Monday's profiled race is a late one, so we'll skip straight to Tuesday, where 'feature of the day' is The Shortlist report, which highlights runners with a good past record under given circumstances, whilst our 'races of the day' are set to be...
- 2.20 Nottingham
- 3.00 Brighton
- 3.40 Punchestown
- 5.05 Nottingham
- 6.30 Punchestown
I'm going to swerve the Irish races, as they've got 25 runners and four runners respectively, which leaves me with the three English races plus The Shortlist. To be honest, there's only one runner/race on that report for me and it looks like being a favourite in a 5-runner contest at Brighton. The two races at Nottingham are a Novice heat and another 5-runner affair, so it's almost Hobson's Choice that I'll be focusing my attention on the 3.00 Brighton today.
It's not always a bad thing to have narrowed down the races you're going to look at and this one does at least look competitive, despite just being a 9-runner, Class 6 Flat handicap for 4yo+ over 6f on good to firm ground. The £2,322 prize money isn't the best, but it will be won by one of the following...
Real Estate came back from a two-month break to run here over course and distance ten days ago. He was only beaten by 3.25 lengths and now having had the run and dropping down a grade and 3lbs, could have every chance of making the frame here.
Desert Land drops two classes and steps back a furlong for his seasonal turf reappearance, having been beaten by almost 8 lengths at Lingfield (AW) last time out. He's 0 from 8 on turf and has only made the frame twice and I suspect others will be better suited here.
Lethal Angel is a former course and distance winner off 3lbs higher and she was a runner-up at Chelmsford, beaten by less than two lengths earlier this month despite a 19-week layoff. Since then she has returned to the turf going down by 8.5 lengths at Bath 11 days ago, but in her defence that was a Listed race and a similar run would probably be enough. She's probably the one to beat here, under an in-form jockey with a good record at this venue.
Winnetka has yet to win after 16 starts, but did make the frame in four successive races over the winter. He was then 6th of 11 in February and 8th of 12 last month off just 2lbs higher and it's difficult to see him troubling the places again here.
Holdenhurst has also won over course and distance in the past and was a runner-up here off this mark over 7f ten days ago. He never really looked like winning once headed 4f out, but stayed on well and could go close again today for a yard with a near 21% (7 from 34) strike rate at this track since 2016.
Storm Melody is better than his last run might suggest when he was 7 lengths off the pace over 5.5f at Bath earlier this month. He probably did too much early on trying to set the pace, but prior to that outing he had been running consistently well throughout the winter. He's now a pound lower and just 2lbs higher than his last win and if returning to his pre-Bath form should be involved in the shake-up.
De Little Engine has won here twice in the past, but went down by almost seven lengths here ten days ago and had lost his three previous outings by around 11 lengths each time. He's 5lbs lower than his last win, his yard have done well here in the past (6/26 in hcps during 2019) and his jockey is 3 from 11 in the last fortnight, but I'd expect him to miss out here again today.
Cobra Eye was a runner-up on debut and then won second time out, both back in July 2019, but he is 0 from 14 since without even making the frame once in that run. He has been last home in two of his last four outings, which also includes a 10th of 12 at Kempton. He may well be down 2 classes here, but I don't think he'll be beating many today either.
Navajo Dawn is another horse bang out of form and she's probably going to be last home here. She won back to back Class 6, 5f sprints at Southwell at the start of last year and hasn't kicked on from there, losing 12 straight contests since, including a 15 length defeat last time out where she was 9th of 10 over the same class, course and distance at Southwell. She was off a mark some 13lbs lower than her last win that day and she had a jockey claiming 3lbs, so she's clearly off the boil. She's down another 3lbs here, but has no claimer on board and I expect another heavy loss for her today.
Without too many wins between the group, I've chosen to look at t he place percentages acquired by these runners and as ever Instant Expert gives us a quick, clear overview/comparison of the field...
Some obvious standouts there, especially in the middle sector of the card and a couple are running off much lower marks than their last win, which is always of interest. Real Estate is quite possibly better than the above graphic might suggest, but I think Desert Land, Cobra Eye and Navajo Dawn are going to struggle here.
From a draw perspective, the general feeling I have about these type of races at Brighton is that you probably want to be drawn in the higher half and probably the higher the better. Thankfully, you don't have to rely on what I think might be the case, because we've got stats to tell us that...
...this does indeed appear to be the case, which is good for the likes of Lethal Angel out in box 9.
From a pace perspective, the numbers says that prominent runners pretty much win as often as expected, but both leaders and mid-division horses fare really well, mainly at the expense of the poor results achieved by hold-up horses on this quick, quirky track...
So, if we use Lethal Angel as our example, he already has a good chance based on the write-up section and is well drawn here, so if his usual racing position falls into the green categories, he'd definitely be in with a shout, as here's how pace and draw tend to interact at Brighton...
and when we put our racecard into draw order and overlay the past running styles of the nine rivals, we get...
...where I expect the best results to come from the highest third of the draw.
Lethal Angel has ticked a lot of boxes for me throughout the process and without even going into any whittling down of the field, I'm nailing my colours to his mast here.
In behind him for the places becomes a little more complicated, as I've got three in mind who could well make the frame ie Holdenhurst, Real Estate and Storm Melody. The latter had been in good form prior to last time out, he scored well enough on Instant Expert and has a really good pace/draw make-up, so Storm melody is next best for me.
That leaves a choice between Holdenhurst and Real Estate for the last place and to be honest with you, there's not much in it. There are pro's and cons about both, but Holdenhurst just seems better suited.
The market would seem to agree with my top three and have installed Lethal Angel as the 11/4 favourite, they've got the placers the other way around from me, but we do have the same first three.