I’m stepping in for Chris for Friday’s race but fear not, Chris will be back tomorrow.
Friday’s free feature of the day is the Horses For Courses report. As you’d expect it highlights runners that have strong records at certain tracks. A great resource for spotting course specialists.
As usual there are a selection of completely free races on Friday where all free registered users can can get full access to the racecards. These races are:
4.40 Ffos Las
5.10 Hamilton Park
The 2.40 at Thirsk looks a good race but it also looks an extremely difficult race and in all probability you’ll be able to throw a blanket over the placed horses. One race where there should be more between the runners at the finish is the 4.40 at Ffos Las.
There are unfortunately only 7 runners in this 1m6f handicap which is a bit off putting from an each way perspective but let’s see what we can come up.
First of all let’s take a look at the pace setup in this contest. Ffos Las has got a nice long straight which can favour those who are patiently ridden but is that reflected in the data and what sort of pace can we expect in this race?
The pace tab shows that whilst most winners come from behind here on a decent surface in smaller field handicaps, it is actually front runners who have the best win and place percentages. There isn’t much between the place percentages of those that race prominently, in mid division or those that are held up and to be honest, they aren’t that far behind the front runners so all in all it looks a pretty fair course.
Of much more concern therefore, is the pace make up in this race. The pace map shows that there is some pace, most likely coming from Kalamity Kitty with Retrospect seemingly likely to track her. Sir Mark Prescott’s Jack Bean did also make the running last time out on his first try beyond 10f.
Time to look through each of the seven runners now:
A relatively lightly raced 4yo who has been gradually working his way into form this summer. He’s finished behind the same winner on his last two starts, beaten 1.25 lengths and 1 length respectively. Those efforts came at 2m and 2m1f and based on how he stayed on over this trip three runs ago he’s in need of that trip now.
He’s still a maiden but will win a race over staying trip however he might be vulnerable to something a little quicker in this contest.
Won over hurdles last summer but since then hasn’t got any nearer to the leader than 13 lengths. On his latest outing he was beaten 39 lengths here. Conditions are fine but he’s extremely difficult to fancy in his current form.
Pulled up on heavy ground over 3m3f over hurdles when last seen in February. He’s run just five times on the flat and all those runs came five years ago. He barely beat a rival home in the majority of those. His rating of 50 reflects his lack of ability but even if there was a form case to be made for him, he has it all to prove off this absence.
A last time out course winner. He hasn’t been the most consistent throughout his career but seems to have found some consistency on his last three runs, finishing 2nd, 3rd and 1st. He’s only managed one win to date which means he hasn’t won over this trip but he was runner up last month at Nottingham over 1m6f (6.5 lengths ahead of Retrospect) in a race which admittedly hasn’t worked out well.
Ocean Reach’s last run has worked out a bit better, the runner up, Polar Ice, won yesterday at Lingfield but others further behind have let the form down so there are mixed signals. The trip should be no issue but drying ground poses some question marks, as does his ability to defy a 5lb rise.
Won races at Bath on firm ground in 2018 and 2019 but not completely reliant on that venue having finished a fair third over 2m at Wetherby in 2018. He missed almost 2 years of action before returning with a respectable effort here a few weeks ago when a 4 lengths 5th over 12f. On that occasion he was a neck behind Kalamity Kitten, travelling much better than that rival looking as though he’d improve for the run.
Given he’s previously stayed further, the way he travelled last time was very encouraging and this step up in trip should definitely be in his favour. His two wins have come off marks of 46 and 47 and he runs here off that last winning mark. Much depends which way he goes from that last run. If he strips fitter here he should go close, if he bounces then he could be well beaten.
His form is poor. In five career runs he’s beaten just three runners home and although a step up to almost 12f last time out resulted in his smallest distance beaten to date, he still only beat one home and was beaten 10.5 lengths.
The main (and only) reason to sit up and take notice is the trainer. We all know what these Prescott horses can do going up in trip. However not all of them run up sequences, or even win, and he hasn’t shaped like one that is a winner waiting to happen over further. It’s worth noting that Sir Mark Prescott’s form figures over the past five years at this course with runners over 12f+ are 12113 but he’s still impossible to back on his form.
Other than Jack Bean, Kalamity Kitty is the only other 3yo in the race meaning she gets 10lbs weight for age from most of these. She’s been steadily improving as she’s gone up in trip and with only five career starts she should still be improving anyway. The way she ran last time out (closely matched with Street Jester on that form) suggests she’ll improve for this step up in trip.
She has some pretty solid form to her name. She was 5th on her penultimate run and the 3rd has won twice since with the 6th also winning next time out, whilst the 4th was 2nd on his next start. That’s pretty warm form. The runner up from her last race, here, has also won since boosting that form (which also gives Street Jester a boost).
There are a few in here that seem to have no chance on form. Retrospect is one that should be able to run to form and run fairly well but the distance is a concern for him. Jack Bean might do what many of Sir Mark Prescott’s horses do up in trip but his run last time out was poor. The course stats at middle distances for Prescott are slightly ominous though.
Ocean Reach should run well but he looks vulnerable to an improver now the handicapper has had his say.
The key to this contest though could be separating Street Jester and Kalamity Kitty, who are so closely matched on their last run. Based on the visuals of that run you’d say the latter was far more likely to improve over this extra trip. However it’s the former who is proven over even further than this trip. Given both of Street Jester’s wins have come at Bath and there is the possibility of the bounce factor coming into play I’m going to side with the 3yo filly in this and go for Kalamity Kitty. She’s got some relatively strong form to her name, is lightly raced and shapes as though this trip will improve her further. She also gets weight for age from the majority of this field. Being by Cityscape it may also turn out easier ground suits at some point and it should be slightly less quick than last time which may be another boost for Kalamity Kitty against Street Jester who has only won on firm ground.