
Billy The Squid was OK for places on good ground and is similar Dawn Raider on pace. He gets the 11lb allowance which is a positive, but a chase debut is a negative for me.
Begoodtoyourself has form at class and distance, goes off a much lower mark than his previous decent efforts and has shown a propensity to get involved early doors.

Based on the those snapshots, I'd have to say that I prefer Dawn Raider and Brother Pat for this one. If I'm entirely honest, I have very little between them on my own notes/figures, so I'll side with the one that I think might offer us more from a returns perspective, so it's the 4/1 Dawn Raider to hopefully shade it from the 11/4 Brother Pat.

As for the places, all three again could make the frame, but that 11lb allowance keeps nagging/chipping away at me, so I'll go with the 9/1 Billy The Squid as my E/W alternative to the front two.

Prices are as per Bet365 at 4.15pm, as the only book open. You might get better later.

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