Racing Insights

Racing Insights, 28th April 2021

Wednesday's free feature is the Trainer Stats report, whilst the free races offered to all readers are...

  • 1.15 Wolverhampton
  • 2.35 Pontefract
  • 3.10 Pontefract
  • 3.55 Ascot
  • 5.05 Wolverhampton
  • 6.30 Punchestown

I'm going to take a look at the Trainer Stats report today, as in-form Kevin Ryan has two handicappers out on Wednesday and they're in the same race. Kevin's 'cappers are in really good form right now, having won 10 of 39 in the last 30 days and prior to Tuesday's 5.05 race they have 5 wins and 4 places from 19 starts in the past fortnight, as highlighted below...

Of that 5 from 19 record over the past two weeks, those runners are 4 from 17 on the Flat, 4 from 14 on Good to Firm ground, 3 from 11 over trips of 6/7 furlongs and 2 from 5 at Class 5, which should be of interest as the 4.25 Pontefract is a 9-runner, Class 5, Flat handicap over 6f for 3yos on Good to Firm (good in places) ground worth £2,970 and here's how his pair look on the card...

On pure form figures alone, Bergerac would look to have the better chance of the two here, he's also rated 9lbs higher by the assessor and scores much better on the Geegeez Speed Ratings. Bergerac also has Kevin Stott in the saddle, a man in good recent form and proven at this venue. Tiny Danser, on the other hand, is making a handicap debut today after finishing fourth in a lower grade last time out.

You'll probably have noticed the 4 in the icons under Bergerac's name too, highlighting some relevant stats at play here, such as...

...all of which are positives here.

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Bergerac hasn't actually won a race yet, but has finished in the first three home in four of his five starts to date, including three runner-up finishes, a result he achieved at Wolverhampton last time out when beaten by just a length behind a 7/2 favourite despite not having raced for 228 days. He should come on for the run and providing the ground isn't a little too quick for him, he could go well here.

That said, Tiny Danser is still a maiden too after three defeats that have seen her finish fourth on her first and last runs. She ran pretty well for much of her last race, before fading in the last of seven furlongs at Redcar just over two weeks ago. She was returning from 20 weeks off track that day and like her stablemate, is entitled to improve for having had the run, which was her first on turf. The drop back in trip should also be beneficial for her here and her opening handicap mark of 68 looks reasonable/workable as on her racing debut, she was two lengths clear of another filly who subsequently won off a mark of 69.

With no wins from eight starts between them, Instant Expert will be less informative than usual...

...but if we switch to the view that shows us place finishes across both codes, Bergerac suddenly comes to life...

Our pair are drawn the lower half of the draw with Tiny Danser grabbing the rail draw in #1, whilst Bergerac is in number 4 and it has to be said that stall 1 is not only the better of the two here, it's actually the best place to be in 9-runner contests over this track and trip...

Getting a good draw is pretty important, but it's not the be all and end all here at Ponty. It's all very well being on the rail, but if your race tactics aren't right, you won't win and from a purely pace perspective, hold-up horses fare badly here.

Leaders, however, do prosper here, whilst both prominent and mid-div runners win a little more often (7% and 12% respectively) than expected and all this success is at the expense of hold-up horses who have only won 20% of the races from 31.7% of the runners, whilst leaders have won just as many times (20%) from just 12.7% of the runners...

There then arises a little bit of an anomaly, as low drawn runners fare best, as do leaders, but low drawn leaders don't actually do that well at all. In fact low drawn horses get their worst results when leading and their plan should be to hang back slightly and tuck in behind the leaders. Needless to say, all hold-up horses fare poorly, whilst top billing goes to high drawn pace-setters...

And armed with all that data, we can look back upon our runners' last four contests (three in Tiny Danser's case, of course) and attempt to make an educated/informed guess as to how they might run here...

...and what that says is that if the handicap debutant Tiny Danser doesn't go off too fast, she could well have a ideal 'pozzy', whilst Bergerac would seem to have some work to do.


I think it's fairly clear from everything above, bar the pace/draw heatmap, that Bergerac would be Kevin Ryan's best chance of a winner here, but how do I think they'll actually get on?

Well, I think that despite the pace/draw situation that Bergerac has a real chance of landing this and his current 4/1 odds look quite attractive as I expected him to be in the 3/1 to 7/2 range, so I'm happy at 4's. He won't have it all his own way and I suspect that the main challenge should be coming from the likes of Julie Johnston, who is very interesting at 7/1 and Danny Tudhope's mount Readman who can also "be had" at 4/1.

As for Tiny Danser, making the frame isn't a forlorn hope, but I fear she's not quite ready/good enough here and will probably end up in midfield.



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