Late start tonight, sorry, had a family 'event' to attend, but hopefully better late than never and I'll try to get to the point a little quicker. Monday's free feature is open access to the pace tab for all readers for all races, including the following races of the day...
- 1.30 Southwell
- 6.45 Musselburgh
- 7.00 Windsor
- 7.45 Musellburgh
...and as we've been concentrating mainly on Flat/AW racing recently, let's look at the first of those races, the 1.30 Southwell, a 7-runner Class 4, 5yo+ Handicap Chase over 3m1f on Good ground worth £3,594...
Boughtbeforelunch has six top 3 finishes from his last seven runs and won by 8.5 lengths at Ludlow two starts ago. That earned him a 7lb rise in the weights, yet he was still able to finish as a runner-up at Aintree LTO. Down in class off the same mark here at a track where he's 1 from 1, he has to be in considerations.
Dancing In The Sky was a winner over 2m4.5f at Perth last September, but has been beaten by 51L, 23L and 41L in three runs since. He's down in class from that last run but as well as being out of form, has yet to prove he gets this trip.
Fact Of The Matter last won was 8 starts ago off a mark (135), some 18lbs higher than today, but that was actually back in mid-December 2018 and despite a recently plummeting mark, he has failed to get close since. He has only raced three times since the end of 2019 and it's probably time he was retired.
Lygon Rock has won just once in twenty attempts and that was in a 4-runner novice hurdle more than three years ago and he has made the frame just three times in thirteen races since. He hasn't raced since mid-January when beaten by 31 lengths and will probably need a run. Best avoided.
Compadre tends to run well and give every race his best shot, but he's not really a stayer. He weakens out of it late on in too many of his races for anyone to be confident and backing him to finish strongly. This is a shame to be honest, because he clearly has ability having won off a higher mark than today. For me, he's a low-110's 2m6f chaser and this should be too tough for him.
Tribesmans Glory was 0 from 5 including 4 heavy defeats (69L, 38L, 46L & 21L) before winning a class 5 novice handicap on his chasing bow last October. he's also a former PTP winner, but hasn't really kicked on since that first win under Rules and has unseated his rider in two of the four races since. Big step up in trip here too.
The Composeur is also a former PTP winner and has two wins and two runner-up finishes from six handicap hurdle efforts prior to a chasing debut at Warwick just under five weeks ago over a trip just half a furlong shorter than today. He was admittedly just fourth of seven, but a 9 length defeat over that trip on debut is far from a disgrace. He had two good results at 3m/3m0.5f over hurdles, so the trip should be fine and he'd be entitled to come on for that run last month.
At this point, based on the above, Fact Of The Matter & Lygon Rock look the weakest.
All previous NH form under today's conditions...
...and just over fences...
Lygon Rock looks weak again here and I'm not keen on Tribesmans Glory from those figures either, especially at 12lbs higher than his last win. Boughtbeforelunch, Dancing In The Sky and Compadre all have weight to make up, but don't read too much into Fact Of The Matter being 18lbs lower. We covered that above and it was so long ago! Compadre's four Class wins is decent, though.
The pace stats tell us leaders do best, pretty much at the expense of mid-division horses and with prominent / hold-ups having IVs of 0.97 and 0.98, they're virtually running/winning as many as expected. Leading isn't the be all and end all here, but just don't get stuck in mid-div! Prominent runners have a good place record, so I'd say that made prominent running the second best option after leading. It seems almost strange to say you're more likely to win a 3m1f chase from the front, but the numbers don't lie.
For the record, here's how these seven runners normally race...
Boughtbeforelunch and Fact Of The Matter have both set the pace in at least one of their last four races, so I expect those two to take the race forward here.
Dancing In the Sky and The Composeur are both solid 3's (prominent) more often than not, so they're likely to take second rank here.
Compadre and Tribesmans Glory are definite 1's, having been held up in each of their last four outings, so they'll take the fourth rank, leaving Lygon Rock as the mid-division horse, hammering another nail into the coffin of his chances.
From the write-up stage, I didn't like Fact Of The Matter & Lygon Rock and then I added Tribesmans Glory to that pair after Instant Expert. Lygons Rock was a negative again on pace, so all three are discounted at the first fence, so to speak.
That still leaves me with four, so I'll take a pair and reject a pair and the duo I'm taking are Boughtbeforelunch and The Composeur. Of the pair I'm getting rid of, I think Compadre is marginally better than Dancing In The Sky, but I have doubts about either staying the trip.
As for a winner, well I think there's very little to separate Boughtbeforelunch off his current mark and The Composeur based on his chase debut. The former has more experience, of course, but might have too much weight to carry, whilst the former isn't guaranteed to improver, although you'd expect him to, especially off a mark 2lbs lower than LTO.
To me The Composeur offers more value at 9/2 (Bet365) than Boughtbeforelunch does at 9/4 (generally), so although I think these will be the first two home, I hope it's the longer-priced one that wins!