Racing Insights

Racing Insights, 26th October 2021

Tuesday's free feature is The Shortlist report, a simple and usually brief report highlighting those horses with a largely ‘green’ profile in the Instant Expert Report each day. It covers win or place stats, and can be viewed for both today’s and tomorrow’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 continues to highlight horses whose chance is better than recent form - and its odds - imply.

In addition to this feature, we have our usual smattering of free racecards, which will be...

  • 12.40 Curragh
  • 1.55 Chepstow
  • 2.30 Chepstow
  • 5.20 Chepstow
  • 6.10 Newcastle

Here's how The Shortlist looks for tomorrow...

From that half dozen possibles, the ones I'd be most interested in are the top two. Eva's Oskar only misses out on a full house by being amber for what I feel is the weakest category (field size), but amber is still decent, whilst Could Be Trouble just hasn't been to Bangor before. So, let's use The Shortlist as a way in to those two horses/races and see if there's a bet to be had, shall we?

The 4.15 Chepstow is is a 6-runner, Class 3, 4yo+ Novices Limited Handicap Chase worth £5,882 and the trip is 2m7½f on good ground and here's Eva Oskar's racecard entry...

Eva's Oskar was a decent enough handicap hurdler winning three times from six starts and making the frame on one other occasion. He was 2 from 2 here at Chepstow, 1 from 1 on good ground, 2 from 2 over 2m7½f/3m, 3 from 4 under today's jockey, Alan Johns, 2 from 2 at Class 2/3, 2 from 2 in October and 2 from 2 here at Chepstow over 2m7½f/3m.

All of which would have made him a really strong contender here, had this not been over the larger obstacles where his four-race chasing career reads 4F44 with defeats of 14, 20 and 11 lengths. Obviously the track, trip and going conditions shouldn't be an issue here, but he hasn't jumped anyway near as well as he hurdles and he seems to have been ridden differently. He often raced prominently over hurdles, but has been waited with in the four chase starts. His overall record (including over fences) under expected conditions is as follows...

...and those numbers are still very good, of course, but here's where the main problem (other than his suspect jumping) lies...

He's been held up in three of four starts over fences and hold-up horses have no wins and just five places from 27 starts and the overall pace map suggests he might get detached from the rest of the field...


The 4.30 Bangor is where we'll find Could Be Trouble as one of 9 runners in a Class 4, 3yo+, Mares Handicap Hurdle over 2m3½f on Good To Soft ground where the prize is a mere £3,213 and here's her entry...

As you can see, she comes here on the back of three straight wins over hurdles in a £6k race at Gowran Park (2m, heavy), a Class 4 at Ayr (2m4½f, gd to soft) and most recently (although it was 149 days ago) a Class 3 at Uttoxeter (2m4f, good). She now drops in class for her handicap debut for yard whose hcp debutants have had a good year and both yard & jockey are in good form.

Overall she's 3 from 5 over hurdles including 1/1 on Gd to Soft, 2/2 over 2m4f/2m4½f, 1/1 under jockey Brian Hughes, 2/2 at Class 3/4 in the UK, 2/2 for her current yard, 2/2 going left handed, 3/4 with a tongue tie and 3/4 as a 6yr old with much of these excellent stats shown in Instant Expert...

The pace stats suggest that leaders fare best here...

...but she actually sits fourth on pace over her last three races with a profile as follows...

with a prominent riding style that should keep her handy. However, that might actually be a better position than the stats suggest, because the overall pacemap...

...indicates that we could have a three-way battle at the head of affairs between Saturn 'n' Silk, Miss Tara Moss and Getaweapon and if they do take each other on and do too much too soon, then this would open the door for the likes of Dazzling Glory, Stop Talking and, of course, our featured runner Could be Trouble.


Two runners just fifteen minutes apart but in very different form to each other.

First up we have Eva's Oskar who just doesn't look the same horse over fences and is currently the 10/1 outsider of six, which is probably quite realistic. For me to want to back him, it'd have to be next time over fences if she goes better here or wait until he reverts back to hurdling. He's not for me here. And if pushed to have a punt here, I'd probably have a punt on Champagne Rhythm who might well be overpriced at 11/2.

Could Be Trouble, on the other hand, couldn't be in better form but faces more experienced runners here on handicap debut. That said, she should very well be involved in the final shake-up and odds of 4/1, whilst not particularly generous, do offer enough juice for me to have a small wager. Main dangers are likely to come from the 4/1 Dazzling Glory & the 11/2 Saturn 'n' Silk.




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