Racing Insights

Racing Insights, 21st October 2021

Did you know that the Instant Expert tab is by far the most popular tab on the geegeez racecards?

That's because it has the ability to condense the entire form profile of every runner in the race into a single, easily digestible, view. The report covers the form in terms of wins (or places), runs, and win (or place) percentage for each of going, class, course, distance, and field size. It also compares today’s official rating with the horse’s last winning official rating. The display is colour coded: green for a higher percentage rate, amber for a middling percentage, and red for a low percentage. Horses with no form under a certain condition have grey figures.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Where a horse has no UK/Irish form – i.e. it is having its first run in Britain or Ireland under Rules – it will not show up on Instant Expert at all.

This GOLD feature is so important that we make freely available to ALL readers EVERY Thursday alongside our usual selection of FREE races, which are set to be...

  • 2.40 Ludlow
  • 3.40 Carlisle
  • 4.15 Carlisle
  • 5.20 Carlisle

And we'll head up North for the first of our three free Cumbrian contests, a competitive-looking stayers race. That's the 3.40 Carlisle on your racecards, an 8-runner (fingers crossed for E/W purposes),  Class 3, 4yo+ handicap chase over 3m2f on good ground that will be firmer in places...

On recent results alone, you'd probably want to be with the likes of Speak of the Devil (the only LTO winner here) and the consistent Oscar Montel as opposed to the likes of Lough Derg Farmer and Louis' Vac Pouch.

Re: class moves, Event of Sivola drops in class here from a runner-up finish last time out, but Speak of the Devil, Generator City and Lough Derg Farmer are all up in class, although the latter is one of two former course winners along with Mance Rayder, who like Present Chief has also won at today's trip.

Oscar Montel, Present Chief, Louis' Vac Pouch and Generator City have all raced in the last four weeks, but Mance Raider has been away for just over three months. Rustier still might be Speak of the Devil (20 weeks), Lough Derg Farmer (25 weeks) and Event of Sivola (30 weeks).

With regards to trainer/jockey form, then the first two on the card, Oscar Montel & Present Chief looks like the ones to be with. The assessor rates the former to be 18lbs worse than top weight Oscar Montel, but our SR figures disagree and Event sits second behind clear leader Speak of the Devil.

I'm not going to make any predictions/eliminations just yet, but it's already looking hard to like Louis' Vac Pouch and/or Lough Derg Farmer, but let's take a closer look at the field, starting with the top-weight...

...Oscar Montel, who is more likeable than his 2 in 20 career record would suggest, although he has been placed ten times. A win and three places (023126) from six over fences and seven top 3 finishes in his eight starts (hurdles & chases) this year say he's now hitting some consistent form, although just one win might imply that he's one for the place shortlist as opposed to actually winning.

Present Chief is another who I think could go well, based on the promise shown on chase debut four weeks ago, defying a 155 day absence to finish third, less than a length and a half off the winner. Up in trip here, but gets on well with his jockey and has won at 3m1½f over hurdles.

Mance Rayder has produced his best form on good ground and has a win and a place from five visits to Carlisle and stays as far as 3m6½f! Sadly, I think a mark of 121 is still beyond him after wins off 100 and 117 inside 7 weeks in the spring and was beaten by some 30 lengths off just 2lbs higher than today on his last run.

Louis Vac Pouch has won 2 of his 19 efforts over fences, but comes here on the back of 17 straight defeats in which he has made the frame the same number of times (2) as he has fallen. A former 141-rated chaser now runs off a lowly 116 here, but don't get your hopes up on that score, he was beaten by 50 lengths as last of eight when last seen at Market Rasen four weeks ago. Avoid.

Speak Of The Devil has been running consistently well for a while, making the frame in 6 of 13 over fences including a couple of wins, the recent being an 8 length success at Hexham last time out, for which he is raised 6lbs. That was almost 20 weeks ago, however and a little rustiness combined with the weight rise on top of some sketchy jumping in his past races means this might be his toughest test to date, but he's decent on his day.

Generator City is one of those frustrating nearly/not-quite horses that always threaten to be in the mix but invariably end up on the periphery of the action. This is backed up just 1 win from 6 over fences and a win and two places from ten over hurdles. He has only raced six times in the last two years, so things might not have been quite right with him either. he has just missed out on the places in his last two starts finishing 3rd of 7 twice and I'd not be surprised if he finished 4th or 5th of 8 here and just miss out again.

Lough Derg Farmer is just 1 from 16 over fences, but that win in Feb '19 was here at Carlisle in another Class 3 handicap over a similar (3m½f) trip off 13lbs higher than today, but again that's not really a cause for celebration, having been pulled up, last of 7 and 7th of 9 in his last three runs. Hasn't been seen for over five months and would likely need the run or a decent head start!

Event of Sivola might be a dark horse lurking at the foot of the weights having made the frame in seven of thirteen over fences and has finished 322F152 in seven starts over the last year. He's down 1lb and one class from a runner-up finish here at Carlisle over 3m1f last time out and although beaten by nearly ten lengths, he was 14L clear of third and 25L clear of fourth in a Class 2 event. The third, Exit To Where, went on to win at Ayr next time out, but Event went back to the shed for 207 days and will probably need the run. He could go well here, but he's more likely to go better next time out.

Feature of the Day is, of course, the Instant Expert tab, so let's take a look at that...

The traffic light system is fairly self-explanatory, the top five have fared best on good ground, we've little success at Class 3 (hopefully some will have placed, we'll see shortly), a couple of course winners and a couple of distance wins. There's not a lot in there if I'm honest, but I'd be avoiding the bottom three if this was my only price of data to go off.

Fortunately, that's never the case here at Geegeez, so we should consider place form, because all winners are placers...

...and Generator City/Lough Derg Farmer continue to look weak. Event of Sivola remains in contention for a place thanks to course/distance form and Louis' Vac Pouch's number suggest win or bust with him: I'm expecting bust here!

I've considered the possible pace make-up of the race and there aren't too many races like this to look back upon, so rather than stick with the rigidity of the pace tab on the racecard, I've gone to our Pace Analyser tool and broadened the criteria slightly to get a bigger/better sample size as follows...

Prominent runners hold their own and with an IV of just over 1, win about as often as expected. Mid-div and hold up horses win half or even less often as you'd think and that's because 3 in 7 leaders go on to make the frame and 1 in 3 leaders win. So when it comes to average pace scores, we need a figure greater than 2.00 but the closer to 4.00, the better...

The first four of that list should all be up with the pace here, Lough Derg Farmer might actually set the pace, but he's equally likely to just drop out the back. Previously fancied Present Chief will have to work hard to get involved if he runs as he normally does, whilst three held-up runs from four adds another nail to the coffin for Louis' Vac Pouch.

Summary

We've eight runners here, but I'm happy to suggest a four horse race between (alphabetically) Event of Sivola, Oscar Montel, Present Chief and Speak of the Devil. None of this quartet tick all the boxes, unfortunately and I'm going to have to decide which one has the least negatives....

  • Event of Sivola has been very consistent over the last year and is down in both class and weight from a good run here LTO, finishing well clear of a subsequent winner. he receives weight all round, has good course/distance form and will be up with the pace BUT has a 207 day lay-off to contend with.
  • Oscar Montel is another consistent placer, but doesn't win often enough if truth be told. He likes to be up with the pace, ran really well last time out and has the benefit of a recent outing. His place numbers are excellent on Instant Expert, BUT he invariably finds one (or more) just too good for him.
  • Present Chief is unexposed over fences after just one effort to date, but wasn't beaten by far on that occasion just four weeks ago despite coming back from five months off. The trip should be fine for him, his usual jockey is in situ, BUT he has tended to dwell in races and he might have too much ground to make up here.
  • Speak Of The Devil is probably the one to beat on form, having won by 8L at Hexham LTO, BUT his jumping has been a little suspect in the past, he's up 6lbs and hasn't raced for around 20 weeks, so might actually be better next time out. That said, he is consistent and did win at Hexham last October after 213 days off the track.

Effectively, we've two who might need a run and of those two, I think Speak of the Devil has the better chance, whilst of the two with a recent run, Present Chief is a better horse than Oscar Montel, leaving me with a 1-2 of Speak Of The Devil ahead of Present Chief. 

Speak has been off the track for a while but has run well after a break and assuming his jumping holds up again, a price of 7/2 might be more than fair, which is more than can be said abou the 7/4 currently offered about Present Chief based on one run. He certainly has ability, but there can't be much value in those odds, especially if he dwells. If you like him and he does start slowly, you may well get a much better price in-running.

As for third/fourth, there's not much to pick between Event and Oscar, but I'd probably plump for the latter due to the former's long lay-off.

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