Racing Insights

Racing Insights, 24th April 2021

Well, Friday's race didn't exactly go to plan as two of the favoured runners were the last two home. The money came for Frankie Dettori and Waldkonig and it proved to be a shrewd move as the 6/4 favourite won by a length and a quarter, giving Frankie yet another Class 1 winner.

Now to Saturday and the last "Insights" of the week. To help us, we offer full access to the Trainer/Jockey Combo Report and our free races are as follows...

  • 1.45 Limerick
  • 2.55 Limerick
  • 3.40 Sandown
  • 4.30 Leicester
  • 4.45 Doncaster
  • 5.25 Sandown

And I'm going to look at the couple of qualifiers on my 5-year course handicap Trainer/Jockey Combo Report, because they both run in the same race. It's the 6.15 Wolverhampton, a 10-runner, Class 5, A/W handicap over 1m1.5f on tapeta worth £2,862.

Here's the snippet from my report...

and here's the racecard for the contest...

As you can see, our featured horses are ranked first and second on the Geegeez Speed Ratings, but Rain Gauge is officially rated 3lbs higher than his rival.

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Rain Gauge is a lightly raced 3 yr old with just two runs here over class, course and distance and two at Lingfield over a mile. The mile seemed too sharp fr him at Lingfield and his best work has been in the two previous C&D runs here, when he finished third on both occasions, showing an instant adeptness for the Tapeta surface. The winner of the second of those two runs, a Sea The Stars colt, has won again since and remains unbeaten.

Technically, this is a tougher ask for Rain Gauge and he hasn't received any favours with a mark of 72, so you'd think he'd need a significant improvement to get involved here, but the truth is that this isn't that good a race and it wouldn't look out of place at Class 6. A bonus here is the form of the yard in general, James Tate has never been prolific, but his horses are making the frame in more than half of their races of late and they have a 25.5% strike rate in handicaps here since 2016.

Spirit of Rowdown won over a mile at Chelmsford last November and has raced exclusively here at Wolverhampton to good effect since, finishing 113241, but all over a furlong shorter than today. He recently returned from an eight-week break to run a career-best victory here off a mark of 64 (his Chelmsford win was off 46!). All his best work was in the closing stages of that contest and he loved string at the finish. I'd not be surprised if he ran even better now stepped up in trip, even with another 3lbs on his back.

Instant Expert will also paint Spirit in a very positive light, I'd have thought...

Obviously, as this is a Racecard only open to Gold subscribers, I'm not going to replicate the whole field's records, but what I will say is that only two other runners (more on them later) come close to our featured runners' place records, whilst Spirit of Rowdown's win numbers are easily the best on offer here.

Our two are drawn fairly close together in stalls 3 and 5 and I'd suggest the central stalls are the best place to be, which is good news for Rain Gauge...

When we looking running styles and the way these 10-runner contests tend to unfold here at Wolverhampton, we're advised that the best place to be is just off the pace without being held up too much. Our prediction here is that one runner might attempt to win it from the front, but that hasn't really proved successful in the past from either a win or a place perspective...

So, we've said the central stalls have proved most successful and a central-ish race position has been the best place to be. Therefore it won't surprise you to see that when we put pace and draw together, we get...

...clearly highlighting what you were probably already thinking. All we need now is a prediction on how we think our runners will break from their respective stalls and then overlay that onto the heat map above. So, based on our pair's last four runs, we have...

...Rain Gauge with an excellent pace/draw make-up from that central stall. Spirit of Rowdown's chance would improve if he stepped forward a little and he has been know to occasionally race more prominently than that graphic would suggest, so he's not out of it.

Summary

I really like Spirit of Rowdown here, despite the extra furlong and the 3lb weight rise. He's the form horse in the race and looked like he wanted further last time out. He's not badly drawn in reality and loves it here at Wolverhampton and at 4/1 with Hills, he's my pick here.

So, what of Rain Gauge? Well, I like him too back here at Wolverhampton where he has shown he likes the course and distance. His stablemates are running well, his yard have a good record at the track, he's well drawn and should take up a really good position in the race. I'm surprised he's 14/1, so I'll have to have an E/W punt there too.

Do we want/need a third runner for possible trifecta purposes? I mentioned earlier that there were only two others that interested me for the places via Instant Expert and they are the 8/1 shot Where You At and the 11/2 Lochnaver. They were fairly closely matched during my analysis, but I think that's the order I want them in here.

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