Ever wondered about the quickest/easiest way to compare how a full card of runners have performed under today's racing conditions?
The answer, my friends, is Geegeez' unique traffic light based Instant Expert, which gives you a full overview of all runners' past records under given conditions. IE is just one of the many tools available to Geegeez Gold subscribers, but we actually make this FREE to ALL readers for ALL races every Thursday, including our selection of full free racecards, which are set to be...
- 2.00 Tipperary
- 2.20 Market Rasen
- 2.45 Lingfield
- 3.40 Wolverhampton
- 3.45 Tipperary
- 4.30 Market Rasen
Just the one UK flat race in that list and it's on soft ground, which is always interesting, so let's check out the 2.45 Lingfield, an 11-runner, Class 6 Flat handicap for 4yo+ horses over 1m6f on soft ground, worth £2,322. Here's how they line up...
I've shown you several different ways of breaking a field down, as there's no right or wrong way to do it. It's certainly not an exact science and I get it wrong more often than i get it right, but as long as your winning bets more than cover your losing ones and you've had some fun along the way, have you got it wrong at all?
Today, I'm going to do what is a really quick process in reality : it's documenting it that takes time!
I've eleven runners above and I want to get down to three at most. So, I've to discard eight via the Racecard, Instant Expert, Draw and Pace, the first cut is often the most brutal and purely based on their formline and my own ratings, I'm ruling out Arthalot, Pillars of Earth, Pushover, Singer In the Sand and Tilsworth Lukey.
This now leaves me with a field of six to consider...
Four of our six are drawn high (I hope that's a good place to be, we'll see shortly!). Evaporust is the form horse, but Brute Force is consistent and drops a class, whilst Great Hall comes down two grades. He's considerably older, at 11 yrs, but has won over this trip before, as has Follow Intello who is second on the SR figures behind Stevie McKeane who also seems to have been running well. The only one not to have a mention so far, Smith, is the one with the positive course icons for both trainer (C1) and jockey (C5).
Their form in similar conditions look like this (via Instant Expert, of course)...
Half of them haven't raced on soft ground and of the other half, only Great Hall has won in such conditions. Only Evaporust has won at this grade, but it should be pointed out that Follow Intello, Great Hall and Smith have all won at Class 5. Three of the four to previously tackle this specialist distance have won at the trip.
Don't be alarmed by the numbers in the ratings columns. Great Hall is indeed 43lbs lower than his last winning Flat mark, but that was over three years ago and he has been hurdling in most of his races since then, whilst Follow Intello has dropped 11lbs in eight races since July 2019 when he won over this trip in a Class 4 at Haydock.
In terms of Flat handicap races...
Great Hall looks even better, but the caveat remains that we're leaning on old data!
As for the draw, I've left myself with a fairly high-end heavy bias, so let's see what the stats tell us...
Well, on this occasion, the Draw tab doesn't have enough data to help us out, so I've gone to the draw analyser for a longer term view. To ensure I'd enough workable data, I've asked for the results since 2009 for 1m5f to 2m on Good to Soft and Soft in fields of up to 13 runners and we see that a high draw is very beneficial, which is good news for the majority of my six runners...
Analysis of the above per individual stall looks like this...
...suggesting the old-timer Great Hall has a great spot in stall 8. When we look at how the draw interacts with the pace/running styles, it's interesting to see that no matter where you're drawn, you can race in a spot that has a 20% or higher success rate and apart from prominent racers (whose best is 1 in 6 from a middle draw, the other three racing styles also have at least one 20% zone.
We can then look at how our runners have raced in their last couple of runs...
and superimpose them onto the heatmap as follows...
We see that none of them are massively disadvantaged here. Smith might need to be wary of pushing on too much and the Mid/Prominent combo for Stevie McKeane isn't as good as the others, but he's got the best draw available for his running style.
At this point, you could still make a case for all of them, so I now need to look at each a little closer, before making a final decision.
Brute Force makes a turf debut here after making the frame in each of his last four starts on the all-weather at trips ranging from 1m4f to 2m, so the trip shouldn't be his undoing. He runs off his A/W mark here, but his jockey claims 7lbs which might prove very useful, as should the drop in class. If he "gets" the going, then I think he makes the frame.
Evaporust is the clear form horse in the race. Five second/third place finishes over 1m3.5f to 1m6f last year were followed up by wins over 2m and then 1m6f before being rested for 233 days. He then returned to action here at Lingfield (A/W) to win over 1m4f to complete a hat-trick and with jockey claims considered, he's only 2lbs worse off here. Probably the one to beat.
Follow Intello actually ran at Yarmouth this afternoon, finishing fourth of ten over 1m6f on Good to Soft/Soft, beaten by 3.5 lengths. It was a decent effort to build upon his reasonable start for his new trainer last month. My notes/ratings put him in the top six here but not in the frame, so his fourth today was about right, as sixth was less than a length further back.
Great Hall has raced seventeen times since he last won a race and hasn't raced on the Flat since early August last year when beaten by six lengths over this trip at Yarmouth. he's only 3lbs better off today than that defeat and was last home of seven over hurdles seven weeks ago. Mid-division beckons.
Smith was third of twelve here over 2m (A/W) last time out, going down by just three parts of a length after being outpaced in the closing yards. The drop back in trip should help and he did win when last seen on turf, albeit over 1m2f at Windsor in July 2019. He has only raced three times since and is only a pound higher than that win. He's another with place credentials if getting the ground.
Stevie McKeane has been in the frame in both of her last two outings, but the truth of the matter is that it was only a modest third she achieved last time out, beaten by 25 lengths over 1m4f at Southwell (A/W) just over nine weeks ago, a far cry from her narrow defeat over 1m5.5f at Chelmsford the time before. Diplomatically, I'd say she was inconsistent and at 0 from 10 wouldn't be one to hang a bet on, but that run at Chelmsford two starts ago was easily her best and also the longest race she's tackled. 1m6f might suit her more, but i won't be backing her just yet.
Based on all the above (and probably very boringly agreeing with the market), my three against the field here are Brute Force, Evaporust and Smith. I fancy Smith the least of the trio, but at 8/1 he's just about backable from an E/W perspective for those inclined to do so.
As for the winner, surely it's Evaporust's to lose, isn't it? A quick check at the market shows him as 6/5 (at best) favourite and whilst I think he's the best in the race, I can't be backing him at such short odds, based on his mark and his form on the flat including being beaten by 7L off a mark of 47 before a 7lb claim last July in his last soft ground effort. He's effectively 22lbs worse off here and I'm not 100% convinced he has improved that much.
I see Brute Force as the biggest danger to the selection and the 13/2 at Hills is interesting. I'll probably have a small (very small) wager on him as a bet to nothing.