Racing Insights

Racing Insights, 22nd October 2021

Friday's free feature is the Horses for Courses (H4C) report, which shows the full course history since 2009 of any horse running that has previously had a run at the track. It is sorted by number of wins, but this can be changed to any column at the user’s discretion.

As well as today’s race time, course, horse name, jockey and trainer name, there is a breakdown of runs, wins and places, and profit and loss calculations for both win and each way betting. As with all Geegeez reports, there is a ‘Today’ and a ‘Tomorrow’ (for the next day’s racing) view.

HINT: Layers might like to look towards the lower end of the report, for those with negative performance at the track.

In addition to this report, we also have the following full free races...

  • 3.40 Cheltenham
  • 3.58 Newbury
  • 4.45 Dundalk
  • 7.00 Newcastle
  • 7.45 Dundalk
  • 8.00 Newcastle

My fairly exacting criteria for the (H4C) report have only produced one qualifier for Friday...

...but he's certainly worth a second/deeper look especially from a place perspective. He tends to come late, so providing he isn't too far off the pace, could go well. I'd want around the 4/1 mark about him, so fingers crossed.

My focus today, however, falls on the second of our free races, because we'll have testing conditions for the 3.58 Newbury, a 10-runner, Class 3, 3yo, flat handicap over 1m5½f on heavy ground...

A decent looking contest where all ten runners have won at least once in their last six races, of which 4 are LTO winners. Interestingly, none of the ten ran at Class 3 last time out and all four LTO winners are stepping up in class here. In total, we have two moving from Class 5 to Class 3, six move up from Class 4, whilst two drop from Class 2, where Crema Inglesa was a runner-up LTO.

The top three on the card all return from a two month break, but the other seven have all raced in the last 11-20 days, we've no previous course and/or distance winners and there's little to write home about in terms of positive trainer and/or jockey form.

It may well, as it often does, depend on who handles conditions the best. Before taking conditions into consideration, I'd have expected the likes of Oman, Solent Gateway and Secret Shadow to be the ones to beat and Thunder Ahead & the yard-changing Glen Again to be amongst those to avoid, but the toolkit will tell us more, starting straight away with...

...Instant Expert, the quick/unique overview of how these runners have performed previously in similar conditions...

I changed the going, because only Oman (1 place from 2 runs) and Downsman (2 wins from 4) had competed on heavy ground previously, so I've broadened it to see how they've fared on soft ground too...

Quite a few have gone well on soft or worse ground, not many have tackled this grade but Solent Gateway is a Class 2 winner. I extended the distance parameters a little to get more of a feel about stamina etc and Oman scores well here. At the weights, I'd be most concerned about Crema Inglesa, Reverend Hubert and Secret Shadow at half a stone or more above their last winning mark.

The draw here for this left handed track has tended to favour those drawn lowest for win purposes, but low draws fail to make the frame as often as those drawn mid to high...

And stall by stall...

...which would seem to be a positive for Crema Inglesa and Oman.

As for pace here, over 12 to 14 furlongs on wet ground, only prominent runners have fared well from a win perspective...

...and with this group running as follows in their last four outings...

...those stats would seem to favour the top six on that list, who all have at least two recent prominent runs (3) in their last four efforts.

Summary

At this point, I'd then apply a kind of totting up procedure to see whose name is getting mentioned the most in positive terms and there's not much getting away from my initial pick, Oman. Two wins and two places from his last five , seven top three finishes in a row prior to a 9th of 22 last time out. That was a much better race than this, he's down in class, he'll enjoy the mud, he's well drawn and he'll be up with the pace.

He's a 4/1 shot in my eyes, so I can't ignore the 13/2 offered by Bet365 at 5.35pm, I'm on Oman.

I also liked Secret Shadow from the start and I still like her, but not at 10/3. She has every chance of making the frame, of course as she's a winner at 1m6f, likes soft ground and gets on well with jockey Hayley Turner, but an 8lb rise and a step up in class might be her undoing. And for my other placer, I'm ditching Solent Gateway in favour of Downsman. The latter is in arguably better form, has won his last two heavy ground races, has won under today's jockey and has two wins and a place from four in cheekpieces. A rise in class and weight might, like Secret Shadow, stop the 5/1 Downsman from winning, but he's sure to be involved.

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