Racing Insights

Racing Insights, 22nd September 2021

The Trainer Statistics (TS) report is Wednesday's free feature and it is in fact, four reports in one. It contains information on a trainer’s recent form, their longer term course form and for each of 14 day, 30 day, course one year, and course five year, users can filter by runs, wins, places, win profit/loss and each way profit/loss.

In addition to this feature, we also have our free 'races of the day'...

  • 2.52 Goodwood
  • 3.55 Listowel
  • 4.02 Goodwood
  • 5.45 Kempton
  • 8.15 Kempton

And I think I'll step away from full race profiling today and consider a trio of runners from two trainers with a good recent record at Perth, so here's a look at my TS report  based on Perth one year handicap form...

The going at Perth is expected to be soft and the 4.45 race is a 7-runner, Class 4, handicap chase over two miles, whilst the 5.20 race is a 10-runner, Class 5, handicap hurdle over 2m4f.

If we go as far back as the start of 2016, we find that Donald McCain's Perth handicappers are 18 from 64 with a further 7 making the frame for a win percentage of 28.1% (A/E 1.63) and a place strike rate of 37.5%. Of those 64 runners, Brian Hughes has 9 wins from 30 (30% SR) and soft ground runners are 5 from 8 (62.5%).

With respect to the 4.45 race, the 64 are 7/31 (22.6%) at Class 4, 11/28 (39.3%) over fences and 7/24 (29.2%) over trips of 2m/2m0.5f, whilst for the 5.20 race, his numbers are 0/4 at Class 5, 7/36 (19.4%) over hurdles, but 8/15 (53.3%) at trips of 2m4f/2m4.5f. These are all good numbers, but the chaser, Schmidt, looks best favoured on trainer stats.

Rose Dobbin also has a runner in that second contest and she doesn't send as many to Perth, but since 2018 her 'cappers are 12 from 43 (27.9% SR, A/E 1.88) with seven further placers giving a place SR of 44.2%, so very similar numbers to Mr McCain. of the 43 Dobbin runners, Craig Nichol has ridden 7 winners from 22 (31.8%) at a similar rate to Brian Hughes and they are 2 from 8 (25%) on soft ground.

With the 5.20 race in mind, her runners are 4/16 (25%) at Class 5, 6/31 (19.4%) over hurdles and 2/11 (18.2) over 2m4f/2m4.5f and like the McCain string, she'd have been better off with a runner in the earlier race because she's 7/18 (38.9%) at class 4, 6/12 (50%) over fences and 3/12 (25%) at the shorter trips.

On trainer stats alone, there's little between the two competing in the 5.20 race and as we've two runners there, we'll go back to front and look at those first...

Some excellent numbers there again with the only blot being jockey Brian Hughes being on a run of 13 rides without a win, but he did win twice here at Perth earlier in the month.

Shanbally Rose has made the frame just once in eight starts, all over hurdles and that came four races ago on her second run in a handicap when a runner-up beaten by 2.25 lengths over 2m4f at Musselburgh. Sadly, she hasn't got anywhere near those levels in three runs since and was last seen here at Perth 19 weeks ago finishing 8th of 10, beaten by 32 lengths over 3m on soft ground. The drop back in trip should help her see the race out, but I can't see her troubling the judges.

Esme Shelby has also yet to win over hurdles, but approaches her sixth attempt with three third place finishes under her belt including from last time out at Bangor over an indequately short 2m0.5f. She has only raced in handicap company once before and she steps back up in trip for her second crack. her form might well be modest, but this isn't a good race and her place stats are the best on offer here.

As I've said, neither have won a race yet, so we'll look at the places on Instant Expert...

As expected, Esme Shelby comes out on top from our highlighted pair.

As for pace, we're advised that those setting the fractions here fare best...

...and not only is Esme Shelby the more likely of the two to lead with an average pace score of 3.50, she's also the only pace in the race with the next highest only scoring 2.50. This means that she could well be afforded a soft, easy lead and have the run of the race from the front. Something for me to think about, after I assess the chances of Schmidt in the 4.45 race...

Again, another great set of supplementary stats to back up his case on his yard debut for team McCain. In honesty, his overall record of 1 from 27 (1/13 plus 3 places over hurdles) is poor and his sole win came at Tramore at the start of June 2018 for Henry de Bromhead. He hasn't tackled a hurdle since mid-October 2020 and has been chasing for his last eleven runs. That said, he hasn't been disgraced of late finishing 332624 in his last six and was only beaten by a head on his last UK start. His new handler will have seen the numbers and has wisely (in my opinion) reverted back to hurdling and this switch allied to some new surroundings and training methods might just do the trick.

His place record over hurdles on Instant Expert actually reads better than you'd expect...

...suggesting that conditions might well suit him here. A former soft ground placer, who has gone well at class/trip is positive news for at least making the frame. With regards to pace, this could be an interesting affair, as once again the stats suggest that upfront is the best place to be...

...and Schmidt's 3.50 pace score is as high as it gets here, but I've shown you the next three runners, because it's so tight that none of them can expect to have it handed to them. It's not ideal for Schmidt or any of the others for that matter, but it's better than being left behind.


Let's revert back to normal and go in chronological order, starting with Schmidt in the 4.45 race. Any win from him would be a surprise at the best of times, if truth be told, but this race is hardly stacked with prolific winners and Schmidt has been running pretty well of late. I fancy him to be there or thereabouts at the end and should be good for a top 3 finish at worst. The 6/1 Sword of Fate is down in weight and class and looks like the one he might need to beat to land this and whilst I'd rather back SoF at 6's, Schmidt has a chance at 7/2, although I'd have wanted a bigger price myself, maybe another point?

As for the 5.20 race, everything above points to Esme Shelby finishing well ahead of Shanbally Rose, who might well struggle here and I've got her finishing well down the field, so even at 18/1, I'm not that interested in backing her. I am interested in Esme, though and 13/2 about the sole pace option in a race excites me. I'm mildly selfishly disappointed that she's not 8's or bigger and I could hedge my bets E/W, but I'm going to have some of that 13/2. She looks et to dominate the race from the front and it's just a case of whether she can hold on. I think if she can beat the 4/1 Jaunty Soria, then she has a great chance here.



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