Instant Expert is by far the most popular tab on the geegeez racecards, because it has the ability to condense the entire form profile of every runner in the race into a single, easily digestible, view in terms of wins (or places), runs, and win (or place) percentage for each of going, class, course, distance, and field size. It also compares today’s official rating with the horse’s last winning official rating.
The display is colour coded: green for a higher percentage rate, amber for a middling percentage, and red for a low percentage. Horses with no form under a certain condition have grey figures.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Where a horse has no UK/Irish form – i.e. it is having its first run in Britain or Ireland under Rules – it will not show up on Instant Expert at all.
And every Thursday we make this open to all readers for all races, including our free ones, which will be...
- 1.45 Clonmel
- 2.13 Lingfield
- 2.30 Ffos Las
- 4.15 Ffos Las
- 5.20 Ffos Las
And although it'll take me to the edge of my comfort zone by virtue of having 14 runners, the obvious place to start today is the sole UK A/W offering, as it's a Listed race, so we should have some good data to work with. Therefore, I'm going to look at the 2.13 Lingfield, a 1m5f Listed contest on Polytrack worth £25,520. The race is open to 3yo+ fillies and mares and fourteen of them (shown below) will take their place in the stalls...
As you'd expect for race at this level, plenty come here with some good form behind them, but only Artemisia Lomi and At A Pinch won last time out and they only won Class 5 Novice/maiden races, which isn't great prep for a Class 1 bow. In fact, I'm not a fan of backing horses stepping so far up the scale, so I'm ruling those two out immediately, along with Golden Hind and Single, who were both beaten at Class 5 on their last starts.
Viola, Beholding and Sammarr are the three previous course winners and also the other three stepping up in class, having raced at Class 2 LTO. All the field have been seen in the last four weeks and all bar the now-discarded Single hail from yards with good recent form and/or good track records.
If this was based on handicap marks, the likes of Sayyida, Sea la Rosa and Brunnera off marks of 102, 99 and 98 respectively would be deemed "best off at the weights" with the already discarded trio Artemisia Lomi, Golden Hind and At A Pinch worst off.
I quickly reduced my 14 runners to a more manageable 10, but I'm going to be brutal today in working towards a shortlist and take another couple out at this stage. I see that the Gosden, Haggas and O'Meara yards all have multiple entries here and I only want to take a maximum of one forward from each. I discarded the Gosden's At A Pinch and I'm also now excluding Pennymoor in favour of Beholding. The O'Meara & Haggas yards already has their second string eliminated on class moves.
I'll now take my nine forward to be assessed under expected conditions via Instant Expert...
...where we see four previous AW winners, of which three have won here at Lingfield previously. Six of my nine have raced at Class 1 already, but without winning. Some have placed at this level, though and we'll see those shortly. As I said earlier we've three former course winners and they're the only ones to have raced here. 1m5f is a fairly rare trip if truth be told, so I expanded to the more common 1m4f to 1m6f. After all, from 6340 Flat & AW races in UK/Ireland in 2020, only 34 of them (0.54%) were at this trip, with just four taking place on the AW (all here at Lingfield!).
After expanding the trip parameters, we have six distance winners with Beholding looking the best at the distance. Overall, from Instant Expert, Viola and Beholding do look best suited with the likes of Brunnera, Propriety and Roseabad looking vulnerable, albeit from a small number of runs. I'll not discard any runners here, before considering their place form...
...where all three paint a better picture of themselves. Volia and beholding still lead the way on the going, Sayyida's two placed efforts at Class 1 are impressive and Viola's record here (211) is tremendous. Most have acquitted themselves well at the trip, where Percy's pride looks weakest, but not disastrous. I'll leave all nine in situ approaching draw analysis...
...where I'm informed that higher in the draw is better, but that there's not a huge bias at play here...
...and stall by stall...
Clearly, some stalls fare better than others, but I'm not entirely convinced there's a pattern emerging that's strong enough hang to my hat or a bet on, so we need to condiser how the race might be run and the pace stats for those races above...
..also aren't massively biased towards one running style, but the best position to hold is somewhere around the mid-division to prominent mark and here's how our field have run in their last four outings...
Of the nine still under consideration, Roseabad is likely to one of the pace setters (with Artemisia Lomi & possibly Pennymoor).
Beholding & Sea La Rosa look like being my prominent/mid-div runners (with At A Pinch & Golden Hind)
Brunnera, Percy's Pride and Sayyida look like being mid-division with Propriety, Viola and Sammarr (along with Single) towards the rear.
At this point, I do want to take Beholding and Sea la Rosa forward, because aside from a low draw, they've ticked boxes all the way along. Viola's Instant Expert numbers outweigh her hold-up running style in my eyes, so she stays ands I also want to take a closer look at Sayyida after making the frame in two of three Class 1 races and I think they're the four I'd want to be with here.
I've quickly (as it should be) taken 14 down to 4 and they are...
- Beholding : just four starts so far, but two wins (inc one here over 1m4f) and was only beaten by three lengths at Class 2 last time out. She seems to prefer the AW, where both wins have come at big (10L & 12L) margins, albeit at Class 5. More needed here, but she's in good nick.
- Sayyida : who has had a great year so far despite only finishing 6th last time out. Closer inspection shows it was unsuitable ground/trip and yet she was still only just over two lengths adrift in a Group 3 contest. Prior to that, she had back to back runner-up finishes at Listed/Gr 3 level and if running to that standard, would be the one to beat, but has no AW runs behind her.
- Sea la Rosa : was two lengths and one place behind Sayyida, when the latter was a Gr 3 runner-up at Newmarket in September, having won three of her previous five starts. Like Sayyida, she has no real AW form to write home about although she has actually tackled an artificial surface, even if it was only Tapeta where she opened her career with finishes of 323 last November/December. I'd expect a good run, but has something to make up on Sayyida.
- Viola : was a runner-up LTO, less than half a length behind the winner Sea La Rosa, but they meet again on a surface that will favour Viola who has 2 wins and a runner-up finish from her five AW runs, including finishes of 211 here at Lingfield, all over 1m4f and that familiarity might take her al long way today.
I'm reluctant about AW Class 1 races for horses with little/no AW form/experience and that means I need to omit one of Sayyida or Sea La Rosa from my final three and although the latter has three AW runs (a) they were on tapeta and (b) she didn't win any. Sayyida holds her from last time out and being by Dubawi, you'd expect her to be able to run on polytrack, so here's where I cut Sea La Rosa.
I've now got my three and I think I prefer Beholding & Viola despite Sayyida's obvious ability, I just think that AW experience will count here. I think beholding is a better prospect, but Viola has the track form and this could be an interesting contest, but my concern re: Viola is that she might have to come from too far off the pace, so for me its Beholding / Viola / Sayyida for this one.
The bookies have my trio at 9/2, 13/2 and 5/2 respectively with Sea La Rosa also 13/2 with some form paying 4 places. I don't want to back Sayyida at 5/2 and the two 13/2 shots would need to drift to 8's or bigger for me to consider an E/W tickle, which brings us back to Beholding at 9/2. If I'm honest, I probably wanted more and I'd be interested at say 11/2, but for now I'll keep my powder dry and watch the market for changes.
It's perfectly fine to analyse a race and then not place a bet, you should never bet for the sake of it.