Racing Insights

Racing Insights, 30th July 2021

Good Afternoon/Evening everyone, I'm back from my summer break and ready to resume activities. Thanks to both Sam and Matt for covering my workload, but my first task now is to look at Friday's racing. I'm helped by the Horses for Courses report, our free feature on Fridays, which shows the full course history since 2009 of any horse running that has previously had a run at that track.

It is sorted by number of wins, but this can be changed to any column at the user’s discretion. As well as today’s race time, course, horse name, jockey and trainer name, there is a breakdown of runs, wins and places, and profit and loss calculations for both win and each way betting. As with all Geegeez reports, there is a ‘Today’ and a ‘Tomorrow’ (for the next day’s racing) view.

In addition to a free feature each day, we also offer a selection of full free racecards to all readers and for Friday they are...

  • 3.00 Goodwood
  • 4.00 Galway
  • 4.25 Bangor
  • 4.45 Goodwood
  • 7.40 Bath
  • 8.40 Bath

As you'd expect, the Goodwood races are the better ones in that list, but one's a 20-runner affair and the other is a nursery. That said, I do want to have a crack at Goodwood and the 20-runner contest probably gives me a better chance of finding an E/W punt, even if I don't normally get involved in such big fields.

Which all means that my race in focus is the 3.00 Goodwood, the 20-runner Unibet Golden Mile Handicap, which is a one mile, Class 2 race for 3yr olds and older on currently good to soft ground, that is better in places. The 'pot' is a cool £77,310 and at the start of my analysis, this s how the card looks...

I don't particularly want to get tied up in analysing horses that I feel have little chance here, so I want to immediately eliminate any of those without a win in the form visible on the racecard, so that will remove Escobar, Orbaan, Maydanny, Greenside and  Hortzadar from my considerations. Sharper-eyed readers will see that both Acquitted and Shelir should also go at this point, but the former has 3 places from the last 4 runs and the latter is a four-time runner-up from six!

So, my card now looks like this, before I look at the Instant Expert tab...

I'm now working with just 15 runners, but I want that number to be halved before I have to stick my neck out and made any kind of decision. Instant Expert is the first port of call and that will hopefully rule a few more out of contention. Most bookies are paying six places for this one, so it makes sense to look at place form first...

...and the simplest thing to do here is to eliminate any of those without at least one block of green for either going, class, course or distance, so it's goodbye to Qaysar, Trais Fluors and Another Batt at this point, as we quickly click over to the win side of IE...

I won't discard any of my remaining dozen at this point, but I have reservations about...
Bedouin's Story on class/distance
Acquitted on class
Shelir on class/distance
Corazon Espinado on distance

Those four are probably currently saved by their records on good to soft ground, but will need to fare well on pace and draw to remain in my thoughts. From a pace perspective in races of 12 or more runners on good/good to soft ground here at Goodwood, it's better to race up with the pace...

...or indeed sit just behind those setting the fractions. Anything further back from mid-division has struggled in the past and that's not good news for the likes of Acquitted or Bedouin's Story, especially the latter who is an out and out hold up horse.

As for the draw in similar contests...

...there's not really that much of a bias in my opinion, but a low draw does seem to be more advantageous, so this could benefit the likes of Shelir, Johan and Path of Thunder from my dozen under scrutiny. However, when you ally pace and draw together...

...the three best combos are mid-drawn leaders, low drawn prominence and high drawn prominence. This backs up the need for speed here at Goodwood with that green arrowhead on the chart. When we overlay our horses' running styles onto that heatmap...

...the likes of Shelir, Johan, Path of Thunder and Epic Endeavour look best suited and I think all four have a really good chance of making the frame. Acquitted, Corazon Espinado and Bedouin's Story all leave considerations at this point, leaving me with just nine of my original twenty runners, namely Epic Endeavour, Hartswood, Johan, Magical Morning, Path of Thunder, Qaader, Rhoscolyn, Shelir and Variyann and to get down to six placers, I need to discard three more here.

Hartswood and Variyann are the two widest drawn of the nine and probably have the weakest chance of winning this, so they're easy to take out of the equation here, whilst I think they need to be joined by Epic Endeavour despite his excellent pace/draw make-up. He was a beaten favourite here two days ago and now steps up in class and has been raised a pound from that run, so he's out.

Summary

So, we've a 20-runner contest that pays 6 places, I've whittled it down to six runners for those places and having had a quick look at the market, I think that Path of Thunder is a pretty short-priced favourite at 7/2 or 4/1 and that he might struggle to beat the likes of Magical Morning (11/2) for the Gosden/Dettori combo, Johan (10/1) or even Rhoscolyn (9/1) if he kicks on early.

In fact, they're probably my 1-2-3 and I'd probably take the 11/2 about Magical Morning and a small 10/1 E/W about Johan. That then puts Path Of Thunder outside my top 3 along with the 14/1 Qaader and Shelir at 16's. I'm wary of being accused of throwing enough mud that some sticks, but I'd not deter anyone from having a small punt on those two bigger priced runners either.

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