Tuesday's race is yet to come, so we switch focus to Wednesday, where the free feature is the excellent Trainer Stats report and we've the following handful of complete racecards/data available to all...
- 12.15 Wetherby
- 12.30 Lingfield
- 1.00 Lingfield
- 1.10 Hereford
- 3.20 Hereford
And although the Trainer Stats report is wonderful, I think I'll cast my eye over the first of the two offerings from "Leafy", although I suspect it doesn't fir that description right now for the 12.30 Lingfield : a competitive-looking, 6-runner, Class 3, A/W handicap for 3yo+ over 1m2f on Polytrack worth £7,439 to the winner.
As ever we'll start with the racecard in Geegeez Speed Rating Order...
Plantadream comes here in decent nick having placed three times (inc one win) from his last four outings. He's a former course winner who drops in class today, he tops our ratings and his jockey Jamie Spencer is 23/111 (20.7% SR) here since the start of 2016 as hinted at by the C5 icon.
Fantasy Believer steps up in class after winning last time out a fortnight ago and hails from an in-form yard with a good short and long term record at this venue (14 C1 C5). Second on our ratings.
Sha La La La Lee has made the frame in each of his last two starts at Wolverhampton, winning once and going down by a length and a quarter 12 days ago. His usual cheekpieces will be in place and he also steps up in class. His yard have a good long term record here, but are 0 from 17 on this track since Kachy's win in April 2019. That said, this horse did also win here that month.
Kryptos is in good form (231 last three) and won under today's jockey on his A/W debut at Wolverhampton last time out and that jockey, the versatile Megan Nicholls is absolutely flying right now with a form line of 1191271 including wins at such diverse distances as 6f and 2m1f plus others in between!
Yes My Boy is the only colt in the race and is a consistent sort as seen by his run of results which include finishes of 113 on the A/W, the middle race of which was a course and distance success on his only previous visit to this track. He keeps the cheekpieces on and in Archie Watson and Hollie Doyle, he is supported by a formidable trainer/jockey partnership, both of whom have good individual and combined records at this venue.
And finally, Pactolus, who looks to have struggled for form in a higher grade, hence the drop in class here. He is, however, a former course and distance winner and his jockey Andrea Atzeni is is fine fettle right now and also has done here at Lingfield, both short and long-term. Unfortunately the same can't be said for his trainer Stuart Williams who is 1 from 34 here over the past 20 months with his last 25 runners here all getting beat. Even more disheartening is that Pactolus accounts for 6 of the 33 defeats and he's bottom of our ratings.
Based purely on the above, I'm now going to disregard the claims of Pactolus ahead of my look at the Instant Expert tab...
...which tells me that from a place perspective, all of them look well suited in at least two categories, especially at this Class 3 level. There is, however, a clear failure to convert many of the place runs into wins, but one of them will do just that here. Plantadream has failed to win on standard going (but is 2/2 on std-slow) and is now rated some 15lbs higher than his last A/W win and 8lbs higher than his last win overall, whilst Kryptos hasn't managed to win at this trip but did win over 9.6f on A/W debut last time out.
Yes My Boy lets himself down by not converting any of his five Class 3 runs into wins, finishing 22443, whilst Fantasy Believer's line of red on the win section now removes him from my consideration. Sha La La La Lee's figures on standard going are excellent, but 1 win from 11 at Class 3 is worrying and leaves him as borderline entering the final data stage where we analyse pace and draw...
In 95 6-runner contests here, runners in stalls 1 & 2 have won 30.5% of the races with stalls 3 & 4 winning 34.7% and 5 & 6 taking the remaining 35.8%. This says there's not a great deal in the draw, although the numbers are marginally better from the high draw. On a stall by stall basis, I wouldn't personally read too much into it as there's no logic (in my mind) why stall 5 would be so much lower than 4 or 6.
What this does do is remind us that a single stat in isolation can be misleading! Perhaps the pace data will be more revealing/helpful...
And this basically says you want to be up front in possible. If you've a low draw and don't want to or can't lead, then mid division is the best position, whilst higher drawn runners do need to prominent. Let's see how this fits in with our runners' usual MO via the unique Geegeez pace/draw/running styles heatmap...
...from which I expect Yes My Boy to get out quickly from stall 2, grab the rail (Fantasy Believer is in box 1 and doesn't start quickly) and try to make all. Kryptos is drawn widest of the 6 and can basically run his own race from there.
The interesting one there is Plantadream, who would also be ideally drawn if held back slightly more than usual. That's interesting to me, because the above data doesn't account for the jockeys and Jamie Spencer is well known for winning races from the rear and his two previous rides on this horse came in September this year. They won together at Ascot and the report read "...held up in last pair, good headway outside of group over 2f out, ridden to lead over 1f out..." and then they were runners-up at Goodwood 19 days later when "...last to break, held up in last, switched left over 1f out, stayed on inside final furlong, went 2nd towards finish..." I don't know what tactics will be used here, but I'd very surprised if he wasn't dropped in at the back again here.
Plantadream is the best horse in the race as far as I'm concerned, but at odds shorter than 2/1 off a mark as high as 96 isn't straightforward to me as a betting prospect, especially as he'll be playing catch up. I then have little to choose between Kryptos and Yes My Boy based on the above data, so I need more information about them and fortuitously they met each other nine days ago when Kryptos landed the spoils at 14/1 with Yes My Boy sent off at 7/2 and finishing third, 0.75 lengths back. Yes My Boy is now effectively 8lbs better here and with less than a length to make up on quicker ground he gets the nod.
On paper, it's a win for Plantadream, but he's currently as low as 6/4 here and carrying top weight trying to win from the back doesn't fill me with confidence. I've got a sneaking suspicion that Yes My Boy (currently 4/1) might just have enough about him to hold on. I might have it the wrong way around in the end but it's Yes My Boy ahead of Plantadream for me with the 11/2 Kryptos not far away.