Yesterday's piece focused around a couple of prominent/front runners who featured well on the Instant Expert report and had a good pace/draw combination. As it was He's A Laddie made a right hash of the bend on his return from a long lay-off ruining both his own and the favourite's race in the process.
Drakefell, on the other hand, made a much better fist of it and although ultimately outclassed, certainly ran his own race and wasn't beaten by far. He was unable to get the lead I thought he'd need and as such was overhauled sooner than I'd have liked. That said at 12/1, he gave punters a good run for their money, missing the frame by less than a length and finishing less than 3 lengths behind the winner.
And that's the story from Thursday, now we move onto...
Friday 2nd October
Friday's free Races of the Day are
2.35 Gowran Park
4.20 Gowran Park
4.55 Gowran Park
I've got to be honest here, I'm not a massive fan of 17-runner Irish hurdle contests (Matt says I'm a coward!) and the Dundalk meeting held little appeal to me either, so I'm heading for more familiar territory and a Friday night in Newcastle. Sadly, not down the Bigg Market or Riverside on the lash, but the five furlong strip of tapeta at Gosforth Park and the last race on the card, the 8.30 Newcastle.
This race features three runners on the Horses for Courses report, so let's take a look at those three and see if one of them has any chance of adding to their already decent course records.
So let's show you the H4C report that highlights three runners of interest...
Report parameters are a personal choice of course, but for H4C I like runners with 10+ runs, a strike rate of 20% or higher and a place strike rate of around 50% if not better with a little leeway allowed on the place side of things to account for odd numbers of races if nothing else!
I think the above Newcastle stats are self-explanatory, but they don't factor in the trip, class or mark.
Another Angel has 7 wins, 5 places 17 over the 5f course and distance including 3 wins and 2 places at Class 5 and has finished 313 over C&D off marks higher than the 75 he'll run off here.
Young Tiger has 3 wins and 4 places from 13 over C&D, but all his wins have been at Class 6 and he'd actually need a career best to win here as, his highest winning mark anywhere is 3lbs lower than today's OR.
And finally, Be Proud, who I'd expect to go off as favourite, his C&D record is 2 wins, 2 places from 8 with both wins coming at Class 6 and his own highest winning mark is 62, but he races off 69 here.
So, for this part, I'd say Another Angel has the advantage. Let's look at the racecard itself...
...where despite being ridden by a jockey short of winners recently, Young Tiger edges it thanks to his yards record of 13 winners from 64 (20.3% SR) in A/W handicaps here at Newcastle and these include 3 from 14 (21.4%) over 5f and 4 from 22 (18.2%) at Class 5.
Next, we can look at the pace/draw heatmap...
...but I'd say that it was relatively inconclusive. Neither Young Tiger nor Be Proud are well drawn for their running style, whilst Another Angel is in a strange situation. If he was to press a little harder, he's very well drawn, but if he dwells at the start, he's probably toast. There are, however, a couple of confirmed front runners in the middle of the pack who might just drag Another Angel along for the ride.
Do I think either of my three featured runners will win?
Gut instinct tells me that Be Proud will go off as a favourite at 4/1 or shorter and could very well win, but I don't think there's any value in him at that price, especially with the improvement he'd need to show.
Another Angel has beaten both of them in the past but looks out of form and a bit too high in the weights for me. He could very well spring back into action and grab a place at 16's or bigger, but if I had to have a bet here : Young Tiger would be the one. His yard have done well here in the past and he rarely has a bad outing.
Five wins and seven further top 3 finishes from 15 runs over the last year or so show he's a consistent sort worth a second look. That's where I'd stop and I'd keep my money in my pocket, but if you did want a small punt for interest, then maybe see if you can get double digits each way about him.
The stats may not have led us to a concrete bet here, but that's a good thing, folks. It's very easy to get sucked in by a stat or two : the key thing is to recognise that not all stats are key or relevant.