Racing Insights

Racing Insights, 21st August 2021

Lusail did indeed land the Gimcrack at a very reasonable 7/2. I jumped on at those odds, having felt he was a bit skinny at 5/2 last night. My pick of the E/W chances, Gis a Sub shortened from our 16/1 to an SP of 8/1 and duly took the runner-up spot, so a good race for us, especially those who jumped on the forecast option that paid 30/1.

Saturday's free feature is the Trainer/Jockey Combo stats report (TJC), which brings together the form of trainers and jockeys into a single composite report and has produced excellent results for users.

Quite simply, some trainers turn to specific riders when they have one ‘ready to win’. The TJC report quickly identifies the most profitable combinations.

In addition to this report, we also have the following selection of free full racecards...

  • 1.15 Killarney
  • 3.00 York
  • 4.25 Curragh
  • 4.45 York
  • 5.40 Lingfield
  • 8.00 Chelmsford

And it's a case of same time, same place, different day for us as once again, I've selected the 3.00 York as my race in focus. Again it's a Group 2 Flat contest, but the City of York Stakes is over a 7f trip and is open to all horses aged 3 or older. The going is expected to be good to firm (good in places) and these are the nine runners (along with my report angles) tilting for a cool £120,792...

Glorious Journey had finished 1331 in UK Class 1 races prior to finishing down the field in the July Cup last time out. He as far from disgraced, though, finishing a little more than 4 lengths behind Starman in a Group 1 over an inadequate 6f. Prior to that, he had gone really well to win the Criterion over 7f at Newmarket and looks to have a real chance back up in trip and down in grade.

Lord of the Lodge was the runner-up in the Gr2 Gimcrack here two years ago and recently (June) was the half-length runner-up in a Group 3 in Ireland, but has failed to beat a rival in either of his last two starts and he looks out of his depth here.

Pogo won a Listed race on his seasonal reappearance at Leicester back in April, but struggled in Gr1 Lockinge when second last home of eleven, some 31 lengths off the pace. He fared better next/last time out when 5th in the Gr1 Queen Anne at Ascot, but even though this is easier on paper, others will be preferred, even though...

Safe Voyage won this race last year under today's jockey and made all to win well in a Listed contest at Chester two starts ago, but struggled in the Lennox Stakes last time out. If truth be told, the Chester win was his only decent run in four starts this season and whilst I wouldn't rule him out, especially based on the stats below, he is isn't in the best form and would prefer softer ground.

Sir Busker was progressive last season and now has a form line of 43372 at Class 1, including 3rd in the Queen Anne and 2nd in the Sovereign Stakes 9 days ago. On form you'd expect him to be challenging for the places, if not quite winning, but he's usually a miler and if they go off quickly over this 7f, he might struggle.

Space Blues is technically second best off at the weights based on handicap marks and is highly likely to go off as a pretty warm favourite. He was in imperious form during 2019/20 and returned at Goodwood recently after a year off the track to only narrowly fail (less than half a length) to defend his crown in the Gr2 Lennox Stakes. Serious contender here, but price might be restrictive for some of us.

Highfield Princess has been a bit of a revelation since making a handicap bow just over a year ago and she has now finished in the first three home in 13 consecutive outings in that time, winning seven times and progressing her mark from 57 to today's 104. The highlights of this run of form have been her last three efforts, landing a big-field (28 ran) Class 2 handicap at Ascot, then landing a Listed race at Chelmsford prior to going down by just over half a length in third place in a Group 3 at Goodwood. This, of course, is yet another step forward for a progressive filly, who was a Class 6 horse a year ago, but she could yet have more to give, aided by jockey David Allan...

Fivethousandtoone is a 3yr old son of Frankel and ran really well to finish as a runner-up in the Gr2 Mill Reef last season. Sadly the form of that race has proven to be poor and this one hasn't kicked on from there and has been disappointing in two runs this term. His yard is in good form and do well here at York, but he's not for me today.

Primo Bacio is the best off here at the weights and is better than this season's bare results of 415 would suggest. She was 4th of 17, beaten by less than 2.5 lengths in the Fred Darling after more than four months off, but then won a Listed race here at York by three lengths (1m, Dante meeting). She was only fifth on her last UK start, but in her defence it was a Group 1 race and she was only a length and a quarter away from the winner despite being hampered with a furlong to run. Major player here down in trip for a trainer/jockey with decent course records.

At this point, Space Blues and Primo Bacio appeal to me most, but the likes of Glorious Journey and Highfield Princess have caught my eye from an E/W perspective. Lord of the Lodge and Fivethousandtoone look weakest.

Those two weak contenders also don't fare too well on Instant Expert...

...where Safe Voyage looks strong, but would want softer ground. Space Blues looks good again and my two earlier E/W possibles have both gone well over 7f on turf in the past. The four I liked initially are drawn in stalls 1, 3, 4 & 7 and almost half of the winners in previous similar contests have come from stalls 5 to 7, which is good for Primo Bacio...

...with stall 1 (Space Blues) doing really well on the place bets. In those races above, leaders and prominent runners have won pretty much as often as you'd expect, whilst hold-up horses are only getting 80% of expected winners. The place to be here is mid-division...

...but we don't seem to have many (if any) who like to sit in midfield...

...although Safe Voyage, Glorious Journey, Sir Busker and Space Blues do all have one score of 2 (mid-div) in their last four outings.

The subsequent pace/draw heatmap is interesting... it suggests the make-up for Highfield Princess gives her a far better chance than the bookies might be offering and it suggests that the two market leaders (Space Blues & Primo Bacio) might have to work hard to get through the pack.

Fortunately for them, the straight at York is very wide and with only nine runners on it, the jockeys really shouldn't be finding traffic problems.


It really should be a two-horse race between the top two in the market, the 11/8 Space Blues and the 5/2 Primo Bacio. They could finish either way round, but I suspect they'll be the first two home. Ideally Primo wins for forecast bettors.

That said, they don't really turn me on at those prices and I still like both Glorious Journey and Highfield Princess for a place and although they probably both won't make it, respective odds of 14/1 and 25/1 mean I'll chance my arm on both.


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