Racing Insights

Racing Insights, 22nd November 2021

The pace tab on the racecard is a really useful tool that will help us get a good idea of how the tactics race might unfold. We feel that pace is so important and under-used that we make this feature totally FREE to ALL readers for ALL races every Sunday & Monday including, of course, our daily free races which are scheduled to be...

  • 2.00 Ludlow
  • 2.45 Ayr
  • 3.05 Ludlow
  • 5.30 Chelmsford

And it probably makes sense to look at the last on that list, as Chelmsford is renowned for having a pace bias and it's actually the highest rated of the four free races. Sadly, it only has fine runners and as I'm late posting this evening (family function), I'm aware that the bookies think it'll be a two-horse race, but that doesn't mean it's a futile exercise assessing the 5.30 Chelmsford, a 5-runner, Class 2, 3yo+ A/W handicap over 6f on Standard Polytrack...

So, the bookies see Regional and Above as the two most likely to fill the frame here. My own initial thoughts would also agree, but I also had Corinthia Knight very closely matched with Above. The Geegeez SR figures would appear to favour Shallow Hal and above, but the caveat there is that Regional has no rating, having never tackled the A/W.

This also means that Regional will have very little relevant form on display on Instant Expert...

...that said, you can still see that he has a previous Class 2 win, a 6f win and has an opening A/W mark of 98 (he was 3rd off this mark on the Flat LTO). Of his four rivals, all have a tleast one block of red and with The Last Lion having two reds, he's probably worst off here, whilst Above is the only previous course winner whereas Corinthia Knight's 0 from 6 at Chelmsford is a worry. From a weight perspective, both Above and Shallow Hal are considerably higher than their last A/W wins, but Corinthia Knight could be weighted to win.

The draw here over a left handed six furlong definitely favours those drawn lowest...

...and aside from stalls 2 and 3 being slightly flip-flopped, the inference is that your chances of winning/making the frame diminish with every position away from the rails you are drawn. Above has the plum draw in stall 1 and Shallow Hal will have most to do from box 5, but his race tactics might help him get involved...

The stats from Shallow Hal's last four runs suggest he's a mid division type runner, but it's highly likely based on pace averages that he'll only have Regional behind him in the early stages. To be honest with you, that pace profile won't exactly put either of those two at a disadvantage and mid-div/hold-up runners have done OK (if not spectacularly well) here...

Ideally you want to lead from a low draw or sit further back off the pace, as chasing the leader looks to be a difficult task. Essentially you can waste too much energy chasing, not leaving enough in the tank for a finish. Corinthia Knight looks like the pacesetter here and he's drawn well in stall 2. The Last Lion probably ends up the disadvantaged chaser, but stall 3 isn't horrific. Above has that plum 1 draw, but with two high pace scores and two low ones, much will depend on his approach. If he's slow away, then his stall advantage will dissipate. Finally, we have the favourite Regional, who isn't ideally suited by pace nor draw, but would hope to still be involved by sheer ability.

Summary

No horse ticks all the boxes here, but based on the above The Last Lion and Shallow Hal look the weakest of our five runners, so I'm going to strip it down to three...

  • Above is a former course and distance winner (Class 4, June 2019 on debut), but after finishing 1211 in his first four starts taking his mark to 100, is now 0 from 10 since October 2019. He had some good runs in the summer of 2020 off marks of 98 and 100 (twice) and looked like coming back to form when just 1.75 lengths adrift at Kempton at this class/trip 24 days ago. Eased another pound could go well.
  • Corinthia Knight is far more experienced than each of his rivals (51 races to his rivals' combined 58) and has a healthy 8 wins and 6 places from 34 on the A/W. he won back to back 6f contests at Pontefract in the summer, but looked like he needed the run when 6th of 8 at Kempton 24 days ago. he was coming back from a 96-day break, set the pace and was caught and eventually beaten by just 2.5 lengths. He should come back on for that run and is now a pound lower.
  • Regional is a lightly raced 3yr old who has won two of five starts so far, including a Class 2 handicap off a mark of 94 two starts ago and has already been considered good enough to tackle two Listed contests. On paper, he's the best horse in the race, but makes an A/W debut off a mark of 98, the same mark he was beaten off last time out.

Regional is, for me, the best horse in the race and had this been on turf, I'd have been all over him. I don't dispute that he'll be well prepared for his A/W debut, but a mark of 98 leaves no room for error and at odds of 11/8, I don't think I want to get involved. Basically, I think that if he "gets" the surface, he wins, but that's not 11/8 for me, especially with the pace and draw being against him.

Above is next on my/the bookies lists and he's been a long time between drinks. He's well drawn, but is inconsistent on pace. If he makes full use of stall 1 and breaks quickly, he'd have every chance, but losing has become a bad habit for him and odds of 15/8 about a horse on a 0 from 10 run aren't particularly attractive, so I can't back him either.

Corinthia Knight is probably just third best of the five runners, but is the one who interests me most. He's available at odds of 15/2 and that's borderline E/W territory for me normally. With only five runners, I'm happy to lower my sights and I think a small E/W play or place only bet is my way forward from this race. He's got a decent draw, will set the pace and is well weighted. There's every chance he'll grab a soft lead and hold on.

Of course, it might just be a Regional/Above 1-2 as the market suggests, but I think CK will give me a good run for my money.

 

 

 

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