Racing Insights

Racing Insights, 20th October 2021

Not only is the Trainer Stats (TS) report our free feature every Wednesday, it is also actually 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.

Clicking on any row in the report will reveal the runners that trainer has entered on the day in question, and clicking on the runner row will open that race in a new tab.

HINT: It can help to cross refer the profit figures of the trainer with their win/place percentage. A few big priced winners can mean a trainer has a high profit number but a low strike rate. You may need to be very patient, and a bit lucky, to come out in front this way!

In addition to this multi-faceted report, we also have our usual daily selection of 'free' races, which will be...

  • 2.20 Navan
  • 3.40 Fontwell
  • 3.58 Worcester
  • 5.15 Navan
  • 6.30 Kempton

My settings for the TS report are fairly stringent...

...so that I'm not wading through reams of possible qualifiers each day. And those settings have generated just one to look at on 5yr course handicap form...

...and just one other on course 1yr handicap form...

...so these two horses will be the focus of today's piece, starting with the 2.13 Worcester, a 12-runner, Class 4, 4yo+ Novices Handicap Chase over 2m7f on good ground, where Amy Murphy sends Hawthorn Cottage to do battle.

Amy is of course 7 from 14 (50% SR) in handicaps here at Worcester, all ridden by today's jockey Jack Quinlan and with today's contest in mind, those 14 runners are...

  • 5/12 (41.7%) on good ground
  • 2/6 (33.3%) at Class 4
  • 2/4 (50%) over fences
  • 1/1 (100%) in Class 4 chases
  • 0/1 in Novice handicaps, but that was over hurdles.

Hawthorn Cottage won back to back Class 4 hurdles at the start of 2020 before finding a raised mark of over 120 a bit beyond him, although he ran enough to finish 2nd of 11 in a Class 2 contest on his last hurdle start, back in March. He was then last of three on chasing debut but landed a 3m novice handicap at Warwick on his next/last outing in late May. I'd expect him to go well if 21 weeks off track hasn't made him rusty, but I'm sure that Team Murphy will have worked him well and they have done well with runners returning from a break as you can see below the racecard entry...

Jack Quinlan's 7/23 for Amy compare to his overall 9/46 speaks volumes for me too. Other than that last of three on chasing debut, this horses tends to want to get on with things. He was in rear on that first crack at fences because he made a right mess of the first fence which effectively ruined his race, but normally he gets on with things and that's the preferred tactic here at Worcester...

That first run aside (2LR) his average pace score is 3.66 over the three races, which suggests he'll be looking to lead here too and his Instant Expert profile (based on both hurdles & chasing, obviously) lends more weight to his credentials...

...meaning he could well be a player here. More on him later after we've looked at our second race, which is the...

...3.50 Newmarket (Rowley), a 10-runner, Class 2, 3yo+ Fillies Flat Handicap over 1m Good To Firm ground, where Ed Walker's 3yr old Random Harvest will make just her second start. Ed Walker's 5/14 record here in handicaps over the last twelve months includes a runner from 21st October 2020, so he's 5 from 13 (38.5%) this season, including...

  • 3/10 (30%) on good to firm
  • 5/9 (55.5%) were placed LTO
  • 4/8 (50%) with 3 yr olds
  • 3/5 (60%) on the Rowley course here
  • 2/4 (50%) over a mile
  • 1/4 (25%) at Class 2
  • 1/3 (33.3%) with females
  • and 1/1 in female only races

Random Harvest won a Class 4 Novice contest over a mile on soft ground for her 2yo debut at Yarmouth a year ago, racing prominently and running on to win by 1.5 lengths under today's jockey William Buick. She was then off the track for 337 days before emerging at Kempton in a Class 5 novice event over 1m on std-slow polytrack, where she acquitted herself well enough after the break to finish third of twelve, a little over 3 lengths away from the winner.

That was just four weeks ago and both the winner and fourth placed horse have won since, whilst those placed second, fifth and sixth have all ran and made the frame, suggesting that it might have been a reasonable race for a Class 5 novice fillies stakes! That said, she is up three classes for her handicap debut here. Mind you, Ed's handicap debutants are 16 from 79 (20.3%) on the Flat over the last four seasons, including of note today...

  • 13/60 (21.7%) with 3 yr olds
  • 10/40 (25%) on good to firm
  • 5/29 (17.2%) after a top 3 finish LTO
  • 6/23 (26.1%) at 21-30 days since their last run
  • 4/21 (19.1%) over 1m/1m0.5f

Her racecard entry is as follows, denoting much of what I've written...

...but also showing that William Buick is riding well, likes coming to Newmarket and has a good record for this yard.

Instant Expert won't tell us too much about a horse with just two outings under her belt, but we should look anyway...

So, if nothing else, we should assume she'll get the trip easily enough and she doesn't mind company, so they're positives for us. She's drawn in 7 of 10 so mid to high and whilst there's not a massive draw bias here...

...I think I'd rather be on the higher side too. She has been up with the pace in her two starts so far, which should be useful here...

...and those charts align to produce the following pace/draw heat map...

...which would suggest she'd have a chance here if the step up in class isn't too much to handle.

Summary

Both of these stand a decent enough chance of at least making the frame in things went their way, I'd have thought.

Hawthorn Cottage is clearly the most experienced of the pair, yet is still unexposed over fences. A more than competent hurdler who seemed to have put the jumping errors from his chase debut aside when winning last time out, should definitely be in the mix this time too. He's currently 9/1 in several places and at those odds, I'd be happy to back him E/W. I'm not over convinced he's winning here, but should be close and the ones he'd need to beat are the likes of Wigglesworth (7/1) and Coral (7/2)

As for Random Harvest, there are too many unknown variables for me to put money down on her. An opening mark of 81 isn't particularly lenient, nor is a price of 13/2. She could very well make the frame, but I'd want a little more juice from the odds. Instead, I'd probably lean towards the 10/1 Don't Tell Claire (I say this quite often!) and/or the 9/1 Madame Tantzy.

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