Racing Insights

Racing Insights, 26th February 2021

Our four against the field finished 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th and although I didn't get them the right way around again, I hope some of you are finding me narrowing the field down useful. The horse expected to be a short favourite ended up winning at 4/1 after I said I couldn't back him at 2/1. Had he been 4's last night, my piece might have looked different, but no aftertiming or backtracking on Geegeez! Hopefully some of you did some exacta/trifecta perms as they paid 19/1 and 64/1 respectively.

Those that didn't might need some help finding a bet for Friday, so to assist you, the Horses For Courses report is available to everyone, as are the full cards for the following races...

  • 2.35 Exeter
  • 3.00 Gowran Park
  • 4.00 Dundalk
  • 4.23 Warwick
  • 6.00 Dundalk
  • 6.30 Wolverhampton

And I think I'll have a look at the chances of three horses that interest me from the Horses For Courses report...

Starting with Rakematiz in the 1.10 Lingfield...

Rakematiz was third here at Lingfield over 1m2f and beaten by just a quarter of a length three starts ago off a mark of 62. He ten stepped up to today's trip to win over course and distance off the same mark, but struggled last time out.

He was raised 5lbs for that last run and dropped back down in trip to 1m2f and could only manage to finish 8th of 10, beaten by six lengths.

Trainer Brett Johnson's horses seem to be running better than usual so far this year, making the frame in 12 of 21 (57.1%) runs and going on to win five times (23.8% SR, A/E 1.37), whilst since the start of 2018, his A/W runners racing over trips of 1m4f to 2m have placed in 19 of 43 (44.2%), winning 9 of them (20.9% SR, A/E 1.46).

We know that the horse has a 64.3% place strike rate and a 28.6% win strike rate here at Lingfield, but here's how he has performed generally in A/W handicaps to date...

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A solid line of green for the place and a solid amber line for the win suggests conditions are ideal for him here to hopefully go on and make the frame. If he can do that, then it opens the possibility for the win, of course.

We also know that he's drawn in stall 2 and in recent 13-runner contests here , that's the second most successful stall after box 11...

...the heat map above tells us that the ideal pace/draw scenario is to race prominently from a middle draw, but we know we're in stall 2, so Rakematiz probably needs to lead or be held up to maximise his chances and we can see below how he has run in his last four outings...

...and he is indeed, a hold up horse, which is another positive.

We've obviously only isolated him from the field, but without looking at what he's up against, I wouldn't want to commit myself as to his chances, but I see no real negatives so far.


And now to the 7.30 Dundalk, which interestingly has two possibles fitting my fairly tight criteria...

Sunset Nova has raced here at Dundalk 10 times in his last 11 starts and has finished 211313 in his last six here, spread over the past three months. He won over this distance here two starts ago, but after a jockey change and a rise in weight, he ended up 8lbs worse off when upped in trip to 7f, resulting in him going down by just over 4 lengths in third place. AJ Slattery, who is 3 from 7 on the horse here at Dundalk, is back in the saddle today, taking 3lbs off as the horse drops back in trip.

Eglish on the other hand, isn't in quite as good a run of form and her best recent run came when second over course and distance three starts ago when runner-up to stablemate War Hero who beat her by half a length off today's mark. She is a former course and distance winner, but most of her wins have been at 7f.

Sunset Nova has the edge on form so far. We already know about their win and place percentages here at Dundalk, but more generally here's how they've performed in all A/W handicaps...

Both stack up really well here and although Eglish's apparent dominance over the distance is mainly down to her 7f form, both look like they could make the frame. I wouldn't say either had the edge on this section, but we should note that both are a few pounds higher than their last winning marks.

These two are drawn in the lowest third of the draw in stalls 1 & 4 and in the last 55 similar contests, stall 1 has 7 wins to stall 4's 4 wins. Par here would be 4.23 (55/13), so stall 4 has slightly underperformed, but stall 1 has the second highest number of wins at 169% of par expectation (IV = 1.69), making Sunset Nova the notional winner of the battle on draw...

So, they're both drawn low meaning that the ideal scenario is for them to lead or at least race prominently...

...but that's not the case and both tend to be waited with. Yet, that's not disastrous if they hang back a little further than the average of the last four races suggest they might. Sunset Nova last achieved a pace score of 1 (held up) three starts ago and his pace profile reads 2212, so I'd expect him to race slightly further forward than his average, but Eglish's last four reads 1132 with her being held up in each of her last two runs, so she may well drop further back today. Not a lot between the two here, but Eglish looks marginally more favourable.

As with the Lingfield runner, I've no real negatives against either of these two for a place so far, but I do need to consider the opposition.


After going away and looking at the bigger picture of both races, here's where I am...

The Lingfield race looks like G for Gabriel (5/1) or Peace Prevails (10/1) for me, but in behind them I have Dream Magic (18/1), Mister Blue (4/1) and our highlighted runner Rakematiz, currently priced at 9/1. Some bookies are offering 4 places and Rakematiz has a really good chance of making the first four home, but Peace Prevails looks a better bet to me, whilst Dream Magic offers better value.

Whilst, later at Dundalk, I've got the 6/1 Sunset Nova to finish ahead of Eglish, who trades at 8/1 but I don't see either of them winning this. If they're both going to make the frame, however, they're going to have to hope that the 11/4 fav Togoville or 13/2 runner Fridtjof Nansen fail to spark. Sunset Nova is best placed to make the frame of the two we've considered, but 6/1 isn't great for an E/W bet, but neither is the 8/1 about Eglish, so I'd probably leave both alone here. If I did get involved, the 12/1 offered about Fit For Function looked interesting.


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