Racing Insights

Racing Insights, 23rd November 2021

Some of Geegeez' features are only available to Gold subscribers (if you've not tried it, you really should take a low-priced trial to see what's included), but we do open parts of the service up each day to give all readers a feel for the service. To this end, we give free access to one Gold feature and a selections of races each day.

For Tuesday, those races are set to be...

  • 3.35 Punchestown
  • 4.30 Wolverhampton
  • 6.00 Wolverhampton
  • 7.30 Wolverhampton

...whilst our feature of the day is The Shortlist, a simple and usually brief report highlighting those horses with a largely ‘green’ profile in the Instant Expert Report each day. It's a colour-coded report that covers win or place stats, and can be viewed for both the current and the next day’s racing...

GREEN is good (33% or better win rate) – worth 3 points
AMBER is quite good (16-32% win rate) – worth 1 point
RED is not so good (0-15% win rate) – worth -1 points
GREY means there is no available data for that factor - worth 0 points

The final column, ‘Score’, is the sum of the previous five ‘colour’ columns, with 15 being an all green profile, and 9 being the lowest score appearing on this report.

HINT: The best bets are not necessarily the highest scores. Rather, they are often the biggest difference between a Shortlist horse and the ‘best of the rest’ in that race.

N.B. Shortlist selections are unlikely to make a profit, at SP at least, to blind backing. Our recommendation is (and has always been) that The Shortlist should be a starting point rather than an end in itself. That said, it does continue to highlight horses whose chance is better than recent form and/or its odds might imply. And here is Tuesday's Shortlist...

Mondammej is the more interesting of the two Shortlist horses and he runs in one of our free races, so it makes sense for me to focus there today. In fairness, it's a decent standard of race and whilst Mondammej is likely to be fairly short in the market and there are only seven runners, we might find reasons to lay him or we might find ourselves an E/W pick.

So, without further ado, let's head towards the 6.00 Wolverhampton, a 7-runner, Class 2, 3yo+ A/W handicap over a left handed 5f on standard tapeta and it's worth almost £10k to one of these...

My own initial thoughts were that Mondammej and Exalted Angel might be the ones to watch or even Venturous based on past exploits, whilst the likes of  Royal Birth & Marnie James look weakest. The latter is the only one without a win in their recent formline too and he's up in class despite finishing 10th of 12 last time out. He has, however, won over this trip in the past, but so have all his rivals.

Royal Birth has also won here at Wolverhampton, whilst Venturous, Mondammej and Fizzy Feet have all won over this course and distance, but the latter is also up in class after finishing last of 8 last time out, which is a negative based on form and class rise, but also because he hasn't been seen for over 16 weeks.

Today's feature is, of course, The Shortlist and we know that Mondammej scores highly there and we can put those Shortlist colours into numbers via Instant Expert...

...where Mondammej looks the one to beat and probably Venturous as best of the rest, whilst more specifically on the A/W...

...I'd probably side with the same pair with Blue de Vega looking weakest.

The draw could play a part here, with there being a left handed turn in the middle of such a short race and what we've found is that both high and low draws do pretty well at the expense of those sandwiched in the middle...

...meaning that you'd probably not want to be in stalls 3, 4 or 5 (not good for Exalted Angel, Mondammej or Fizzy Feet), based on the stall by stall analysis...

There is, however, a school of thought that if you're good enough and you approach the race in the right way, then your tactics might well help you overcome the draw and the pace stats for such a race say that it's best to lead and set the pace, but prominent/mid-div runners do OK and all that's because hold-up runners really struggle...

With those numbers in mind, here's how these seven have approached their last four outings...

...which is a reversal of everything else we've seen so far. The two I've been leaning towards, Mondammej & Venturous are going to have to come from a long way back and I suppose the hope is that they drag each other into the contest from the upper half of the draw, yet when we look at how the pace and draw work with each other, Venturous is shown in a far better light...

...with only the previously maligned Royal Birth seeming better equipped from just outside Venturous.

Summary

We started with Mondammej, he's the form horse, he's the Shortlist horse, but is poorly drawn and his hold-up running style might not be the best approach, but his ability and speed mean he's still a contender, as winners rarely tick all the boxes.

Venturous was one I thought from the outset could be well suited and he showed up well on Instant Expert, draw and pace/draw. His hold-up style, like Mondammej, hasn't always worked for other horses here, but aside from that he looks to have a real chance and if I was to add one more from the pack to join my two shortlisted horses, it would probably be Exalted Angel. He's well drawn, will be quick away, has a good A/W record and drops in class.

So, that's my three from seven...

  • Exalted Angel was admittedly beaten by over 7 lengths last time out, but that was a Listed race at Lingfield when he faed in the last of six furlongs and he now drops down in class and trip. He was second (beaten by a head) off this mark back in April and although still pretty high in the weights, could go close with a similar effort.
  • Mondammej actually blows a bit hot and cold. Three wins from his last five have been interspersed by runs finishing 14th of 16 and last of 21 and prior to this run of form, he was winless in eight. That said, he's always there or thereabouts on the A/W with 2 wins and 3 places from 7 and on paper is the best in the race.
  • Venturous has six wins and two places from 14 on tapeta, loves the surface. Yes, he's disadvantaged by coming late, but it's not a big field and he's well drawn to avoid trouble and having made the frame 6 times from 10 over 5f on this surface (winning four times), he seems to have the measure of what's needed. He's proven at this grade, but might just be carrying too much weight.

Mondammej is the best in the race on his day, but is inconsistent and isn't favoured by pace/draw stats etc. That said, he gets weight from the other two I've shortlisted and should just about prevail. Sadly he's priced at 7/4 and that's no value in my opinion, so I'll leave him alone today. Of the other two, I prefer Venturous based on his past successes and at 10/1 with Hills, I can't not back him E/W.

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