Racing Insights

Racing Insights, 21st November 2020

Well, Friday's race went rather well for us. The short priced fav was beaten but placed and the other two on my shortlist were first and third. I know of at least two readers who got the 103/1 tricast, hopefully more of you were on it.

And now to Saturday for my final piece of the week, ahead of some weekend "beverages" and our free feature is the utterly marvellous Trainer/Jockey combo report, a firm favourite here at Geegeez, whilst our free racecards cover...

  • 12.35 Lingfield
  • 1.30 Ascot
  • 2.25 Haydock
  • 2.40 Ascot
  • 2.47 Naas
  • 6.00 Wolverhampton

...and whilst the race profiling seems popular and going well, we'll try one more and cover the 1.30 Ascot : an 8 (was 9) runner, Class 3, Mares Handicap Hurdle for 4yo+ over 3m on soft ground. The winner will get £7798 and here's the full card...

As you can see, we've greyed out the non-runner, something you can do easily by clicking the X on the row of icons. This is particularly useful when a race has a going change and several runners pull out. You can quickly de-clutter the card this way and the same applies if you work like I do and discard runners at each step of your process.

I then work through the card from left to right making notes on the pros and cons of each column, something like...

Positive : Yeavering Belle, Same Circus, Dame de Ruban & Robin Gold
Negative : Printing Dollars

Positive : Hotter than Hell & Midnightreflection both drop down from Class 2
Negative : Dame de Ruban (2nd hcp start) & Coillte Eile (1st run for new yard) both step up from defeats at a lower grade

Just one previous course and distance winner Coilte Eile, whilst Yeavering Belle, Printing Dollars & Same Circus have won at this trip

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Positive : Yeavering Belle (30) Hotter Than Hell (14) and Midnightreflection (14) come from in-form yards, whilst HTH's yard also has a good recent record here at Ascot (C1)
Negative : Printing Dollar's yard are misfiring at present (14 30) and Robin Gold's yard haven't had a good year here at Ascot (C1), but they are a top yard not to be underestimated.

Positive : Yeavering Belle (30)
Negative : Hotter Than Hell (14)

Positive : Midnightreflection, Same Circus, Hotter Than Hell
Negative : Dame de Ruban, Coillte Eile, Printing Dollars

It's a fairly simplistic way of analysing what's in front of you, but you'll find certain names cropping up all the time and after reading the above back to myself, I'm going to get brutal very quickly and jettison Dame de Ruban, Coillte Eile and Printing Dollars from my considerations, despite Coillte winning this race last year. She just hasn't been the same horse since (889945 and beaten by 70 lengths LTO). This will leave me with just five to look at as I move towards Instant Expert...

... where my thoughts are that aside from not having raced on ground worse than good other than in a bumper, Yeavering Belle looks well suited here, Hotter Than Hell hasn't managed to turn places into wins and Same Circus should be very used to conditions. She likes some cut in the ground, is a solid Class 3 horse, gets the trip and runs off the same mark as her last win.

Midnightreflection looks the weakest of the five based on the above, so despite her being a daughter of Midnight Legend, she leaves at this stage, whilst Robin Gold has the best record on this type of ground. All of which means I'm just taking four runners into the final data analysis, the Pace tab...

Same Circus and Yeavering Belle have ticked boxes as we've gone along and the pace graphic just cements their place in my shortlist. I do like to end up with three, so from Hotter Than Hell and Robin Gold, it's like this...

HTH is 0 from 7 since landing a Class 5 maiden in May 2019, including 0/4 in handicaps off marks of 118 to 121, yet still has to race off 121 today. That mark is too high, I'd say, as the claimer who takes 5lbs off her was on board for the last three defeats anyway, whilst RG won back to back handicaps at Class 5 then Class 4 in September/October and then was third at this grade over 2m7f on soft ground when only half a length behind Storm Arising & Potters Hedger, who were rated (OR) at 131 and 125 respectively, yet Robin Gold races off just 108 here and receives stacks of weight from her rivals.

And then there were three...

Robin Gold (as above) is 113 in her last three starts and is progressing nicely this autumn, she was only caught late in the proceedings last time out by two highly-rated runners and has only been raised a pound for that run. The ground should be slightly less testing here, so s similar level of performance puts her right in the mix.

My only concern is that she was pretty much hard at it from 2 out last time and 11 days might not be enough rest. She also might find herself with too much to do from a hold-up position if Same Circus & Yeavering Belle force the pace as predicted.

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Same Circus is easily the most experienced of the three having run more races than the other two shortlisters combined (30 vs 18 & 10) but with 11 places including 6 wins (3 over hurdles, 3 over fences), she's no mug. She likes the soft ground, stays further than this (2 wins at 3m1.5f) and has a better than 25% strike rate at this grade (4/15)

She won off this mark of 120 at Aintree at this class over slightly further on soft ground just over a year ago and returned from a 225-day absence to run in the very same race at Aintree off this mark four weeks ago. Not disgraced there, as she finished second just 5 lengths behind Dell Arca who has since landed the Class 2 Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle just a fortnight ago.

And finally, we have Yeavering Belle, another daughter of Midnight Legend. She was, admittedly disappointing last time out in a big-field handicap at Cheltenham, but prior to that run she had four wins and a runner-up finish from six over hurdles. Add in her bumper record of a win and a place from three starts and it's safe to say that she's generally there or thereabouts.

She's game, gets on great with jockey David Bass (5 wins and a place from 8 together), gets the trip, has won at this grade and she's 2 from 2 going right handed. So what's the catch? The issue is just one soft ground run from her ten starts and that was in a bumper 20 months ago. her other nine runs have been on Good ground (8 times) and good to firm (once). She's on a career high mark of 128 and that might just be too much on this ground.


I ended up with three on my shortlist and I like them all for different reasons. I can see Same Circus and Yeavering Belle setting the pace with the latter fading in the closing stages. the questions will be (a) how far clear will they be, so that Yeavering can stay in the frame and (b) will Robin Gold have been kept close enough for a run to make the frame?

I think Same Circus wins the race and it's hopefully tight between Robin Gold & Yeavering Belle for second, but I wouldn't be surprised if we fill the frame again, regardless of finishing positions.

From a betting perspective, Same Circus is probably about right at 7/2 (I thought 4's would be the play), Robin Gold was expected to be sub-3/1 and a clear favourite, so 7/2 looks fair, whilst 10/1 from Bet365 about Yeavering Gold looks generous for the E/W punters amongst us.

Ideally Yeavering wins at a big price with the other two just behind and we land a massive tricast. We can but dream... 😉

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8 replies
  1. cpfc1989180
    cpfc1989180 says:

    Thanks for the superb insights Chris. I read yesterday’s and loved the write up. So I backed the CFC and CTC only for 50P stake but what a quality outcome thanks Chris. Can I ask one quick question? Does this work for all classes or would you leave say class 5 and 6 as horses might be trying to lower there handicap marks? Cheers again Chris

    • Chris Worrall
      Chris Worrall says:

      Thanks for the kind words, glad you’re enjoying the insight pieces.

      I’m always open to questions, but I’m not sure I’ve understood yours.
      Let me answer what I think you’re asking and if that’s not right, please do let me know.

      You can use this approach in any race, but the more information/larger data sample sizes you have, the better.
      I do bet in lower grade races quite often, but they’re in bigger field sizes than is ideal for the Racing Insights column.

      6-10 runners is an ideal size for the column as you’ve enough to work with, but not too many runners to discuss that it becomes almost War & Peace-proportions.
      If there’s a decent for the grade looking Class 5 handicap on Monday that’s got a workable number of runners, I might look at that.

      Essentially, Class is no barrier to race analysis, other than higher grade horses tending to be a bit more reliable.

  2. Blokeshead
    Blokeshead says:

    Cheers Chris – nice way to end the week.

    As the commentator said, I felt with considerable understatement, that was quite a ride by Ms Andrews. I was panicking a LOT more than she was!

  3. 1corrupt1
    1corrupt1 says:

    Once again Chris the winner coming from your three on your shortlist, superb again and a excellent read with the positive and negative start being simple put effective.
    One question Chris if i may, on the geegeez speed ratings would you hold them with more value on certain race codes, race type or distances etc? I find them excellent but baffling at times, but results speak for themselves, yesterday the 12.05 at catterick top rated 2nd at a massive 80-1SP 100-1 before, then again in the 1.13 at catt, top rated 2nd at 28-1 both only beaten by the fav in the race.
    With thanks

    • Chris Worrall
      Chris Worrall says:

      Thanks for the kind words, Andrew. Shortlisting is an essential tool in the armoury in my opinion.

      As for the ratings, Matt would explain it better, but it’s a neural rating that should be equally effective across all codes. If you visit you will find more informations about them there (we take the ratings from there under licence).

  4. russsmithgg
    russsmithgg says:

    Hi Chris,

    Just wanted to say well done on making this feature work so well. I suspect, and please correct me if I’m wrong, that you were slightly less comfortable in compiling these articles at the outset having made Stat Of The Day so successful. This is a completely different approach of course (a more holistic one) and I think you’ve really grown into it.

    I think that everyone who is finding their feet either with (i) horse racing punting or (ii) the Geegeez toolset should read your articles. Many might be tempted to work in an unstructured way due to the incalculable permutations available when analysing horse racing.

    I hope that those who are getting to grips with Instant Expert will eventually graduate to looking more closely at the Full Form tool in addition to IE. I say this as it can be insightful to consider periods of a horses career where it was badly handicapped or simply out of form (using the Proximity filter makes it easy to spot such periods) as these can ‘water down’ the stats that Instant Expert shows us for an individual. For this reason, I often view the ‘oranges’ as favourably as the ‘greens’ for the more experienced horses in handicaps as they cant be expected to maintain high strike rates as the handicapper pegs them back.

    Keep up the good work, Chris!


    • Chris Worrall
      Chris Worrall says:

      Thanks, Russ and yes, you’re right about several things there!

      I was moved out of my SotD bubble / comfort zone and I think it showed early on. I’m a logical / routine-driven kind of person and it took me a while to get into a groove with the Insights, but I’m really enjoying it now. My main issue was trying to work out how to get across the systematic approach(es) I use every day without either making it too simplistic or too long winded.

      As for this being a precursor to further digging via the full form filter, profiler or other tool, then of course that is the next step in the process.

      For a short five-minute read, I’m happy with analysing a race and drawing up a shortlist for the Racing Insights. I’m usually fairly non-committal in the summary, because that’s the point at which the reader can step back in and take some ownership of the decision making process and that’s where they can then go to the other tools if they wish.


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